Violation of Safety

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About two weeks before Christmas, my new office was broken into.  Things were stolen, walls were smashes, a mess was made.  Thankfully at the end of the day it was not as bad as it looked, but it took awhile to bounce back.

A few days later, things kept happening because of that break-in.  The landlords of the building were refusing to reinforce the door at the front, saying it was ‘tenant error’ that caused the break in.  I logged into our bank account and we found out cheques were stolen and cashed.  Our credit card was compromised.  It was almost an entire day changing all our account information and stressing about what we might have missed.  Five days later and I was sitting at my desk crying in absolute stress.  I was overwhelmed and afraid, and I just broke down.  My business partner kept telling me not to take it personally, but he just didn’t understand.  My entire safety had been violated.  For the first time in my single life living in the city, I was afraid.

Here’s where things pressed on me.  First, I was completely alone.  My business partner was away seeing family, so I dealt with the entire break-in completely by myself.  I had the repairs done.  I cleaned up.  I dealt with the police.  I made the decisions.  I’m proud that I was able to calmly handle everything the way I did.  But I was alone.  When I went home at night, I felt unsafe in my normally very safe apartment.  I got up and dreaded going back to the office, certain it had happened again.  I hated sitting in the office knowing someone had been through all my things.  I was convinced the burglars had gotten my address somewhere and would target my home next.  I sat in the office by myself for a week, and felt completely exposed.

Over the holidays I went to my moms and we then took a trip to sun peaks.  I was gone a week and a half.  Every night I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that my apartment would be ransacked when I got back.  I was afraid to go home.  I stayed with my mom longer than I intended because I didn’t want to deal with it.  The hour long drive back was one of the longest of my entire life.  My heart thumped wildly in my chest as I went up the stairs.

My apartment was safe.

This is the part that really gets me.  I don’t care about the space.  I got it repaired.  I don’t care about what banking info was compromised.  At the end of the day the banks protected us.  I don’t think I would even really care if my apartment was broken into.  There’s nothing I have that I can’t replace.  I’ve started with nothing once, I can do it again.

But the fear.  The feeling of being unsafe.  Looking at people as they pass and judging them, wondering if they are dangerous to me.  This is something I’ve never experienced before.  I’ve lived a relatively safe life.  I’ve never been threatened or hurt.  I go about life blissfully, thinking the best.  That core belief has been shake, and I can’t seem to get myself back. Continue reading

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A Funny Case of Instant Karma

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My best friend Kim is a teensy bit negative.  She has a good heart and truly believes in good, but she’s been through a lot the last few years and it’s worn on her.  I’ve been trying to help her see the positive side of life and focus on the things that make her happy.  It’s been a struggle, but she’s slowly getting there.

Yesterday we treated ourselves to a spa visit after work.  She’d never had a full facial before, so I wanted her to experience it.  We went early, had a steam, chatted in a friendly way, and relaxed.  Everything was good.  It wasn’t until we were leaving that something happened to make us both laugh all the way back to our car.

Down in the parking structure you have to pay for your parking before you exit.  We stood behind a guy who was already paying and waited.  When it was finally our turn, it spit the guys ticket out at us.  He’d run of, obviously in a hurry, forgetting to grab it after paying.  Kim is not a mean person, but her instinct was to just leave it.  I thought how frustrating it would be for him to get all the way to the exit and have to come all the way back.  And maybe someone else would have taken it by then!!  Technically we could have grabbed it and left without having to pay for parking, but that thought didn’t cross my mind until much later.  I grabbed the ticket and hurried after him, waving down his car.  Another person in their car saw that I was trying to get his attention and honked for me, making the guy finally stop.  I smiled at him and gave him the ticket.  He thanked me profusely.  I could tell he was pleasantly surprised and relieved that I’d given it back to him. Continue reading

Don’t Sacrifice too much for Love

love-balance-life-balance

Over the weekend I met a friend for a walk around the seawall.  Dee is a wonderful person I met a few years ago and we’ve often said that we met exactly when we both needed one another.  She was going through a divorce and I was struggling through the end of a horrible relationship.  We supported one another through the healing process and really gave each other the courage to heal and have the courage to believe in our biggest dreams.  She and I have talked often about our past and currently relationships in very supportive ways, so it was no surprise that we started talking again about how we were doing in our love lives.  She said something during our talk that really struck a chord.  She thought the reason my past relationship failed was because I sacrificed too much.  At first I wasn’t sure that was right, but she started lining it up for me and I couldn’t say anything .  We all sacrifice for the people we love, but there is such thing as giving too much for not enough return.

Here’s the list.  I gave up my home in the city for his home in the suburbs.  I’m the type of person that loves the hustle and excitement of the big city, so moving to a place where the closest coffee shop was fifteen blocks away and everything closes at 7 was a real change.  I don’t usually get home from work until 7 or 8, so basically once I got home there was nothing to do.  He was a hiker and mountain biker, so I gave up my lifestyle to make his easier.  At the time I didn’t mind because I loved him and I wanted him to be happy.  I tried to make it work.  Moving away from the city meant I gave up the ease in which I saw my friends.  They went from living a few blocks away to at least a 30 minute drive away.  I gave up my food routine and adapted to his way of eating because he complained about not getting enough of certain things and I was the only one who cooked.  I gave up big portions of my weekend because we moved into a bigger place than I was used too, and he didn’t really help clean.  He tried sometimes, but he just didn’t get it and I didn’t want to nag.  Now none of this seems particularly huge to me.  We all give certain things up.  But what Dee pointed out was that I got nothing in return.

I’m not a give and take person all the time.  I believe in karma and positive energy, and sometimes you help someone just to help them.  I don’t always need a reward or payment.  But in a relationship, there needs to be a certain equality.  After awhile, the things I was sacrificing piled up until I started to resent it, and because of how unhappy I was, more and more things started falling away from me.  I sacrificed my health because I was depressed.  I was eating poorly and eventually ended up medicated for anxiety.  I stopped seeing my friends because getting to them was too difficult, and I felt guilty about asking them to trek out to me.  I sacrificed every ounce of confidence I had at events because I was constantly worried about him and his social anxiety problems.  I sacrificed time with my family, because his anxiety made it hard for him to visit them, but it had no affect on seeing his family, so we visited them way more than we visited mine.  In short, it became all about him and not enough about me. Continue reading

This Post is So Gross!

EmbarassedI promised in my profile that I am an average girl that will talk about all the things I experience.  I promised.  I seriously wish I hadn’t made that promise because I don’t want to talk about this one, but I feel like it would be hypocritical of me not to.  We all want to be perfect in our online persona’s, but I made a pledge to be real.  So here I go…

A vaginal pimple…

Anyone who doesn’t want to read more, I totally understand.  Trust me when I say I wish I wasn’t writing about this.

About a week ago, I had a full on panic moment.  A red, sort of angry looking lump appeared within the folds of my lady-parts.  And yes, I feel squeamish just talking about it.  I mean holy-%$#*.  I was so panicked at the idea that I might have somehow contracted an STD that I had to sit down while a full on panic-attack hit me like a full-steam ahead train.  I cried on my bathroom floor for twenty minutes, and then made an emergency appointment with my doctor.

She was really nice.  Had I had sex without a condom?  Yes, I had.  But not with just any stranger!  A guy I’d been seeing.  She talked quietly about the different things it could be, trying to assure me it may be nothing.  I listened to her thinking ‘I’m never going to have sex again’ and I felt like my heart had fully lodged itself in my stomach.  Finally, she took a look.

A pimple.

Excuse me?  Relief washed instantly over me.  I didn’t realize you could get pimples down there!!  Well apparently you can, and an extensive Google search later told me that it’s actually very common.  You can get pimples anywhere!!  And with all the shaving, waxing and plucking down there, you’re bound to get an ingrown hair at some point, even really deep in there.

My next question was ‘how did I make it this long without experiencing this before?’.  Well thank goodness I haven’t, although it would have stopped the full on panic now.  Still, I had a pimple down there, and it was really big.  My doctor said not to pop it or do anything.  We have to watch it to make sure it doesn’t get infected, but letting it heal instead of trying to do anything to it is better at this point.

Well fine; only pimples fucking hurt, and when they’re down in those sensitive areas, it hurts like all hell.  I mean holy crap, throbbing stinging pain.  Every time I moved, walked, sat, stood, shifted… it was just torture.  Let’s talk about sexy.  I lay on my bed spread eagle with the fan pointed at me to help keep it dry (moisture breeds bacteria).  I thought I would die of mortification. Continue reading

Camping Hacks for Vegans

vegan camping

I was worried about this past weekend.  My family had planned a camping trip. I absolutely love camping with my family.  It’s so much fun and ridiculously relaxing.  But we normally go all out with food and I was worried that it would be a strain to keep the clean vegan eating going without making my own meals.  In the end, I was over prepared!!  Here’s what I did to curb the pitfalls.

1.) Be prepared for the late night snacking.  S’mores are a staples.  I don’t have the money to go out and buy vegan versions of marshmallows and graham crackers, so instead I brought popcorn!  My family ended up eating most of mine because it was so good.  I bought corn kernels and we popped them over the fire with a little oil.  Then I drizzled some freshly melted dark chocolate over it and tossed with a little sea salt.  Talk about a delicious snack!  Just make sure the oil isn’t super fatty and use a tiny bit of dark chocolate.  Milk chocolate is just sugar. Continue reading

Veganism and Menstruation

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My flow has always sucked the life right out of me.  Can you relate ladies?  Since I was a teen I can remember being curled up in my bed breathing slowly with a hot water bottle and a bottle of whatever pills I can find within arms reach.  It’s never been a good time.  About two years ago I went on the pill and it helped a lot.  I kick myself for not starting it sooner than I did.  I always worried about how it would mess with my hormones or skin, but in the end, anything is worth it if it gets rid of that pain.

There has been another more recent change to my monthly flow that I’m excited to talk about!  You would be excited too if you had spent the better part of 15 years in monthly agony!!  I’ve been eating 90% vegan for almost a month (four more days until 1 month).  I didn’t really think about how it would affect my period, not until it suddenly did.

Without meat in my diet, a huge portion of hormones have been eliminated.  I try to buy organic whenever I can, and I’ve been slowly switching all my beauty products to natural and organic to get rid of the extra hormones and chemicals.  And on top of all this, my salt intake has plummeted because I’ve my healthy eating.

This morning I woke up a little earlier than normal and really had to use the washroom.  No big, it happens.  But I was surprised to see that I’d started my period.  I’m not usually so surprised!!  Normally I have ‘those’ warnings.  Breast tenderness for a few days, general moodiness, a high sudden craving for really salty crappy foods… I’m normally so frustrated by the time my flow hits, that I basically check out for the next week.  By the end of it I’m so exhausted by the whole ordeal it takes me days to recover.  Imagine if that was a quarter of every one of your months!!!

This time around I was surprised to find I had already started my period because not a single pre-menstrual symptom occurred!  I wasn’t even moody!!  My flow was light and easy, and was over in a few days without cramps or any significant discomfort.  Simply put, it was the easiest flow I’d ever had!!

Every time something happens it proves to me that being vegan is my true nature.  Before now no one could’ve ever convinced me that going meat free would ever work, let alone going totally free of any animal product or byproduct and also gluten free and organic.  I mean come on!  That sounds crazy even now!!  But I look forward to pure veggie days, morning green smoothies and spinach and kale salads.  Did I really need more convincing that this is the right diet for me?  No.  But take away my cramps, bloating and irritation once a month and I’d do just about anything!!