Am I Vulnerable?

Vulnerability

I had a session with my counsellor last night.  I love talking to her.  She has this way of asking questions that I never thought about before.  I’ve thought about the situation, but not in the way she’s asking.  I have tons of moments sitting across from her when I just stop talking and stare because I don’t know the answer at all!  I find that amazing.

This time we talked about power; the equilibrium and equality in all relationships.  I mentioned that I felt ready to seriously consider finding a romantic relationship again. We’ve sort of touched on my one major relationship that ended badly in the past, but never really delved into it like we did last night.  Before talking specifically about the romantic relationship, we focused on a current other relationship that I have where the issue of power came up.

I’ve been trying to change my perspective in regards to my business partner.  There are things he does that drive me crazy, and my counsellor asked me to make a list of those things.  Not to fix them, but just to look at them and maybe see a pattern.  I found this really hard.  I would sit down to write something, and I’d feel angry and frustrated.  The feeling would be strong enough that I would have to stop.

One day on the way to work, after a particularly good morning of meditation and self-health, I thought about him from a different angle.  I thought about all his good traits.  He has quite a few.  He’s generous, supportive and good at his job.  There were things I definitely could rely on him for.  So instead of focusing on the things I didn’t like about him, I tried to give him the things that were his strengths.  I gave him the work he would excel at and took the things I would excel at.  Any annoying jobs we both hate, I slowly spread them between us.

I don’t always like being the manager, but sometimes it’s worth it.  He will do the work, but he won’t always make the list of what needs to be done.  He’s a reactor, while I’m someone who prepares.

I learned that our partnership works amazingly when we both play to our strengths, and make up for each others weaknesses.  We don’t have to do every job equally, but the entire workload should be spread out.  One step at a time.  Slowly, over about two weeks, my attitude towards him changed.  And as a result, his attitude towards me changed.  Suddenly we were working well together again, and we liked each other again.

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Open Letter to my Ex

Open Letter to my Ex

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been feeling like I want to say some of the things I never said to my ex.  It’s been two years and I’ve never really felt this urge.  I’ve never wanted to call and tell him what went wrong.  I’ve never wanted to blame him.  But now, I suddenly feel like it’s important he understand the things he did wrong.  Maybe it’s because he’s finally dating again, and the first thing I thought when I saw the nice girl ‘oh honey, I hope you’re okay.’  She seems so nice, so pretty and soft.  I instantly worried that he would harm her in the way he almost destroyed me.

I’ve maintained since the break-up that I’ve never once regretted my actions.  I still believe that.  Even learning he was dating again made me feel mostly relieved.   The ‘well he called her his girlfriend’ words made me sit back in surprise, because I felt a little chunk of guilt break off that I hadn’t realized I was still carrying.   I found her picture on Facebook, and saw her pretty shy smile, and I felt sick for her.  All that fear I used to have of falling back to that dark part of me came back, but I felt it for her, not me.  I’m not afraid for me, because I’ve learned my strength.  I’m afraid for her, because I don’t know her, and I worry she’s like I was when I first met him.

I’m writing this open letter to my ex, saying the things I never said, because I didn’t think they were important for my own mental health.  But they’re important now for her sake.

Dear M,

I have some absolutely wonderful memories about our time together.  Our trip to LA.  The road trip down the coast.  Lazy days in my apartment downtown.  So many good memories to choose from.  Unfortunately the bad memories are strong enough that even now, two years later, it makes the good memories not worth it.  So many times in life I can say the good outweighed the bad.  With you, I can only say that after all was said and done, I’m stronger. Continue reading

Exercising as a Vegan

Quarry RockI’m heading into my third week of eating almost completely Vegan.  Almost, because I don’t look to see if every ingredient is Vegan and I don’t make things difficult when I go out for dinner with friends.  I had Sushi with a friend the other night and it was all Vegan except for the small pieces of seared Tuna.  What I mean by ‘almost’ is that I stick to a 90% plant based diet.

Something happened yesterday that I have to talk about.  I decided at the beginning that I wasn’t going to really put that much extra effort into exercising until I knew I had this eating thing down pat.  I’ve read a hundred times that it takes four weeks, or 30 days, or one month to really break a habit.  Normally when I do things I’m so motivated that I do it all at once and I burn myself out.  It’s too much too fast.  This time I want to master one thing before adding the other.

But yesterday I went for a hike with my best friend.  We like heading up into nature, so it wasn’t really supposed to be much harder than normal.  Just a friendly weekend hike to reconnect.  She’s been training for a half marathon and although she’s just starting and has a long way to go, I could tell right away that she was more energetic than usual.  When we started the hike it was clear that both of us were in a great place health wise, and even though physically we were not very conditioned, before we knew it we were powering up this hike passing people, breathing hard and feeling amazing.  I mean my endorphins were pumping, my body was strong and I just felt… powerful!  We did the whole thing in less than 40 minutes (normally about an hour).  I was thrilled!

This Vegan thing keeps taking me by surprise.  Everything I ever thought about it is totally wrong.  I thought it would be a real effort to try and keep my energy up because protein would become an issue.  But I can push harder than I’ve been able to in years!  I don’t feel like I’m starting from scratch with exercise.  I feel like I could start right now and jump ten steps into the process!

I’m addicted.  Everything I do I feel amazing.  I look in the mirror and I feel beautiful.  My eyes sparkle, my skin glows, my pudge is melting away and I feel like I could take on the world.

Going Vegan

vegan

I’m not a ‘diet’ person.  What I mean by that is that I hate doing it.  Yes eating healthy is always better, but I’ve always felt like anything I try restricts me.  With that sort of mindset, the idea of trying to get vegan was like a kick in the teeth.  Meat is like a comfort food to me.  Most of my cravings have something to do with tender, delicious meat.  So yeah, veganism never held very much power for me.

So why did I try it?  I’m not really sure.  I’ve been pretty obsessed with this blog Deliciously Ella.  For my birthday my mom bought me a blender, and I went to buy Ella’s book for all the great smoothies.  With my new morning smoothie burst, I found myself testing out some of Ella’s other recipes.  I made the cauliflower chia seed pizza crust, butternut squash risotto, mango and avocado quinoa and a cleansing soup.  I was really just trying them out.  I was surprised how tasty they were.  I started craving those dinners and cooking them more often then anything else.

And then I sat down to actually read the beginning of Ella’s book.  I hadn’t realized that I was making vegan and gluten free food.  I mean it makes sense now, but while I was cooking I had no idea that was her diet.  She talked about not wanting to label it because labels scare people off.  It’s true.  I was scared off by ‘vegan’ and wouldn’t go near it.

It made me think.  I was feeling really good and my anxiety was coming down.  That’s what really did it for me.  I hate anxiety.  It’s really the worst.  This new diet was helping, however inadvertently I’d started it.  So I decided to give it a go. Continue reading

True Freedom

freedomI talk a lot about what it means to be me.  I’ve blogged about modern day feminism, overcoming controlling relationships and leaning to love yourself.  It’s taken me a long time to really understand how all the things I believe come together.  It’s freedom.

When I think of freedom, I immediately think of Mel Gibson as William Wallace shouting ‘FREEDOM!!!’ right before he’s torn to shreds.  Ouch.  But freedom is one of those words that means a thousand different things.  It means the freedom to choose, the right to vote, the ability to do anything you want… for me, it means the freedom to be myself, without judgement or criticism.

When I was in my last relationship, there were very specific things that used to bother me.  The  biggest one was the comment ‘that’s so unlike you’.  He used to say it to me all the time.  I would make a joke, and that joke would be ‘unlike me’.  I wanted to put pink in my hair, but that’s ‘unlike me’.  I will always remember that fight over the tattoo I want, because it ‘didn’t fit my personality’ according to him.  Years of these little fights made it impossible for me to feel good about myself, because I was afraid to make any sort of change.  I felt on the inside like I wanted to be something different than what I was on the outside, but I’d been trained to believe that what I felt on the inside ‘wasn’t me’.  That was my cage.

Since that relationship ended, things have changed for the better in so many ways.  And I realize that I feel… free.  It’s a strange feeling for me, which is totally worrying.  I realized it because I’ve started taking my own picture, and I’m not afraid to share it.  My personal social media pages are suddenly full of things I’ve done, pictures of me doing them, and friends and family.  I feel like me now, on the inside and outside, and because of that I’m comfortable with myself.  In fact, I even like myself!  How many people can say that?! Continue reading

Am I Eating Enough?: Part 2

Clean EatingThe other day I mentioned that my new clean eating had be feeling like I may not be getting enough calories.  It’s just strange eating so many fruits and veggies.  It just doesn’t feel like you’re ever bulking yourself up.

For the last two days, I’ve been keeping track just to see where I’m at.  I put down everything.  A quick google search tells me that as a woman my age, I can consume anywhere between 1,900 and 2,300 calories a day depending on lifestyle.  Give or take of course, because everyone is different.  I’ve been told because I’m short, I would be on the lower side of that.  A person losing weight would try to burn more calories in a day than they consume while still feeding and nourishing their body.

Without trying or changing anything, I hit about 1,800 one day, and just over that the next day, which puts me on the low end.  It’s surprising how little calories are in veggies, especially green leafy things.  I had an absolutely full dinner last night with meat, pea shoots and spinach.  (For those who aren’t spinach eaters, you may have cringed,  but the way I make it is amazing.)  What I considered a full, big meal that filled me up completely came in at less than 400 calories.  It really shows you that you can really gorge if you’re eating the right foods. Continue reading