behind closed doors…

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since getting my lil finny, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside in my back yard…a yard I haven’t used in 6years…a yard that is actually quite nice…I sit in my chair, feet up on railing, puppsters doing his combat training in the grass and just be, just staring off into space, reflecting on my day and really my life…with this pup and this yard, I’ve gone from the last girl standing to the first girl home at night…

being last girl standing meant I didn’t miss anything…the stories were my stories…the inside jokes, I got all of them…being the first girl home at night means I’m in the blind on a lot…i no longer have the funniest, most crazy stories…I no longer get the inside jokes – not even when they’re explained to me…my time in my back yard has been teaching me that I don’t care about missing things….i’ve been learning that missing things around me, only means I’m experiencing me…I mean I’m pretty damn good company for myself…my life in the past has been so crazy busy – I made it that way…who has a back yard and doesn’t use it…I started to think, seriously how have I not had an hour to sit out here…how have I not embraced this view…my folks took all this time and planted some trees for me and this year, finally, I notice their growth and I love it…

behind closed doors, there’s silence in my world…

the silence is sometimes deafening…but when I got used to the silence, my senses heightened…there’s distance voices that used to freak finn out…I mean freak him out…but I think he now knows that he is being brought up by a single parent in the hood, so he knows certain sounds…his reactions are slowly calming…I think the time I’m spending out here and the times of silence has really taught me to – well – think…

starting this adventure – leaping into this cathartic experience has released in me a sense of self…I’ve talked to so many people lately about my ramblings and I’ve honestly been astonished at reactions…talking to some colleagues about this practice of blogging today made me realize that I’m actually starting to practice what I preach…I smile at that because I preach to my clients all the time about finances and balance and coping skills and structured daily routine…i teach routine and skills to a population that some of the world doesn’t know about…take budgeting as an example…I preach, I calculate and I plan and I budget with my clients…I have sheets and percentages of how much they should spend on housing, versus clothing, versus toiletries, versus food, versus leisure…but I do not practice any of this…my brother in law has been after me for years to develop a 5year plan to pay off my debt….he questions, so how much interest are you paying…I stare into space, not making eye contact…he questions, so how much is owing on that…I stare into space, not making eye contact…see I truly believe if I don’t make eye contact, he won’t be able to see me – it never works…when I left the last time, as I was lugging my luggage at the airport to fly home, he’s last words were, ‘hey joey, bring all your financial shit next time, we’re doing this”…I kept walking, he kept yelling…I laughed, my sister texted and said, “he’s serious”…

my point being, I don’t and haven’t really practiced what I’ve preached, until now…

behind closed doors, I struggled…

I guess for some reason, I’ve become comfortable sharing with the world my imperfections and through my writing, my purging of emotion, I’m growing…well I’m actually letting that stunted younger version of me grow…a friend of mine said it right…she said, I understand why you don’t like to share – because if you share, you have to talk, and talking leads to emotion and emotion leads to hurt…she said you are still in control of your experiences by writing…it’s the control piece that you were missing before you did this…the experiences were always there, I just wasn’t able to make sense of them…

was I afraid of my experiences…was I afraid of being looked at differently because I’m being raw…I can’t answer those questions…

as I sit outside today, windows opened I hear a family planning supper…a dad singing out what do you want barbequed…a kid yells back, two hamburgers dad…I hear a shower going…a couple chit chatting about their days…and I hear a dog parking, oh wait, that’s my dog barking – he hates me writing…I hear a baby cry and I hear shouting, screaming and yelling…”you’re a piece of shit” a woman yells…”you’re a fucking whore”, a man screeches back…and the words go on…a young girl cries out…then I hear silence, a distant whimper and silence…

I have no reaction to these happenings behind closed doors…jaded much you may ask…well yup…my work experiences have instilled in me a sense that you know, shit happens….i may have grown up in smurf land, but not everyone did…when I heard yelling at my house, it was because someone pulled a prank on someone and the yelling was actually with happy words…not words that could cut through a person’s being…

car doors bang….mufflers purr…and the world goes on…

behind closed doors…we never know…we pick our friends up, we see them cross the threshold of their front door and they come running to the car with a smile…we drop our friends off after an afternoon of adventure and we watch them cross the front door threshold to go inside, they look back, smile and wave good bye…what happens inside that front door, we really have no idea…

i’m finally realizing that I was living a lie for many years…my smile, my interactions with others, my playfulness and my pictures on social media portrayed a completely different life…think of those people you follow everyday, those people singing the praises of their partners, posting happy family pictures, those people portraying to the world that life is so perfect…have you ever felt a hint of jealousy of them, a hint of dislike…did you ever sit down and think, why is such and such so happy, didn’t she just break up with someone…how did such a such find a new partner so fast…how is such and such affording that new car, that new house, that trip…that person does not look like that in real life, did you see what she/he wore at that wedding, that birthday, that party…and the list goes on…our eyes see beauty, perfection, happiness – but that’s the information that’s given to us…what I’m learning in life is that there are deep dark secrets beyond the front door threshold…

ever cringe as you walk to your front door and think, I wonder what kind of mood he/she is in right now…ever listen to someone berate you so much that you actually begin to believe it…ever been called a whore, a slut, a bastard, a lying son of a bitch, a good for nothing c-word…ever been hit, pushed, held down, spit on, or experienced someone being in your face…ever think the words would never stop…ever get a headache from the screaming…ever think you’re worthless…ever told, leave but good luck finding someone else to love you…ever talk back and regret it…

behind closed doors, that’s where that happens…

social media will never capture behind closed doors…the more people I meet in my life, the more stories I hear, the more doors I walk in through, the more I am aware of personal struggles, personal challenges, and the more I am aware of personal achievements and personal gains…I’m learning that people can only portray to the world what they have the strength to handle…sometimes being silent is the only thing a person can do to survive the day…it’s when that person gets the strength to open up, to invite you in beyond the front door threshold to enter the world of behind closed doors – that you are able to know them completely…

don’t be jealous because a friend of a friend met a guy, hit it off, got engaged and now are living the happy ever after…don’t hate the guy who broke it off with his girlfriend shortly after the wedding and is now seeing a girl you know through work…don’t stick up your nose at that person who just lost all that weight and is posting pictures of herself/himself at a pool party…don’t harbor harsh thoughts about – well you can fill in the blanks…we have no idea what people are going through on a daily basis…we have no idea of people’s past…

if you think you’re amazed about what you do know about people – I promise you, you’ll be amazed at what you don’t know…

my doors were always closed – i have two…a house and screen door…from this cathartic experience my house door is finally opened, but my screen door is still closed…give me time…i’m getting there…

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Beginnings. Endings. Beginnings.

Nadine Hogan

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Where did August 21 come from? I understand the mechanics of the sun, the moon and calendar days, but seriously folks, the end of August? How did this happen so quickly?

My leap year. GULP. It’s nearly up. September 20th will be a full year. Less than a month to go.

When I began this year I never knew what to expect. Which sounds silly of course because at the beginning of anything we never know how the ending will go. But we brave the beginnings, don’t we. Marriage, a new job, a school program or signing up to run our first triathlon. The beginnings are always full of excitement, anticipation and nervousness. Everything sounds like a great idea at the beginning.

At the beginning of this year, when I quit my job and decided to teach yoga and finish my memoir, I was so full of hope. I was…

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do you feel attractive…

I bet the first thing that came to your mind was your physical appearance…your body type, your pant size, your boob size, your skin type and the list goes on…

are you the person who glances in a mirror as you pass, or are you the person who shy’s away from the mirror as you pass…how do we see ourselves…how do others see us…and which one is more important to us…I’d be lying if I said what others think about me doesn’t affect me…you’d be lying if you said what others think about you doesn’t affect you…

why when we get ready, look in the mirror, think damn girl you look good, quickly change when we go out to the world and someone gives you a once over…

why do what others think about us, change our opinion of ourselves…

why do we care so much…a quick look through my social media feed and I can probably guess why…‘are you sexy or adorable’, ‘you are what you eat’, ‘ten ways to get the body you want to get the guy you want’ and the list goes on…a quick look at the magazine covers in the grocery store line up and I can probably guess why…pages upon pages of photo shopped pictures of celebrities…pages upon pages of articles that can teach us how to make our man ache for more of us; articles with ten ways to get the bikini body before summer; articles with lessons of how to touch our man in all the right places…a quick look at our television guide and I could probably guess why…reality shows bombard us – the bachelor, the bachelorette, dating naked, bachelor paradise, extreme weight loss, biggest loser…oh my, the list goes on…

I have to be honest, i’m glad I don’t have kids these days…our world has created such a false perception of the perfect body, the perfect relationship and the perfect life…it takes strong parents to teach children the rights and wrongs of this world…it takes a strong parent to teach their son to treat women with respect and it takes a strong parent to teach their daughter that they can be whoever they want to be…despite – despite the misperceptions of this world…

do you feel attractive…

think of the difference you feel when someone looks at you and says “you look great today, your skin is glowing” in comparison to “you look so tired today, you have black circles under your eyes” – big difference…when someone tells me my skin is glowing, that’s all I see in the mirror, it’s all I think people are staring at all day long and I feel great…when someone tells me I look tired with black circles under my eyes, that’s all I see in the mirror, it’s all I think people are staring at all day long and I feel like crap…

our attractiveness is somehow measured by others perceptions…and we are consumed with how others view us…why isn’t how we view ourselves enough…

I believe feeling attractive starts at a young age…the impressionable years…as a pre teen, I had bad acne…I don’t remember a lot about it, but I remember seeing a dermatologist, I remember his office – but I don’t remember what he said in that office…I think I had a cream to put on my face but that’s about it…what I do remember about having acne is walking into my younger sibling’s class and hearing ‘pizza face’…I heard it daily…I think I’ve always had self confidence and self esteem as a result of my upbringing – the levels of course fluctuated throughout the years but the ground work was laid by my parents…it’s just a shame that the years of instilling in me a sense of self worth and telling me I was beautiful could be taken away with two little words like ‘pizza face’…I heard it daily, it killed me…my friends never addressed me in this way, I had great friends and thank god for that…but for the select few younger punk asses who would torture me with those two words, the hurt grew and they tried to break me…but I never showed how it affected me, until I got home – I remember days hiding in the bathroom at home and just crying…crying my heart out because of my ‘pizza face’…damn puberty…damn perceptions…

despite the tears and the pimples, I never let the hurt affect me from feeling overall attractive…see attractive to me isn’t defined by glowing skin, well defined abs, sparkling white teeth, and a figure that is magazine worthy…attractiveness to me is the whole package…it’s not pretty or ugly or mediocre…it’s something I’m drawn to because of who the person is…who they represent and how they hold themselves and how they treat themselves and others…I read a quote the other day “I’ve reached a point in my life where I find it’s no longer necessary to try to impress anyone. If they like me the way I am, that’s good. If they don’t, it’s their loss”…I wish I read that as a pre-teen…

I can’t remember ever looking in the mirror and thinking ‘you’re ugly’…until someone called me ‘pizza face’ or I heard ‘wow, she must be the ugly friend – the distraction’…I can’t remember ever looking in the mirror and thinking you’re fat…until I heard the love of my life say ‘I’ll never marry you cause I don’t want a fat wife’…I can’t remember ever looking in the mirror and thinking ‘you’re less of a person because of what I don’t have’…until someone said to me ‘wow, you better hurry up and find someone if you don’t want to be alone all your life’…

the funny thing I’ve learned these past few years, is that I’ll never be alone if I believe in myself…and I truly believe in myself…I’m not afraid of my appearance, my aging body and face – I love all of it…but why doesn’t society…my mirror is a perfect mirror – it’s never lied to me…on days I feel crappy, my mirror reflects that and on days I feel great, my mirror reflects that…it never projects a distorted image of the real me…and I embrace that…

do you feel attractive…

I read the other day that ‘people see their own faces as being more physically attractive than they actually are’…I stared at this for a bit…I pondered about what it was stating and it stirred emotion in me…emotion that taunted me…to me, I question who defines what physically attractive means…to me, I think how do we measure that…how do we measure how attractive we are…on a scale of 1-10, 1 being below average and 10 being above average, where do you think you are…I’d put myself at a 5, a perfect average…so does that mean that in reality others see me between a 1 and a 4 – below average…whether people would rate me as a 1 or a 10, it doesn’t matter…or let me rephrase, it shouldn’t matter – what we rate ourselves at is what matters…

I had a guy one time on line state – if you’re fat, choose fat not average…well doucebag what’s fat to you obviously is average to me…but let’s play this semantics game – he deleted me…I had a guy one time say to me ‘you look gross’ – I should have kicked him in the balls, but that’s another story – he broke up with me…I’ve never been set up on a date by my friends, like never – but they spent their time talking about how this one would match this guy and how this girl would be a perfect match for this guy…my name never got brought up…attractive? – not by definition in these stories, but in my mind, yup…I’m strong, I’m stronger than I imagined I ever had to be…when someone judges you for what you look like, it’s honestly not about you…never think it is…judgment of others is about someone lacking something in their lives and it’s not up to you as an individual to help them fulfill that gap with ugliness…

attractiveness comes from within…a perfect smile, a perfect silhouette, perfect abs and a perfect butt won’t get you far in life without a personality, values, morals and a voice…why do we strive to find the perfect make up to cover imperfections, get laser treatment to take away our wrinkles, wear whitening strips to brighten our smiles…is it to impress others, to make ourselves more presentable or to stop the aging process…think about that the next time you’re going for a fake and bake…think about that the next time you go under the knife…just think about it…do it if it’s for you, but don’t do it for anyone else…

do you feel attractive…

I honestly do…I have the confidence that my person is a good person…am I perfect, hells to the no…is anyone perfect, fuck no…if you think they are – check yourself…i use scaling questions all the time in my work and they are so useful in determining where people’s thoughts are in terms of their life, aspirations, relationships and dreams…but they are also useful in helping determine how people feel about themselves…if a person isn’t able to see the strength and beauty and imperfections in themselves, there is no moving forward…if a person isn’t able to embrace themselves for who they are, there is no chance that others will embrace them for the right reasons…

do you feel attractive…

there does exist other people that will try to bring you down – at all times in your life…those gross puberty years and the pizza face feelings tend to resurface every once in a while…I sometimes walk into a room and get a sense that I was the topic of convo prior to my entrance…I sometimes meet a new person and I sense they believe they are better than me…I sometimes walk into a room with new people and I sense the feeling of overall judgment based on my physical presentation…does it impact me, I’d be lying if I said no…those feelings do impact me, but they don’t distort my being…what they do distort is their own attractiveness to me…

I have learned in my 43 years of life, that there are some pretty ugly people out there and they are living in beautiful bodies…the physicality of people does not define a person…I’d take personality over a 6pack any day…what I think we as a society fail at is that we put people on pedestals based solely on their looks…if we only focused as much time on people’s brains…as we get older we learn that it becomes more and more about the person we have become and not on what we look like in our birthday suits and what our material possessions are…

I think most people view me as strong headed and boy do i hold grudges…eeekkksss – not one of my strongest personal qualities…if you think I don’t like you, I probably don’t…if you think I don’t give you the time of day, I probably don’t…why – its just me protecting myself…I don’t want and I don’t need people in my world that evoke the emotions in me like when I heard ‘pizza face’ or ‘I’ll never marry you cause I don’t want a fat wife’…I don’t have time for them…I keep things to myself at most times…not stirring the pot…but ask me a question – you will get the answer…I’m too old to protect feelings…the only thing I have energy to protect now a days are my own feelings…see I hid my feelings forever…now they need greater protection, cause they’re becoming public…

do you feel attractive…i bet the first thing that came to your mind was your physical appearance…your body type, your pant size, your boob size and your skin type…now as you’re coming to the end of my rant, i hope you’re thinking a little differently about your own attractiveness including your character, your beliefs, your values and your morals defining who you are and not the magazine covers, your social media news feed or your favourite reality shows…

this is what i see in my mirror…what do you see…

my futures so bright, i always wear shades...

‘what is going to be the theme’ – simple ‘whatever’

as early as I can remember, which isn’t early cause my memory sucks, I can’t remember having a dream, not a dream you dream at night, but a lifelong dream – don’t get me wrong I’ve set goals for myself but a dream – nope…I have friends who have dreamt of what they wanted out of life, dreamt about their careers, dreamt about their wedding dress, dreamt about their weddings, dreamt about their partners and dreamt about being a parent…

I remember filling out that questionnaire for my high school year book…I remember staring at the ambition section and thinking ‘crap, what do I wanna be’…and I couldn’t answer…I didn’t say anything to anyone, I didn’t think people should struggle filling that section out…my classmates quickly filled out ‘police man’, ‘doctor’, ‘teacher’ and the list goes on…I wrote ‘psychiatrist’…why, Christ I have no idea…did I ever wanna be a psychiatrist, ‘nope’…it was the first thing that came to my mind…and my parents would have flipped if i had written ‘whatever’…

I’ve never had a dream…why…what does that mean…

I knew I’d be something, but never knew what…I knew I was going to university cause my parents told me I was…but I struggled with deciding what to do, what courses to take…I spent my registration days figuring out what courses wouldn’t require presentations…if I was surprised on the first day with a syllabus that listed presentation for a certain %, when I got home, I dropped the course…my course work led to a bachelor of arts…now WTF was I gonna do with that…I kept applying for jobs, getting turned down and applying for more jobs…I didn’t even know what I was qualified for…my mother encouraged me throughout, stating ‘finish it, get your BA and once you have it, no one can take it away from you’…actually, I think she rhymed the statement but I can’t remember how that went…

I’ve never had a vision…why…what does that mean…

there’s no answer to that…well I don’t think there is…if someone has it, drop me a line…lol lol lol…i’ve never had a vision of my wedding dress, who my bridesmaids would be, what my sister would say as she toasted my husband into the family…I’ve never had a vision of what my house would look like or what my children would grow up to be…

so weird…the statement “oh I’ve dreamt of this my whole life” as a newly engaged person describes her upcoming wedding would never come from my lips…the statement “oh I’ve had visions of my wedding dress my whole life” would never come from my lips…the statement “oh this is exactly like I had dreamt this would look” would never come from my lips…I haven’t lived up to my expectations cause I never had any…

I often wonder if others feel the same way I do…I wonder if writing, ‘I’ve never had a dream or a vision’ is going to cause a gut reaction and readers thinking, WTF, everyone has dreams and visions…well hello those living in la la land, I’m a person who has truly never closed her eyes and envisioned the future…I simply lived my life in the day…I’ve been simply going with the flow and thinking ‘whatever’ – whatever happens, happens…

I started this blog, with no vision of where I was gonna go with it…my sister asked all the right questions, ‘what are you going to name it’, ‘what’s the focus going to be’, ‘what do you want to get across to readers’, ‘what is going to be the theme’ – I answered ‘ahhhh, not a clue’ to all…my sister laughed at me and proceeded to help me set it up…she believed in this endeavour and thank god she did because I finally can answer all those questions…its like a huge light bulb went off in my head this year, this year of crapola…

it’s like I have verbal diarrhea…I can’t stop…my parents are bewildered, my sister is awe struck, my brother in law is reading, my brother is reading and my sister in law is finally getting the respect from me that she deserves…that light bulb was fucking huge, it’s blinding and I’m staring right up at it, cause I feel great….

dreams and visions, whatever…

at 43, I’m able to have them now…that light bulb did something…the concept of acceptance of why I don’t remember and why I haven’t dreamt of my wedding dress, my engagement story, my wedding day and what my kids will call me one day – is okay…it’s not weird…it’s just my experience…now I am dreaming of bigger things than the pipe dreams of weddings and engagements and children – the three things every little girl should be dreaming of…my visions and dreams are now about excelling in my career, educating others, spending time with my family, spending time with my nephews, growing old with myself and preparing for a future of the unknown…I was afraid of what my life would look like in the future…a glimpse of loneliness was felt this winter and it was a humbling experience…my expectations of others led me down a dark path…a path that I have now meandered away from…that path was full of empty promises, empty friendships and empty feelings…

I am overwhelmed by the amount of people reading my ramblings, commenting, messaging and following…its those that I never thought would get my writing, are getting it…those that I thought would get it, aren’t getting it…and that’s the a-ha moment in my world…

If I could go back to nanette danielle hogan all those years ago when she wasn’t dreaming and having visions of who’d she be, I’d simply say ‘just wait, they’ll come’…

and to answer my sister’s questions…

‘what are you going to name it’ – ‘this is me, raw at 43’…

‘what’s the focus going to be’ – adventuring out of my comfort zone and rambling about my daily experiencing in an effort to figure ‘me’ out…

‘what do you want to get across to readers’ – that a single, never married, 43 year old woman who has chosen not to have children and has a poor memory of her childhood and who hates sharing and is addicted to her dog, has struck her a-ha moment…I wanna share my life experiences through my ramblings in hope that it will make someone smile…

‘what is going to be the theme’ – simple ‘whatever’

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something’s changed…something’s different…

something’s changed…

something’s different…

what happens to us as we age…I’ve always been a very happy person…I’ve had my ups and downs – like the time my sister looked at me and said “dude you gotta quit your job you’re a bitch”; the time I looked in the mirror and thought jabba the hut was looking back at me; the time my dad got sick and I, like my family say, fell to the floor with a force that would have gotten me nominated for an Oscar; or the time my sister asked me “why didn’t you buy me my favourite bagels”…

age…experiences…conversations…feelings…emotions…basically life throws obstacles at us everyday we wake up and take our first breathe…

I feel different…this year’s start was absolutely ‘suck ass’…holidays, smolidays…even writing that is so not me…I love everything….i’m that travel buddy who doesn’t have plans, doesn’t have ‘must dos’ – I just kinda go with the flow…I’m just happy when I get the chance to relax with people I love…I’m that friend who doesn’t care what we do as long as we do it together…I’m that friend that no matter what time of the day or night, I’m there for you…I’m that worker who thrives on her work ethic and strives to better myself to better those I work with…I’m that sister and daughter that’s invested in my family’s world…my brother once said to his now wife, “you don’t have to worry about my folks, just worry about my older sister”…I’m a mean big sister but I’m getting better cause my siblings have finally found their true loves…their ‘lobsters’…

something’s changed…

something’s different…

why am I in search of the ‘what’ or the ‘why’…I’m trying to dig deep into my world, deep into my psyche to figure this out cause I can’t explain what’s going on in my person…I’ve experienced some heartbreak, gone through some crappy stuff and have had some bumps in the road…I’ve changed jobs, i’ve gotten rid of negative influences in my life and I’ve changed my goals…my passions have changed…my experiences have changed…my desire for life has changed…the common denominator here is change….

I think we are somewhat afraid of change in our worlds – it’s like the old motto, “if it’s not broken why change it”…I challenge that and think change is good, change evokes growth and growth evokes change…we need to learn to acknowledge, accept and move forward with change…we can not stop others from changing around us, although we sometimes want to…I look at my nephews and think oh if I could just bottle them at this age…I look at my siblings and think oh if I could just have them both move home…and I look at my folks and think oh please stop getting older…I want my world, my safety net to stay the same…it comforts me, it keeps me sane…but ultimately, it stunts their growth and how dare I stunt their growth…

change…changes…changed…

it’s all around me and you…

a friend of mine asked me last night…”what does the word blog mean”…I looked it up, cause it intrigued me…a blog by definition is a ‘frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links”…a blog to me, after some thought, really has changed my person…I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately and have had my mind racing on a daily basis…feelings of hopelessness – situational; feelings of being overwhelmed – situational and feelings of anxiousness – situational; have really weighed me down…we preach balance, we teach therapeutic writing, we offer our ears and shoulders and we counsel, we advocate and we empower…as great as I am for others, I suck for myself…that’s not negative towards myself, it’s actually insightful…

I’m my worst enemy…I’ve been trying to force change in some areas of my life and halt change in other areas – ahhh duhhhh – not working…actually sucking…

something’s changed…

something’s different…

that something is me…I’ve learned that trying to force change, trying to halt change, trying to control change, trying to make change a positive experience for others – only takes away other’s experience of true change…I’ve learned to acknowledge and accept change…I’ve learned that by acknowledging and accepting, I’m open to learning and boy am I learning…I’m learning I don’t have to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders…I’m learning that if others aren’t embracing change, maybe they’re not ready for change…maybe they don’t have the capability to acknowledge and to accept…in my work, we assist our clients on their road to recovery with the knowledge that all people are in different stages of change – maybe those around us are still in the pre-contemplative stage…they’re stuck…by encouraging them, not forcing them, to become more mindful in their decision making may actually help move them forward…

I’m in the action stage of my life…my ability to embrace, accept and learn from change is only making me stronger…I know that now…my strength has been my saving grace…as my acceptance to change grows, so too do I as a person…in my dream world, I want others to view my strength as a positive indicator that change is good…in my real world, I want my family and friends to view my strength as my personal growth…for some reason, I was afraid in my life, afraid of loss, afraid of failure, afraid of illness, afraid of that 3am phone call cause it means someone is dead, afraid of being the last friend single, afraid of not having children, afraid of being alone in my old age, afraid, just afraid – afraid of everyone and everything in my life changing…fear is an emotion and as I’ve written before, feeling is good…

something’s changed…

something’s different…

I’ve changed….

I’m different…

what and why – simply because of acknowledgement and acceptance, embracing and growing…

my year, like march came in like a lion but its gonna go out like a lamb…well actually a ewe – cause I’ve grown…

take that leap to the next stage of change…tighten up that harness, put on that helmet and push off…if you need to ride tandem – i’m here, right behind you, hold on…it’s worth the ride…

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slow down….there’s no hurry…i want the hand i hold, to hold back…

dating have changed, I don’t think anyone would argue that point…we’ve moved to social media and more specifically to on line dating sites in an attempt to meet our potential soul mates…whether you’re ‘fish’-ing, in ‘harmony’ or using a ‘lava’ lamp – times have certainly changed…we are now asked to enter your tag line here….fill out this blank box – remember to sell yourself…put your nickname in this box…now you’ll get more hits with a picture, so upload here…okay do I tick thin, athletic, average, a few extra pounds or big and tall…damn it goes on, okay am I wanting to find someone for marriage, actively seeking or looking for a relationship or shit do I want to date but nothing serious or am I not seeking a relationship or any kind of commitment – aka hook up/one night stand, let’s book a room for an hour type of activity…shit balls – now am I single, dating, married, married and looking, in an open relationship or the favorite – it’s complicated…

again holy shit balls…I was talked into putting a profile on a lovely on line dating site once and did it…stayed on it for a few months – came off…then I went on again…and as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me…mother effer’s shame on me…

keep an open mind, they said…don’t be too picky, they said…everyone doesn’t take a nice picture, they said…you gotta weed through the bad ones, they said…you know so and so met online and now they’re engaged, they said…

let’s say, I’ve met a few doucebags…well, that’s not really nice, but losers sounds so much worse…so sticking with doucebags…

my tagline was “sucker for a cute smile”…my status “single”…my intent “looking for a relationship”…my blank box read “dating certainly has changed in the past few years…but alas I find myself on line filling out this little blank box – here goes…I’m a single girl, looking for a single boy…quite simple really, but boy oh boy quite the contrary…I’m old fashioned in the sense that I like a guy to take the initiative to introduce himself to me…I love face to face meetings – I get a thrill out of reading people’s expressions…I enjoy laughter – I truly believe it keeps us young…I treasure my family and take pride in the friendships I have…I work in the health care field on a full time basis and do private consulting in the evenings and weekends…I have no children – well I have a 4legged monster of a child, a 90lb’er that will tackle you at first sight…but if you believe in love at first sight, you’ll love this monster…If you can make me laugh, you can have my heart”…

respectful…I thought…

now I’m not quite sure where in that message a person would get the idea that I’d like to and I quote “get _____ in the _____”…not sure why someone would write to me and ask “you want me to ____ in your face”…not sure what part of my descriptor a person thought I’d respond to “like to meet at my place” without knowing his first name and not sure why I’d want to meet you this weekend just “cause my wife is out of town”…now along with these messages, I did get some really enlightening ones, for instance and I quote “hey”, “hi”, “nice night hey”, “how’s the fishing going” and my all time favorite message “pic please”…

respectful…I think not…

oh dating, don’t be picky, be open minded – so I did, I sucked it up and I went on a few dates…well first dates and then came the text from me “today is a good day to lose my number”, I pull that one liner out a lot…

see there was the fashionista “I only shop at Spring for my footwear, so watch out I’m styling” boy who also turned into a previous “stripper” and showed me some dance moves at the dinner table…there was the one guy who  I truly believe couldn’t read as he threw the menu at me, yelled “I gotta piss, order me something” and went to the bathroom as the waitress stared at me in disbelief…there was the guy who stated he was 5’11 and was really 5’1” – big difference…there was this one guy whose ex girlfriend followed us all the way downtown to a local pub, waited outside and when we came out an hour later, called him over…he said and I quote “be right back”…oh he came back with a bloody nose as the ex girlfriend had punched him in the face through the driver’s side window…there was the “do you mind if I drink a beer on the way there” guy who was pretty much trashed at the beginning of the date…there was the really nice guy who took me to a party at a cousin’s house on around the third date – they were rolling smokes the old hardcore way and questioning “how much you pay for your car”, “how much you pay for that necklace”, “how much you pay for that watch” and my fave “you bought a house – on your own” finished with “man you got it all don’t ya” – “wanna smoke”…there was the guy who said and I quote “mom left me some money, I really wanna cook you supper tomorrow night”…I seriously could go on and on…so the next person who says don’t be so picky, give him a chance, be open minded, if you think my answer sounds sarcastic, it really, truly is….did I mention I went on a date one time with a guy who smokes pot daily, “just cause”…did I mention I went on a date one time with a guy who doesn’t work and lives with his mom, “just cause”…I’m not picky fuckers, I’m just fucking tired…

“weed through the bad ones joey”…dudes, I got enough weeds in my back yard, I’m good to go…if I wanted a hook up, I’d go to secret poutine…if I wanted a boyfriend, I’d have a boyfriend…if I enjoyed fishing, I’d have my own rod and reel, hells I would make my own flies, if I liked it that much…now yes yes, I know some people are gonna read this and have met their partners through on line dating and others who have had positive experiences, don’t sweat it – I’m not hatin’, its my blog though, so my experience…if you don’t agree, write your own…

see, what baffles me is that when my folks talk about their courting and when I crash dates with my bff’s and their partners, I don’t hear any of the disrespect that I have gotten from this new dating…I don’t think everyone we meet, will fall in love with us…but I do think that mutual respect is missing in a lot of people’s lives…my folks still hold hands when going for a walk…my folks still giggle and laugh at each other every minute of the day…my folks don’t hang up the phone without saying “I love you” and meaning it…

we’re in a world that moves so fast…

why do guys and girls think they need someone in their lives…what happened to the wanting…the yearning for hand holding, the butterfly kisses, the ‘I love you’s’…what happened in this big ole world, that we think we need two pay checks to survive, we need someone to help us clean the house, shovel the driveway, mow the lawn, we need to start a family, we need to finally be able to tick off the +1 on an invite and why do we live beyond our means…I’m not sure…

when you meet someone – does your heart flutter, does your belly do flip flops, does your cheeks redden…do you use your smile muscles more than your frown muscles…do you wanna show them off to the world…and do you treasure the ground they walk on…my mother would say yes, my father would say fuck yes…aim for the yes/fuck yes people – they never disrespect each other…yearn for the perfect fit – be the two peas in a pod couple…be it, live it but don’t fake it…it’s not becoming of you and it’s not respectful of the life we have only to live once – do it right, there ain’t no going back…

respect is all i want…not too much to ask for out of our life partners…simple really, like a single girl looking for a single boy – simple concept…ask the right questions, be honest and say yes, only when you’re comfortable saying yes…

slow down….there’s no hurry…i want the hand i hold, to hold back…

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have you found yourself yet…

it’s never too late to find yourself…I always joke and say that I was middle aged in my 20’s, acted 20 in my 30’s and have finally come around and am an adult in my 40’s…i’m the girl who has visions of my childhood, not full memories, just visions…it’s so weird, I don’t remember a lot, I remember being happy, I remember hitting my brother in the head with a shovel, I remember the day my baby sister was brought home, I remember the half eaten timbit on top of the tv, I remember my brother choking me in front of my poppy while he watched price is right and was yelling, “child child shhh”…but I don’t remember little Danielle…

i changed schools in grade 8 – traumatic! went from an all girls, catholic school to a co-ed school…like boys in the classroom…like no more blue pleated tunic, white collared blouse, and knee socks as a uniform…I was free, free as a bird…walking into a new school was, well I’m sure nauseating, but I don’t remember…what I do remember was making new friends, wearing new clothes, teasing teachers – not nuns who scared the bejesus out of us – writing notes to each other, getting kicked outta class, lining our desks with motley crue pictures and going to Reid Center dances…god I loved that time…we stood strong and fought that we didn’t wanna go to a brand new high school…changing schools, we thought was bull shit…just bull shit…

high school, oh high school…I did love it…holding hands with boys, first kisses, first jungle juice, friday night hockey games, skipping classes and sleep overs…I made the best of friends in high school, we did everything together, we were inseparable…we thought we’d go on forever…but we didn’t…

with university, came a quick lesson that how we made it through high school, wouldn’t get us far in this place…one semester later, I took a break…well not writing my exams was a good indication that I wasn’t quite ready to grow up and finish university in record time…I took a retail job, saved money and headed to mexico with two of my best friends…mexico for 16days, no resorts, no all inclusives at that time…just mexico – just three of us…jesus, I wouldn’t do that now at 43 but at 20 we thought we were invisible…thanks be to jesus we didn’t die there…

I was 20, working retail and going out at least 4nights/week – we’d start on Thursday nights and end on Sunday nights…the good ole blarney stone – that’s where my life changed…old friends drifted away, new friends entered…I was 20…my life took many turns until 28…at 28, I started to rethink, rethink the world, rethink my dreams, rethink my goals…with a bachelor’s degree under my belt, years of playing a 50year old in a 20year old body, years of retail experience and years of my mother cutting out job ads in the Saturday paper and leaving them strategically on the dinner table, I thought – crap, I gots to be doing something…

how and why am I where I am today…it all started with a cut out ad…an ad for college offering 2 different programs, 2 programs I didn’t have a clue about…I’m not sure what happened to me that day, I’m not sure what drove me to do it, but I filled out an application…got accepted and started my diploma program, the diploma program that would change my world, change my person and change my future…I knew going through this program that I had more in me…I felt this innate sense of something else…so I marched on, succeeding beyond my expectations and learned that I loved learning… I made the best of friends in this program, we did everything together, we were inseparable…we thought we’d go on forever…but we didn’t…

with an impressionable instructor, I ventured onward to a world that I never thought I would…I was about to take on something that literally would swallow me up whole…I applied for a university program that would take me away from my family, my home, my friends, my colleagues and my safety net…at 29years old, I went back to school…I quickly learned about the word ‘prerequisites’ and that word would eat me alive…as I walked back into memorial university in the year 2000 with my memorial university id # starting with 89, I quickly signed up for tutors on a nightly basis…see completing my BA, I steered clear of sciences…steered cleared at a time that my brain was still in the learning mode (aka so stupid and young)…no I waited until I was 29, full of “what the fucks” on my brain…but I did it…I did it…I met people that year that thought I was just out of high school, got invited to many residence parties and mildly said, “no thank you” at each invite…

the day came when my lab partner saw me write my id # and distinctively shouted, “is that an 8 and a 9” – “oh my god you’re old”…I laughed and still do to this day…back then I thought sweet baby jesus, this 17year is gonna get me through this lab…years later as I met him in the hallway of a local hospital, he donning a medical student id and I, my occupational therapist id, he said, “Danielle, man thank you so much for getting me through physics”…I smiled, smiled widely and giggled…

we never know how impressionable we are on people…why is that…

I cling to my world…my safety net is getting smaller and smaller, but by choice…we meet people, we are drawn to people, we think OMG nothing will ever come between us, but sadly enough things, life, attitudes, and differing view points always does…as I entered on my new career path in a new province and yet another university, I met my friends…the best of friends – we shared things that I’ve never shared with anyone…I think they taught me that it was okay to be one of the oldest people in a class…it was okay to start something later in life….it was okay to act 20 when I was 30 – they recognized my potential, a potential I never dreamt for myself…we did everything together, we were inseparable…we thought we’d go on forever…and we did…

why do we choose to stick with certain people in our lives and choose to stray from others…such a silly question…as I get older, I seem to be drawn to those who have similar interests, similar desires, similar work ethics and similar life goals to me…what I’ve been noticing lately, those people that I’ve strayed from are actually becoming part of my circle again, hearing from friends from many, many, many years ago puts a smile on my face…it’s that idea that if we don’t see each other often, if we don’t know what each other is doing on a daily basis, that the impact we have on one another is minuscule…with social media, I’m learning that I know more about people’s lives now than I ever have…I’ve turned the idea of straying from into reconnection…I’ve turned the concept of not having anything in common into a reason to inquire…

we have more in common with each other than we think we do…we have feelings and emotions…we experience happiness and sadness…we have lost close people in our lives and we have gained new people in our lives…we love and we hate…we struggle and we achieve….overall, we just are…

I have more people in my life now that surprise me everyday by a simple email, a simple text and sometimes a simple rotten ecard…my life is a new adventure everyday…i’ve learned that expectations always upset me – but the anticipation of a new connection excites me…

can you do with a reconnection in your life…I can…

I went shopping with one of my besties lately for nursing bras, yup nursing bras…we ran into a woman who recognized me and said “Danielle, is that you”…I sighed and thought holy god, “it’s been a life time”…after a brief chat of what I’ve been up to, a few bra fittings, talk of breast feeding and growing boobs, this woman looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you”…4 little words that made me think, is she for real and then I saw her face, she stared at me, looking directly into my eyes and said “I’m proud of you”…just wow…

you never know who you’ll impress today – you’ll never know who’ll recognize you today – you’ll just never know…

who am I really…have I found the right path…who are you really…have you found the right path…take a deep breathe, reconnect, stick your toes into the earth and ground yourself…have you found yourself yet, sure you have – look in the mirror – you’ve always been there…you’re home…403784_10151206429505694_820885483_n