Week X: The Day the Music Died

Tom Petty died late last night. And, lucky me, I managed to throw my back right out so am high on painkillers and on a heating pad, so all I’ve got right now is writing. And Netflix, of course. Frontier was just added – filmed in Newfoundland and starring Jason Momoa. It’s decent, he’s delightful – two drugged thumbs right up. But yes, Tom Petty. 

I grew up with music. My parents brought us up in a home where we were surrounded by music. We sang while we cooked and cleaned, we listened to music all of the time. My father used to (and possibly still does) air guitar to The Rolling Stones as he cleaned, taught us to twist and crocodile rock; my mother made perfect mix tapes that covered Rita MacNeil to Guns N Roses, encouraged us to bring home all of the music to discover. My brother and I grew up dancing together, singing along to whatever came on the radio, and both still have wildly eclectic musical tastes. 

With all of this, I have vivid musical memories. I remember hearing The Traveling Wilburys for the first time (my parents had the album). I remember hearing Free Falling for the first time with Mel, one of my oldest friends. He wasn’t an artist that my parents ever really listened to, but I really liked him when I heard him, and really discovered him in high school. 

Because of the way the high school credit system worked, I needed to either take French or Drama to get my required amount – so I unexpectedly became a drama kid.  I’ve told the story about the drama room here before, so I won’t tell it again. But one unshared part of the drama room was that we had to sing before every single class. The songs were generally songs that we knew, and of course, we had to sing American Pie. At the same time I was taking drama, my HS love and I were discovering music together – I’ve mentioned the Hip before, but we looked into The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Meatloaf, Jethro Tull, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Metallica…. the list marched on into popular music. Even after we ended, I still listened to these tunes. Much later, someone would call me Honeybee in reference to the track off of the Wildflowers album. Tom Petty feels timeless, he feels classic. I always dance when I hear Tom Petty. 

Maybe it’s today’s drugs, or maybe it’s because I’m trapped in a body that generally feels injured and slow… but I am slowly starting to understand why they sang that the music died. We seem to lose all the good ones before we are ready – Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Amy Winehouse, the Notorious B.I.G., and Whitney Houston come leaping to mind – and now it seems like we are losing all the really good ones. 

I don’t know where I’m going with this. This week has been nostalgic for me – someone from my past resurfaced in a really unclear, odd way and it has ignited a flame of hope in my chest. One of my favourite films (and BOOKS!) of all time, The Princess Bride, turned 30. I’m afraid with the terror that is gripping the world. And now, my favourite dancing music has died. 

I really hope that the muscle relaxants kick in enough that I can go to the gym tomorrow. I think I need that break. 

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Week X: today I’m sad. 

Today, I’m sad that I have lost track of the weeks. I know, though, that this journey started in May 2017. I’m happy to have a goal post. 

Today, I’m sad because I feel lonely in this city, especially on this cold, blustery day. I am grateful for Nox, even though a lot of people poke fun at me for being a crazy cat lady these days. Truly, she’s my constant buddy and makes me so unbelievably happy. She makes me feel peaceful.

Today, I’m sad because I am alone and lonely at the same time. Usually, I can handle one or the other, but today it’s both. Today I am alone, awash in a sea of impossiblities. I had a moment of reconnection this summer, a moment where I became aware of the knot in my chest as I hugged this person. I’ve been alone for a very long time – and even in the moments where I feel that it’s possible to connect with someone, I am afraid. We live in a world where it’s common to get swiped past for a word, or a unusual pair of eyes. I have been on countless dates, have lost count of the nights where I hug someone goodbye and they grab my ass or my breasts and squeeze as if to check for ripeness, where sex is expected by the third date. Even recently, I’ve been told that my words aren’t enough and “physical connection is the most important”, even though I’ve communicated my worries and fears to someone. My words are nothing without sex behind them. How can people even think like that? When did we stop listening and start groping people as we hug them goodnight?

Today, I’m sad because summer is gone. While I did have a lot of fun this summer, I hoped for a lot more. I got treated like crap a lot this summer, by someone I really care about. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to with my diet. I wanted to camp more. And today – summer is gone. 

Today, I’m sad that my reaction to all of this is to eat. To bury my loneliness and sadness in something comforting and delicious that makes me forget that I am eating my meals with a cat. Lean Cuisine does not have the same effect as charcuterie or pizza. I am glad that I take transit to work, because otherwise I’d have grabbed a bottle of wine and had grapes for dinner. Grapes for dinner, all by myself. Drowning my sadness in a bottle. 

That last statement is really reflecting light that my eating habits might be disordered. Truly. I hate cooking for myself, but on nights like tonight, lonely blustery cold nights where I’m alone on my couch with a cat and a nanny sweater and The Defenders, I only want comfort food and wine. And maybe someone to share a bottle of wine with. 

With all this moping, please know that I am okay. I’m grateful for where I am, working at a job that I like, with people I like. I am grateful for my family and my friends, because I know that even though I feel alone, I am not truly alone. I’m truly thrilled that I’m able to point to exactly what hurts and why it hurts (Emotional Agility, y’all. Read that shit if you’re lost), even though I hate hurting.

I know that I’ll have someone to share a bottle of wine with eventually. I might have to seek a sperm donor before that happens, but I know that my dreams are possible. 

Week 16 (or so): The vacation and its aftermath

So, I’ve lost track of the weeks. Whoops. 

I was on a really great streak, though. It was really great for me to do it, though. I was accountable to everyone who reads this, or, at least, it felt like it. I’m still losing weight, though. Hooray! 

The truth is, I’m struggling to write about this summer. I always preferred winter anyways, but this summer is a brutal reminder of what happened last summer. I struggle with the idea of telling the full truth here – what’s worse, telling the harsh truth about why you’re struggling to focus on the goals you’ve set, or be silent and appear to have given up? I feel like I give up far too often, but that harsh truth…. yeesh. Yeesh. I never understood how someone can have big heavy secrets until last year – and now I have secrets that I’ll never tell anyone.

I’d like to think that the harsh truth can be forgotten, one day. The tears and the alcohol and the begging and the crushing depression – maybe that will go away. I think I’m on the best path I’ve been on in years… but that has been sticking in my mind. Those broken pieces, those secrets, that crushing blackness – I’m so afraid that it will happen again. 

However, in an effort to show my dedication to my goals and avoid that harsh truth, I’d like to write about my vacation. The first real runaway I’ve had since 2013. I’ve had time off, but it was plagued by depression, anxiety, and all the fun that comes with those bastards. So, this year, I decided to take time off, properly. To enjoy my volunteer gig at Edmonton Folk Music Fest, to dance all night, and then to camp in the Shuswap with a group of amazing humans. I started volunteering on Wednesday evening, and this is what my Folk Fest did for my FitBit. 

  • Wednesday – 14,784
  • Thursday – 21,117
  • Friday – 14,161
  • Saturday- 28,426
  • Sunday- 18,052
  • Monday- 10,228

For anyone who doesn’t want to do the math, that’s 106,768 steps in 6 days. It wasn’t all walking – I did lots of dancing, lots of wandering. I (with the help of my astounding parents) meal prepped for my camping trip, and I was on my way on Monday evening (only part way, though. I though I’d be able to drive to the Shuswap on Monday, but HOLY MAN I needed sleep). 

I derailed in the Shuswap. We had a great time – lots of swimming, lots of walking, lots of games, lots of laughs – and my diet fell off my mind. I had all kinds of other things to think on, and I feel relatively OK that I fell. I still lost weight that week (I think I can blame the one truly horrific hangover for that), but now, I’m struggling to get back on the horse. Or should I say treadmill? I’m struggling to get back into my routine, back onto my treadmill. And now I’m back at work, working even earlier than usual for a few weeks, and it’s been a tough two days. And maybe I’m being a wimp or maybe I’m over tired, or maybe it’s the anxiety and sheer panic that hit me two days before my vacation ended, but it hasn’t been a good two days. It’s been a sad and stressful two days, and now, I’m back to the edge of panic. 

I know that a lunch time walk would feel AMAZING. I know that I need groceries in order to keep up meal planning. I also know that my get up and go… just got up and left. Once I’m back into the routine, I’ll likely sleep better and will likely stop worrying so much (insert audience laughter here). But getting there? Oh man. SO MUCH HARDER THAN I WAS EXPECTING. 

Anyone out there have any tips? How do you get back onto the treadmill? 

Week 8: Social Eating & Knees

I had not 1, but 2, social eating events this week. Full stop, the events were both straight food related.

The first was a goodbye lunch for a colleague at a restaurant that I really enjoy. Craft tends to have awesome beers and pretty decent food, so it wasn’t bad. I did my research beforehand – that’s right, I’m that person – and had my meal picked before I even got there. 

And then the peer pressure and food craving happened. 

See, I’m a sucker for a good burger. The best one in the city, in my humble opinion, was at Eddie Shorts, a shit hole bar that is no longer. Eddie’s had this glorious burger, the perfect mix of beef and spice on a fresh bun and the perfect ratio of condiments. We were there so much that the owner knew us, and knew precisely how we liked our burgers. Holy Hannah – I miss Eddie’s (it’s since been replaced by Daravara, which is also delicious but the burgers aren’t nearly as awesome). So, since then, I’ve kinda kept my eye open for its replacement. 

So, I did my research. Had my lean and delicious meal all picked out… and then spotted a summer special. A burger that sounded rather delightful. As my team sat around me and ordered poutine, fries, onion rings and deep fried chicken burgers, and joked with me about my diet, I thought… “do I want to be this person?” And then I thought “I’ve been really good all week – I’m going to try this.” 

Spoiler: The burgers at Craft aren’t awesome. It wasn’t worth it. I felt like shit for the rest of the day. Literally, until I went to bed. 

My other little slip this week was my gym time. I was walking every lunch hour, and my knee was aching. Like, needed painkillers and an ice pack every night, kind of ache. I have had my shoes for awhile – longer than I likely should have. Fun fact, did you know that your shoes should be replaced every 500 kilometres? Truth. Guess how many I’ve been in mine? 

The other kicker about my running shoes is that I utterly DESTROYED my feet. Truly. I kept running on my damn knee even as it was all wrapped up, and I was engaging in some really not healthy behaviour that added about 15 to 25 pounds to my frame AS I was running with my banged up leg, and THEN I got stress fractures in my feet AND nerve damage… so my feet were fucked. FUUUUUUCKED. Hadn’t checked my gait in years, and it’s taken me years of practice (with physio help) to straighten up – literally.  I still make sure I’m standing straight and that my ribs are aligned every single day. 

So, with my penultimate round of icing hell (I hate ice on me. Hate hate hate hate), I decided to go get my gait checked, and get new shoes. I’ve had these bad boys for two workouts, and oh my god. Brooks, thank you for the Ghosts. My feet feel AMAZING! (My knee still aches, but more because I’ve managed to hit over 10,000 steps before 5 pm both days this work week). 

Oh, and I lost, again. BOOM. Over 12 pounds gone! Here are my new shoes to celebrate! 


Week 7: the mini vacation

So, summer is officially here. How do I know? 

Because my kitten has started making a mad dash for my air conditioned hallway as soon as my apartment door is open. It’s a little funny, only because when I get close to her to pick her up, she arches her back and does a funny little sideways shuffle right into my arms. 

“Hey Mom, you’re home! Come and get me! I’m so ferocious come and get me!” 

I also am aware of summer because I took an extended weekend. For the first time in years, I took multiple days off in a row (on purpose!) and ran away to sunshine. It was hot and glorious and my legs are almost a little tanned. Also, British Columbia is in full cherry season. And my brother turned 30. So, such an occasion needs to be celebrated with a motherfucking mini vacation. 

Since I’m also in the middle of a weight loss journey/lifestyle overhaul, I was mildly terrified. How can I manage to continue on the downward curve if I’m celebrating with my family and having a few drinks and snacking? Especially since my mother, brother, AND sister-in-law are amazing chefs? I was very worried, especially with the walking away from Jenny last week. Left to my own devices, I eat like shit. Full stop. Also, I’ve done this before – losing 5 or 10 pounds and then gaining it back. 

The weekend was amazing, and I’m super proud that I made some pretty significant leaps and bounds. I definitely noticed a big change in myself – I stopped eating when I was full. I made it impossible to continue eating when I wanted to just keep eating. I drank a lot of water. I came home and did a lot of prep for the week – crestless quiche, chicken, easy salads – and then put it all into My Fitness Pal for the whole week. Will deal with cheats as I come to them, thank you very much. I even packed my gym bag with all the things I need for a day (today’s lesson- I need new shoes, a new sports bra, and leggings because good lord) so I had to take it rather than my backpack. 

That said – I avoided my scale. Like it stood me up on a date. Like it was a creep who’d sent a dick pic even when asked to stop. 

But, today, I decided to just get it over with. If I added a few pounds, I could deal with it. I really didn’t want to see that number, but it needed to happen, for sure. 

I lost again. Another .5 pounds gone. Whoop, WHOOP. 

Non-scale victories of the day: 

  • My gym leggings almost fell off today (it seems like a bad thing,  but we all know it’s a good thing)
  • I actually worked out for 50 minutes on my lunch break
  • There were zero cheats in the meal plan today

Small wins. They must be taken, because it’s a long road. And definitely one worth taking. I’m still not comfortable enough to take a full length photo (maybe when I hit the 170s), so here’s another of the escape artist. 

Week 6: 10 pounds down 

There are a lot of numbers flying around my life today. The most important, though, is 10.8. 

Yep. I’m officially 10.8 pounds lighter than I was 6 weeks ago. Boo yah. My pants are looser, so are my bras. My cheekbones are more prominent, my hair is even shiner.   

10.8 down, at least 29.2 to go. I am very happy, a little scared, but very determined. 

This wouldn’t be my geeky little blog, though, if there wasn’t a “however”. Isn’t there always a however? I did a little math yesterday. And I am not very good unless the numbers are laid out right in front of me… but this math was all receipts. I’ve saved every one from Jenny, and may I just say. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. That was a high number. A big number! So, given that I’ve been out of work 2 times in the last year, money is a little tight for me. My savings are in shambles, but my work-my-ass-off attitude pays off. So I haven’t ever run out, but I decided this year that I’d budget. And my concert buddy helped me out. 

Moving back from that – I have a friend. We have been friends since kindergarten, and we keep running into one another in our lives randomly, which is a big deal when our lives are full of social media. She’s kind of a bad ass. Potty mouthed, music loving, and budget genius. She is one of my biggest supporters – when I adopted Nox, she was out there shopping with me and giving me advice about the best litter, the best wet food, and a scratch her cats stopped using. When we date, we check in with one another and then swap war stories. When I needed help creating a budget, even though I was deeply, deeply shamed… she was here. 

She puts up with my “WTF AM I GOING TO DO”, my “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS” and my “PLEASE HELP ME I AM SO LOST” text messages. She came over one afternoon to meet Nox and to help me set up a spreadsheet. She got baby cuddles, did addition, and helped me put every single number from my bank account into a spreadsheet that does the math for me (and good thing). 

So, last night I was doing my budget, because I have one set up and I was wearing my big girl panties. And then the number from Jenny…. kinda threw a wrench into my budget. I meditated on it, and did some research into some other weight loss tools that are a little cheaper than Jenny. 

And then tonight, I walked into my weight in (did I mention that I have lost over 10.8 pounds? CAUSE I DID!) and walked black out with a month to myself. I told my consultant all of the worries I had – the money, the preservatives – and she let me take a month to figure out what my next steps are, with the following caveats:

  • If my weight moves up more than a pound, I am to call her
  • I am to monitor my intake of food, maintaining my 1,200 daily caloric intake. 
  • I come back to her in a month, and decide whether or not to stay with Jenny. 

I downloaded My Fitness Pal tonight, and had my last Jenny dinner (for now, maybe). I have a vanilla cupcake in the freezer for dessert. 10,000 steps today, and planning to do the same over my (super long!) weekend. Gym on Tuesday. 

Onto the next 10 pounds! 

Oh, and here is the weekly Nox update. She’s totally and utterly miserable (I’m saying this with ALL SARCASM because this is how I woke her up the other day). 

F you, sugar addiction (or, Week 5)

I like sugar. 

Specifically, I really like these

Or semi stale 5 cent candies (don’t judge me, I like ’em a little chewy, okay?). Or Dino Sours. Blue Whales. Jujubes. I’m not picky when it comes to my horrible for me, refined sugar bits of deliciousness. A bag of Cherries doesn’t last longer than a day in my house. 

I might trade my hair for a bag of those right now. Also, anyone still wondering why I’m struggling to lose weight? Goddamn. 

Week 5 has me facing down this stupid addiction in full force, clearly. The food has finally gotten me down – while it’s super varied and mostly palatable, it’s also VERY not what I’m used to. I haven’t even had frozen meals, unless you count the healthy meals I used to make and freeze (confession – I did this a LOT more when I wasn’t single, because I had someone to share with. Way easier not to get sick of things that way). I don’t eat a lot of pre-packaged foods, and I never have – even growing up, my parents made everything from scratch. Hell. I even make my own salad dressings to avoid processed food. 

So, 6 meals a day for the last 5 weeks and it’s all processed. Some of it can sit in the pantry without being kept cold and it freaks me out (think Hearty Beef and Potatoes-and no freezing). Is that chemicals I’m tasting? Sodium? Or just the preservatives? Why can’t I have a patio beer and poutine rather than weird tasting Mexican? 

The thing that’s throwing me right off this week is this bitch of a sugar addiction. It’s like a howling demon after every single meal – JUST ONE I WILL BE GOOD IF I GET JUST ONE BITE OF A CHERRY I PROMISE I WILL BE GOOD. And it’s really, really hard. I’ve starting eating my dessert really early because I need to quiet the demon down. It is dying, which is positive – I know from experience that if I quit cold turkey, the withdrawal will really knock me out. so this slow walk away is good. 

Another good thing – I lost again this week, and I’m officially in the 180s. I am trying to pump myself up to take a progress photo, but I’m still so self conscious (don’t worry, I still feel like a babe). 

So, in lieu of a full body shot… here’s my murderous love muffin. She makes me so super happy. And, even though she is a kitten who meows through her meals (Nox Minerva, don’t talk with your mouth full!), it’s really nice to have a dinner companion. 

Week 4 of Operation Please Don’t Cut My Leg Open 

I’m pleased to announce that it’s Week 3, and I haven’t killed anyone yet. 

It’s been tough. Seriously tough sometimes. There have been tears and lots of cravings. The first week was really easy – lots of movement, lots of defeating the random addiction craving (specifically, caffeine and refined sugar), and I really liked the food. Week 2 and 3 were less easy. People ask me about my diet all the time. I have been told many times that I don’t need to lose any weight. I have been spending a lot of time being intensely lonely, and then realized that I tend to eat poorly when I’m lonely. But, let’s focus on the wins. 

Big shifts with Operation Please Don’t Cut My Leg Open: 

  • I’ve lost over 7 pounds so far
  • I’ve been averaging over 59,000 steps a week – still less than 10,000 a day
  • I’m joining the gym at my new office so I can work out at lunch rather than do what I have been doing (i.e. Working through my lunch) 
  • I’ve lost 5 inches from off my waist, hips, and bust collectively

There are two other big things that happened in the last 3 weeks. 

First. 

I left my part time job. It was terrifying and sudden and I only have one job now. For the first time in a year. Actually, the first time in 2 years that I will have every single day of the week to myself. I am looking forward to it, but I’m also walking away from my sanctuary. It’s the first time I won’t have my safety net, and it feels like I’m losing part of my family. Excited and scared, definitely. 

Second. 

I adopted a kitten.  And she’s really freaking adorable. 


And now I’m not as lonely anymore. We are also experiencing a jingle ball shortage in my house. And her name is definitely a Harry Potter reference. 

Overall. It’s been good. I’m looking forward to breaking into the 180s next week. I think I’ll be posting photos of progress with every 10 pounds lost, and definitely will be putting numbers out when I get further away from my starting point. Because I’m still afraid of that starting number. 

The Whole Knee Thing

One of the most painful, enlightening things about my 30s (so far) has been my knee injury. 

I fell and blew out my knee a month after I asked my long-term partner to move out of our home. My brilliant plan was to train to run a half marathon as he moved out. That way, I wouldn’t have to watch him pack and leave, that way I wouldn’t need to bear witness to my heart breaking over and over again. 

Yeh. 

I watched that shit from the couch with my knee elevated and an ice pack. That was just…. epic. Since then, it’s gotten worse, gotten better, gotten re-injured, and pretty much ended my running career. It’s caused other injuries, taught me patience, and pretty much become a focus on my meditation. 

I’ve been thinking about this injury a lot. Especially lately. I was getting ready to start physio, in order to start running again, and I slipped and fell. Tore my jeans, landed on my bad knee, and totally screwed it up. Again. Thankfully, I had already made the doctor’s appointment, so I was able to talk about it with my doctor about it. 

Which brings me to my point of this whole thing (as my knee starts to ache). 

I started this blog without a theme in mind, and I generally have kicked my ass for it ever since. A lot of my inspiration comes when I’m lonely or sad or angry. Wanna know how bloody well how hard it is to write when those are the drivers? I bounce all over the place here, and I can go months without writing because it’s all… over the place. And these are the days where I think – whelp. A theme would be nice. 

And, since there is currently a theme in my life, I’ve decided that it’s time for a GD theme for this blog. 

Because my knee was injured again, and I was going to my doctor, I confided that I wanted to start running again. As she inspected my knee, I told her that my goal for the visit was to get a note for physio so I could take the first steps towards healing enough to run. She looked up at me, and in her very gentle manner said… 

“I want to be clear on this. You’re beautiful, and your heart is totally fine – but you can’t participate in high impact sports anymore. If you want to ever run again, and if you want me to not highly, HIGHLY recommend surgery and heal your knee that way – you need to lose weight. A lot of weight.” 

Boom. 

I’m not unaware that I’m a little bigger. I also, as mentioned on this blog a bunch of times, feel stunning in my skin. I eat pretty clean – think green smoothies and salads during the day – but as the years have gone on I’ve slowed down. I hate that I’m so busy, because it makes eating well very, very difficult. Since last summer, I’ve either been on the move, at work, or trying to sleep. I eat when I can, and usually it’s not great food. In addition to all of this, I hate cooking for one. I HATE IT. I hate meal prepping, I hate eating the same thing for four meals at a time. So I eat the shit that’s fast and easy. 

And now I have to lose my “I’m so busy, I’m so lonely” weight. To be precise, I want to lose 40 to 60 pounds of that weight. Because I carry it well, but Jesus Christ. 

So, I took the first steps. Because I’m so bad at this on my own, I recruited help. Like, real professional help with this. So, I went to Jenny Craig. 

And then my heart almost exploded with the number. Literally. Stepped on the scale and I almost died. I was mortified, and almost in tears immediately. It didn’t help that they wanted to ask about my relationship with food, or what I’d tried before. I am devastated that I am here. I cried when I talked about wanting to run again, I cried when I said I was too lonely to cook for myself.

So. I have signed a contract. I’m no longer in charge of making my own food. I’m committed to moving an hour a day, and eating 6 meals a day. Because I’m so done with this. These shoes were made for walking. And those steps aren’t great, but it will get better. 


Love letters 

Many years ago, I sat on the edge of a cement wall next to the Sydney Opera House and wrote a postcard to myself.

To step back – I left Canada with a very banged up, very scared little heart. My boyfriend of 1.5 years had been cheating on me for over a year. I had never traveled alone before. I had never carried a backpack as far as I was going to. I was afraid of a lot – heights, water, sharks, big bugs, being let down after over 15 years of planning – but I did what my parents taught me to do and packed my bags and did it anyway.

It ended up being one of the most important things I’ve ever done. It still doesn’t feel like it’s been (spoiler, holy fuck time flies) 10 years since I moved back to Canada. I remember the utter terror and excitement of landing in Auckland, and I remember feeling elated when I extended the trip by moving to Perth. I got over my fear of heights by being tied to a bridge and leaping off, I got over my fear of bugs by swagging in the desert, I conquered my fear of sharks and water at the same time by learning to dive. Suffice to say that my coming back to Canada made me feel like a completely different person – one that I became genuinely afraid to lose.

I didn’t want to be the scared girl in the corner any longer. I wanted to remember the feeling of being able to conquer anything I set my mind to, the true joy of being a brave person. So, on the last day of my journey, I wrote a letter to myself, reminding me of what I had accomplished and how powerful I really was.

To honour that, and to say goodbye to the shit year that was 2016, and to joyously welcome 2017….

Dear N.

You beautiful, wonderful, astounding creature.

You made it. You’re officially on the other side of the worst year of your life. There were moments where you laid down, little girl, and you almost didn’t (or couldn’t) get back up. There were moments where you thought it was over – when the failures and the broken heart and the turmoil almost broke you forever. When you raised your voice and started screaming to wound the people closest to you. When you cried until your eyes swelled shut and you didn’t have tears anymore but you kept crying anyway.

Baby, you made it.

And not only did you make it, you made it healthier than you have been in YEARS. You have learned more about yourself this year than any year before – how to deal with your emotions, how to meditate best for you, what you need to keep yourself healthy – and you have healed so many of the hurts. After finally turning to see yourself, you saw what needed fixing. And you fixed it. You’re still a bit of a chubby panda, but you finally even fell in love with those curves and accepted every single inch. 

Hell. You didn’t even see the freckles under your eyes until this year. How lovely is that? You can hold crazy yoga poses and walk forever and lift weights and rock climb- maybe you aren’t the beauty specific, but you’re a smoke show, traffic stopping babe nevertheless. You even stopped believing in love for awhile- how crazy is it that the best, sexiest, and most fulfilling relationship you’ve ever had is with your beautiful self? Even crazier- why did it take you so long? 

There is a lot of mystery surrounding your life right now. Things are in a holding pattern right now, and you are usually way more prepared (ahem, you anal planner you, ahem) than this. But you know what? You fell down HARD this summer. You failed the worst you literally ever have. But you know what, babe? You’ve been into the darkness. You can’t be afraid anymore, because you’ve seen the other side. So embrace this mystery, the unknown. Your path is leading you precisely where you need to go. Keep loving fiercely and keep volunteering and keep laughing and drinking green smoothies. Keep crying at movies and keep praying and meditating and working your ass off. 

You have everything you need. 

Keep moving forward, you stunning goddess. 

With so much love and joy and respect,

N