I wish we could go back to a simpler time when people weren’t assholes, the world was a better place and it was easier to get a date. It sounds silly I know, but I feel like lately guys (and girls) have become so self-obsessed with finding the their perfect match (in looks first and then otherwise) that they don’t seem to notice someone who is perfect for them right in front of them.
I’m not going to lie, I am most likely one of them, but I definitely don’t do it intentionally. I have always been in love with the idea of love and romance and being swept off your feet. While it was nice in the beginning, now I feel like it’s kind of biting me in the ass. I’ve got pictures in my head about who I view as the perfect person for me, but in reality is he really real? Is this good-looking man with dark hair, blue eyes, a toned but not overly build body out there? He’s also got to be funny, kind, romantic, and actually enjoys doing and trying new things. OH, and he’s got to like a few things I do, but just to keep it interesting he’s gotta be his own person too.
Living in a dream right?
I know I’m not the most outgoing person when you first get to know me, and I suck when it comes to putting myself into new situations and meeting new people. The idea of uncomfortable situations brings out my anxiety and heightens my awareness to how imperfect my imperfections are. I start to think about what I believe other people will notice about me and then my brain goes into overdrive. And with all these people out there looking for their “perfect” someone in body and mind, it brings me to the realization that I’m one of those girls who gets overlooked due to my size and the fact that I’m almost always unsure of myself – great selling point right?
Forget the fact that I’m pretty funny (or at least I think I am anyways), I’m a great friend to those who know me and to anyone I meet, I would go out of my way to help if someone asked and I know how to bake the best cookies and treats. I’m a reader, a daydreamer, a movie buff and my favourite music can pretty much cure most of my bad moods. I’m not that close with my family but my mom is one of my best friends, and my best friend is like my sister.
Yeah, I’ve gone through some shit and life let me down a few times, but I also have a lot of fun. It’s only taken 30 years but I’m slowly starting to see that I can only be me. I may fail at a lot of stuff, but I get back up, dust off the dirt and try again.
If you are reading this and you still can’t see the real me, don’t even bother to message me. And if you do message me and I don’t respond, don’t take it to heart. The online world is a cruel place and I’m just trying to stay afloat. It’s never anything personal – unless you message me with something less than pleasant – I just don’t see myself fitting into your world. I’m one who is looking for prince charming but I’m also one who doesn’t want to lead someone on if I’m nowhere near interested. I’m one of the rare people who actually reads the profiles, so maybe say something interesting – girls actually care.
“It’s a strange thing in life. When you’re chasing your dreams and it’s not what it seems and your heart’s on the line.”
With the recent release of Pokemon Go, old and new fans alike are resurfacing all over the world, ready to venture outside to search for their beloved monsters. Everywhere I look on social media and news outlets, there’s not only one but many people who are becoming increasingly obsessed with this fictional game – and for a good reason. While it did nothing for me when I was a kid, and it does nothing for me now, I can definitely understand the nostalgia that comes along with something that reminds you of something you grew up with.
I may not have been a Pokemon fan growing up, but I was definitely classified as a nerd in a fandom of my very own. Right smack dab in the middle of my childhood, a book series came out that changed my life forever. I was already known as a quiet-ish, country music loving book nerd, but this series took it to an entirely different level. Once my grade seven teacher introduced me to Harry Potter, my world was taken over by a magical land where good always defeated evil and an amazing bond between readers and their characters were forever formed. Harry Potter to me is what Star Trek is to Trekkies. It became something I latched onto in order to create some amazing memories. Even to this day I recall talking about the stories with my grandmother (who loved it just as equally as I did), going to midnight book releases and being able to interact with fellow potterphiles.
Potterphile (n): One obsessed with the all consuming demon of the modern world Harry Potter – Urban Dictionary
Fast-forward twenty years (YES, it’s been THAT long) and the magical world of Harry Potter is still thriving. My generation and beyond are still enthralled with everything Harry Potter and I highly doubt it’ll die down any time soon. I mean, they have a Studio Tour in London, The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Florida and now California, as well as a new movie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and now a play (and 8th book-ish)! The wonderful world I was able to immerse myself in as a pre-teen is still something I immerse myself in today. While finding Harry Potter fans my age seems few and far between, I still manage to find those who love it just as much as I do still at this stage of their lives.
It’s a great comfort knowing that I am not alone. While we may ultimately be strangers, I feel a sense of calm when I find somebody to share my love with. No matter our ages, we all find a common ground with the characters we have become accustomed to love unconditionally. The original fan base may be growing older, but it’s our responsibility to keep the love of this wonderful series alive and thriving.
I can’t tell you how many times I felt the need to escape. Books were my refuge when I was feeling along, sad or frustrated with life. And while 20 years has gone by, it’s still something I do to this very day. As I started re-reading (for the umpteenth time) HP, I was able to go back to when I was young and excited to read but also appreciate the complex writing and insane amount of detail that J.K. Rowling actually put into her books. I am amazed at the clever wits and meaningful quotes that everyone can really benefit from reading.
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light – Albus Dumbledore
I can safely say that my obsession isn’t as hardcore as some, but let’s be real here, who actually cares? Our tiny world has been ravaged as of late with bombings, terrorist attacks, the unnecessary killings of innocent lives among other things. How is someone else’s passion and love for something (albeit fictional) harming you? With all the hate and discrimination in the world, what’s so wrong with people of all ages, races and nationalities bonding over something they all love? There isn’t.
So before all you people go judging the revival of Pokemon, or those long term Trekkies, or fellow Potterheads such as myself, think back to what you used to love growing up. Whether it be Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, or whatever you either secretly, or not-so-secretly love, we’re all guilty. Harry Potter will always have my heart and even though I’ve reached full adulthood (sadly), I will never ever forget the friends I have made – fictional and real. Harry Potter has my heart.
Finally, I say thank you to J.K. Rowling, for creating a world that I could fall in love with and am still in love with today. The last twenty of my thirty years on earth have been some of the best of my life, and it’s all thanks to you. I look forward to any and all future publications from your rare and beautiful mind.
I’m just a Canadian and a woman with an opinion, just like everyone else. Right now though, I want my opinion out there in the open because I keep seeing things online that have upset me greatly as of late. Instead of becoming a united front in the face of a disaster, all I’ve seen is bickering, complaining and pointing fingers as to why things were done one way instead of another.
Tragedy’s rarely happen in Canada, and as a Canadian I am truly grateful. Why? Because of all the horrible disasters that have gone on in the world as of late, whether it be massive earthquakes, devastating tornadoes, or flooding, it’s been everywhere but our home sweet home. I know I should knock on wood, but we’re pretty lucky to be where we are as a nation. So when something like this happens, it’s something we all feel. Or so I thought anyways.
That being said, a great tragedy has happened to us as a nation we watched an entire city get taken over by a ravaging wildfire and thousands upon thousands of residents having to flee their homes, their possessions and their lives to reach safety. My heart hurts for all those who lost everything, or those who don’t know what they’re going back home to yet. Being a victim of a fire, while obviously not as widespread and as large as Fort Mac, I know the feeling of being upended, not being able to go home and not knowing what the damages really are. It’s tough, it’s scary and it’s absolutely exhausting. I may be a lonely girl from Ontario, but please know I am thinking about each and every single one of you – residents, rescuers and all the volunteers. You guys are the real heroes and I wish you all the strength in the world to get back on your feet because I KNOW it’ll be tough, but you’ll definitely pull through.
What’s upsetting me though, is the attitude and hate I’ve been seeing and hearing from a lot of people online. Of course there are people who have donated food, money, possessions and their homes to those who were displaced but there are also people out their criticizing the moves of our politicians and what they “chose” to do or not to do. Instead of coming together to support our neighbours in Alberta, we’re too busy whining and complaining about how PM Trudeau chose to go about the tragedy.
Trudeau is a leader of an entire country so it’s 100 per cent understandable that he didn’t just drop everything and go to Fort Mac , Alberta. It’s 100 per cent understandable that the leader of Canada wasn’t in an unstable, unpredictable and unsafe environment that has yet to be remotely contained. People are saying he doesn’t care and that he’s privileged because he grew up differently than all Canadians, but let’s be real here, how many other “privileged” people are dropping everything and heading to the prairies? He has a country to run, he has decisions to make and he has a team he needs to handle.
Well what about denying foreign help, you ask? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m fairly sure Canada is well-equipped with their very own task force to handle such disaster. I get more help is better BUT, in all honesty who wants to delegate and keep track of Russian water bombers, Mexican firefighters and Canadian rescuers when we have the resources. This fire will burn for months, and why waste another country’s resources when there’s nothing they can do now but try and contain it, and keep it from growing. The one thing I wish I did hear about is foreign countries coming to aid when it comes to donating money to help. I know we’re extremely nice, as our reputation proceeds us, but I haven’t heard of a single dime from other countries helping us out in our time of need. We have donated to all major disasters for the longest time, so now where’s our support?
As for the money factor, the government already has a plan in place to donate to natural disasters. His pledge to match all Red Cross Canada donations is on top of the federal money already given, so people need to shut up about that. Stop saying too much was given to the Syrian refugees and saying it should have gone to Fort Mac. A) The plan to bring in the refugees was put in place by Harper, Trudeau just came through. Also, the money was already budgeted towards that plan. B) It’s not like they predicted there would be a wildfire in Alberta in 2016 in the middle of a dry spell. It’s nature, not science and you cannot, no matter WHAT you do, control the environment. Mother Nature is a force of her own and she does what she wants.
And to those who keep bringing on the hate, and literally posting all about it anywhere and everywhere they get, just shut up. We understand you’re not a fan of Trudeau, your Facebook posts have already told me that – constantly. Why instead can’t you focus on the good deeds popping up instead? Like the doorbell camera capturing the heroic efforts of firemen trying to save the home? Or of the post of Fort Mac residents posting pictures of what they grabbed in a hurry and have no need for? Or of West Jet allowing Fort Mac passengers and their pets on board to fly to safety? There is SO much good coming out of such a sad event and I feel like people are forgetting to focus on the people.
Let’s focus on the fact that no lives have been lost. Fire is a savage beast, wild and untamed. It’s a crazy miracle that nobody has been hurt or killed in such a massive and insane force of nature. I hope they get down to the bottom of how it started and I hope this fire is contained and put out as soon as humanly possible, but we’ll only be able to see in time what will happen.
I hope and pray the residents of Fort Mac will be able to soon start rebuilding their lives and getting back to some sort of normalcy – even though it may take awhile. If you live there and you’re reading this, I’m thankful you’re alive and while I know you’re probably going to have a tough couple of months or even years, just remember this: you survived. Possessions can be replaced but your life is precious and I hope you are able to see some hope through all the smoke.
Lastly, I’m sorry this is so long. Love it or hate it, I had to say it. I get overly passionate about stuff like this and it bothers me when the first thing that comes to people’s mind is blame our leader. I’d rather him take selfies with Canadians and earn back their trust than being a complete douche bag of a human and taking pictures with firemen in front of a raging forest fire for publicity. You pick, it’s your choice but stop hating and start being the nice, friendly and heartwarming Canadian I know you are.
It’s been a month (already), and I still can’t come up with anything other than “it wasn’t long enough” when someone asks me how my trip was. Because to me, it wasn’t just any trip, it was THE trip I’d been dreaming of. And while experiencing it in all it’s magical glory, it’s hard to explain the feelings I felt while being in a country that has continuously called my name for as long as I can remember.
The year 2016 is a milestone year for anybody born in 1986. And while I didn’t actually celebrate the day of my birth in a big way, I decided months before that I was going to plan a trip that I’d been dreaming of. Ireland is apart of my genealogy and apart of my heart. I can’t exactly explain it, but I felt as if the little island was calling me home. My heart was telling me I needed to visit the place I’d been in love with for the longest time. With my own intentions in mind, I decided that I was doing something for me, regardless of how much I was going to spend – and I did.
The instant we landed I knew it was the right choice. It was a grey and rather chilly day but it didn’t bother me in the least. My heart was exploding with happiness knowing that I was finally in the one place I knew I’d feel at home. Sure our days were full of bus tours, attractions and long drives but every moment was magical. This country (like many European countries) is full of rich history and enchanting stories. It was easy to be captivated by the beauty of the land and the magic of the people.
Dublin (Dubh-Linn), while being the biggest city (by far) in Ireland, didn’t have the big city feel. While dominated by tourism, it didn’t give off the vibe of being your typical tourist destination. Old buildings mixed in with the new, it’s almost as if two different centuries collided with ease. Instead of tearing down relics, they cherish them. They incorporated two very different eras and created something so unique that can only be described as beautiful. No matter how often I looked, I couldn’t get over the beauty the city and the rest of the country held in the simple fact they loved their history.
Climbing the steps of Blarney Castle to kiss the infamous stone, delving into the history of the Muckross House, and catching some of the most breathtaking views in the entire world, were only a few of the many adventures we came to experience during our one week journey through The Republic of Ireland. My eyes were never tired of wandering and my ears never tired of listening, always trying to take in as much as I possibly could. Like that of a child, I was captivated by absolutely everything. I couldn’t help but enjoy every moment learning about a country that had an origin to my family name. I love Canada and I love being Canadian. We’re one of the most respected and loved countries, but it lacks the history the rest of the world has. Where our buildings are 149-ish years old, cities like Dublin has buildings still in use (more specifically Dublin Castle) that have been around for over 800 years. The difference is astounding.
I can’t say enough about the sites and sounds of the country as a whole but what I enjoyed the most were the people. No matter where we went we were welcome with open arms and open hearts. Whether it be a trait from a country who thrives on tourism or it be their natural charm, their genuine smiles and willingness to start a conversation was the first thing I noticed. No matter where you went people were willing to chat you up, tell you a story or ask you where you’re from. A charming horse ride through Killarney National Park had me charmed to pieces simply because our driver (Cal) took the time to give us a little more detail into their rich history, kept us entertained with stories and witty jokes, and easily made me blush speaking in the Gaelic language. That being said, it was so easy to just sit back and get caught up in listening to what they had to say. The beautiful lilt to their voice had me weak in the knees.
If I could drop everything and move wherever you wanted in the world, I would not hesitate to call Ireland my home. I realize people say it’s different being a tourist and not a regular everyday citizen, but I can only tell you what my heart keeps shouting from the rooftops. It’s been a month since I came back from this trip and I still long for it every moment. I still wish I could smell the fresh country air, enjoy an Irish coffee at a bar older than North America, and listen to the beautiful lilt of the Irish folk. Even now, just thinking about where I’ve been makes me long for everything I had just a short month ago. I know I sound crazy, and it may seem absurd but I’m sure there are a few of you who wouldn’t hesitate to say the same.
That being said, I can’t finish this post without mentioning the amazing company that allowed us to view as much of The Republic of Ireland as possible. Trafalgar Tours has a history for creating memorable adventures and this was no exception. From our wonderful local tour guide Valarie and our bus driver Jimmy, to the unexpected pit stops, the optional experiences and the “Be Our Guest” dining, everything was top notch from start to finish. They know how to take care of their guests and make them feel like they belong. If you are trying to decide on a tour company, I can tell you personally, you will not be disappointed.
I’ve stayed rather elusive about this, but only because I don’t want to start any fights. The only reason I’m being upfront now is because I believe that it needs to be said. This past Monday. Canada voted in what is to be known as a historical election. Not only was voter turnout up 68% from 2011’s election and had it’s strongest young voter turnout, we came together as a country and made a decision to vote for change. Prime Minister Trudeau, the youngest leader to be elected in the history of Canada, has now become the face to represent all Canadians.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve always been a supporter of the NDP from the time I was first introduced into Canadian politics. The conservative government didn’t speak anything to my generation, but I know it’s always wishful thinking to have an NDP goverment. I, just like everyone else though wanted a change. Stephen Harper, who was representing each and every single person on an international front was making us look bad. Sure he’s an “economist” who has done a great number of things for this country, but he’s also done a great number of things that make us look bad as a nation. We’re all about equality, diversity and helping those less fortunate. Our stance on violence, on women’s rights and being a welcome beacon to those who need help, are what make us so likable as Canadians. In the past year or so, that’s been tainted. The once shiny glow of Canadian pride was slowly being diminished by scandal after scandal within parliament hill, unreasonable comments about ethnic wear, and an overall coldness we didn’t once have.
I’m not saying Justin Trudeau will be the saviour to all our problems, because unless you can tell the future, nobody knows what will happen. Everyone says “all politicians lie”, but they also do a lot of good. I’ve been seeing a lot of praise about Mr. Trudeau, but I’ve been seeing a lot more skepticism and harsh judgement before he’s even been sworn in. His platform wasn’t just about legalizing Mary Jane, or creating a safe place to do drugs (which BC has been the forefront of, if I’m correct, for awhile now). Justin is young, he understands that the baby boomers are soon to be retiring, and the Millennial age group will soon be the dominant age in our Country. He understands that as a nation we are stuck in more ways than one. He gets that something needs to be changed.
The one thing I admire most about Mr. Trudeau is his willingness to listen. He’s not all about the politics, but instead he’s about the people who live and run this country. The moment I saw the video of him thanking people in a Montreal Subway Station the day after he was elected, was the moment I knew things would be different. He may be a politician, but he genuinely cares about us. Think about it – when was the last time you saw Harper on the streets just being among his fellow people? And campaigning and strategic appearances do not count. They don’t. And if you think they do, you’re wrong.
He may bring our country into more debt, he may not. He may give more focus on our environmental issues, or promise to help ease our taxes, he may not. All I ask, is to go in to his leadership with an open mind. Stop hating on someone we’ve yet to truly get to know, and wondering what possibilities he’ll come up with. We used to be a country full of optimism, now we’ve become so used to being cynical that we’ve forgotten what it used to be like.
Call me an optimist, but I feel like with the bad Mr. Trudeau may bring, he’ll also bring forward the best side of Canada. He’s 100 per cent for everyday Canadians, and in the end, I think it’s his effort and stamina that will win us over. And remember, it’s not 1 vs. 32 million. He has various outlets he has to go through before anything ever gets approved. He’s got an entire team behind him to help him guide the way and make the best decisions for all of us. So while I’m usually on the side of the NDP, I’m also behind our new Prime Minister – until he proves otherwise.
We’re all human, we all make mistakes. We all deserve a chance to prove our greatness, including Mr. Trudeau. So before you decide to bring him down, give him a chance to shine. I wish you all the luck Mr. Trudeau, and I hope you don’t disappoint me, or every other Canadian. I can only speak for myself, but I want you to succeed. I want you to make a difference and I want you to make Canada what it once was. Being old fashioned isn’t a bad thing, just as long as you’re willing to step forward into the future.
Prove them wrong, stay humble, work hard and you will come out on the other side.
“Hey,” he said. I was sitting there alone, feeling defeated and a little pissed off. I’d been stood up again for the second time in a matter of three days, by two different guys. I was beginning to second guess this whole dating thing, being single was easier.
“Hey,” I said, squinting up at him. This mystery of a stranger was shrouded in shadows, all the light somehow behind him. The only thing I could truly define was the sexiness of his deep voice. The low timbre and slow southern drawl had me shivering to the core. With just one word he had me in the palm of his hand.
“What’s a beautiful girl like you sitting all by yourself on a Saturday night?”
“I’d tell you but I was taught not to talk to strangers,” I said, smiling slightly. Even though I was a full grown adult, it was still the truth.
Suddenly he stepped into the light. His features suddenly sharpened as he became visible to me. Dressed casually in a v-neck tee, plaid shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots, the man was definitely out of his element in this uptown bar. The closest thing to the country he could get would be the horses trotting gracefully in Central Park. He had a head full of dark brown hair, disheveled from the windy day. The hair framed a chiseled face and sea green eyes. He was built, but from working on the farm, not working out in the gym; his muscles rippling nicely through the sleeves of his shirt. Made me wonder what was hiding beneath the rest.
I unknowingly started to nibble on the side of my lips.
“Completely Understandable. My name is Owen, Owen Jacobs. Now we’re not strangers.”
I was in awe. His straightforward way of talking was seriously getting to me. No guy has ever been this straight up with me. I was used to words of persuasion, insisting it was the right thing to do by following him home. “Well Owen, I’ve just been stood up – again.”
“Mind if I sit down? Buy you a drink?” He asked, looking at the empty seat beside me. The fact that he asked and waited for my permission was just sexy. In this day and age, it was rare you found a pure gentleman.
“Sure, have a seat cowboy. What brings you to the big apple?”
We ended up talking for hours. We talked about anything and everything from world news and politics to books and movies. He was a world class fellow who kept my mind off all the troubles that had been plaguing my mind. His kind eyes didn’t look at me, they looked inside. He seemed genuinely interested in every word that came out of my mouth; even if it came out jumbled and misconstrued. Instead of criticizing, he continued the conversation on as if nothing even happened. In a matter of a few hours we knew each other’s hopes and dreams; failures and fears. In just a few hours I felt like I knew more about him than I knew about most of my “close” friends.
But then it had to end.
“Last call!” the bartender shouted. It was two am already?
I looked into Owen’s eyes, getting lost in the sincerity behind them. I didn’t want this magical moment to end.
“Listen, I’d love to see you again,” he said leaning towards me, whispering softly against my ear. I thought he was going to kiss me – and he knew it. “I was going to save the kiss for our official date.”
“See, you should have just taken my number and left it as is,” I replied shaking my head. I think I was doing it more to calm my nerves than to scold him.
“Because I’m the type to overthink, and when I overthink I get nervous, and when I get nervous I start to think of worst case scenarios – ” I was suddenly interrupted when his lips crashed into mine. Quick at first, he slowed down, taking me all in. His lips were soft, sweet and very experienced. Gently caressing my face with his hands, his mouth explored my lips, before heading down to the crevice of my neck. The gentleness and patience he used was noticed as he continued his adventure. While I hesitated at first, surprised at the sudden invasion of senses all over my body, I soon dove in and started my own adventure. My arms left my side, hugging his wonderfully muscled torso. Sliding them from his steel-cut abs, I ran my hands lightly up and then down his back, finally landing on his very fine-tuned ass. Hesitating again, I decided to live a little and pulled him closer while squeezing his beautiful butt at the same time.
Breaking away, I managed to squeak out, “I thought you said you were going to wait?”
“I wanted to shut you up, you were thinking out loud,” he responded just as breathless. He grabbed my lips with his teeth and kissed me again, this time with more intensity. If I moved in any closer I’d be sitting on his lap. Instead I ran my fingers back up his spine and into his heavenly locks of hair. Grabbing it, I pulled him into me, kissing with just as much intensity. By this time we were both flushed and worked up and not having realized the lights had come on and everyone had left. Shit.
As much as I didn’t want to, I broke away once again.
“Oh crap, I think we’re the last ones here,” I said, giggling like a schoolgirl. “The staff must be super annoyed.”
“Nah, I think they’re okay,” he said nibbling on my earlobe. I looked around, realizing that there were in fact no staff to speak of. Interesting.
“I own the bar darling,” he said, chuckling at the dumbfounded look on my face. I’ve been to this bar countless times since I moved to New York last year and had never seen him before. “I’ve noticed you more often than not come in here by yourself and leave by yourself. It baffled me because you are one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen, and after talking to you one of the kindest.”
“Wow. YOU own this bar? Really?”
“What, can’t a cowboy make it in this big ol’ city?”
“That’s definitely not what I meant,” I stumbled, blushing. I just made myself look like a jackass.
Laughing again, he kissed my cheek. “I know what you meant sweetheart. The reason I came over tonight of all nights is because I noticed you were looking as lonely as I felt. I figured to lonely hearts could use a shoulder to lean on. Looks like we both got more than we bargained for.”
I found myself biting my lip again. Without even knowing it, he just won my heart. I grabbed his face and passion took over. To hell with the fact we’ve only known each other for a mere few hours on a windy night in October. He and I connected more in that short time frame than most do in a couple of years.
Through desperate kisses, he whispered, “Let’s take this up to my loft.”
These moments of pure acceptance with yourself don’t come around all that often anymore. Each day we grow older and become wiser, but we also become more and more aware that life isn’t as fairy-tale as it seems. When we are children, all we care about are who are friends are and what time we needed to be home for dinner. We were too focused on hiding from our parents and enjoying the freedom that comes with being a kid. We didn’t care about who looked like what, who wore what brand, and who was the skinnier bitch. We didn’t have tabloids and fashion magazines to obsess over and television ads basically telling you if you’re not skinny, you’re unhealthy. We were free to be whoever we wanted to be and nobody was able to tell us differently.
It was when we were in middle school that everything changed. Cliques were formed, the ideal images were set, and if you didn’t fit in that mold, you were considered the outcast. I was somewhere in the middle. I wasn’t popular but I talked to a few of them from time to time. I wasn’t alone though, either. I was lucky enough to have friends who accepted me at the time, for who I was, not who I was supposed to be and vice versa. I was just happy to call them my friends. It boggles my mind that we started so young when it came to focusing on our body image and not on our inner selves?
Today there are ads, TV spots, and internet trolls that basically define you as a wasted piece of space if you’re not in a “healthy state” and “not-skinny-but-fit”. There are ads constantly berating the body size of women (and yes, men too) instead of putting focus on the fact that these “abominations” are human too. They have families, they have feelings and they most definitely can read your comments you post on absolutely everything you find revolting on the internet. Body shaming is a thing yes, but why can’t we focus on body acceptance instead? Encouraging comments can and will go a lot further than anything else you say. The amount of degrading, rude and extremely heartless comments I see these days is absolutely breathtaking.
Do these trolls not understand the concept of “everybody has their own story to tell”? Do they not realize that not everybody sits on their ass and eats bags upon bags of junk food just because they can? Granted, yes, some people are indeed like that, but let’s face it, most people have a reason behind their choices. Maybe it’s a medical thing – thyroid issues, quitting smoking and birth control can cause you to gain weight. Or maybe it’s a mental issue: maybe the person you’re harassing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram was emotionally abused as a child and turned to food as a coping mechanism. Maybe they were in an accident which limited their mobility and ability to exercise; maybe they just have a bigger bone structure. Maybe, just maybe, they are in the middle of a weight loss journey and have already lost 100 lbs. WHO. ARE. YOU. TO. JUDGE?
“That’s not a valid excuse”, is something I can hear most of you saying right now. And while your opinion is your own, you are in fact, very wrong. What if the tables were turned? What if it was someone talking about you? Or your daughter? Or wife? What if it was someone making fun of your hard time after you decided to share your story for the world to see? What would you say then? Would you go on the defense or would you just sit there and let it happen? What if you were the one struggling with your weight? Would you want your family members, and friends to comment and make you feel worthless? Would you expect them to berate you and tell you what you’re doing wrong? If you were in that situation, I would like to think you’d be feeling the exact way you’ve treated everybody else.
All people are human. Skinny, fat; petite, tall; black, brown, white or olive. We all have hearts, we all have brains and we all have feelings. Do you really want to be THAT person who contributed to someone committing suicide because your words were their breaking point? Do you really want to be the reason why they shut down completely and refuse to talk to someone – anyone? Do you REALLY want to be the reason why these people don’t get the help they need because they fear whoever they turn to will judge them instead of help them succeed?
I didn’t think so.
I myself battle with self-acceptance, with self-esteem and self-worth. There are days where I feel great, confident and proud of who I am, and then there are days where I don’t. I feel like I don’t belong because I’m not your perfect image. I’m not skinny enough, or healthy enough. I’m not the perfect contender for your ideas of a perfect world. People like you are the reason why I don’t put myself out there. I don’t confidently go up to someone and say hello. I’m always wondering if they’re judging me, if they are thinking “oh my, she should eat more salads.”
I eat to enjoy food, but I also use food as an emotional outlet. If something upsets me, makes me mad or sad, I turn to something I KNOW will be there without judgement. I struggle every single day to eat healthy and to exercise so to those who assume I sit around and do nothing – you’re very very wrong.
I don’t think I, or anyone else for that matter, will ever truly feel beautiful until you change. Sure there will be moments, but I can guarantee you, even the most confident people will falter. They’ll hear a snicker, or read a comment from a stranger and it’ll all fall around them. Confidence is like a wall: it’s built brick by brick and is strong and mighty, but it can be taken down in the single hit of a sledgehammer.
“Who are you to criticize my life and what I’ve done? You don’t even know the real me,” I sob.
“I’m your mother, of course I know who you are! I just want what’s best for you.”
“No, you want me to ‘get a job’ and ‘save my money’. You don’t understand the need or the passion that consumes me. I don’t want a normal job, and a normal life. I want to be able to look back and remember that I did something extraordinary.
I want to be able to tell my stories and relive the moments that define me and everyone I came in contact with. I want to be able to say I witnessed a miracle and lived my life to the absolute fullest.”
“You can’t do all that without making yourself financially stable. Think about that!”
“What’s the point in making money if you’re not able to spend it? To enjoy it? I’d rather rent a tiny apartment the rest of my life than to be stuck paying for something and not being able to do anything but pay for it.”
“WHY NOT? Why not put the money towards the memories and experiences that will live on after I’m gone? Why not focus on learning new things and experiencing new cultures?”
“What’s the point, if you’re going to put yourself in debt?”
“What’s the point in being alive, if you’re not living?”