I get to do a thing…

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Did that title grab your attention? Are you ready? Ok, great! Now what kind of clickbait material would this be if I didn’t make you wait just a little bit longer?

For those of you who know me, or not, I get to do a really cool thing… It consists of myself and 15 other people being picked up and dropped off in a remote location out in Water Valley Alberta to partake in a survivor spin-off competition called Stranded. I’m really excited about this! Honestly I feel like this is the grooming stages for the actual chance to be a real cast member on Survivor one day, so hopefully I can beat the ultimate Strandee? Strander? I’m not sure what the title will be but I’m willing to take either of the titles when I win. When that happens I’ll get to add it to the end of my name on business cards, everyone knows what an MBA is B.comm. is, but no one know’s what Strandee will mean, and of course will ask ;).

 

Ok, so totally kidding about the ego stroke winning will do, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty about me and why I’m doing this.

Facts about me:

  1. I hate camping. Camping, not to be mistaken for Glamping. Glamping I like. Cooking over campfires, sleeping in tents and being cold, isn’t my thing at all.
  2. I have a strong dislike for bugs. Besides the other 15 people in camp guess what I’ll have to deal with, other than strong personalities, competitive nature and behaviour? Bugs, creepy crawly bugs, bug bites, bugs in my mouth when I sleep? Anyway, point is, it’s not just me out there.
  3. I can’t stand being cold. This competition is rain or shine, for 3 days out in the woods, with my luck I’m bound to either be wet from rain, or wet from a competition. It mostly affects my nervous system which triggers a whole lot of pain for me. Wet socks or shoes, definite no-go for me.
  4. Being dirty, like muddy dirty is the worst for me, its cool for an afternoon of fun, gardening or off roading or whatever, but after 3 days of dirt stuck in places no one thinks dirt goes, combined with BO from a lack of showering, stale campfire smell (assuming we get the fire going) I am no happy camper.
  5. Lack of food. We’re supposedly living on very little food, no hamburgers, nachos, or pizza during my stay at Stranded, so I could get a little grumpy – sorry fellow Stranded competitors, consider this your warning.

Why am I doing this?

Kids Up Front is one of my most favourite charities. In short I love them because they provide opportunity to kids and their families who otherwise can’t afford it. If you were like me as a kid, you day dreamed about seeing your favourite band, singer, athlete etc.and it wasn’t always feasible for our parents to go out and get tickets, back then people lined up for hours before the ticket office closed. Now I’m a bit older than this organization so it didn’t exist when I was a kid, but I know it would’ve been super beneficial to my mum when she was scrambling to find Backstreet Boy tickets at really high prices for bad seats back in the 90’s but she did what she could to make my dream come true.

Now while I joked about winning, it’s not me who wins. Every dollar raised for this charity makes the donor a winner and the receiver a winner. Donor wins because they get to help out a family who couldn’t afford to attend said event otherwise, and the kids, well, you know they’ll never forget the experience. I’m more the middleman, while I do need you to donate to “my” campaign initially, it really goes to the organization. You get the tax receipt and I reach the charity goal and the kids get the experience. I strongly encourage and even urge you to consider donating any amount to this organization. As stated I’m not much of an outdoorsy type person, so I’m really putting my best effort in and my pride won’t allow me to finish anything but first.

Now to sweeten the pot I have decided to include 3 original pictures of mine. for every $25 donated you receive an entry into a draw for 1 of 3 pictures. My work has been featured in magazines and newspaper nationally and locally in award shows and used mass marketing both online and off. I don’t sell my private work, or really give it away for that matter, unless special circumstances, so you’ll have a chance to win some really great pictures that I can guarantee no one else will have. If you’re a builder, realtor, stager, anything to do with architecture and design I also have 4 photo shoots up for grabs, with any donation amount to be entered to win one. If you do donate, comment below so when the draw happens you can be reached!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Halloween Edition: I wanted to be…

Its the Month of October and if you haven’t decided what you’re dressing up as for Halloween you’ve still got some time! But this isn’t a post about Halloween costume suggestions or DIY hacks for a party you’re throwing. I’m about to share a Halloween story about myself when I was a kid. Buckle up!

It was October 1994, I was 5 years old, in Kindergarten at a little school in a (once) small town in Southern Alberta. It was about as country as it gets and not exactly a town that would be recognized as being open minded or very forward thinking. At this time Power Rangers was one of the most popular Kids shows on TV. Any 90s kid knows exactly what Show I’m talking about. They had a variety of coloured uniforms the boys would wear and they even girl who donned pink.  So when I told my parents that I wanted to be a Power Ranger it was no big deal. Off to the local SAAN store we went to go collect my costume. As soon as we got there I went straight to the colourful rack of costumes, picked out my costume and handed it to my mum. I picked blue. Which was a boy character in the show. My mum asked me if I was sure I wanted the blue costume and not the pink one. I was sure.  My mum agreed, bought me the costume, we went home and that was the last we spoke about it.

Here’s why it doesn’t matter that I picked out a “boy” costume.

  1. I picked the costume based on my favourite character and my favourite colour.
  2. I never picked the costume because I “Wanted to be a boy”
  3. My sexual preference wasn’t even a thought when picking out my clothes, it was what I was most comfortable in.
  4. As kids we pick our favourite character from a movie or show because we like it.
  5. We are excited about what we like, we don’t have a fear of being judged.

Kids shows aren’t broken down into “girl” or “boy” categories. They are created for both sexes to enjoy. So if a boy wants to dress as a princess or a “girl” character, let them and vice versa. We need to stop labelling kids as being “gay” or confused, or shaming the parents for allowing their children to express themselves by dressing up as whatever the hell they please.

Guess what? We turn out ok. Whether we grow up to be gay or straight, what we wear shouldn’t affect anyone. Its a form of expression, its us pretending to be that prince or princess we love from that new movie, its us being kids, or as adults its us being ourselves and comfortable enough to do so.  When we’re children, (for majority of us) it has nothing to do with our sexual identity, so don’t say it is. When I went to school that day and put on my blue Power Ranger costume, know what other kids said? Nothing, because kids don’t judge at that age. They see the costume for exactly what it is. A day to dress up and be someone or something you’re not for 364 days of the year. Know what upset me that day? I wasn’t the only girl who had decided to dress up as the blue power ranger. I’m grateful for parents who support their kids decisions despite how they may personally feel about things or the negative outside opinions they get from friends, strangers, and teachers. I went trick or treating and got a boatload of candy. So no matter how your dressed, own it, love your day and be you, and just know being you isn’t reserved for only one day of the year 😉

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My story : A Medical Mystery.

The last 2 and a half years for me have been hellish. I mean from a health and wellness aspect, my life overall is great. The symptoms started to occur in March of 2013. I was actively involved at the gym, training with a trainer 2x a week and hitting the cardio machines for another 3 days. I’d go to the gym, and start doing something easy like stretching, then either going for a few track sprints or doing a quick 500m row to warm up, something I’d done many times before. But on this one particular day I wasn’t feeling right, I figured my body was tired, but tried to push through anyway.Before I could tell my trainer I was dizzy I just collapsed after a warm up sprint. Pushing through had me down on the ground with my trainer panicking because I was as white as a ghost and sweating profusely, like I was suffering a heart attack or stroke. The whole episode lasted about 30 mins from start to finish, by finish I mean able to stand up unassisted by my trainer and walk, I stayed conscious the entire time. My shirt and shorts were soaking wet like I’d just run through a sprinkler a few times or done a killer work out. I haven’t trained since. So began my 2 year (and counting) testing with various doctors from cardiologists to neurologists.

When I went for testing at the heart clinic they said “You’re just a healthy girl who needs to add more salt to your diet!” But prescribed me some bullshit medication to help my body retain salt. I took the medication for 1 year none of the symptoms changed, in fact, they got worse. I went back to the cardiologist who then said,” I’m not sure its your heart, I think its best you go in to see a neurologist”

As I mentioned my symptoms got worse, workouts would trigger dizzy spells. Now just living a normal average day I was plagued with pain all over my body, headaches, foggy vision, hearing loss, numbness in my hands, pain that surged straight up my arm if I picked up anything cold, memory loss, loss of words, speech issues, and weakness in my extremities, the list goes on, but I think this gives a small example of obstacles I’ve been facing. I had a CT Scan and it was requested I have an MRI done. Results came back saying it was Chiari Malformation I. Which a number of people live with from a day-to-day basis with no symptoms. The neurologist said, It’s really not serious enough to have a surgery consult. Great, so I’m supposed to live with these ailments forever? Or when are the symptoms bad enough that a consult is necessary?He also is unconvinced that it is causing my symptoms, is if it’s not that, what is it? Last time I went to see the neurologist he thought it could be a heart condition, so back to the cardiologist, where I was hooked up to a 48 hour heart monitor that came back normal.

I go for another MRI in September and I hope and pray something substantial shows up on the scan. I hope that something that can be treated shows up, I hope that I can get my life back. I’ve become a shell of a person I once was. I went from being active and fit to a person who is exhausted all the time and a simple task of emptying a dishwasher is taxing, or folding laundry requires a power nap. It’s really quite pathetic going from Athlete to this, at least to me. So while I may occasionally complain about my frustrations of living this hell, I want people to understand what it is; I’m not lazy, being a hypochondriac, or attention seeker but someone who is looking to have a normal life again. Someone who doesn’t want to cancel plans because they’re exhausted, someone who wants to live freely and feel alive. Right now, it feels like a slow boat to death.

I pray I get an answer. I’m not sure what else I can do, but for now that is my story.

For more information on Chiari Malformation Click here

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I survived to find my purpose

I grabbed my laptop and decided to write this at my kitchen table. As I sat down I almost played out word for word of how this entry was going to go. It went like this. I sat down at my kitchen table and opened up my laptop, and fired up WordPress… The door bell rang.

This is going to be a raw, real post and it may not be too pretty. But I wanted to put this out there incase anyone else is going through something and needs something up lifting. Back when I was 17 years old, my family and I went on a trip to beautiful New York City, it was amazing. The history that radiates off the old buildings as you walk by, the business people doing their thing and the other tourists just as mesmerized and captivated as me filled the streets. We walked miles upon miles and absorbed as much of the city as we possibly could. We went during Easter Break when my brother and I had some time off of school. My family and I decided to go down to Times Square on Easter Sunday to check it out at night. What we didn’t expect was to be met with SWAT teams and being instructed that the area was not safe and it was suggested we go elsewhere. What was happening (unbeknownst to us all) Was a massive beef between 1000s of bloods and Crips, literally each side walking their respective sides of Times. The energy buzzing off the crowd was like nothing I’ve ever felt. There was an uneasiness. Being a white kid from small town Alberta, I’d never seen a black person in our town, but having recently moved to the City of Calgary, I was becoming a little more familiar with cultural differences and the acceptance that people are people no matter who or what color or country they came from. I’d always been raised this way so the color of their skin wasn’t a hate related observation, it was the first time in my life I felt like a minority, and it was overwhelming to be right in the middle of a buzzing beehive of hatred and anger. One wrong move or action from either side and I feel it would’ve been a headline of “Calgary family caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The story was just waiting to be written.

Was it smart to be in the middle of it? Absolutely not. But for some reason my mum decided that come hell or high water we were going to check out the lights and that this was apart of life. I think she was oblivious, or feeling invincible that this was a place for families, the SWAT team directing us away should have been her first clue. If I could repeat the experience I wouldn’t. Terrifying to put it lightly.

A few days later I woke up with an extremely sore stomach, I’d chalked it up to it being that Time of the Month when females get a special little visitor. Special is what my Grandma called it. I now refer to it as the “Thank god I’m not pregnant, visitor” – I’m kidding, well, kind of. So that morning I was popping Extra Strength Advil, Tylenol, anything that is supposed to relieve pain. This was odd, nothing took the edge off. I got out of my PJ’s and threw on my comfy pair of jeans, as I was doing them up the button on them blasted across the room. My Mum laughed and said maybe I’d had a little too much street food, and would have to hit the gym when I got back home. I knew there was more to this. In some weird way it was a dramatic foreshadowing of what was to come.

That afternoon we were leaving to head home. We had to fly from NYC to Toronto with a 2-3 hour layover in Toronto and then fly to Calgary. I was popping pain pills like they were tictacs. My parents had no Idea how many pills I’d been taking until we landed in Calgary. When I was on the plane there was no pain, once I landed it came surging back like a knife being stabbed into your abdomen, repeatedly.But in Calgary, I felt normal, almost pain-free – I should have gone to the hospital then given the pain I’d been in, but didn’t. I waited 3 days before pain overcame my body, rendering me completely useless and unable to walk. My dad suggested I go lay down for a couple of hours and see how I felt when I woke up. My dad thought it was ‘just gas’ – how embarrassing if gas can bring that kind of pain. 4 Hours later my dad asked if he should call and ambulance. I said no to the ambulance but definitely time to head to the hospital. Where my parents lived was basically off a back road about 20 minutes outside of Cochrane, when I’d taken my sports medicine class a lady who was doing a presentation said “If you’re close to Cochrane go to the Emergency room there” We drove down a pot hole filled back country road with each bump pushing my pain limit beyond its previous set mark. We drove to Cochrane and there was no such thing as an Emergency Clinic. We high tailed it to Foothills Hospital.

Little did I know, this would be my home for the next month. After waiting in the triage, having a CT Scan, they’d come to the conclusion that my appendix had burst and it was only a matter of time before the infection spread through my blood, killing me. They told me when the pain stopped after my flight with only a nagging pain that it was then my appendix had likely burst. I went in for surgery that night, but I had no idea it was something you could die over. You know in movies where they wheel you on a gurney to a certain threshold where they then tell your family member that they can’t go past? I remembered saying goodbye to my Mum and signing a waiver that basically said “If you die, we aren’t held responsible” I literally had no idea that’s what it said, by that point I was so high on Morphine. The last thing I remember hearing before going under is “10…9…8..7…”

When I woke up I had no idea what planet I was on. I remember waking up and a guy in the bed next to me staring over his bed at me like he’d just seen a dead person come back to life. I then lost consciousness when my family arrived and woke up in a strange room with 4 other women with various issues. The only thing on my mind was getting some food because I was starving. I learned you can’t have food for like a few days when you’re post op, or at least that’s what happened for me. A few days turned into about 10, before I was allowed to have shitty chicken broth or beef broth with other disgusting soft – baby food like foods. I stopped eating all together. There were complications throughout my stay, like stomach bile needing to be pumped out through a tube that was out my nose, and abscess that needed to drained which resulted in another minor surgery to put a drain in.

The part that vividly sticks out in my mind is the medication I was on, literally made you shit yourself. As disgusting as it was, please see this like I do, hilarious. There’s absolutely nothing worse than ringing a nurse to tell them you couldn’t make it to the bathroom and as a grown up you made a god damn mess of yourself. I was then put into adult diapers for about 5 days, after the cowboys and indians finished their war against my bowels. I was so high on whatever I literally imagined this. Little cowboys and indians inside me just beating me up. Indian in the cupboard was a popular movie when I was a kid, so I imagine it had some influence. When you’re sick though you don’t give a damn, how you look, how you smell, nothing. You’re so god damn high on the good stuff and fresh oxygen being pumped through your nose you begin to question how people on the outside survive without it. At least I did.

Day 23: I hadn’t eaten, really anything. They decided to install a P.I.C.C. line into my arm. I was so exhausted from everything that had happened that I bawled my eyes out. It’s a pretty simple procedure but when you’re coming off meds, haven’t eaten, lethargic and just want to die, everything is pretty overwhelming. It’s a brand new level of low. I’d say I probably sunk into a deeper depression than before I’d gone to hospital. I’d viewed my depression as teenage angst and figured it was normal. Now I was over it. They performed the procedure and screwed up. It was supposed it hit a main vein to your heart so they can pump nutrients right to the source of delivery. Instead of re-doing the procedure they turfed the idea. I was then moved into a new room, supposed to be shared with someone else, but no one ended up joining me. During this time my mum was admitted to hospital with a ruptured appendix. It was the first time doctors had ever seen or had a mother and daughter in the hospital for the exact same issue. Personally i believe my mum wished it on herself. There’s only so many times a person can say “I wish it were me instead of her” before the universe makes it happen. She was in and out 5 hours after her surgery with no down time. I visited her that day, we did take a photo together, but it got lost in oblivion, or I’d show you. This was before Facebook and that so sharing it wasn’t an option.

I was soon released after my begging the Doctor only to be back in for another week 4 days later. I lost a total of 25 lbs. I originally weighed about 140  lbs. I was disgusting, 60% of my hair fell out, I looked like I was at Deaths door. I recovered at home before enrolling into summer school. As far as I’m concerned that’s about as close to being dead as I ever want to be, until the time comes for me to go. What I will say though, is through the chaos and mayhem there’s a peaceful sense of calmness in distress. I don’t remember being scared, i remember counting down and in my mind feeling completely at peace with whatever was to come my way. I hope dying is like that. I don’t think we should be scared of something we can’t control, but I hope its peaceful, calm and beautiful like being put under was for me. Waking up was like being ‘reborn’ in a way. I faced a major uphill battle in recovery, walking, gaining weight, having my hair grow back, I wore baseball caps for about a year and a half. We’re put through experiences to grow from them. I didn’t know my lesson then, but I know it now. No matter how low life takes us, we can bounce back.

Please for the love of God if there’s a pain you can’t explain, go to the doctor. I was fortunate. Many others before and after me aren’t. A 3 hour surgery took 5.5hrs to get all the infection out. My doctor joked and said I must be made of Iron, because an infection that bad should have killed me twice. I have a purpose in this life and so do you.

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Lets talk Houdini!

Hey all!

Its been a minute since I’ve written something, so here goes! The topic today is from an article I read about “ghosting” or better known as “The Houdini” I’m sure I have touched base on how absolutely shitty it is to be seeing someone for a little bit, and thinking “this is it! We’re headed toward a relationship!” for things to then just take a nose dive and never hear from them again. Have you ever experienced this? If you’re currently looking for prospects I’m willing to bet this has happened to you more than once. Or you’ve done it to someone else, right?

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done it, I have, but for good reason. Let me explain. I went out with this guy who knew me from somewhere and reached out to me through my Instagram, first date we went out to this Lavish restaurant and easily had a $400 meal. After the first date I wasn’t really feeling it, but a week later I agreed to date #2 just to confirm my doubts. Date number 2 was less Lavish, but definitely still expensive. He foot both bills, and refused to let me pay, so that was nice of him but way over the top. Then came obsessive texting, calling me beautiful and other strong affectionate words that were just a little too soon for starting out. Flattering? Yes. But far too much. I was doing a small renovation on my house over the course of the weekend, so really all my time was dedicated to its completion; no one wants to live in renovations so it is better to finish it and get it tidied. I clearly explained this to him and he repeatedly asked me to get together in the evenings when I was done. He just wouldn’t take no for an answer. I told him probably 10 times I was busy and would like to plan for during the week. With the obsessive texts repeatedly coming through after this, I finally made the decision to block his number, and I’ve never heard from him again. That’s my Houdini story!

But what got me thinking today while reading this article is the negative impact its having on people on the receiving end of it. I, myself know, that as soon as things appear to be going well, I brace myself for a Houdini because it has become somewhat expected. So I know that I’ve become kinda insecure, especially when I like the person, I retreat. I retreat not because of them, but because of what I think will happen. Clearly this isn’t good because as soon as I begin to withdraw, the pursuer is put off because they  think I’m uninterested, which in turn results in the famous disappearing act! No one to blame but me there.

BUT! As much as I self sabotage, I can admit that it isn’t because of me in every instance. Last summer I went out with this guy probably 8-10 times. Things were going great and I promised myself I wouldn’t back away and I didn’t, but he did. I didn’t come on too strong, I gave space, let him enjoy his weekend baseball tournaments or golf games – I get it, I like my freedom as much as anyone and definitely didn’t want to come across needy or overbearing. I will do occasional check in’s to see how their day is going, but I’m not asking for hour-long texts and a full updates. We had gotten together on the Friday night before his golf game, and things went well, no signs of anything being weird or disjointed and we had a great night of drinking wine and cooking. The next day he messaged me in the morning like normal, let me know he was golfing and I barely heard from him ever again. The following Monday he messaged saying something like “Hey, crazy weekend, sorry I didn’t get back to you ’til now.”  We messaged back and forth briefly, then the messages became spread out over hours, and then days, to nothing. Even when I asked what was wrong I go a message of “Nothing at all, we’re all good!” After that, that was it.

So now that I’ve shared a couple of examples of my giving and receiving of the Houdini I have to ask, why do people do it? I was clear in my first story why I did it, but what happened to being straight forward? Is facing what scares us most that bad? Is telling someone that you don’t feel a connection with them that painful, that disappearing is easier? I say it comes down to character and accountability. What they leave behind on a person won’t affect them, but it will affect their future relationships, arguments won’t be fought because its easier to walk away, issues won’t be resolved because its easier to shut them out and Insecurity will rise and despite the constant reinforcement from their partner it won’t ever be believed, all because of how things went in the past. It goes from “We’re all good” to Houdini, how can words be trusted? Now I don’t mean to point the finger and play blame game, because that is not my intention, there are people out there who handle their matters properly and will have successful relationships. We need to change what has become common practice. We owe it to ourselves, our future children and to others to stand up and speak up for what we don’t want. This Houdini bullshit needs to go.

Tell me in the comments or on Twitter when Ghosting happened to you or why you’ve done it to other people!

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Standards and sticking to them!

Its been a rough go, relationship wise, but I’m growing as a person and I’m happier than ever… Well, almost! Despite being happy with myself and my life there’s still a small sliver of unhappiness, specifically with romantic relationships. I’m usually one for more light hearted posts that are uplifting and happy but I’ve gotta be real.

Being a business owner who works crazy hours the dating pool is awfully hard. I’ve gone out with people looking for a quick hook up, or people who are so desperate for something that all standards and expectations are thrown out the window, and uh, no thanks.. This past week I met with a long time friend and the topic of relationships came up. He and I have a great relationship with insane chemistry but for the time being its just not in our set of cards. But like every card game, you’re given a new ones after each hand is over. So we won’t rule things out indefinitely but remain hopeful that one of us scores that Black jack when the time is right.

What is expected from a partner? I’ve been accused of having high standards “way too high” to be exact. But I know in my heart that I can’t waver from what I want. What is it I want? Someone who’s as driven, independent and passionate about their business. Business, not a 9-5 person (nothing against them) someone who understands that work doesn’t end at 5 o’clock, or work doesn’t end on a Friday. There’s some days I roll out of bed at 10am, I don’t want to be told “how lucky/lazy I am”, I work until 2 or 3 in the morning some nights. my life isn’t normal or standard. I need someone who’s outlook and ideas match mine, while being focused still makes time for whats important – outside of our respective business’.

I want a best friend who I can split a bottle of wine with and laugh about life, who’s passionate and excited about living, who doesn’t see hatred or negativity in other people but only the good. A person who accepts flaws and mistakes with kindness and forgiveness. A person you can lay next to and trust they have your back no matter what. I don’t need jealousy or resentment. I’m a social person when I’m not working, so finding someone to balance going out for a nice dinner or chillin’ on the couch with a movie is a huge must. I’m not into partying as much anymore but interested in riding out a solid buzz with people closest to me.

I really don’t think I’m asking for too much, and if you feel you have insane expectations or that you aren’t meeting the right people for you, don’t give up and don’t settle. Life is too beautiful and too short to settle for someone who doesn’t fit you. For the first time in my life I asked my dad for relationship advice. My dad’s words “Don’t worry about what they do, how tall they are, or what they do to make money. Find someone who’s morals and values match yours and that you both bring happiness into each others lives the rest will work itself out”

Turns out my dad is a pretty smart guy. Maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long to ask for help.

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Spring has sprung and you need a date… or do you?

Finally Spring is here! Not that we had a bad winter, but its nice seeing the trees start to bud, flowers starting to come out of the ground and birds singing their song! Its probably one of my favorite times of the year! I always see Spring as the time people come out of hibernation, and they are looking for a summer fling or maybe even something more serious. Whatever it is, I’m confident you’ll find it.

The common thing I’ve seen on Social Media recently is the juicy topic of dating! The complaint has been, that its difficult to meet someone, and I literally mean meet them. Day of cancellations or flakey people skipping out on dates, so what gives? What causes a person to bail after already agreeing and dedicating some time to text or converse with someone for a (couple) weeks or so to only bail on them last minute?

I’ve come up with a couple ideas for this reason, they aren’t 100% factual but lets say based on assumption combined with secrets those closest have shared with me. So here goes!

1:They like the idea of you, but aren’t actually into you . More of an attention thing, you’re probably filling some void for them, that constant need or want to engage with someone via text, I’m sure this is some social anxiety thing. Texting rates are much cheaper than anxiety meds, so you’re as good as it gets! 😉

2: They are so much cooler online. You know that song, right? Well, lets just say “So Much cooler in a virtual world.” These days with Social Media, dating sites and texting to start relationships, being so popular its pretty easy to showcase a life you want others to think you live. They could fear that they(or you) won’t come across as cool in person as whats going on via text. So when emotions are involved you best bet that they’re nervous. They may think that you think they’re fat, ugly, unintelligent, etc. that list goes on and on my friends, we all have that pressure, the want to be liked/loved by peers and that feeling is only heightened when it comes down to meeting someone who we might actually like!

3. Its not you its them. Seriously, If a person is that big of a loser to bail on your day of, or no show Why would you ever blame yourself for that? Hell Naw. You showed up, lookin’ fine as hell, this isn’t about you. Its them! Something inside their little head made their decision not to go out with you and thats cool! Let them rule themselves out so you don’t have to later.  I’m assuming you put some effort into looking sharp for your date, so if they no show on you at the restaurant or coffee shop, treat your self to your own dinner date or coffee. I suggest heading to the bar, where you can chat with other singles, or the bartender depending on how hard you wanna hit those whiskey sours. Maybe chat up the barista! Table for 1 doesn’t leave much opportunity for chit chat! Head to a spot that brings other solo people to the party.

4. Maybe its you. I mean this with all the kindness in the world. What I’m trying to say is perhaps you habitually go after the wrong people. When you go into an online dating situation with a piss poor attitude about it and complain that everyone on there is a flake, bitch, player, etc. Guess what you’re gonna get? The energy we put into things is what we get directly in return. So you need to dust off your pants, wipe away the tears from your last experience and give someone else a brand new slate. I’m serious, but the bad experiences behind you and focus on meeting someone so bitchin’ awesome that you’re already planning dates 5 and 6 before you’ve even gone on a second date. Its out there, trust me!

PS. If you’re using online dating apps and sites, try being charismatic. There’s nothing worse than talking to someone who seems disengaged, uninterested and someone who fires off one word answers. This is a no go zone! Don’t do it! Also be sure to say something interesting in your bio. If it lacks any creativity, fun, or interesting topics you’ll be swiped left on so fast! As for photos, try to avoid the group, “hangin’ with the homies” picture, because you could be Brad Pitt hanging with a bunch of Wilvin Harris’ and I am not about to take that chance. Be you! Authentically you. If someone doesn’t like who you are online, you sure as hell don’t owe it to anyone to explain why you are who you are.  Keep your chin up, smiles wide and enjoy the crazy course ahead! Happy Dating!

Are there any reasons you can think of that would cause someone to bail? Let me know!

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Love HURTS: FALLING for the Aussie

What’s up everyone! I’ve been writing a lot more frequently recently, which is good, I love to write, my head feels clear and I’m ready to share some silly stories and opinions with you again.

I’d like for this Blog to turn into something positive, something people can relate to or share a laugh with me over, so here goes!

For some reason people seem to like the dating stories I tell, so I’ll share with you the first time I ever tried to hit on a guy. Maybe not first, but probably most memorable story. Lets travel back in time to when I was 15 years old! It was December of 2004, I was on the Senior High school basketball team, for being a junior this was a pretty big deal. Our coaches had arranged for both a boys basketball team and girls basketball team from Australia to come over to experience Canada and basketball Canada. My family hosted two girls, while other families hosted the remaining boys and girls. There had been a bunch of exhibition games arranged so these folks could see what basketball was like in Canada, so since we were hosting these girls we attended all of their games. Of course young teenaged hormones were buzzing and of course the men were definitely on our radar. Well, one specifically was on mine. On one of our days off, we went to the Catholic High school to go cheer on the Aussie girls, were sitting in the bleachers watching the juniors play against the Australian girls team when one of the seniors on my team said to me “Cass, you should go talk to Dan (my crush) and maybe he can be your New Years Eve kiss!”

Being one to not back down from a challenge I decided to stand up and walk down the bleachers – if I recall correctly it was near the end of half time -Gym was back to being packed! So I make my way down the bleachers to the front row where he was sitting, but then out of nowhere I slipped on a patch of melted ice (now water) and eat it. My feet slipped from right under me and I wiped out, full body, America’s funniest Home videos style and ended up catching my fall with my ribs hitting the edge of the bleacher seat. Biggest Scene ever. To make matters worse, not only did he see, but my mum a few rows down saw all this happen and started laughing out loud, uncontrollably, along with the seniors who bet me to do it. I bolted right past him holding in tears of pain and embarrassment  and booked it to the bathroom. After I returned I went back to my spot and didn’t bother talking to Dreamy Dan, the seniors razzed me when I saying they’d never seen someone bolt from a gym so fast or We knew you liked him Cass, but you fell for hard and fast! Truth is, when you’re on the verge of tears, plus rocking embarrassment with the gym split laughing at you and wondering if you’re ok, you’re not faced with much of a choice.

For the rest of my Senior year anytime the girls saw me they’d reenact it with one girl flailing herself on the floor and then running 10 steps away. Thanks girls! But in all seriousness, I wouldn’t have traded that outcome for anything. Memories were made and occasionally my mum will still bring it up to laugh about. Love hurts, and don’t I Know it!

Have you had an embarrassing situation happen in front of your crush? Let me know in the comments!!

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Dating is HARD!

As you’ve read from some of my previous posts about dating I don’t date, well I do, but I don’t do it very well. That said over the course of Stampede I met a few men who I had the entertainment of chatting with and spending a bit of time laughing about how to date these days. I say “these days” like I had a better clue on how to date 10 years ago – which I didn’t. One day I woke up thinking, my sports career was over, my business has taken off, now it seems like a good time to add that special someone to my life. WAY EASIER SAID THAN DONE!

I’ll give you a bit more insight, I’m picky, and not picky in the sense of how you look, although some sexual attraction is required if we’re taking pictures together. Just kidding. Kind of – you have to be someone pretty damn special to be in my selfie, I have this shit down pat and its been a solo mission for a while. I’m “picky” (or have standards) in the sense that I want someone who has their shit together, has a job, has a career, goals and are on path to achieving them. I don’t do well with people who explain they’ve been through jobs yearly, still live with mom and dad or would rather smoke a bowl and get bombed every weekend than go out for a nice dinner or a hike. My current requirements are: 1) Breathing 2) Likes me 3) is committed to being in a relationship 4) Driven and stable 5) Fun, loving and down for travelling. I know these men exist, they are out there, I had the pleasure of meeting one or two and dating them for a while. Circumstances sometimes just aren’t in your favour and they end and thats cool.

While out on the town the last 10 days of Stampede I met several guys. A few older men – 40 and up, who were a mix of single and married, they are probably nice, but when you’re pushing 15-20 years my senior this isn’t going anywhere past a conversation. I’m bold sometimes so I asked them what they look for in a partner or what they found. One replied that he wants a girl with a mind for him to fall in love with first, then to be compatible and then to be inseparable, once that’s happened the sex flood gates will open and it’ll be an added bonus. I liked the answer. We both agreed that people are building a love/life pyramid upside down. Sex being the foundation, the trust, love and everything else being the peak. Good analogy as far as I’m concerned. +1 to the old dude.

Met some younger guys. This made me laugh out loud and want to cry at the same time. I went to the bar to grab a drink and this guy was standing there so I asked if he was enjoying himself and was this his First Stampede while we waited. The look on his face of pure elation and excitement was overwhelming for such a simple question. He said I was the first girl that had talked to him and avoided my questions all together. “Alright… Explain why thats so exciting for you?” I said. His response, and I swear to god its not made up… “You have no idea how hard it is to go up to and talk to a girl, they can be such bitches, you’re the first nice one I’ve met!” Uhm, talking to people is hard now? Well how in the hell did we get started talking? Babies learning to talk is hard, adults talking is not hard… Maybe its hard because they already have an end goal in mind, which can make the come across creepy or overbearing. Why not play it cool and get to know the gal first? I walked away, annoyed, after telling him small chat is often times more attractive to a girl than some lame pick up line/ ice breaker – would be for me. The other guy has no problem talking to girls, he was very smooth, which was also a turn off because I wondered how many times that’d worked for him with some other unsuspecting women. I left that guy alone after sharing a laugh or two and realizing his main objective wasn’t to get to know me, but to get to know ‘me.’

Guys my own age think its hard to talk to women and the old guys want girls with a head on their shoulders. Surely there has to be common ground somewhere? Surely there has to be some younger guys with old school tendencies where getting to know a girls head before her vagina is valued and sought after. I’ll keep looking and update you on my findings as they come.

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Everyone Belongs

This morning after waking up I checked my phone for any important emails or texts that I might’ve gotten while I was off in dream land, sourced out the closest location for a Free Stampede Breakfast. Jumped in the shower, got ready and headed to the DDRC Stampede Breakfast.(Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary) Upon arriving I noticed it wasn’t a typical Stampede Breakfast, there was a Welcome tent to the left, with a donation box and Stampede Volunteers to greet you, the crowd was a lot more smaller and intimate than any other breakfast I’d previously hit up, so much so I thought it was a private event. There were tons of smiling faces, people dancing, laughing and having a great time. After the volunteer slapped a wristband on me, I walked through the crowd of dancers to go score some breakfast and find a seat and devour the pancakes and get the hell of there. Attending events alone, sometimes you feel you’re on a pedestal for being a loner or whatever so I usually duck out of things as soon as I arrive to avoid my own uncomfortableness of the judgements I assume others are making.

As I sat down to eat my breakfast a man yelled to get my attention, he was waving his arms and hitting his shirt and pointing to mine. I was wearing a Keith Urban t-shirt from his concert I’d recently hit up. I asked him if he liked my shirt and he nodded enthusiastically. This man was mentally disabled and so the thrill of seeing a giant face of a celebrity/singer on my shirt was all too exciting. I told him he had excellent taste. He shouted back “I know, I know, good taste” While laughing and clapping his hands. I couldn’t help but laugh, there was an innocence but also such truth and conviction in his response. I then looked around and noticed that the people dancing were also Handicapped in their unique way, from Down syndrome to Autism to whatever their disorders were. I had not really paid attention to anyone else when I’d first walked in so this was my first moment to take in the rest of the spectators, which I then realized this was an event held at a Disabilities Centre, I hadn’t heard of it before so I was ignorant to what it was. Many of the folks who benefit from this organization were in attendance.

Instead of bolting after I’d finished I decided to stick around and watch, take in the crowd a bit, observe their interactions between each other, between their care takers and themselves. As I watched I saw the truest form of Love, compassion and living in the moment. I’ve recently read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, which speaks about living in the moment and up until then I never really saw anyone living in the moment. I scanned to the dance floor area, where there were several people busting a move to the best of their ability and enjoying the moment, smiling ear to ear and that’s when it hit me… These people were living in the moment, they didn’t care what others thought of them, so much so they were pulling bystanders into their dance group and encouraging them to dance, grabbing and shaking their arms like a marionette puppet and yelling “Dance!” while they enthusiastically shook their hips and fist pumped the air. It was a beautiful moment, and I can’t thank the Stampede breakfast Organizers for hosting such a wonderful, free event. I left the event so full of gratitude that I was able to see such happy people, to learn from others we assume we’re to teach them how to do things.

It dawned on me that my own mental self sabotage, caring about others seeing me attending the breakfast alone was so insignificant and so irrelevant. However you are, whoever you are, whether you’re in a group, or alone, Everyone Belongs. It wasn’t until I got home to take off the wristband that I realized “Everyone belongs” was printed on the wristband. I couldn’t agree more and love that this was the slogan or motto to the organziation.

I plan to approach the organization to Volunteer some of my time. They taught me a life lesson today and if they can teach me that in 30 minutes there is a plethora of information and life lessons that remain untaught. Please [click here] to learn more and It’d be so awesome if you could make a donation to this amazing organization! [Click here] to do so.

**Also, I apologize in advance if the descriptions or references to people offend anyone as causing offence isn’t my intention, at all.**

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