Of many faces.


Dear Readers,

It’s hard to admit when you have fallen short of yourself, or others. When you have lied, or made a mistake. It’s hard when you find yourself tying yourself in knots in an attempt to conceal some extremely deep rooted issue that you don’t know how to admit, resolve, or navigate.

Sometimes I feel like that is what recovery feels like. I feel it every day, on my bad days, and especially on my good ones. I feel it whenever I am fighting with the authentic version of myself to come out, but an other version of myself is out on full force, trying to protect myself and the people around me.

Recently, I’ve been on something of a journey. A spiritual awakening, of sorts, where everything I once knew has been completely challenged and there have been times where I feel like I’m becoming muddled in all of the uncertainty of figuring out who I am. I am never quite certain what people want or expect of me; the truth, I’m told. But I’m painfully aware of how my truth, in turn, actually hurts more people than I’d like it to.

So, how do we get it right? To an extent, I don’t believe we ever do. I believe we are multiple versions of ourselves all at once. We are the versions of ourselves that are required at certain points of our lives. The versions we need to be for the people we meet, and the version we need to be for ourselves. I have been a hero, a victim, a bully, a good person and a bad one- I am never quite sure of which is the right one, and part of me feels like all of them, equally, are exactly who I am and who I’d like to be.

I write this today, feeling stormy and enigmatic. After a bout of good days, I am faced with a bad one; my first one for a while. And on this bad day, I find myself seeking the answers to the questions I have not been honest with myself about all this time.

I guess in the end, all we can do is just try our best to be who we need in the moments we need it. All we can do is try to not let ourselves down, or let down those around us. All we can do is find our truth, and be careful with whom we share it.


Live everyday like it’s your…


Dear Readers,

Live everyday like it’s your last.

We’ve all heard it before. Many people use it as their mantra alongside “life is too short!” Or some such. Some have it plastered on their walls in their homes, or in their online personal bios. It’s become such a normal and engrained part of our identity, almost. Especially, during times of crisis or tragedy. I’m always reminded, somewhat, of this notion whenever someone very suddenly passes away or something dramatic happens in my life. I’m reminded to appreciate everyone and all of the little things, but if I’m quite honest, that’s something I do naturally, anyway.

If you know me, you’ll know how important it is to me that I show my appreciation for the people around me. It boosts their ego, it boosts mine. It is so important to me that people feel heard, validated…connected. It’s a habit I got myself into quite early, thankfully- but my trouble is finding likeminded individuals. That is until something drastic happens in their lives, that make them stop and think, Woah hold on…life is too short.

But bare with me, I’m getting ahead of myself. Although engrained in our society that we should live every day likes it’s our last, something just didn’t really fall into place for me, an overthinker. So, I done what I usually do, I tried to break it down in my own mind. Why was I having such a hard time with this? The answer seems very simple, so I’ll share it.

Instead of living every day like it’s our last, we should live every day like it’s our first.

Why? I hear you ask. The idea of living every day like it’s your last, to me, tells me that you’ve learned everything you’ve needed to learn. That you’re good. You know all you need, no more information is required. Not just that, but it’s an abandoment factor too. An abandoment of information, of experiences, of connections that fundamentally make us who we are as people. The kind of things that change us in groundbreaking ways and allow us to change those toxic traits we might have. Living like it’s your last, to me, feels redundant and dismissive of our lives up until this point, and thereafter.

Maybe that isn’t how everyone else sees it, maybe it’s just me, and that’s a strong possibility, but living every day like it’s your first opens up this beautiful sense of curiosity that we lose when we expect our lives to cease to exist the very next day. And to me, that curiosity is so important for my every day life, because I never wish to pretend like I know it all, I absolutely don’t. There are still lots for me to learn and I am eager to learn them, but I don’t feel I can do that if I’m rushing to check off my bucket list every day, or if I’m being selfish every day, or if I’m refusing to take a look around and absorb everything that life has to offer like a sponge.

And look, I know as much as the next guy that life can be tough, and it can be hard to want to wake up like that every day, because it isn’t realistic. But to me, neither is the blanket ignorance to how we can make our lives as fulfilling as possible, without worrying about the consequences to follow- not to say that people who identity with the “last day” philosophy are like that. I’m not suggesting we revert back to babyhood when words and language and sentiments meant sweet nothing to us; but think of every day as the birth of the you that exists today. Can you take what you learned yesterday, limit your expectations for this day and just see what happens as a fresh and clean slate?

So, my friends, don’t end your chapter where you are. Don’t rush to write it too, just live each day like a fresh new page in your beautifully complex story.


I’m Going Through Changes.


Dear Readers,

In the very wise words of a wise 13 year old, is there anything good about being a woman? I’m assuming by now that the world will know about the show Big Mouth, if not, please check it out. It’s not necessary for this blog, but it ties it together quite nicely.

I want to talk about something today that I feel doesn’t really get addressed often. Or at all, actually. Something myself and many other woman I know personally, have had to figure out on their own, very frustratingly, might I add. It’s about the female body. *gasp* If you are at all offended by the subject of the female body, then see yourself out.

By now, you’ll all know where I stand on being a woman in the fitness industry, how I feel about it, my own struggles with body confidence throughout the year and how I really feel about working out. A lot of subject matter already covered, I know, but it’s something I talk openly about.*

*Please check out my blog post “I don’t want to go to the gym”for reference.

But something I’m noticing lately due to how happy I am to talk about such issues, is how completely shaken up woman are about the changes in their bodies as they get older. The thing is, we’re taught in school at a young age that our bodies change when we go through puberty. Puberty, as I remember, was a confusing and truly horrible time of change and confusion regarding things about my body and mind. It was terrible, I’m sure it’s terrible for everyone, but when you’re a woman you get the pleasure of bleeding once every month. As if that isn’t bad enough, you have atleast two weeks on one end of that where you feel like trash. It’s quite terrible. With that knowledge, we also know quite commonly about menopause when we get older. The hot flashes, weight gain, or maybe weight loss, changes in sexual drive, changes in preferences, changes in appearance. It’s basically just a life of change.

A life of change.

It doesn’t stop with those two, ladies. Unfortunately, so. What happens in the middle, I hear you ask? Allow me to explain as best as I can. When I was 22 years old I entered into a wonderful relationship to a man who is now my husband. After the first year I started noticing some unusual things happening to my body. My weight hadn’t particularly fluctuated outside of the normal relationship weight I experienced at the beginning, but I was noticing my composition completely changing when I was looking in the mirror. I remember feeling ashamed of how I looked as I noticed stretch marks that hadn’t been there before, and my boobs all but doubled in size. Was I pregnant? I remember asking myself when my cravings for foods began changing from my norm, to something else entirely. I wasn’t pregnant, as it turned out, so what was happening to me?

I decided the best thing for me to do was to ask a medical professional, and so I did. My moods were changing too, I told my nurse as she examined me. She measured my dimensions, took my weight, my blood- but to no avail. Nothing seems to be wrong, she told me. She wasn’t worried about my health after all I discussed with her. Are you on birth control? I was. Maybe come off for a while and see how it goes, so I did.

When I went back to see her again I was as frustrated as ever. Nothing seemed to be changing, but she had a whole new revelation for me to consider. She explained to me how a woman’s body tends to change during this period of our lives, it’s different for every woman, but it happens.

Over time I began to understand what she meant. I had noticed these changes around the time I start seeing my (now) husband as someone I wanted to have children with. Over time, my mind started communicating with my body to tell it that “I was ready” even though at the time, I wasn’t. It was just something I considered. The thing is, as sophisticated as the communication between our body and mind is, it also lacks a very important element of communication, it doesn’t consider outside factors, personal preferences or what we actually desire in life. Biologically speaking, regardless of you wanting children or not, your body doesn’t really know that, so it just assumes you do, and changes for you. Thanks, body.

Look, you can fight against social norms and standards and you can fight for your right to make a decision for yourself, as a woman, man or a member of this world, but you can’t fight against biology- it’s the only thing we have that really fucks up a good idea. But that’s just it…our bodies change. And they keep changing. Over and over. Like a cycle of annoyance and frustration. But it doesn’t have to be that way; it could be a cycle of acceptance and love if we just let it. I’m just as frustrated at my body as the next gal, but who of us aren’t? I think it’s about damn time we give ourselves a break. Stop talking about diets, stop talking about the gym, stop talking and clothing labels. Just stop. No one cares apart from you. We live in a world obsessed with size and numbers, yet we aren’t obsessed about learning about why all of that might be.

We should be encouraging our children to understand this. If I had this knowledge at a younger age, I might have been able to better prepare myself for what’s to come. But instead, here we are, I only learned at the ripe age of 25, and to me I feel like that’s unacceptable. It’s just as important to learn about our bodies and the way they change as it is to learn about safe sex, in my opinion. Especially with such a rise in body dysmorphic disorders and eating disorders and just general mental illnesses. We should be learning how to love our ever changing body.

I’d be absolutely kidding myself if I ever thought I was going to look the same as I did when I was 19- because the truth is I never will. And neither will you. But for goodness sake, that doesn’t make you any less beautiful.

It doesn’t. I promise you.

So ladies, embrace your body for all that is, all that it was and all that it will be. It’s the only one you have! And reach out to our fellow sisters to teach them to do the same! By all means, live an active and healthy life, but don’t grow to resent your body as a result. Shit changes, it’s not a reflection on you as a human being and if you think it is, sit yourself down and have a long thing.

Stop this comparing and contrasting to old pictures that popped up on Facebook, and stop letting people pass comment on your looks like it’s the only thing that matters. Maybe even stop passing comments on how other people look, too. You’re all badass. You’re all beautiful and you deserve to shower yourself with compliments and love.

Your friend,

Caitlin xo

Finding Ourselves.


Dear Readers,

Generally, I hate the term “finding yourself”. I think it’s such a boring cliche; mainly bred out of the fact that this is something that us humans force upon ourselves as we grow up. We’re taught to throw ourselves into the unknown, out of our comfort zones, our own space, in order to become completely aware of who we are.

I think it’s a cliche because it’s the one sentiment people throw at me when they discover that I’m a 25 year old who just re-learned how much she loves to paint.

Have you found yourself, then?

My answer to this question is both yes and no, but for different reasons. The thing is, something I believe very profoundly is that we are never sure of ourselves and I think to a point, we’re probably never going to be. We are curious and anxious and emotional beings who seek out this cataclysmic sense of purpose in order to get a feel of who we are. What if, you are who you have always been, all along, but who you are evolves as you grow? The idea of finding yourself, to me, reeks of stagnant motion. Our society lures us in with this seductive promise that we can figure out who we are, and once you do, you can just stop trying. Right? I think that’s fairly reductionist to the growth of human evolution in every way. We should and DO learn new things about ourselves every day. We relearn new things that our past self has maybe buried away or forgotten, and as much as it’s annoying to get a glimpse of an epiphany at the age of 25 when the answers have lived within you all this time, I think it’s also important to recognise that maybe the answers were buried away before for a purpose. Maybe in order to grow, we had to abandon parts of ourselves so we could indulge them again at another time. Maybe we weren’t ready to get to where we are before? If that’s the case, I’d personally love to stop being so angry at myself for feeling like I’m absolutely responsible for “denying myself the truth” and just accept that maybe that wasn’t always my truth, because it’s possible that something else, at the time, was.

Which brings me back to my first point. I don’t think we’re ever going to sure of ourselves. I think our life will continue to be full of uncertainty, curiosity, resentment and confusion alongside all of that wonderful things we feel and bring to the table. We aren’t designed to just be. Humans are eternally complicated being’s- the idea of just finding yourself and that being it, indicates your story is over. We are fed this idyllic tale that we need to search deep for our true purpose, but I personally feel like that purpose will always waver. It will change, with time, and with us. We are a collection of multiple purposes all being ignored because we’ve found that one.

So, friends…forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for all of the lies you fed to yourself about not being true to yourself. Forgive yourself for all of the things you deemed as a mistake, because at the time it was exactly what needed to happen. Forgive yourself for the future changes that will happen in your life, steering you away from the one thing you found before. Forgive yourself for falling into this trap of believing your purpose is linear. Forgive yourself now, forgive who you were and forgive the different variations of people you are yet to become. Forgive the chaos and forgive the peace.

Just forgive yourself.


Nothing Fits.


Nothing fits


It hangs, it sags

It doesn’t understand

Where I’m at.

It asks questions

That I understand too much

But not enough to care.

It disconnects

From my bones,

My minds empties

My words are lost

Because nothing’s fits

My life

And I don’t fit it, either.

“you’re suddenly different” it cries

And I believe them

For a time

Until I realise

There’s nothing sudden about it

I’ve been this way

All along;

I’ve never fit


I don’t want to go to the gym.


Dear Readers,

I don’t want to go to the gym. I don’t even want to work out. Today, this week. I’m just not feeling it. The thing is though, over the past (I want to say) five or ten years, the fitness industry has absolutely exploded, but not necessarily in the best ways. The fitness industry prays on our insecurities and our percieved flaws that we think we have. It prays on an unhealthy mind to make it even unhealthier by pretending to make it healthy. And I’ll be honest with you, I used to buy into it. Big time. I was obsessed with my fitness, my body, how I looked, the gym… You name it, I was obsessed. But one thing I was never obsessed about was actually my health, which is surprising considering it seems the two should absolutely come hand in hand. Right? A couple of years ago, I would have absolutely destroyed myself for even daring to not want to work out, but it was simply because I’d managed to convince myself, and the media managed to convince me, that not working out meant I would lose all of my progress over night. Which is absolutely barbaric, but do you know how long it takes to get out of the mind frame? A damn long time, that’s how long.

Here’s the truth. Unless you are a competitive athlete or training for a sport, working out should be for two purposes: to improve your overall health and to improve your overall well-being. But that’s just one person’s opinion (or is it…). I spent a lot of my youth convincing myself that I wanted abs and big muscles, but when you really get down to it… What purpose do abs and big muscles actually serve to my life? I want to be a trained counsellor one day, a profession that requires absolutely zero muscle tone. I’m genetically pale skinned and I don’t really tan, I hate the beach and I’m not a summer person. What does a bikini body prove if I’m just hiding it under clothes that I’d rather wear? I’m also not a model. I’m not a fitness model, nor do I work in the fitness industry. I’m not an athlete and I don’t play a sport, so if I’m being perfectly honest and stripping it all down to the basics, what the fuck do I need abs and big muscles for? So I can take the occasional selfie and/or remind people I have them and become pretty conceited? I understand everyone has their own personal goals and I respect and understand that, but I don’t need abs or big muscles to, first of all, impress people I don’t care about and secondly, to prove that I work out. I’m fit. I know that I’m fit- my physical endurance is pretty damn good, which will suit me well whenever I get chased by a pack of wolves, I’m sure. But here I was, driving home from work and feeling bad about not wanting to work out, because I didn’t work out yesterday… I mean, if I had someone in the passenger seat beside me who said that to me, you can guarantee that I’d have set them straight and told them that’s not a very good way of thinking about things, it’s unhealthy bla bla… So the fact that I can barely owe myself that same courtesy is absolutely horrifying.

Above being fit, I’m healthy. I’m healthy because I’m happy. Shock horror, believe it or not… It actually matters. Not how you look, because ultimately at the end of the way, it doesn’t matter what you look like. What matters is that you’re a good, decent, sincere person with a healthy mind and body, at least that’s what matters to me. I was having a similar conversation with a friend recently after I told him that I used to beat myself up in school for being “bigger” than the other girls and he said to me:

“Who cares? Going to the gym doesn’t mean anything. In my opinion, I think it’s about nutrition, if we want to get into that, but outside of that… What defines you as a person? I think that’s what matters. How you look should only matter to a select chosen few that you wish to see the gift that you posses with your body. Fitness is merely the wrapping paper, but everything else? Now that’s the gift ”

And my friend, who shall remain anonymous, is absolutely correct. You are a gift. I am a gift. We are all gifts and we all deserve to see ourselves that way. At the end of the day, who are you working on yourself for? Because your answer should tell you if you’re doing all of this for the right reasons or not.

I’m 24 now, and I know what my answer is.

Habit vs Addiction


Dear Readers,

I came off Facebook about a month ago. I’d been fighting with myself for some time about coming off it eventually, but I always made an excuse. My biggest excuse being that I live 3000 miles away from my family and friends and I “needed” it to stay in touch. I know exactly what triggered this, I won’t get into it here, but one day I started feeling this intense disconnect from my online presence versus my physical one. I started wondering where the people in my life would be or find themselves, if I wasn’t online anymore. It no longer was an issue of needing it to keep these people around, but instead a reason to prove I didn’t need that clutch in my life.

Anyway, bla bla, as pretentious as that sounds, I came off Facebook. Frustratingly, though, Facebook has this feature where you tell them WHY you’re deactivating your account. A list of options from “I don’t really use Facebook” to “I spend too much time on Facebook and need a break”. But. Upon clicking on that option, I found out that the maximum I can delete my account for was seven fucking days*. Seven days. That was it. I remember feeling a slight panic thinking I’ll be right back to square one after seven days, so why do it? But I did.

*My profile since reactivated itself but I’ve been on it maybe twice.

Before doing it, I ensured to give my number out to people who asked for it after finding out I’d be deactivating my account. Some people asked me to keep the messenger feature app of Facebook (because you can still keep it without your account) so that they could stay in touch. So, I agreed. So I deactivated my account and waited. For what? I waited for the intense feeling of lonliness to kick in. Or some kind of longing to feel connected to the world. But it never really came, I was instead met with this overwhelming relief that I no longer felt like I had to maintain a presence; which is absolutely bizzare. I didn’t realise how much of a front I put up until I actually no longer needed to. And as cliched as I am going to sound, I picked up a damn book for the first time in weeks and read it without feeling like I needed to tell the world about it. I ate my meals without feeling like anyone needed to see it. I would do my make up in the morning without feeling like I had to show everyone. And most importantly, because this was always my coping mechanism, whenever I had a bad day; I just let myself have one. Before, I felt like everyone needed to know, and I didn’t realise that until I didn’t have the option there. When I came off Facebook, I actually felt more connected to myself and to the world than I’d ever felt. And despite a very small handful of people who actually made use of my number or email address, I barely heard from anyone. Especially the ones who asked me to stick around; they suddenly fell into cyberspace. I fully expected myself, given my relationship with rejection, to really be affected by that but I wasn’t. I just kind of accepted it. I’m not a stone cold monster, because obviously that sucks and you start thinking about what your relationship to these people would be without a (non)social platform that we use to “connect” with people. But then it hits me, that those aren’t the kind of relationships you want in your life anyway, right? The kind of relationships I want with people exist outside of comments on profile pictures and likes. It exists completely out of sharing memes (however absolutely hilarious and accurate they may be) and it exists outside of telling me how much they love my Facebook posts. I want my relationships to mean more than that; I feel like I owe myself more than that.

The thing is, social interaction is absolutely wonderful. Sometimes, it drives me utterly bonkers and I want to bash my head against a wall, but we’re social beings. We’re supposed to encounter people in our everyday life and we’re supposed to relish in that. We’re supposed to feel disdain, anger, fear- they help us grow, we shouldn’t avoid them. And I don’t know about you, but human interaction has suddenly become the most important part of my day. Telling someone how I feel about them to their face is probably my favorite thing in the world, and it always has been. I can’t understand why I stopped doing that for so long, I never realised I did. I spent so much time commenting on pictures instead of telling someone something to their face. Its much better, far more rewarding. Now, I’m not preaching anything right now, this is merely my own experience and opinion, but I simply don’t know if I remained a part of the online world out of habit, addiction or if I wanted to be where everyone else is. It makes sense, because a Facebook-less life, as much as I enjoy it, is a hella lonely and sparsely populated one, but it allowed me to reconnect with my roots a little bit. Now, what I’m doing may not be the most popular option among my peers, but I think this is exactly what I needed.

I needed to see who was willing to remain in my life. Who would be willing to (god forbid) send me an email. A text. CALL me, whenever they wanted to know what was up. Facebook made me lazy. I forgot about the other countless ways you can actually stay in touch with people outside of it. And as much as letter writing seems to be a dying art (LAME) so has texting. When I deactivated my account, I noticed that apart from my fiance (and obviously my family back home) that I rarely got a text from people. Had people forgotten how to use their phones?

The lesson, though, was this; you should be the most important person to you. Your family, loved ones…yes, important to. But you? Are god damn important and you should, nay, you NEED to put yourself first. And if that means removing yourself from a situation in order to grow or realise what enhances your life compared to what doesn’t, then do it. Facebook held me back socially. I missed out on so much, while being tricked to think I was a part of all of it. But it also held me back from interacting with people in real fucking life. Go to the pub, get a drink with a total stranger and just talk shit for hours. It my work out, it may not; but fuck it, you tried. Go get coffee with your family if they live nearby. Cook dinner for your friends. Engulf yourself in atleast one conversation without mentioning Facebook, I dare you. Just exist outside of your phone, your computer, cyberspace…you’re not a robot, so don’t be one. Pay someone a compliment without feeling like you need your ego stroked in return. Just be present.

And when you do, you can thank me later.

Size Hero.


Dear Readers,

Allow me to speak quite openly and frank about something. By this point, if you follow my blog, you’ll be well aware of my mental issues over the years, if not, full disclosure: it’s been one heck of a ride. So here’s the thing, in 8 months I will be marrying the love of my life. A time we can all agree, is and will be a very happy one. 2018 will probably kick every other years ass, for obvious reasons. But on that topic, I’d like to share that since getting engaged, the most common questions I’ve heard regarding my wedding dress are:

“Will you be trimming down for the gown?”

“Will you maybe pick up running rather than weight lifting so you don’t look too muscular on your wedding day? Its not very feminine”

“What’s your wedding diet going to be like?”

You get the picture, right? So here’s my concern, why is that the kind of questions we are asking brides to be? Why is the size of their dress absolutely imperative to their wedding, or even, their marriage? What’s it to you? This grinds my gears on many levels, but I’d like to explain something to you, readers.

In 2013/2014 I was between 110-115lbs, easy. And those 5lbs on either side of that would taunt me so much. When I was in university, I developed a gluten intolerance that came on due to high levels of stress. At this time, I started to lose a ridiculous amount of weight very quickly, during which I started getting approached by people who would tell me stuff like:

“This is the best you’ve ever looked!”

“Oh my god, look how thin you are! What’s your secret?!”

“You look AMAZING! Keep it up”

According to everyone, when I was that small, it was the best I’d ever looked. I discovered that due to my gluten intolerance, whenever I ate gluten, my body wouldn’t absorb it and so I would lose rapid amounts of weight at a very dangerous speed. Whenever I heard people telling me how “amazing” I looked, I’d ultimately convinced myself that before I must have looked awful. This became the fuel to my rapidly growing fire. I couldn’t stop, I wouldn’t stop. It was the only time I received some kind of positive recognition and I began to really desire it. I needed it. I wanted more, and so it seemed, that the more weight I lost, the more approval of recieved from others. My peers, my friends, my family. At this time, I couldn’t bring myself to understand what I do now, and that is why did no one see how unhappy I actually was? How unwell I was? I had convinced people for so long that I was okay whenever asked. Are you eating enough? My brother would ask. Yes! I’d tell him, my mother backing me up, because she’d seen me scoff food down. Only because I knew I was eating, I was just eating what I knew my body wouldn’t be able to absorb. Pretty genius, right? 

When you’re in this state of mind, you start believing what people are telling you. And you start believing the justifications you give to yourself about why you’re doing this. When your boyfriend at the time tells you he couldn’t be with anyone who was “fat” or “big” you start believing that the only way your worth is truly valid, is by the size of your body. So the only possible explanation is to take up more time at the gym, 5 days a week, because 3 wasn’t enough anymore. People started telling you how healthy you looked, even though your insides were tearing themselves apart and you felt violently ill every day during that time. You wouldn’t tell them how much pain you were actually in because your body was rejecting itself, because that would take away the beautiful image that you now are to other people. 

Looking back, I can’t believe how much I’d hurt myself just to be desirable. I look at my body now, full of scars, both invisible and visible and wonder why it took me so long to recognise that what I was doing wasn’t healthy. But most importantly, why other people thought it was. I look back at pictures of myself and it takes everything I have not to cry, because I look so unwell and so unhappy. It breaks my heart. It took a very long time for me to recognise the error of my ways. A very long time. I refused help for the longest time, but my best friend approached me one day and poked my in the ribs, I flinched away feeling a bit spooked that she’d done that. When she finally asked me if I was okay, I realised I wasn’t. She had been very concerned for a long time because I hadn’t been me, and the relief that fell over me when someone told me something other than how amazing I looked because I was thin. 

It took me a LONG time to get back on track. I started eating very carby meals and drinking protein shakes to gain weight, but when nothing seemed to work, I turned to the gym. Not to lose weight, but to gain muscle. It was the only thing that worked.  I soon became defined and muscular, my body started to absorb the food I was eating and all of the gains were going back to the right places. For the first time in years I felt good about myself. People would pass comments about lifting weights, asking if I was afraid of looking too manly or too bulky or something along those lines. I recieved much less recognition for choosing to better myself than I did when I was thinner. And I’ll be honest, that fucked with my head a little bit. It seemed backwards and messed up that instead of celebrating health, we celebrate the complete opposite because it doesn’t align with our standards. Readers, it wasn’t an easy ride. There are times where I long to be that 115lb girl again, who wore tiny clothes and had ribs poking out because people thought I was beautiful back then, and it takes everything I have to shake and remind myself of how far I’ve come and how much healthier I am, mentally and physically.

So here’s my point. Whenever anyone asks me about my size for my wedding dress, I completely freeze. And for a second, I go back to that girl I was all those years ago. That tiny, unhealthy, mentally ill girl who thought losing weight was the only way she would be seen in this world. I think about her in regards to who I am now, and there are times where I struggle between working on who I am now, or going backwards. I’ve since gained the weight back, and I still lift weights because it makes me feel like a million dollars. I feel on top of the world because of how strong I am. I feel shame whenever I am asked if I plan on taking less room on my wedding day, because this has been one heck of a journey for me. And it still is. Could I stand to lose a few pounds? Probably, no one is perfect. But why should it be the sole focus of my big day? I don’t want to look back at photos of myself and see myself through the lense of how others want to see me. I want to look back and notice how happy and healthy and beautiful I am in my own skin, because for the first time in my life, that’s where my head is at. Its taken me so long to get here. MY POINT IS, and yes there is one, is that before you automatically go to ask someone about their weight loss plan for their wedding, maybe ask yourself some questions. Is that really important to me right now? Why do I care? And also, consider who you are asking. This bullshit “size matters” world we live in is exhausting enough as it is. Just let engaged people enjoy being engaged. And to put anyone’s mind at ease, I plan on looking hot as fuck for my wedding, no matter what size I am. But I also plan on being ridiculously happy that I’m marrying my soul mate that I likely won’t even care. And that’s the ultimate goal.

Here Comes the Light.


Dear Reader

Today, marks the one year anniversary since I moved to Canada. I’ll admit, it was a lot different than I thought it would be, a lot harder, a lot more emotional and much more of a challenge for me. Before going, I told myself I’d blog about my time over here, compare it to life back home and what not. But I’ll be honest with you, I put it off. Not because I was out there having the time of my life in a new country, no. I put it off because this past year changed me in the most profound and unexpected way. Of course, before it could do that, it led me down a fairly dark road and I feel like it is my duty, as a blogger, as a writer, as a person who has moved country, to share my experience now- to actually answer the most common question I get asked since moving here.

So, how are you liking Canada?

Nothing against Canada, but I absolutely hated it when I got here. I loved and I hated it. Canada is a beautiful country, don’t get me wrong. Full of wonderful and not so wonderful people. Full of colour, culture, nature, wildlife, diversity, beautiful landmarks and scenery and wonderful cider. But Canada is also the place that I discovered some very unexpected things about myself, so the relationship I hold with Canada is a very unusual one. Canada is the place I fought to find myself and the place in which I did. It is the place that I grew to be the person I am today- I’m not saying I’m done growing, but it’s definitely been a good start.

I remember when I moved here, I was so eager to get myself involved in everything I could in a bid to feel normal again. I wanted to look for work, I wanted more than one job, I wanted to find friends, I wanted to join a gym. I wanted to do anything I could to make this transition as normal as possible. I laugh now at how naive that was, because nothing could have made this easy and I’m certainly glad for that (now). The truth is, I have spent a lot of time on my own since getting here. With everyone’s life resuming as normal and mine being completely new, I was alone a lot of the time. I was alone in my own head, which was both the best and worst thing that could have happened to me. In that alone time, I found out a lot about myself, more or less, what my strengths and weaknesses were. But I discovered how to be independent and most importantly, how to trust myself. I became my own ally, friend and confidante. In the times I would seek out friendships, I ignored the relationship I had developed with myself which I have only just discovered, one year later, how important that actually was.

I made the mistake of thinking that coming to Canada would be me escaping all the bullshit and hard times I’d experienced over the years. The heartbreak, the depression, the dark days that stretched on into weeks, months. The feelings of being lost, the feelings of being stuck. I thought I could escape that, but little did I know, how far from the​ truth that was. I mean yes, there is something cathartic about literally flying away from it, but I was in such a rush to start my life over, and i soon discovered there’s no such thing as starting over. What I need to start appreciating is the idea of taking whatever crap I’ve endured and learning from it. Painting over all the ugly parts of it, and recycling for way more than it’s worth. I learned to use that shit to help myself, but also to help other people. One of the hardest things about moving country as an adult is having to make friends as an adult. I had never considered the idea of having to do that. Not because I thought I’d never have to make friends again, but it’s so different being in the country you were raised in. Because somewhere along the lines, people know something about you, so you’re hardly a stranger to anyone, and it’s just so…simple. But you move 3000 miles away, and you’re a stranger to everyone. And yourself. You have to start again, this means not assuming people know a damn thing about you, other than the fact you’re fresh off a plane from Scotland. People want to know your heritage, your culture, your language, why you’re here. And in answering those questions, you divulge, ever so subtly, information about yourself in a hope that people might want to be your friend. I found myself this past year being unbearably clingy when it came to making friends. I was extremely eager, which came at a cost. You either impress people, or you don’t and you start again, going over where you think you went wrong, and trying another method.

That’s just the thing about everything here, though. I have never had to think about things and how I do them in the way that I have since moving here, ever in my life. Whether it’s how I say things, how I don’t say things, how fast or slow I’m talking, my views on certain topics, my facial expressions, my language awareness. Everything. And let me tell you, it is fucking exhausting being constantly aware of absolutely everything that you say and do. The only difference now, is that I don’t care so much about coming off differently. Because I realised that at first I was so eager to become a Canadian that I kind of lost myself along the way. If anything, moving to Canada has shown me and proved just how proud I am of my culture, my background, my home country. So, little by little, in among the offense I apparently caused to the wrong kind of people, and the language barriers, and the fact that everything seemed to get lost in translation, you do meet people who actually encourage you to be exactly as you are and to not change for anyone. This was the point that I actually started developing relationships with people. Meaningful ones, rather than trying to be friends with anyone and everyone. My first year in Canada was an act of desperation to be seen, to fit in and for things to just fall into place…and among all of that, I am so thankful to have learned about myself in ways that I wouldn’t have considered. 

Canada made me sad for a year because it wasn’t familiar. It was scary and new, and I was homesick and depressed and unable to talk about it because I was afraid that people would think I was being ungrateful. What an amazing opportunity wasted on days in bed bawling my eyes out because of how new and overwhelming everything was…how new and overwhelming everything still is. So rather than telling people “it’s so great being here!” I started doing the unimaginable, and telling people how I really felt. And when I did, the most amazing thing happened…compassion, empathy…a complete acknowledgement of how fucking huge this transition is and how no one, apart from myself, expected it to be easy. I don’t regret a thing about how I went about handling it, because in the darkness, I did find light. As cliched as that might sound. I was warned, from all angles just how hard this would be for a while, but I thought…nah, I’m different. My experience will be different, but was it fuck. I’m no different from anyone who has ever moved country, it doesn’t make me special or exclude me in some kind of way, which was almost disappointing because it would have been cool to have been different, but that’s just my ego talking. What I’ve learned (also), is that we should stop avoiding the human experience. It is rough, and it’s brutal. But it’s also magnificent, and we should learn to find beauty in the collateral in whatever ways we can, and in that beauty we should start listening to what we learn from it; because that’s the difference between knowledge and ignorance.

I guess you could say that this move did not go exactly as I had planned. There were days where I just wanted to jump on a plane without telling anyone because I just wanted to see and talk to my parents and laugh with my best friends about really stupid stuff that Canadians didn’t quite understand because the language is different, and there was times where I wasn’t quite sure why I didn’t leave. But however few and far between they seemed, I was glad I didn’t give up, because the peace within myself I have found as a result of that is something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, not even the hard parts. I am not a perfect person, and I still get anxious about being here and it does affect my ability to function on a daily basis sometimes, but I’ve learned to give myself the time I need to come to, and bring myself out of it because it too, will pass. I just have to keep believing that I will continue learning, not only about myself, but about the country I can now call home. I feel very lucky to have two countries that are very close to my heart, but mostly I’m lucky that I realised that’s it’s completely okay to consider two countries my home. It doesn’t make me selfish, its just realistic.

Thank you, Canada, for giving me the best and the absolute worst year of my life. It’s been some fucking ride.