Saturday, December 31, 2016

where do we begin

since 2016 was such sheer and utter balls, i've noticed a lot of people on social media detailing some good stuff that happened to them in the year past. it's all subjective, i know, and for many of us our positives come from a place of comfort and privilege, but sometimes you just have to find the things that make you happy.

here's positive stuff that happened in 2016 for me to be thankful for:

1. i got a job. i could have hopped out of the freelance life a lot earlier than i did, but to be honest, i didn't think i'd find work i actually enjoyed with colleagues that i liked. it seemed like the exception rather than the norm, and i was doubtful i'd luck out. fortunately, i absolutely did - i love where i work now and i love my colleagues as well. everyone is so awesome, and i'm super excited to get to work on some big stuff in the coming year. it's not even hyperbole for me to say that at least a few times a week, i just feel grateful that i landed this job. full-time job security for 2017 is a big win.

2. i got more into wrestling outside of wwe. this was a bit of surprise to me, because i didn't think it was going to happen. i was pretty happy just caring about the 'e and not getting invested in any other promotions - it was all just too much to get involved with. but it's amazing how your capacity for interest can grow, and mine really took off once i got into ring of honor. from there, i subscribed to the fight network, and ended up tuning in for tna as well. then, buoyed by my newfound and growing non-wwe knowledge, i started going to indy wrestling shows here in toronto. while i still love wwe first and foremost, it's the balance that also helps, and the depth of interest and knowledge that expands beyond what's most popular.

3. i got into ddp yoga. i ordered the dvd set back in july, and i'm still keeping up with the program now. it's been a real godsend for me on the days when i don't want to bother dragging my ass to the gym, and it's helped my garbage knees feel a least a bit better. it feels especially good to stretch out and get flexible after sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. also, bonus: i've really noticed that my arms and legs are much more defined. it might not be a 30-day bodyshred or whatever, but it's a good habit to keep up over time. (plus ddp is an awesome motivator and a super cool yogi)

4. i got more into makeup. i mentioned in the last blog post that i never thought i'd be a "handbags and lipstick" kind of girl, but here we are now - not only do i own three stunning leather bags, but i have a growing collection (and appreciation) of lipsticks. plus, having a steady job also means i can afford to upgrade my drugstore stash, which means i made all kinds of solid beauty discoveries in 2016 (chief among them being the absolutely perfect matte red of make up for ever's m401 hot red by icona pop, and the gorgeously gothy oxblood lip of bite beauty's amuse bouche in liquorice). i feel like this, in turn, is really tying into my being more comfortable with myself and my identity as i move from my "20's look" to my "30's look". it's a huge piece of it, for sure.

5. i got through another year with everyone being okay. "everyone" being my family, friends, and loved ones. as i've been writing about recently, i'm really beginning to notice the fragility of people as we all age, and i'm constantly feeling thankful that everyone in my life is okay. no major health problems, no sudden deaths, nothing on the horizon to fear. every year i can get through without having to be confronted with the tragedy and horror of losing someone i love, the better.

and one more bonus: i found the bodega cats twitter.

the best.

happy 2017 to you and yours!

[ music | the wombats, "tokyo (vampires and wolves)" ]

Friday, December 30, 2016

home for christmas

here we go, 2016 christmas recap post before we get into the new year!

it always just goes by so fast, you know? i love the festive feeling of december, looking at all the christmas lights strung up, seeing the pretty displays in stores, knowing that i'll be seeing my family soon for fun times. it's the time of year when everything's winding down, both at work and at home, and you feel encouraged to just chill out and enjoy the season (once the madness of holiday shopping is done, that is). plus for me, there's the added bonus that it's wintertime - my favourite season. so it's a lot of exciting anticipation, and then it seems like it's over as quickly as it came. (that's what she said.)

but as usual, i did very alright at christmas this year - some wonderful wrestling apparel from sean, as well as this bag of my dreams:

(full disclosure: i never thought i'd ever be a handbags-and-lipstick girl, but here we are, me in nearly-2017 with three gorgeous leather bags and almost 30 different lipsticks, and i truly give zero fucks.)

also, got everything i wanted from my family, including a ton of very useful sephora gift cards (spoiler alert: they've all been used up by now), a couple of books i'd asked for, a new pair of apple ear buds, an extensive sewing box put together by my expert-seamstress mother, and a lumee smartphone case - perfect for lighting better selfies:

i'm lucky enough that i've never gone without at christmastime, though i do appreciate how tough it can be to buy presents for a family member who you don't actually know too well. i mean, i haven't lived at home for 14 years, i'm in communication with my siblings next to never, and i talk to my mom maybe three times a month. i can understand how that makes gift-buying hard. but i'm always appreciative (and i personally stick to gift cards when shopping for family).

speaking of family, i'd headed home last friday afternoon for four days on the island in my mom and stepdad's expertly decorated home:

it wasn't quite a white christmas (rainy though), and it wasn't quite a chilled-out relaxing time (too much being shuttled from one family's home to the next, on the ferry and off, etc.), but it was the first christmas i spent in kingston since 2013 plus the first one i'd ever spent on the island, so that was nice.

also, a good reminder not to take me to church services:

and at least i got a few chances to work very slowly at winning over my sister's super-shy tortie:

little queen lily with her mini-me stuffed toy. so sweet.

but then after only four days at home, i had to pack all my stuff up and bundle myself back on the train to toronto. i always get a little melancholy when i leave, most recently for the reasons i detailed in my last entry - because i get sad thinking that this could always be the "last good christmas" before everything irrevocably changes. on a less grim note, i also just get bummed out because it means christmas is over for another year, and it's back to the real world of paying bills and being a grown-ass adult by myself in toronto.

then, you know, i get back to my regular routines with work and yoga and doing whatever i want whenever i want, and i'm reminded that it's a good thing to be a grown-ass adult who can take care of herself. hellllls yeah.

[ music | urban cone, "we should go to france" ]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

the world moves on

aging: it's happening. (fuck me.)

i'm 33 now, and it was about three years ago that i found my first gray hair. that's right, it was in the weeks before my 30th birthday. great fucking present, i tell you. (i actually called my mother immediately and asked - well, more like shrieked - when her first gray hair came in. "oh, not til i was 37 or 38." awesome.)

in the following few years, i found maybe two more in the front of my head. then, an unhappy surprise a couple weeks ago when i found a whole three more gray hairs on top of the three i was already aware of. plus i get to be constantly filled with dread to think of how many more i can't see. (...and i know, i know, this is precisely where the "oh whatever, i started going gray in my early twenties" crowd comes in. that's you, and you likely have options. i don't, but we'll get to that.)

as someone with dark hair, there's no way of hiding what's happening: a very visible sign that time has not, in fact, frozen for me. (dear men who are not so worried about going gray: imagine the dismay of discovering that your hairline is receding.) and as someone who's very concerned with keeping up appearances with the idea that time has, actually, frozen for me, this really irks me. i'm spending how much on expensive skin care to keep my stupid face looking young, yet my hair betrays me?? fuck this.

i know the obvious solution is to get into hair dye. however, there's two problems there for me: one, i sort of rankle at the idea of having to add another factor to my already-extensive upkeep regime. i already do so much to keep myself presentable -- why do i have to do something else, too? and i'll have to keep up with it, which will cost me more time and money, especially since my hair grows really quickly and i can't see the dye actually being that effective for long.

my other problem negates everything, basically: i'm allergic to hair dye.

i'm not even sure how serious it is, since it more or less developed after the first couple times i dyed my hair back in my twenties; all of a sudden, my scalp would become red and itchy afterward. this was no big shock to me, since my skin overall is so stupidly sensitive that i routinely get rashes even if i come into mild contact with numerous substances (including most metals, and adhesives derived from pine gum). even when i paid over $100 to get my hair dyed at a nice salon - with the hope that maybe it's just the cheap boxed stuff i'm allergic to - i still got a scalp rash. well, fuck.

ever since then, it's always been in the back of my mind: once i start legit going gray, i won't be able to hide it with dye. and now here we are.

look, i'm not ashamed to admit that i'm vain enough to risk scalp rashes in order to cover up my grays. because i probably will! sometimes my skin allergies wax and wane, so it could be that i could get lucky and maybe my allergy has died down. but then, the hypochondriac in me rears her head and points out that some people actually almost die from hair dye allergies, and what if my allergy hasn't gone away but gotten worse?? ughhhhhhhhh.

....okay, while i'm on the topic of aging and the world moving on, here's the other thing, the more grim side of it that we don't want to think about: mortality, and the fact that all of this can and will change someday. deep swerve.

the further i get into my thirties, the more i'm ominously aware of the fact that this could be the last time, everything could change before next christmas and that i need to really treasure these moments, because they could start winding down any time now. when you're in your twenties, if you're lucky, you've got some of that innocence and that belief that things are going to be this way forever - you're always going to go home for christmas, and all of your family will be there, and it's always going to be like this. but once you hit your thirties, you have to confront the sinking realization that those years past were the lucky ones, and things might not always be as comfortable and happy in the (potentially near) future.

i'm not talking about things like a sibling getting married and having kids, or someone travelling at christmastime instead of being home with family. those things are natural. i mean sudden tragedies, and unexpected deaths, and irreversible world-altering catastrophes. any of those disasters can happen at any time, and then you're left with the realization that things will never be like they were, and you truly can't get back to those good years.

for example, it's basically impossible for me to imagine a christmas without either of my parents. i absolutely cannot fathom the year - and it'll happen, someday - that i have to approach my first christmas without one of my parents. but it is an inevitability, and a much scarier one than a few grey hairs.

so i guess that's also a concern, and a good reminder to just live life in the present, and be happy for what you have in the here and now.

[ music | black rebel motorcycle club, "weapon of choice" ]