love in the time of covid-19

The world is upside down these days. You’ve probably noticed things are… quiet. People are keeping their distance. And maybe, like me, you’ve quit taking the bus and leaving your house and have moved your office into your dining room. It’s all very dramatic, but necessary. We’re stopping the spread and flattening the curve, making the moves necessary to keep our population healthy and alive. There’s a virus ripping through countries like wildfire, and, because there is no vaccine, the best we can do is give each other a wide berth.

I love emergencies. If you know me, you know this. I do my best work when the pressure is on (that’s how diamonds are made, am i right?). Chaos gives me control. I run towards car wrecks, and house fires, and even if it makes me squeamish I’ll be the one applying pressure to any wound. Recently, I watched a YouTube video on the most effective way to tie a tourniquet and it’s been the most exciting thing I’ve learned in the last decade.

When it comes to post-apocalyptic situations, there are two kinds of people: those who want to survive and those that beg for a pillow over the face (or, so they think). I’ve always fallen into the survival camp. I honestly love the idea of rebuilding society post-global-crisis. And I think I’ve got the skills and materials necessary for success–I know how to fish, I will eat just about anything, and I have a case of water in my closet.

I think I would prefer a life where my biggest problem is how to survive over a life filled with problems like does my boss hate me? and obsessing over how my favourite jeans no longer fit or why a boy is compelled to treat me like garbage.

So yes, I know, it will get worse before it gets better. And I can’t wait.

Don’t get it twisted–I’m terrified.

And I am not about the drama associated with this whole pandemic thing. The way social influencers are using it to gain clout is pissing me off and I’ve seen sooooooooo many saccharine we’re-all-in-this-together tweets that drip of insincerity (because it’s like if we’re all in this together then why haven’t any of you bothered to reach out in a personal way versus just using your social platform to perform care and boost your own ego? I hate the internet. But I digress.)

Now is probably a good time to lean in to community, whatever that looks like for you (even if that community is an online circle jerk of social influencers). This could be FaceTiming pals, or delivering groceries to vulnerable folks, or sitting on your couch watching as many episodes of Lost possible before you have to go back to work on Monday. I don’t know. I only know what is working for me. I’m not here to tell you how to isolate. I don’t know what it’s like to be trapped in a one-bedroom apartment with a partner or scrambling to find two-weeks-worth of activities for a toddler.

I do know that watching TV and eating snacks keeps me calm. And I’m confident that I’ll make it through this–whatever this is. I can pivot. I can adapt. I can survive. And probably you can too.

Stay healthy, readers.


hi, it’s me, Sarah.

Hello, hello? Does anybody out there even read blogs anymore?

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. And what a busy minute it’s been. I recently (finally) graduated. That means I successfully defended my thesis project. And that means I successfully completed a manuscript (yikes!). The last half-year was especially hectic with grading and writing and revising and socializing and working and working and working. It was a blur.

My life was whirring at such a high speed for such a long time that now that it’s stopped and I have the opportunity to stand still I feel… weird.

And I don’t know if it’s Mercury retrograde or my Saturn Return or Eclipse Season or just the stress of existing as an adult woman, but this past week has been especially… weird. Emotions are running high. It doesn’t matter why. Whatever is going on, I’ve been forced to reflect on the things in my life that aren’t working for me (and the things in my life that are) and reevaluate and adjust and change.

Ugh, change. Anyone who knows me knows I’m bad with it. I scare easy. I’m a Pisces, the fish, after all. Tap on my glass and I’ll flish-flash away.

Now, what I want to do is curl up in bed and eat dill pickle chips until my belly bursts. And, I mean, I did do that (for a little while). I threw myself a teeny-tiny pity party. I cuddled up with my raggedy-teddy Bob. I watched The Mummy (and started watching the sequel, too).

But then, after Brendan Fraser’s character rescues Rachel Weisz and they kiss and then Rachel Weisz’s character tries to kiss a camel and then they all trit-trot off into the sunset, I decided that maybe I could trit-trot off into my own sunset. I mean, if that motley crew of idiots can kill TWO mummys (sorry for the spoiler) and escape a rapidly collapsing pyramid (tomb?), I can get out of my depression nest and function.

After all, look at how far I’ve come. I escaped an emotionally abusive relationship. I moved to a brand new city and built a life from the ground up. I formed rock-solid friendships with rock-solid people. I finally acknowledged I was severely depressed and sought help. I got a job. I became self-sufficient. I learned how to cook (and although I am terrified to make food for other people, I feed myself pretty good on a semi-regular basis). I wrote a book. It may never get published, but it exists. I joined a gym. I stopped wearing stretchy pants 24/7 (not that there is anything wrong with that, but fitting into Levi’s was a personal goal). I’ve become closer to both of my parents and my siblings.

So whatever the heck it is that’s going on now… I can get through that too.

To the man who followed me

I was walking home and it was late at night and I was drunk, and maybe you heard the uneven clip-clop of my heels against the asphalt as I cantered down the centre of the street.

You saw me before I saw you. You were a shape in the shadows that didn’t turn into a person until it was too late for me to go in the other direction. And so I didn’t turn back but I did turn away. I took a hard left and ignored you when you shouted out to me, “Hey! Hey, wait a sec!” I didn’t want to wait up for a strange man on the edge of a dark field and so without really thinking about it the clip-clopping of my heels picked up the pace as I walked away, faster.

And you followed me.

I’ve scared myself on walks home before when I catch my own shadow in my peripheries, thinking it’s someone else’s shadow. I’ve scared myself with the echoes of my own footsteps, calming down my heart when I stop walking and the echoes stop too.

Now I know what being followed really sounds like. What it really looks like. What it really feels like.

You noticed that I sped up because you said, “I can skip faster than you can walk!” And started loping towards me with what you probably thought was a whimsical gait. I peered behind me once and saw you gaining on me. I wondered if I should run. I wondered if that would make it better or worse. I thought of how a dog runs faster when you chase them because they think it’s a game, and kept my same pace, aiming towards a well-lit street lined with houses. Safe, I thought. Safer, at least.

I made a hard right, and you did too. A harder right, because you passed me, cut me off, standing so close that the straw of the slushee I’d bought on my way home just about brushed against the front of your jean jacket.

“Come on! I just need help opening this beer–grab this beer out of my backpack!” You twirled around to show me your bag, and I crossed the street away from you again. I didn’t say anything.

And you followed me. Again.

“Hey stop, I just need–” Is it just me or do men have difficulty ascertaining the difference between a want and a need?

I was a block away from home and I was tired and I was drunk and I was sick of your shit.

“Leave me the fuck alone. Do you know how fucking scary you are? Do you know how fucking scary it is to be a woman walking alone, to be followed?” I shouted this at you, and you stopped. I shouted again, louder, “Fuck off.”

You stopped and stared and told me I was just a crazy bitch. You punched the air. “Go fuck yourself,” you said. And then you left. I watched you walk away and then I started walking again, faster again. I don’t think I breathed until I was home and twisted the deadbolt on my front door. Safe.

You were angry at me and I was angry at myself. It was late at night and I was drunk and I was walking home alone but that doesn’t matter. I was ashamed–a knee-jerk reaction. I thought it was my fault.

It’s not. It’s your fault. I was walking home minding my business. You followed me.

You are blonde. You are slightly taller than me (in heels). I’d say 5’9. Your hair is longish, and was pulled into a bun. You think you’re funny. You look like the kind of guy who owns a “This is what a feminist looks like” tee shirt and knows his way around the current left-wing rhetoric (an asshole in progressive clothing). You think you’re a nice guy.

You’re the worst guy.

And if you ever do get that beer open, I hope you choke on it.

This is an unflattering post about Jian Ghomeshi because he is an abusive dirtbag.

I was supposed to do work tonight but I can’t. I can’t work because I’m mad. I’m mad because of that Jian Ghomeshi essay. I’m mad because I’m just tired of men abusing their power… and then thinking that they deserve pity when shit goes sideways. I don’t care for empty public apologies or expressions of remorse. Do these men really need to take up any more space with their words? With their selves?

I don’t think so.

I don’t know why the New York Review of Books decided to publish that essay, but I can hazard a guess that it has something to do with their bottom line. There’s that saying: there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It seems to hold more true today than ever. The only reason I heard about the essay was because my Twitter feed was full of it. Not praising it–denouncing it. But still, it was there.

It had been a while since I thought about Ghomeshi–like, really thought about him. It’s been two years since he was acquitted and fell out of the spotlight, and I’ve been busy. His is a name that has come up since then in wake of other disclosures, but it wasn’t until I saw the tweets about him that I wondered what the heck he’d even been up to. I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that he had written a 3400 word essay about, well, himself. One that was to be published in an American magazine (online today and in print next month).

Ghomeshi was a man with significant clout. He had social standing and a successful media career. And although he may no longer have that standing or that career, his name is just as recognizable. His name has a different kind of weight now, one that might make it more distinct.

This has been said before by others, but I think it fits here too. What are the names of any women who have disclosed abuse from men? Women don’t bring their stories forward because it will gain them recognition. In fact, it does the opposite.

There are a variety of reasons why we may not know these names, not the least of which is that the survivors don’t want their information made public. But I wonder what would happen if we gave power to those names instead? What if we offered a cover story to those names? What if those were the names that would sell magazines? What then? I would much rather live in a world like that.

I haven’t read the essay. I read an article about the essay. I started to read the essay. But I stopped. I stopped for a few reasons: it was boring, it was bullshit, and it just didn’t seem important.

Ghomeshi’s side of the story isn’t important to me. His side of the story isn’t news to me. His side of the story is one that has already been told, over and over and over again. His story is a story that all women already know: the story of I didn’t mean it that way. I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s a misunderstanding. It’s the story of you’re taking this out of context. You’re blowing this way out of proportion. It’s the story of you can’t prove what happened enough for allegations to be true and therefore you are a liar.

I don’t want to give Ghomeshi the space to talk himself out of it. I don’t want to hear his side, especially when his side seems like the only side. That essay isn’t about remorse. It’s not an apology (why would he apologize when he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong?). It’s a 3400-word pity party held under the ruse of regret.

If he were truly remorseful, he wouldn’t have written the essay in the first place. But instead of taking the opportunity to repent, he took the opportunity to make things about himself. Because that’s what abusers do. They trick you into thinking it’s about you, when really it will always be about them. Ghomeshi doesn’t regret what he did. He regrets getting caught. He regrets losing what he lost. And he thinks he deserves to get it back.

How about that fat-shaming Netflix series?

I was brushing my teeth today and I look in the mirror and my face was caught between two panes of glass, a section of my forehead and most of my nose had been swallowed in the crack where the tri-fold doors of my medicine cabinet met.

It reminded me of that thing I used to do when I was a teenager. I’d stand in front of the mirrored closet doors, arranging myself so that my body was spliced in half by the crack and put back together, thinner. I’d look at my body, the body I wished I had, and imagine the life I would have if I looked like that. My fat midsection sucked into the thin slice of darkness, erasing my shame. Erasing the parts of myself that I was convinced were holding me back.

I watched a lot of TV growing up. More than I probably should have. I watched Even Stevens and yearned for the thin leggy beauty of Ren. I watched Hilary Duff in Lizzie McGuire and wished I had the body of that petite blonde. I watched Boy Meets World and deciphered that even the nerdy girls like Topanga were supposed to be beautiful and, well, thin.

I was convinced I could have these bodies if I worked hard enough. If I ate less. Worked out more.

I could achieve the body in the mirror. And I needed to achieve that body in the mirror, because if I didn’t I was worthless. I was nothing if I wasn’t thin.

I told myself all the things I could do once I was in my right body. I could make friends. I could go out on dates. I could get a job and go to university and get my hair cut short. I could wear sneakers with skinny jeans. I had all these rules for my fat body that I could leave behind when I was finally thin.

I starved myself into a size 4 dress for my prom and that’s when I felt like my life could finally start. My life didn’t start and so I decided I wasn’t thin enough. There was too much of me and that meant I wasn’t enough. I tried different diets, painfully measuring out honey and cayenne pepper and spending way too much money on fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I tortured myself. I weighed my body before and after bowel movements. I wondered how much my legs weighed my breasts weighed how much did the liver inside me weigh? I’d subtract these numbers, trying so hard to reach a point where I felt like a real person. I needed to take away pieces in order to pretend I was whole.

I gained all the weight back and then some when I started university. My first year of school I was thin but I didn’t know it. I was too focused on the way my thighs rubbed as I walked down the hallway. I participated in a study ran by a graduate student for extra credit in my intro-level psych class. She was brilliant, but the swell of her gut pushed against her cotton t, rolls of flesh swelled over the sides of her jeans. I told myself no matter how long I spent in academia I’d never let my body go, I wouldn’t get fat like her.

But I did. I gained and gained and gained and I hated my body, wishing I could chisel my true self free.

My fourth year of university, I took self-timed photos of me in my bathing suit in my poorly lit bathroom, counting every roll and dimple and stretch mark. My imperfections. This was my before. This was the body I would cast aside for my real body, my good body.

When I got into graduate school, I was still fat. And I told myself I didn’t deserve it because I was fat. I worried about moving to a new city, “How will I make friends if I’m fat?” I worried about teaching, “How will I teach if I’m fat?” I worried about sharing my ideas, “Who will listen to me if I am fat?” My body was something I despised. Something holding me back. I didn’t come up with these ideas on my own–this is what I had been fed my entire life.

Fat bodies are the before. Fat bodies are bad. Fat bodies aren’t actually bodies, they are flesh that needs to be peeled away to reveal the real body underneath. This is what I was taught. This is what I believed.

And I don’t believe this now. I know it’s not true. I’d been in the battle with my body for so long and I think I finally just got sick of it. I didn’t want to binge and purge. I didn’t want to weigh myself morning and night. I didn’t want to punish myself for not fitting into a pair of pants at a straight size store.

I stopped hating my body for being my body.

At least, some of the time.

When I’m sad. When I’m mad. When I’m alone and depressed, or dissatisfied, or scared, I remember that I’m fat and the idea creeps in that maybe I don’t deserve to be happy because I’m not thin. I don’t deserve to have a partner because I’m not thin. I don’t deserve ________ because I’m not thin.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of my reflection, caught between two panes of glass, my mid-section swallowed by that little crack, and I think that’s perfection. Sometimes I can shake this thought out of my head, and step in front of a full pane of glass and know that what I see is good enough. Better than good enough.

But sometimes I can’t shake those thoughts.

And that’s why that Netflix series is harmful. Not only does it reinforce a harmful revenge body plot line and paint women’s bodies as objects, it supports my worst thoughts about myself.

It makes the awful things I thought about my body true.

This TV show takes the narrative from the shows I watched as a teenager even further–it provides the schema for how to get thin. And I don’t think it can get much more damaging than that.


I want to write about what happened to me but I don’t know where to begin.

I start. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Over and over again. I wonder is this right? Am I getting it right? And sometimes I wonder if I’m even allowed to say what happened, if that story even belongs to me… because, to be honest, I’m not sure what parts of myself I even own anymore.

I guess I’ve always been a giver. I give a lot. And I like to do it. I like to be the soft person I am, the one people trust with their secrets, the one who people rely on for help, the one who people run to when they need someone to lean on. I know that makes me vulnerable, sometimes, kind of, but I like that vulnerability because it makes me feel necessary. I know those parts of myself make me an easy target for predators, but I don’t ever want to feel like I need to change (become harder, more closed off) in order to protect myself from people who shouldn’t even be preying on me in the first place.


I’m reading Hunger right now. It’s great. I’m so glad Roxane Gay had the courage to write it because sometimes when I’m reading her words it feels like she’s held a mirror up to myself. And it makes me feel a little bit more okay about being the way that I am. About being a lot soft and a little afraid all the time. She was able to put words to her trauma and it made me think that maybe one day I’ll be able to put words to mine too. Not now, not soon even, but maybe eventually. The book is complex and I like that. It’s made me realize that I’m allowed to be complex, that I’m allowed to be conflicted, that I’m allowed to be a full human, a full woman, even when it seems like there are plenty of people in this world who would like to take that away from me. These are the people who use me for parts. Like stealing a car, stripping it down, leaving the useless chassis behind. These people are mostly men, but sometimes women too. Although I can’t blame these women because they are doing what they must to survive: behaving like men.

Maybe the reason I can’t write about it is because it’s not one thing but a series of things. Dominoes. If I push over one I push over them all and if I push over them all and they topple and fall then I will just be left with a pile, disorganized, on the floor of my brain and I won’t know how to clean it up.

That’s the thing, I guess. These experiences accumulate. Like a snowfall in spring and you think it’s not going to be so bad, that it will melt when it hits the ground, and some of it does. The snow turns to water on cement but it clings to the branches of trees and the brown brittle grass and you go to bed and the next morning everywhere is slippery and frozen and white. And if you back out of your driveway a little too slow you’ll get stuck and if you back out a little too fast you’ll slide into your neighbours garbage cans, and both those options suck. So you better be perfect.

That’s what it’s like when you’ve been abused. The first time it’s awful and you might not even realize how bad it is because you’re just a kid and you’re with an adult you trust. Then it’s a few years later and you’re a few years older and you learned that your body is nobody’s body but yours and you’re supposed to tell someone you trust if you’re being touched but what if the person you trust is the one doing the touching? Then it’s a few years later again and you’re in high school now and you don’t know how to connect with men unless you’re naked and they are too. And then more time passes and more things happen and a dating app tricks you into thinking that you’ve got all the power and it is your body and you’re doing what you want with it but you know it’s not actually your body when you’re drinking warm root beer Schnapps just so you can handle a thick tongue jammed between your dry lips and clumsy hands fumbling in the dark for the clasp on a bra you decided not to wear and the awkward stumble from couch to bed. And afterwards you cry driving home when you shouldn’t be driving home but you can’t stay there. And more time passes. And you meet a man at a club and he invites you back to his place and says you can sleep in his bed and you do (but you don’t sleep, really) and the next morning he tells you he has a girlfriend and you sit behind the steering wheel of your car and you cry because you don’t understand why nobody loves you but everybody uses you. More time passes again. And you meet someone and he seems interested in you and you decide you can be interested in him too. And you start dating him and decide that he is supposed to be safe but one night when you’re tired and he isn’t he rolls you over and grabs you and pushes against you and takes something that I guess you gave so freely that he just assumes it belongs to him now. And you wonder if that’s what a relationship is supposed to be like because you have no idea what it means to be with someone. And more time passes and you move away and think you can leave everything behind. You learn to protect yourself. You gain weight. You insulate yourself. You wish that you could rip off all your skin and be someone completely different, someone stronger. You surround yourself with safe people. You try very hard to disappear (and you almost succeed). You avoid straight men, because you’ve learned those are dangerous men.  And this means you’re almost surprised when you get groped in public by a man, when his meaty palm pushes against your round bum and the slippery slide-y fabric of your slacks feels too thin against the peach lace panties you decided to wear that day because you thought it’d be nice to feel special. You want to scream or throw up or both but you don’t because you’re a professional. So instead of surprise you feel shame that you let your guard down, and then you’re reminded of all the times that all those men took those pieces of you and neglected to give them back. And you’re angry because that’s not the way you’re supposed to feel and that makes you a bad woman and a worse feminist and why can’t these men just keep their goddamn hands to their goddamn selves?

I’ll sum up those experiences in one neat stack of words. Men have hurt me. Over and over again. And I wish they’d fucking stop it.

Happy (belated) New Year!

I realize at this point we are well into the New Year, but I figure it’s never too late to talk about resolutions and reflections and all things NYE.

If you know me, you know I love New Year’s Eve. It’s my favourite night of the year–I never want it to end, actually. There’s something about ending one year and launching into another that is whimsical and terrifying and for some reason I like it. No, not for some reason–I think I may have finally figured out what it is about this time of year that I love so much. It’s the way that I sense the closing of one chapter as an accomplishment. And it is–making it through a whole year is something to celebrate. And I never expect to celebrate another New Year’s… because life is fragile like that. I might not be here or the people I love might not be here or anything in the world could happen to upset the life I’ve constructed and so why not celebrate the fact that I’m here and I’m happy by counting backwards and drinking cheap champagne?

At least, that’s what I think.

New Year’s Eve is a liminal space between something finishing and something beginning. I like to reside in these in-betweens sometimes because it’s there that I can pause and actually enjoy life. I think I’m always projecting into the future or reflecting on the past–a byproduct of being a writer, perhaps. But on New Year’s Eve I let myself live in the present because that’s the only thing that exists. It’s weird–I can rationalize January 1 as the future and tell myself the future doesn’t exist yet so all I have is now. December 31. And I may as well make the most of it.

But, like I said, we’re well into 2018 now. And, boy oh boy, do I feel that crushing pressure of moving through time. I am already too busy and it’s only going to get busier as the year progresses. This year is set to be a real whirlwind. There’s a lot going on–I am hoping to finish university and get my life started, finally. And according to my horoscope I’m set to fall in love (also finally). Personally and professionally I get the sense that this year is going to be pivotal in setting the tone for the rest of my life. And that’s exciting but also really, really scary. But regardless of whether or not I’m ready for what’s coming, it’s coming… and no matter what it is, I’m excited to experience it.

This is all to say… Happy New Year! Better buckle up because no matter who you are or what you want, 2018 is going to be a wild one.

Taylor Swift’s reputation

It’s been a couple weeks since T-Swift’s newest album was made available on streaming services and I can’t stop listening to it. I’m not sure why. I trash-talked the singles non-stop, and my first listen of the album had me laughing out LOUD, but here I am, listening to it on repeat, singing along, and kind of liking it. Taylor Swift reputation cover art The most ratchet album art of the 2010s.

Now, I’m not a diehard Swiftie. But I came up on Taylor Swift. I remember the first time I heard “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on my Guitar” and how it felt like she was talking directly to me. Her experiences were my experiences. I was fifteen when she released “Fifteen”. I was 22 when she released “22”. When she was heartbroken, I was heartbroken (at least, it felt that way). I followed her from country to pop and now I’ve followed her to whatever she’s doing now. And I don’t know what I expected from this album but I do know that whatever this is doesn’t cut it for me.

I know most of the words to most of the songs, and I belt out the lyrics when I’m cooking or showering or walking down the hallway. I dream in these lyrics. And some of the tunes have grown on me–“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is an unexpected banger and the Hozier-sounding “Don’t Blame Me” is surprising and good–but I guess that’s what will happen if you listen to it enough. Proximity plays into what we like more than we give it credit for (I’m remembering the huge crush I had on the guy I worked with a few years ago. He had a mushroom cut and never ironed his shirts. I found it all very endearing.). The point is, if you spend enough time with something… it’ll grow on you. Like mold.

I wanted from this album what I’ve got from every other Taylor Swift album. Just two things. The first? A song to belt out when I’m heartbroken. Give me a tune to crank up in my car and drive around at night, chain-smoking cheap cigarettes and crying and singing off key. The second? A dance bop. Something to jump up and down to and drink champagne to and scream the lyrics to with my gal pals in the club (as I’m re-reading this, I realize I no longer own a car or go to the clubs… and it makes me wonder, have I outgrown Taylor Swift?). This album half-fulfills half those needs. I’m left wanting something more.

The back half of the album is actually okay. (And the front half is growing on me, too. Proximity, mold, see above). Lots of those songs were co-written with Jack Antonoff (if you don’t know who he is, you better find out because he’s amazing) and you can hear his influence on songs like “Getaway Car” and “Dress” (two songs I’m low-key obsessed with). The bouncy pre-chorus in “Getaway Car” is particularly Bleachers-esque. I immediately liked this song and I think it’s ’cause Antonoff’s sound is such a clear influence.

In most of these songs it seems like Taylor Swift is trying to sound like just about anyone but herself (sometimes this works but most of the time it fails in a big way). And yeah, I know, I know: the old Taylor is “dead”. But, geez, when I listen to songs like “End Game” and “Ready for it…” do I ever want her back. And don’t even get me started on “So it Goes”. I can’t believe that song made it on the album because it’s an absolute auditory assault. Tunes that bad should be illegal.

Honestly, it seems like Taylor Swift was too damn happy when she made this album. I’m not the type of person who romanticizes the misery of artists. I don’t think you need to be sad to make good art. But maybe you need to be sad to make good pop music. Even in the semi-sad song “Dress” things turn out alright and that’s just not the Taylor I’m used to (and that’s definitely not the life that I’m used to). T-Swift’s music is supposed to speak to my soul and reputation has left me dissatisfied. Like, I look at my favourite Swift song of all time (possibly her best song… ever) “All Too Well” and it’s just perfect. It speaks to the longing and loss and other soul-crushing aspects of almost-love. That’s Taylor Swift’s wheelhouse. And I’m not saying she has to recreate “All Too Well” over and over and over again… but I feel like thematically that’s what her fanbase (me, myself, and I) is jonesing for. And seeing as I never get what I want romantically (most of the reason why I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift’s music in the first place, let’s be honest) the least she could do would be to give me some crappy sad pop music to ugly-cry to.

reputation is fun. But I wouldn’t say it’s good. I can’t help but compare it to 1989 or RED, both albums that showed her pushing against her comfort zone and breaking through. Those albums rock. This one won’t have that lasting power. It’s fun, but it’s going to be fleeting.

Workin’ on my fitness

I’ve been in a battle with my body since I was 10 years old.

I looked down at my legs and saw my bulbous calves and thought “This is fat” and fat is bad and I am fat and I am bad. And that circular thinking has plagued me since then, eating away at self-esteem and body image and making me hate myself.

I used to look in the mirror and see a person staring back who wasn’t me. Who was like a caricature of me, like those ones artists in parks draw where your head is too big for your body and all of your flaws are over-emphasized. That’s what I saw, and that’s what I thought all of you saw too. All of the worst parts of me, front and centre. It didn’t matter if I was smart or kind or funny. What mattered was that I was fat.

I thought this way for a long long time, longer than I want to admit but I’m going to anyway. Up until about a month ago, I hated myself and my appearance so much it was all I could think about most days. The way that the waistband of my pants cut into my fleshy love handles, or my side boob squished out of my bra, or my thick arms rubbed against my thick core. And don’t get me started on my thighs–just gross. I thought about all my parts and the way that they didn’t fit together right. I was wrong, I was fat, I was ugly, I was awful. It was awful. It’s time consuming and depressing to think of yourself this way, trust me. And it’s hard to do anything when you can’t stop thinking about the sound your pants make when you walk and your thighs swish together.

I decided to do something about it. I’ve tried to “do something” about my weight countless times before. And I mean that. I’ve lost track of the fad diets and the workout plans and the weird smoothies I’ve drank. I’ve starved myself and I’ve binged and I’ve starved and I’ve binged so many times that it actually just felt like my normal diet. It’s strange now to eat three solid meals a day because for over half my life I just didn’t feed myself properly. It’s terrifying to consider.

I took charge of my body by hiring a personal trainer. Her name is Katelyn and she works at Studio 4 Fitness in downtown Victoria and she’s amazing. I talk about her all the time and I still don’t think I can do her justice here. She’s just, she’s great. People ask me what she does and the answer I usually give is “A lot of counting.” She keeps track of my exercises and counts my reps and makes sure I hinge at the hips and not the knees. She tells me to look at my form in the mirror and square my hips and keep my shoulders in the right position. She grabs mats for me to exercise on, she carries weights when they are too heavy for me to carry myself, but most importantly she tells me I’m strong. She tells me to keep going. And the other day she told me I was beautiful and you know what? I believed her. I felt beautiful for possibly the first time ever in my life. Drenched in my own sweat, glasses fogging up, frizzy hair pulled into a tight top knot, I thought “Damn, I do look good.”

Because I wasn’t thinking about what I wasn’t. I was thinking about what I was. Am.

I am strong. I have legs that are thick with muscle and that carry me from point A to point B to point C and back again. I have baby muscles in my arms, and when I flex I can kind of see them… but when I am carrying my groceries home I can definitely feel them. I have a core that is strong, and even though my stomach may never be flat and rippled with abs… my balance has improved so that I can walk up stairs without gripping the hand rail for support. I sleep better. I eat better. I am better.

I mean, it’s nice to fit into pants with a button and zipper again, but I think this is about more than just looking good in a pair of jeans. Honestly, that feels like a happy bonus. What it’s about is feeling like I belong in my body for the first time ever. Feeling like I can take up space. Feeling like I’m working with my body and not against it. Feeling like… just feeling happy to exist.

I know that you can’t buy yourself a body. That exercise is hard work. That loving yourself is hard work. And I know that I am a work-in-progress, always. And for the first time ever, I’m okay with that.


If you’re interested in working with Katelyn (or any of the other awesome PTs at Studio 4), you can contact the gym here. Or, if you just want to check out the facilities, you can check them out at 715 Yates St in Victoria, BC. Everyone who works there is so nice, and they offer all sorts of classes, and the gym is located in this great older building in the heart of downtown. I love everything about that place.

And just so you all know, this post is in no way sponsored by this gym or Katelyn, I’m just really, really, really happy and I needed to let that out.

National ice cream day

I love ice cream in all its forms. In a cone, in a cup, in a milkshake, in a float. Deep-fried. In sandwiches. On a stick. Dipped in chocolate. Whatever way you can conceive of serving ice cream, I’ve probably had it that way and I’ve probably really enjoyed it.

I love it all. So in order to celebrate this glorious day I thought I’d share a few photos of me enjoying my favourite treat.


Me, enjoying a couple of scoops at my own risk on the beach at Lake Koocanusa Campsite & Marina


Me, just before I dove into some delicious soft-serve from The Cone, an ice-cream-shaped food truck in Edmonton, AB.

Me, just prior to enjoying two scoops of goat cheese and fig from Kid Sister, a shop in Victoria’s Fan Tan Alley that sells locally made ice cream.




Me, teetering on the edge of the Pacific enjoying “The Danny”: soft-serve topped with a scoop of one of the sixteen flavours Jackson’s Ice Cream Float offers.


Me, just before cracking through the chocolate-y shell of this locally made drumstick from a teeny tiny gelato shack in Stanley Park.


Me, getting ready to devour my first dipped cone from Chocolats Favoris on Government Street in Victoria, BC (it was strawberry soft-serve dipped in cookies & cream–yum). 


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Me, about to try Victoria’s Cold Comfort vegan ice cream for the first time.

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Me, trying Cold Comfort ice cream.

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Me, pleased with Cold Comfort ice cream. I’ll definitely be buying a pint (or two or three) from this place in the future!