#friendshipgoals

What’s the ship that never sinks?

FRIENDSHIP!

Hahahahaah!

Now that I’ve put you all through that horrible joke (still my favourite though) we can move on.

On a serious note, sometimes those ships do sink. As I learned this week, friendships take work, just like any other relationship. But done well, the payoff is amazing.

Let me catch you up to speed. My friend Brittany came all the way out from PEI to surprise me on Tuesday. I was sitting at home working away on the computer when Matthew comes home, Brittany in tow. He had just picked her up from the airport – my jaw dropped.


It was emotional – but in the best possible way. She had mentioned coming out here when I saw her in the summer, but you know how it is… There are more excuses to stay home then to visit your friend on the other side of the country … Aren’t there? People get busy, and as bad as they want to see you, even living in the same city, it doesn’t ever happen as often as we hope.
The past week it was awesome having a girl around, especially for the sake of doing “girly stuff”. We talked (about everything), we shopped, we went on a dinner date. We made the most of the time that we had together. But aside from being able to do all that, I mostly think I just enjoyed being in such close proximity to such a wonderful human being.



Britt is one of those people who enters the room like the blazing sun. She is full of energy and makes friends everywhere she goes. She’s kind and giving, and it’s awful that she has to live so far away.
The funny thing is, we know no other way. We actually met on Instagram almost two years ago. I think we were drawn to each other in a way that made us instant friends. She’s also from the same province as Matthew, and they had “known of” one another for a long time. We met in person only once before this – again the instantaneous connection was imminent, as it was easy to see just how comfortable we felt around one another.
The best part of this experience was simply the incredible amount of love I felt from it. I have never had anyone go so far out of their way to surprise me. I never thought any friend would – my expectations are pretty reasonable, and this was above and beyond. Brittany said “I treat my friendships like any other relationship” – and I think that is evident in the true love and care she puts into them.


I feel special. And for once I really don’t know what else to say.
So if you were curious about my absence the past week, this explains it. I’m back to my wonderful (but difficult) routine. And yes, I miss her already.

 

 

Thanks for catching up with me everyone!

I’ll be back with more posts this week – stay tuned! 

I HAVE ANXIETY: When do I tell my partner?

This quiet Saturday morning is the perfect opportunity for story time, so buckle in with a hot cup of somethin’, cause I’m about to tell you all how I told Matthew that I have anxiety.

It was 8 am – early, I know. I had been up for a while, excited about the fact that I was going on  a date. Or at least I thought it was a date. To be honest, I wasn’t actually sure. But I knew I had plans with this gorgeous man to go to the gym at 8 am, so I hoped it was, but in my mind I did question it because those are not your typical first date plans.

Although excited, a part of me was also apprehensive. I had kissed a lot of frogs and quite frankly, I was growing weary of it. So by this time I had adopted a sort of “this is who I am, take it or leave it” attitude. I didn’t want to waste any more time. You know how it is.

So I hopped in his truck, and because he was even more handsome than I hoped, I was quite nervous. I wasn’t exactly planning to put it all out there, but since I couldn’t stop my motor mouth from running I just went there and said “I have anxiety”.

I don’t think much was made from the subject. I gather at the time he thought I meant I was a nervous person. But I’m not a nervous person, really. But I do have a mental illness.  And I felt that if this was going anywhere after the first date, he deserved to know.

The early days together


Lucky for me, this frog turned out to be a King.

Unfortunately for me, this King was about to find out what I meant when I said “I have anxiety”.

I remember having my first panic attack around him being a nightmare. For me because I was embarrassed, and for him because he had no idea what was going on. Matthew had never been close to anyone with anxiety, let alone seen anyone have a panic attack before.

I used my disclosure like a shield, “I warned you though! Muahahahaahaha” , I would think to myself. But I realized that telling someone that you have anxiety isn’t exactly the same as asking them to live with it.

Learning to live with it, as a partner, looks a little like this (or so I gather)…

  • Learning what makes your partner anxious (it’s different for everyone)
  • Being supportive while they have anxiety
  • Being supportive while they have a panic attack
  • Encouraging your partner to practice good self care
  • Accepting that anxiety isn’t a choice or something that can just be “shut off”
  • Seeing the worst of someone and still thinking their the best

 

I am lucky to have an amazing partner who is my biggest anxiety supporter; he knows how to talk me down from the ‘anxiety ledge’ like no other.

Us now – so grateful for this human!


I’m glad that I disclosed my anxiety right away, but at the same time I’m not sure it was going to make a difference. Because disclosing it one thing, but actually experiencing your partner going through it is another. And your partner’s reaction when you tell them doesn’t exactly determine how they will support you moving forward.

So tell them whenever you are comfortable to, and let time tell you the rest. I know that’s not exactly comforting. But heck, one big part of conquering anxiety is learning, to some degree, to let go.

If you want to hear more about my anxiety you can check out this previous post: Coping with Anxiety: What works for me

If you are even MORE curious (jeez you guys 😉 ) and want more anxiety related posts, there is also these: How to Fix Someone with Anxiety  and one of my personal favourites: Things my anxiety has told me (that are complete and utter lies).

I hope that all my fellow anxiety warriors out there have bagged themselves some awesomely supportive partners!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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How to just ‘BE HAPPY’ for them

Imagine this:

Your friend comes up to you and tells you about their incredible promotion.

Your friend is not only smart, but also super good looking.

Your friend wants for nothing and takes a vacation about four times a year.

Your friend has so many other friends, and they seem to be liked by everyone they meet.

Are you happy for them?

I think we’ve all encountered people in our lives who we feel “have it all”. We often react with jealousy, and we tell ourselves how unfair life must be to give this friend everything, while we continue to struggle.

We often have trouble being happy for that friend. On the surface we might congratulate and smile, but in our hearts we never truly celebrate for them.

This goes so much deeper than jealousy. We are not upset because they have it all, we react with negativity because we don’t have it all. 

When we see other people out in the world being successful, it reminds us of what we lack. The success of others causes us to reflect, and sometimes in that reflection we just don’t like what we see.

We feel inadequate. We are insecure.

Insecurity is at the root of it all. If you are sure of yourself, your life, and your choices, then you can easily be happy for others. Because when you take responsibility for your life, you acknowledge that success and happiness is for everyone, but gaining it is up to you. It’s your journey.

Your friend probably worked hard for that promotion. Your friend probably puts a lot of time and effort into their appearance. Your friend might just balance their budget well enough to afford the trips that they want. Your friend might have so many other friends because he or she has a positive attitude is able to celebrate in the successes of others.

No more negativity. We’ve got to lift each other up! We’ve got to encourage each other to be better.

I encourage you to celebrate in another’s accomplishments today!

What is a ‘Healthy’ Relationship?

With Valentines day coming up, a lot of people have their minds on the one (or ones!) that they love. What better time to write a post about relationships?

I’m not a relationship expert, but I know that our environment is an integral part of our happiness, and the people that we spend our time with have an effect on us: our values, our habits, our energy.

For better or worse, that’s just how it is. But sometimes, for various reasons, we get caught up in spending time with people who are just no good for us. This is applicable to both friendships and romantic relationships. We have trouble letting go. Often we believe that the problem is us, that if we could just change enough to make the other person happy everything will be okay. Other times we take what I call the “rescue role”, and we make ourselves responsible for the happiness and betterment of the other person.

If you spend long enough time engaging in relationships within that negative space, you begin to forget what a healthy relationship looks like.

A healthy relationship…

  • is a partnership
  • makes you feel good
  • brings light and positivity into your life
  • teaches you something
  • facilitates growth
  • needs care and work (on both sides)
  • is a part of your support system
  • allows both people to be honest without being critical
  • is open and allows both people to be heard
  • is comforting

An unhealthy relationship…

  • is one-sided
  • involves one person holding the other responsible for their happiness/unhappiness
  • fosters total dependency
  • lowers your self-esteem
  • encourages unhealthy behaviors
  • compromises your values
  • is abusive emotionally, mentally, or physically
  • isolates you
  • fuels disrespect, dishonesty, and manipulation
  • makes you feel stuck

 

Protect yourself and your space. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, being in a relationship is not a prize you get for being a “good” person. So don’t settle.

The description above is very broad, so I would like to add a few other things that are important to me in particular for a healthy romantic relationship…

I find I need…

  • laughter, and lots of it. Life is short. I need to laugh!
  • adventure and spontaneity
  • to be with someone who is driven/ goal-oriented (ambitious people understand each other!)

 

I hope you all keep this in mind, and cherish those who are the positive influences in your lives this Valentines!

How to Deal with Toxic People

We can all level on this one.

We all have, or have had, negative and toxic people in our lives. These are the people who are negative talkers and thinkers. These are the people who don’t support your dreams, or put you down. The people who make you wonder why you make time for them after each instance you part ways. Sometimes, they even sabotage or manipulate you in small ways to hinder your success.

Often these toxic people are also the people you know and love. Your long time friend, your siblings, your mom. And sometimes they can bring you down with the little things – like questioning your choices, hindering your healthy lifestyle changes, or just plain infecting your space with negative energy. Energy is contagious; the more that you surround yourself with negative people and influences, the more negative you yourself will become. So be careful with this one.

I went through this with a friend. I didn’t notice it at first the affect that she had on me, until I realized that every time we parted ways following plans, I never felt good after. About myself. And so, I was forced to evaluate why.

Now I see so clearly that it’s because she tended to stew about negative stuff every time we got together, and talk in circles about it. I suppose I jumped in and spiraled with her , and that’s on me. And interestingly enough, she also made me feel guilty when I made healthy eating choices, criticizing me for not indulging with her… every time.

She put down my goals and dreams; she tried to hold me down – so I wouldn’t fly away.

So what can we do about these people? The short answer… is nothing. You can’t change other people; only how you react to them. You have to learn to silence the noise and follow what you know is right. Don’t allow these people to have such a stronghold over you that they wield the power to severely obstruct your life.

If said toxic person will remain in your life, my advice is this: love them from a distance. I’m not talking about abandoning anyone you care about; I’m talking about taking space and loving them from within the boundaries you have. Speak your mind and let them know where you draw the line between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. In my particular situation, I did fly away.

My friend was not a close friend, and I knew that the best thing for both of us was going to be to part ways; we weren’t a good match.

 

Despite what we’d like to believe, we don’t have the power to change another person. It’s important to care for yourself and remember your needs. Be good to yourselves – and watch out for those toxic people!