April Showers bring May Flowers…

That may have been the case in years past, but this year the majority of the showers have been snow, and there ain’t no flowers that bloom in that shit…


Last month I expressed my frustration at the state of my life.
I called myself out on being a doormat.
I basically reached down deep inside, accessed my inner Cher, and gave myself a “snap out of it!” bitch slap. #Moonstruckreference

It seemed to work. I stepped up to the plate, and started to get my shit together. I made a couple of decisions. I made some plans. I made some connections.

I decided it was time to put myself first.

I decided that maybe the safe way isn’t the right way anymore.

I decided that very soon, I will rip the band-aid off, and let the chips fall where they may. And I’m ok with that.

And with every negative thought I ejected, and person I evicted from my life, something and someone positive entered. Funny how that works…

There are some big hurdles ahead for sure, but I’d rather trip over them on the way to the finish line, than not run the race at all.

Clarity. It’s a beautiful thing.

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We Will Not Let Fear Rule Us…

A year ago I was glued to my tv, transfixed by the horror unfolding in Boston. I couldn’t believe that someone would target a sporting event that isn’t ruled by politics and large salaries, but rather by regular, everyday people, supporting charities, and striving to be better and reach a goal. (not that targeting any other event would be more acceptable…

I thought to myself, “next year, I will stand on the sidelines in Boston, in solidarity with those who survived, and remember those who didn’t”

I mean, I’ve always wanted to go to Boston, so why not?!
Then another thought popped into my head. “Someday I’ll run there…”
Pretty lofty and far fetched considering I could barely run across the street to catch the bus without wheezing profusely for 20mins afterwards.

But something changed in me that day. I was so angry. And I was sad. And I felt guilty and useless and lazy. And I felt it was unacceptable to continue to couch potato my way through life. And I decided then that I would change that.

Fast forward a year, and I’ve just completed my 7th running event. (6-5K’s, and 1-10K), and while schedule and funds won’t allow me to be running in Boston on Monday, I will be running my own “event” here in Toronto.

I signed up for the “We Stand With Boston” Virtual Run, the proceeds of the entry fee going to The One Fund for the Boston Bombing victims.

My bib has been emailed and printed, and on Monday morning I will run a 5K.
One K each for Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Sean Collier, and 1K for everyone else who was affected physically, mentally or emotionally that day. (myself included)

And next week my medal will arrive via mail, and I will proudly add it to my display wall.
And next year, if circumstance and funds allow, I will travel to Boston and run the 5k there.
And someday…
I will attempt to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon.

And on that day, terror will have been turned into triumph.

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In like a Lion…

Not March, ME.

As I wrote on my facebook status today (after working at Starbucks for the afternoon because I didn’t have the money to re-up my internet at home)

Dear 2014;

In January you swept my legs out from under me.
In February you kicked me while I was down.
Kudos. Nice try.
It’s March now, and the bitch is back.
I’ve had enough of your shit.
You have been warned.


It’s like I go through Kubler-Ross stages of depression… and I have hit the anger portion of the program. Which is a good thing, because anger motivates me more than anything. (which actually, in hindsight, might not be the best scenario… but hey, whatever works at this point)

I’m tired of everything in my life turning into a “Sophie’s Choice” moment. Do I pay rent or do I eat? Do I “waste” $6 to transport myself to/from an event, or do I continue to exist in this hermit like state.

I have $35 dollars to my name currently. (only because I took the bowl of change on my counter to the grocery store, and it added up to $30) $15 of that could go to internet, but I have been eating rotisserie chicken and apples for a week now, and I would really like to change it up. Not that $35 is going to go very far, but I could make a half decent Shepherd’s Pie… and since I don’t know when my “pay” is actually going to arrive, I don’t want to leave myself short of cash.

I’m 0 for 2 on getting paid for work done in February. This can’t happen anymore. I need to find work with people who A) value my time/effort/talent and B) actually pay for it.

I had one of those moments of clarity this week, while sorting my laundry. I don’t own a pair of socks or underwear without a hole. I can’t tell you the last time I bought myself new underwear. Such a basic accoutrement in life, and yet, such a luxury to me. Gone are the days of Bi-Way, when you could grab yourself 10 pairs of cute, cheap cotton panties. Now a pair of gitch is $10. Ha! right.
Since no one sees them, I just put up with the stretched out, faded, falling apart undergarments.
Same goes for the socks, the stained t-towels, the chipped plates/bowls, the broken desk chair, and on, and on, and on…

Why is this an acceptable way to live? IT ISN’T!!

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Now is the winter…

of our discontent…

I don’t think this phrase has ever resonated as much with me as this winter. This bleak, sad, depressing, fowl, dark, empty winter that is the putrid gift that keeps on giving.

So, lets just start with the crap (brain purge warning)

I made the mistake of convincing myself a couple of years ago that my “depression” was merely a side effect of my gluten intolerance. (negating the years of therapy with my psychiatrist) Perhaps because I felt so much better going off gluten, which just happened to coincide with the fact that I had a full time job, plus life in general was going pretty good at the time. (and I was only a year out of therapy)

Fast forward to this year… no, actually, probably last summer if I’m truthful, and those dark clouds started to roll in again. Life has been kicking me quite a bit lately, and as much as I’m a fighter, and built of pretty hardy stock, I find myself really struggling to climb out of the pit this time.

I’m tired in an indescribable way (which is ironic as I am also in the throes of insomnia) My mind is in a constant state of wander or just blank. I have little to no motivation to do anything.
And when all is said and done most days I just. don’t. care.
About anything.
Things that normally bring me pleasure and excitement barley move the needle. Of course when they do, I cherish them.

Sadly every time I make a little headway, someone manages to pull the rug out from under me.

Yes, I know that no one actually has any control over how you feel, that it’s ultimately your choice to allow them that… power… so I guess in that sense I am to blame there as well.

So I’m in survival mode right now.

Each day I manage to unfurl from the fetal position and get out of bed is a mini triumph.
If I eat? Bonus points.
Get dressed? Give the girl a medal.
Leave the house? Epic.
Actually socialize with someone? Alert the press.

It’s actually good that I work from home, otherwise I would have amassed a rather large amount of sick days. From the safety of my livingroom I can still pull off some billable hours in my pj’s with unbrushed hair.

Every so often I have a moment of clarity and I see the dust on my shelves and the dishes in my sink, and I spring into action. But mostly I am oblivious to it all.

I know most of this is “circumstances”, and that it will pass eventually, but in the meantime… I tread water and cross my fingers, and celebrate the days I manage to get from sun up to sun down without bursting into tears.

Today, so far, so good.

I managed to convince myself to get out of bed around 1pm (after watching the hockey game) I got dressed and left the house. (!)
My intention was to grocery shop.
Panic ensued. (oh ya, the ED is back too)
Bought a book and a coffee instead. And walked. A lot. Until the sun went down and it was too cold.

Since shopping wasn’t going to happen, and knowing if I went home eating wasn’t happening either, I stopped in at Jack’s and treated myself to Gaucho Fries, guacamole, and a Caesar (the drink not the salad) pulled out my computer, and camped out for a bit.

So here I sit. Slightly tipsy. Slightly nauseous. But out in public. I managed to accomplish a few tasks, clean out some emails, and write a bit.

Not a great day, but not a bad day. A day.

Next up… some of the good stuff (yes, there has been some)

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What a difference a day makes..

As if sensing my despair, the universe intervened and sent me a gift this morning…

A Facebook friend request.

From a long lost love.

And I accepted.

And we messaged back and forth a little.

And then he called.

And we talked.
For an hour.

And we laughed.
Oh how we laughed.

And it was like no time had passed.
And it was familiar.
And comfortable.
Like your favorite sweatshirt, that’s broken in and stretched out, and fits you in all the right places.

And I imagined him smiling on the other end of the line.
And I smiled.

And I haven’t stopped.

Thank you universe for giving me a reason to get out of bed today.
And tomorrow…
And next week…
And for giving me something to plan for (a visit) and hope for…


Before I went to sleep, I sent him this entry in a message, prefaced by the following:

*because as I get older, and realize how fleeting life/time is, I choose to articulate feelings when they happen, and share them. Too often we never let people know the impact they have on us, good or bad… and the moment passes, and they never know… so this is from my journal entry today… *

I awoke to this response:

sounds like the start of a beautiful story,……….
that needs to be told.


*le sigh*…
this could be a good year after all…

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Happy New Year?

Ok, back to the original purge at hand…

This is just a big ol pity party brain purge. I’m completely blocked to any other creative ventures right now as my brain is full with “pity poo”. So, I’m dumping it in an attempt to open my neural pathways and spark some creativity, and motivation, and perhaps some hope…*you have been warned*

My news feed,  twitter stream, instagram home page, fuck… the web in general, is filled with joy, and engagement announcements, and baby bumps and bundles, and new jobs, and old fulfilling jobs, and hope, and anticipation, and resolutions, and motivation…
While my internet voice, for the most part, has remained quiet; a stagnant slap in the face each day, reminding me of how I’m feeling: Old, and tired, and stuck, and scared, and scarred, and unworthy, and inadequate, and intolerant, and impatience, and lost, and … empty.

And I want to be authentic and honest about what I’m feeling and where I’m at, especially because nothing pisses me off more lately than people faking happy, or forcing celebration, or being completely inauthentic about who they are and what they stand for, all in attention seeking, “cry for help” ways. And I want to scream and lash out most of the time, at others, and myself, and the world in general,  but I don’t want to be the person that pisses in everyone’s Shreddies. And there are people out there with legitimate gripes, and sadness, that they haven’t brought upon themselves, voicing their situations, which makes my “stuff” pale by comparison. So instead I sit silent or share the most superficial, mediocre, or fleeting moments of life. My way of placating the other humans in my life so they get the impression I’m still “living”, but also a way of trying to find the positive moments in the pool of negative I am mired in every. fucking. day.

I’m frustrated that after such an amazing start to my year, my legs got kicked out from under me halfway through 2013, and that just when I started to regain my footing and my purpose again, the rug got pulled out from under me as the year drew to a close, leaving me with little joy over the holidays, and little to no hope coming into the new year. Sort of a microcosm of my entire life reflected in one calendar year.

I hate that for all my good intentions in my life, I have somehow paved myself a road to hell.

I’m gutted that all of my plans for 2014 have already derailed, and that I feel so frozen in fear and chaos that I feel I can’t fathom making any new ones.

I hate, HATE not having the means to say “I would like to do this” and then make it happen. No matter how big or small.

I’m so fucking disappointed and angry at myself right now. Years of stupid decisions, and bad choices, and trusting the wrong people, and not taking chances, and taking too many chances, and on and on…, have me starting out the new year broke, and alone, and with nothing good on the immediate horizon.

The angry and sad is swallowing me up, and I have no one to blame but myself, which just makes it worse. And the thought of leaving my apartment causes panic as I am on the verge of tears more often than not, never knowing if I’m going to get from point A to point B without losing my shit in front of a group of strangers, or worse, friends. Friends. Ha! if there is one thing I’ve learned as I get older, and especially over the last couple of years. One doesn’t make friends anymore. They make”frienemies”. Or perhaps that’s just me. Over the years I seem to have accumulated a bunch of those. Acquaintances who are/were  “friends” only to usurp my knowledge, help, resources, and other acquaintances, or to increase their cred, Klout score, “hits”, etc… Superficial at best, and “friends” by the loosest of definitions.

I can count on one hand the people I would actually trust to count on were I to feel I deserved any help from anyone. A few weeks ago I might have used two hands, but in hindsight… not so much. And even at that, these folks have their own mountain of debris to clear from their own personal shitstorms… I couldn’t possibly expect them to have the energy or resources to help me with mine.

So I get up everyday, and I roll with the punches following unrestful nights, and I convince myself to get dressed, and work, and do menial tasks, and distract myself, and eventually I leave the apartment. And somewhere deep down I believe it will all work itself out, but for the immediate future, I am caught between the desire to curl up in the fetal position or “fake it till I make it” and just move ahead with plans for a future on the assumption that I will have one even remotely close to anything I’ve envisioned or hoped for for myself for this year and beyond.

*and exhale*

I know this is sort of cryptic. Don’t worry, I’m not dying or anything (at least that I know of)  I’ve just colossally fucked up, and am too humiliated to divulge further.

“Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”

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Living in a Disposible World…

I was actually writing something else, but I need to get this off my chest first.

I spent the waning hours of New Years eve in a highly uncomfortable situation, being ignored by one, and slighted by others (who had clearly been taken a side)
In the light of day, I thought perhaps it was just my imagination, only to discover accidentally that I had been “unfollowed”
Really? REALLY??

All of this over a 2 sentence slightly elevated exchange online, that any normal human would have blown off after a day, chalking it up to the situation, the holidays, stress, any number of things. I wasn’t in the wrong in this case, and would have liked and deserved an apology, but that wasn’t going to happen, so I had taken the high road and put it behind me and moved on. Clearly, they had not. And for the 3rd time in 2013, I was atop the trash heap, discarded for whatever reason, with either no explanation, or no offer of repair or redemption. Just done. Slate wiped clean.

Why doesn’t anybody fight back anymore? Nobody fights back. We live in a disposable society. Friends, marriages, furniture, pieces of equipment, appliances. If it’s broken, just throw it out. (trade it in, dispose of it, delete it, unfollow…)  Why not take a moment to rethink, review, repair? Nope. Too much effort. Too messy. And it would require a little introspection. Perhaps to the point that you would have to, *gasp*, admit you were wrong and apologize!! (in all three situations, this was NOT the case, and in all three I took the high road, the blame, and even apologized)

Nope. Nobody fights back. There is a facet of society out there made up of wimpy, thin skinned, myopic thinking, selfish people that think only of themselves, and their feelings, while making everything, good or bad, about them. And if it is deemed that your actions or very existence goes against that, even for just one conversation, then that’s it. You’re on the proverbial trash heap.

I thought it was my imagination, but alas, it’s not. And it’s an epidemic.

And all fucking year, I blamed myself each time it happened. Going back over conversations, wondering what “I” did wrong. Second guessing myself.

Well, new year, new leaf, new attitude.

If there is one thing you need to know and completely understand as an active participant in my life. I am who I am. I don’t hide behind a brand, or a cause, or an animal, or a cartoon moniker, or an “egg”. Good, bad, ugly, indifferent. I am nothing if not authentically Meesh.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I live in the moment. I react in the moment. If I’m happy, you know it. If I’m mad/sad, you know it. Simple. Honest. If you push, I push back. I don’t mince words. I don’t bullshit. And from now on, I WON’T apologize for calling you out on your bullshit. I won’t apologize for your thin skin. And I won’t apologize for your social awkwardness.

I’m not going to put up with passive aggressive behavior either. I’m not going to be made to feel uncomfortable in a room, or a group, or situation  because you are there and have decided that you are no longer going to show me the basic human courtesy of making eye contact, or saying hello/goodbye. Fuck that. I’m tired of dimming MY light, because you’re sensitive. And I’m tired of backing down so as not to rock the “social” boat.

And guess what, you walk away? I’m not gonna chase you, or beg you to reconsider.

Nope. This year there is no revolving door into/out off “Meeshville”.
You walk out the door of my life in 2014, it’s a one way exit now.
The door locks behind you. Want back in? Suck it up buttercup. Pull up your big girl/boy panties and ring the doorbell. But be prepared, if and when I answer, to admit you were wrong, or defend your position, and FIGHT for the privilege of being in my life.

I’ve spent too many years worrying about and taking care of everyone else, with little to no reciprocation, and now that I’m at rock fucking bottom (the other post I’m writing) I just don’t have time or energy for anyone else’s neurosis.

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The hot dog…

Every year around around this time I have what I call my “hot dog” moment.

Tonight was that night.

Let me give you the back story…

In 1989, about a week before my wedding, I was in Toronto for the weekend. (I was living up north at the time) It was the first week of December, and the city was in full holiday hustle and bustle swing.
Although I grew up in the city, I had been living away for about 4 yrs at that time, in a resort town, sheltered from the harsh realities life.

I was riding the subway when I noticed a man, obviously homeless and down on his luck, eating a hot dog. That in and of itself wasn’t odd, but rather the way he was eating it. Quickly, and protectively, while his eyes darted suspiciously at the people around him, fearing they might reach over and grab it from him at any moment.
I felt like the walls were closing in on me, and I burst into tears. My fiance looked at me like I was out of my mind, and chalked it up to pre-wedding stress. But he was wrong.

I’ve always been a pretty empathetic person, but in this instance I really felt his hunger, and his fear, and his urgency.
And it made me overwhelming sad.
24 yrs later, it still resonates in the pit of my stomach.

And now every year, especially around this time, there is a “hot dog” moment that overwhelms me.

The weird sense of relief I felt last year when the skinny, bearded homeless man with the sad eyes and sweet smile appeared at the bottom of the escalator at Yonge & Bloor when the weather got cold, and while saddened by his plight, I was so happy he was still alive that I smiled teary-eyed at him while stuffing $10 into his cup.

And then tonight when I became so distracted by the homeless man struggling to decide which treat he could afford to buy in the coffee shop at the end of the night.

Other down trodden folks had made their rounds earlier in the evening, asking the patrons for spare change, my friend and I making note of the fact that one was sporting a Canada Goose jacket and pretty decent boots.

But this old fella walked in and looked around for a place to sit. He was not in possession of a proper coat, but rather a few layers of sweaters and a light jacket. He had tattered shoes, and was wearing grocery bags over his socks to keep his feet dry. He had a shopping bag which likely carried all of his worldly possessions. After he picked a spot, and lay his bag down, and without bothering anyone along the way, he quietly made his way up to the counter, and asked for a piece of the gingerbread cake. I quietly made my way up beside him and asked if he would like a sandwich. He graciously accepted my offer and chose one. I brought it to the barista and paid for it, and then called over to the man that his sandwich was paid for and waiting for him. The barista seemed annoyed with me for doing that, but I didn’t care.

Perhaps it was because he didn’t ask that I felt compelled to reach out.
Perhaps it was because I wanted to make sure that he had something more substantial to eat than sugar before facing the cold night ahead.
Perhaps it was because I have been but a week or so away from being completely broke and potentially homeless myself.

And just like all the other “hot dog” moments, the emotions bubbled up without warning. The burning sadness. The frustration. The want… the need to do more.

I am just one person, but at least once a month I try to feed someone. (I’d rather offer someone food than just give them spare change) I wish I could do more, but realistically, I am limited.

It’s so easy, in our busy lives, to just walk past, with blinders on, and go about our lives without a second thought to the plight of those lest fortunate than us. To look down upon or scoff at those looking for a handout. I’m guilty of it myself, though I always try to smile and make eye contact when tell them I’m sorry I can’t help them today.
But just imagine if everyone of us paid it forward, even just once a month, with a meal, or a coffee, or even a fresh pair of socks.

Imagine how humiliating it is to have to ask for help. I’m not talking the regulars that have the funny catch phrases, or their spot in front of a specific store. Keep your eye out for the quiet ones, they’re probably the most in need.

Please keep this in mind as you fill your shopping carts and trunks with groceries, and clothes, and electronics, and all of the other little extras this holiday season.
Put a couple of extra cans in the food bank bin.
Purge your closets and donate to your local clothing drive
Drop off some new socks, or hats, or gloves to a shelter or community clinic.
Find an Angel tree and fulfill a gift request for a needy child.
Keep an eye out for your elderly neighbours and offer your services to clear the snow, or take them grocery shopping.

Be creative. Be generous. Be an example to others.

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A Week of Wally…

A week ago tonight I was frantically putting the finishing touches on my apartment. I had been cleaning, and purging, and rearranging for 2 straight days as if the place was about to be inspected by the housing authority. I was nervous. I was panicking. What if he hated it here? What if he hated me?

Then the phone buzzed. They were here. 10 minutes, three trips to the car for all of his gear, a quick hello/goodbye hug with his teary eyed previous Mom & Dad later, and it was time to let him out of his crate.

Wally was home.

There was a lot of walking, and sniffing, and pacing, and then, a couple of hours later, he was curled up on his bed in the window behind me, sleeping soundly. In fact that is where he is now, a week later, as we celebrate our “week-a-versary”.

It’s funny, it doesn’t feel like it’s only been a week. We’re already into a routine. Though he does or discovers something new everyday and makes me laugh.

He’s even developed his own new quirky habits unique to our living situation apparently.

At his old home, he drank from this cool little water fountain. Here, he’s taken over the weirdness that was Skitzo and is drinking from the toilet. Only he’s a bit of a spaz, and I am constantly sitting on little wet paw prints when I pee. I keep the fountain going anyway, cause I like the sound, and the running water is very good Feng Shui.

He actually has a strange aversion to the kitchen all together it seems. Won’t even come in if I’m in there. It’s dark and small, and everything sounds louder in there, very unlike the beautiful kitchen he was used to. So, after a first day of not eating, I put his bowl of food in the livingroom… this is now where he eats. LOL!

He’s also a climber. Obsessed with getting up on things as high as he can, and very frustrated when he can’t accomplish that task. I feel bad that one of his favorite roosting places is the entertainment cabinet that is getting ready to be shipped off to charity. Maybe I’ll get one of those crazy cat tree thingies. Maybe not.

Surprisingly, and the best of all, despite being told he is not a lap cat, he has taken to joining me for a daily cuddle. It’s not for a longtime, but I get a happy, purring, fur ball sitting on my belly/chest for a few minutes, before he remembers he’s not a lap cat, and scurries away. Again, this is signature Skitzo. I believe wholeheartedly that my buddy is guiding Wally from the kitty spirit realm. (he may even be annoying him at times… )

It’s nice to have “energy” in the apartment again. It’s nice to come home to someone again. Though he doesn’t get off his lazy ass and come to the door to greet me. LOL! I’ve even been sleeping more soundly in the last week than I have in the last year.

He’s yummy! And I’ve already taken 80 pictures of him. LOL! (don’t worry, I won’t post them all here)

anyway, without further ado… Here is the new man in my life… Wally.

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Sometimes, some days, the hardest sentiment to muster up is “thankful”

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot if things to be thankful for, and everyday I quietly express gratitude for a moment, or a thing, or a person in my life that day.

But some days it is a forced expression, particularly on the day/weekend you are expected to express it.

You see for all the things I am thankful/grateful for, there are a half dozen things I am ungraciously, very selfishly unthankful for.

I’m aware of what an ass that makes me, and I’m not proud of it, but in the same way a bout of unhappiness helps you to know and appreciate the headiness of great joy, I think stewing in the juices of selfish want or “woe is me” teaches you to be grateful/thankful for what you do have.

It’s learning to move past the negative and acknowledge the positive that is the trick.

So this year I’m grateful to still be self sufficient despite some hardships.

After being betrayed, disappointed, and abandoned by a few, I’m grateful for the amazing, inspirational, strong, beautiful men and women who have come into my life this year, have chosen to stay, and continue to inspire me in ways large and small.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to unlock the gate to the tall, sturdy, reinforced fence around my heart to welcome the possibility of love in my life again.

I’m grateful for the fur baby who will become part of my life this month (who I’m going to hang out with this afternoon) I think having another living, breathing presence in my home will be a welcome change. It will be nice to have another purpose and someone happy to see me when I walk through the door.

I’m thankful for the self awareness I possess. And for the knowledge that when I feel that my life is spiralling out of control, the truth is I am always in control of my own thoughts, actions, and choices. The onus is on me to make the right ones.

I’m thankful for sunny days, and hot coffee, and cool nights, and cozy blankets, and interesting conversations, and non-traditional celebrations.

I’m thankful I’m able to see beauty and humour on a daily basis. I can’t imagine a day without a belly laugh or a teary eyed smile.

I’m thankful for my bright eyes, my strong legs, my long hair, my hearty laugh, my sarcastic wit, and my always genuine, too-toothy smile.

I’m thankful for my sense of empathy, my self deprecating sense of humour, and even for the days my stomach churns with anger and jealousy, as I know it means that there is some fight left in me and I still believe I deserve better for myself in this life. And I am truly thankful for deep down, aesthetics aside, really liking who I am and the woman I continue to evolve into, flaws and all, everyone else be damned. ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving cyber strangers and friends!

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