health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, writing

Step back

It may have taken 22 years, but yours truly took a vacation. Yes, you read that correctly, 22 years. My beloved and I flew across the country to Vancouver, rocked out to the Def Leppard/Journey concert, ate at Gotham, the best steak house in town, strolled the streets of GasTown, Burnaby, and the glorious waterfronts with mountains on every horizon. We ate breakfast at a “You gotta eat here” restaurant. It was lovely. Except for a few Facebook posts and Instagram stories for our family and friends, yours truly unplugged from social media, my blog, my job, my day to day stresses, my to do lists, everything. I was present in every hour and every minute of my day. My hubby and I were able to complete conversations, to sit in silence together and just be. Time moved slower in Vancouver, maybe I was in vacation mode, maybe it was the scent of Mary Jane in the air around every corner (I shit you not.). All I know is I felt more zen than I had in a while, and the lovely thing is that feeling of zen flew home with me back to Ontario.

Over the past months, as you are well aware, I have been trying to find my place in this blogging arena. I started as a beauty blogger, giving tips and tricks and product knowledge. I wrote of my daily retail experiences and customer dramas…the lady thinking I stole her light bulb, the countless ladies showing me their ingrown hairs along their bikini line, the gents asking me about how to trim their nether regions….check out my Tales of Truth series for the full effect. I also wrote about lifestyle, kindness, the ugly things we don’t talk about at parties – and to tell you the truth, those were the blogs that flowed out of me, that were the best received and that brought me the most fulfillment and in turn ,the most opportunities. One of the things I learned while in Vancouver, other than those folks like their marijuana, is that I wasn’t being true to myself where my writing is concerned. I was trying to hold on to who I used to be and what I used to write about. I am no longer that woman, career wise or in my own mind. She still resides within me, but she has changed. She has matured, She has been through some shit and come out clean on the other side. She has something to offer. I have something to offer. I cannot articulate my reasoning. All I know is that it is time to stop being afraid of what may or may not lie ahead. Change is a good thing. Stepping back makes inspiration move forward.

I will continue to write product reviews and how to’s, for I love to help women and men feel good about their hair and in turn their appearance. I will continue to tell my Tales of Truth because I find it amazing the things people say to complete strangers, it’s funny and quite frankly cathartic. I will continue to write about kindness, for I believe it makes the world go round and in these days, we need it more than ever. From time to time, I may get political, for there are events happening in this world that are morally wrong, plain and simple.

I have no idea where this will lead or what may transpire. My intention, as always is to educate and inspire. To help people think of things differently, not to agree with me, but to open the door a crack to peek at what is on the other side.

Be beautiful to each other.

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

Reflections of reality

Today’s tale is for all those who are struggling, be it with your finances, your boss, your significant other, your hair or lack there of. Most importantly, for those who are struggling with yourself. If there is one thing you take from today’s tale and keep it in your pocket, it is this – you are not alone and it will get better. Everyone, I mean everyone is struggling with something or someone. Everyone.

Over the past months many of those that I hold dear, clients, friends and family alike have been facing struggles. Struggles with their friends, their loved ones and with themselves. One commonality they all seem to be facing? Judgement and ridicule, and that in itself is the worst part of the struggle. Opening up about your life or asking for help is the most difficult thing to do because of the fear of not being taken seriously. The voice of self doubt can be deafening. Judging someone on what you deem to be a lack of “being able to deal” is cruel, plain and simple. This is their journey, not yours. You see the world one way, they see it another. Here’s the deal, it is their reality, it is real to them, and needs to be honored as such. It is also their story to tell, not yours. Gossip is tacky, and ugly. Nothing good ever comes from it. Ever.

We have all struggled with reflection. For those familiar with my Salon Tales, you are well aware of my past self image issues. The difficulty with dealing with your reflection is that we aren’t just dealing with our reflections in the mirror. We are dealing with the reflections in our mind….and those nasty bastards can be hard to keep quiet. We all have the shoulda, coulda, woulda scenario’s playing and replaying in our minds -and there is nothing worse than when a friend or loved ones points them out for now our reflection has become reality.

To those who are reading this who have been the victim of judgement and ridicule, it’s time to turn those experiences around. Do not feel weak that you opened up. Be proud of yourself, feel heroic even, for you had the courage to open up, to let others know about those things that people don’t talk about at parties. Showing a weakness takes strength. Try not to judge those who judge you – calm down, I’m not gonna bring in J.C. and try to save your soul – I’m saying try not to judge them because 1) why waste your energy on someone who isn’t wasting theirs on you and 2) they need your sympathy and your empathy for they are feeling the same way you do, they just aren’t able to talk about it.

Everyone, I mean everyone at some point has; hated their hair, thought they were ugly, thought they were stupid, felt fat, felt alone, felt inadequate, lost attraction in their spouse, feared their spouse was no longer attracted to them, felt like a bad parent because they needed their child to just shut up for a minute, felt they were a bad friend because they wanted to put their own needs above another’s…the list is endless.

My hope for all who read this today is that you find some peace today, be it for a minute, an hour or more. May  serenity finds it’s way to your door. May the reflections of your reality begin to bring hope, light and love.