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16 July, 2016

Hey you. You are loved.

This is dedicated to anyone who ever felt alone. Anyone who ever hated who they were or a part of themselves. It's dedicated to those who are exhausted at pretending they're okay. If you need help I will help you. You're never alone.


These are a few words that I have been called, or I have been made to feel throughout my life. It’s something no one should have to experience – yet – it’s something almost all of us do.

The feeling of worthlessness, of self-hatred, the clouded and murky view on the world to which we think is a reality.

“I am worthless. I deserve to be unhappy.”

This is something I am familiar with hearing, and what’s worse is that these words that hurt me so much have come from myself.

People spend their entire lives fighting to be seen, heard, and valued. The fight with oneself is enough, but adding in others who may be tearing you down seems almost impossible to deal with.

Every time you think “I am going to be ok”, somebody makes you feel like you can never climb out of this crater you’re in, and every time your fingers grasp the edge ready to pull yourself out, somebody steps on your hands and send you plummeting back where you started.

Hating yourself is exhausting. It takes every aspect of joy out of your existence, and leaves you dwelling in the pit of dejection you’ve convinced yourself is your life. You can’t get out of bed, and when you do you feel like you haven’t slept in weeks.

Your physical appearance makes you literally sick to look at - you can’t find one thing about yourself that you don’t hate. You think everyone around you is judging you, and people who make your life hard suddenly seem right. You begin to make excuses for these people, allowing them to treat you this way because you feel like you deserve it.

You don’t.

You may not agree with me right now, but you will.

Nobody should ever be allowed to make you feel bad about yourself, your abilities, your appearance, or your personality. Allowing people to make you feel worthless is the absolute lowest point you can get to. So you know you need to fight to make it better.

It won’t be easy. You start small.

When you wake up you will think, I will find something to make me happy today. And you will. When you look for things it’s amazing what you find. And when you get out from underneath the rock you put on yourself under, you will find that the world is a big place, full of people just like you.

You are valued.

You have a skill.

You are beautiful to somebody. And you matter to someone. Maybe you haven’t met them yet, or maybe you have – but you do.

Hating yourself sets the standards for everyone who meets you. The first thing you need to do is realize that it’s not okay to feel this way. If you hate yourself then others will think it is ok to do so. Stop the excuses, the false justifications, and the warped rationalization that you deserve it. Stop thinking that you’re not worth it.

You are.

But this can take a long time. It’s all up to you.

It can be frustrating. The only person who is stopping you, the only person who is standing in your way is yourself.

Once you actually understand that this self depreciation is not normal, it will hit you like bricks. The walls you build to keep others out or your emotions hidden will crumble.

Realizing that you are worth being here, realizing that you are special and that you matter – this is the first day of the rest of your life.

You are funny. You are loved. You have a talent even if you don’t know what it is yet. People like you.

You matter to someone.

People tear others down because it makes them feel better about themselves. Those who tear down are insecure and broken inside. These people are the people who have been in your position – and are doing anything they can to not be there ever again. They will do anything possible to stay out of that crater, to keep someone else in it so they will never have to be in it again.

These people, these are the people who need to know that you are a strong person. You’re a fighter.

You won’t allow them to push you around, or make you feel like you are worthless – because you are strong. You deserve to be here.

You need to show these people that you are resilient. That what they say and do does not affect how you feel about yourself. Show them that you aren’t letting them tear you down.

They aren’t worth hating yourself over.

These people aren’t worth the exhaustion that comes with hating yourself.

People are allowed to have opinions. This is a fact of life, and some people’s opinions will never change. And you have to realize this. Some people will think a certain way despite all the overwhelming evidence otherwise. These people you can’t change.

But you can.

Allowing yourself to be happy, allowing yourself to ignore hateful and abusive remarks is the first step towards reclaiming your life.

This is YOUR life.

You own it. You are the one living it, and everything you do is your decision and nobody else’s. You are in charge of your own path. You have the power to do anything you want – good and bad. It is up to you to make these choices.

It is up to you to set an example for others.

Everyone makes mistakes. We’re following our own path, wrought with choices that lead to mistakes and triumphs. The beauty of life is that they are yours to make, learning as you go.

You know you’re strong. You know that your opinions matter and that your life matters. You know that your time is valuable, and that you are worth it.

And if you don’t, then I do. And if you need help – if you are struggling – then I will help you.

You can count on me; you have me to come to. And I will listen. Somebody will listen.

And I'm telling you that it may feel like you can’t do another day, your pain is too great, and your determination to weather through is gone – but you’re stronger than that.

Strength is defined when unforeseen circumstances put you in a position to prove how far you are willing to go.

And as humans, our capability for strength is unparalleled.

One day you will wake up and think “I don’t feel as bad.” Some time later you will wake up and think “I feel normal today.” It will snowball until one day you wake up and think “I am happy.”

And you’ll get there.

I know you will.

25 November, 2015

Mini Cheddar Cornbread Muffins


  • Unsalted butter, softened, or vegetable oil cooking spray, for tin
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 12-cup mini-muffin tin or coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Combine buttermilk, egg, and oil. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until combined. If you want to add cheese, you can mix about a 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of cheese into the batter.
  • Fill cups of muffin tin three-quarters full with 1 batch of batter. Sprinkle some cheese on top if you want!
  • Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out muffins from tin. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

From Martha Stewart's blog

09 February, 2015

The Train - A Short Story

Rhys took the train to and from work every day. He was always – mostly – on time (his winded pants while he flew into the doors as they closed behind him were still wins after all), and would sit in the same spot each day to people watch. He saw the same people every day, the woman painting her nails, the man eating his breakfast burrito, and the young student with his headphones up too loud.

When getting into Toronto he would get off and merge into the other lines of animal herding queues to get off the platform and walk to work. He would pass the business man kissing his wife before parting ways, notice the man taking his conference call pretending he was in the office already (“Yes, Jenkins, there is some street noise from the window), and would say ‘thank you sir’ to the homeless man who held the door open for streams of drones as they waddled out the door and into their seemingly busy lives.

Rhys wasn’t any of those people. He didn’t have a family, or important calls to be on. He never made breakfast or clipped his fingernails or listened to music too loudly; some would call him acutely aware.

When Rhys finished his day, he packed up, said goodbye to the Secretary and the doorman, and trudged day after day to the train station. He was one of a thousand people who walked through the doors the ignored homeless man held (“Thank you sir”), waited in line to shuffle single file onto the platform with the man and his wife, and always saw the business man fiddling with his mic on his earphones.

He sat beside the lady who was picking her nails (her nails were yellow this week), the man with the empty breakfast containers, and the student who was somehow sound asleep with the music loud enough to sing along to.

It wasn’t an exciting life, but it was routine, and Rhys could appreciate that.

Friday was another normal day. After the morning commute Rhys spent his day having lunch by himself, and working on his notes for a meeting. His manager asked him to take over Paul’s project since Paul wasn’t doing that great a job, and he knew Rhys would agree – Rhys always agreed.

Rhys stayed a little later to finish the project so Nancy wouldn’t have to wait until Monday to file it (she was really nice and always saved a few French Vanilla K-Cups for Rhys). He signed heavily as he said goodbye to the Secretary and to the doorman. He wrapped his scarf tighter against his neck as the February air chilled his skin. The streets were a little emptier than usual (people probably left early on Fridays), and the usual bustle wasn’t outside the train station doors.

Rhys checked his watch but he was only 15m or so later. He shrugged and opened the main doors to make his way into the platform. He froze.

Blood covered the threadbare carpet of the station, and pooled at the bottom of the stairs. Rhys looked stone-faced (too shocked to react) at the bodies on the ground. Bodies lay where they fell.

The business man lay a few feet from his phone, which flew out of his hand when he landed. The man and his wife lay by the stairs - the man was holding her hand. The student still had his earphones on half inside the bathroom, like he had come out and was taken by surprise. A woman with yellow fingernails lay clutching her stomach, eyes listlessly looking at the ceiling. A man and his bag of Tupperware was face-down a few feet away. Dozens more Rhys didn’t recognize; all these people who lead routine lives just as he did, all these people had their routine ended. The faint sounds of sirens could be heard in the distance.

Rhys stared in horror as he slowly stood in the lobby, not wanting to walk inside. The smell of iron overwhelmed him. He heard a sound and watched as the homeless man walked through the blood to the doors. He stood quietly for a second before pulling the door back into his usual position and waited. Rhys looked at the man and noticed the blood splattered on his tattered clothes, and a silver pistol tucked into his waistband.

He looked at the man and the man motioned for him to come through. Not knowing what to do, Rhys walked gingerly through the main station doors, as always. “Thank you sir.” He was a few feet in front of the man, and turned around to look at him.

‘Why?” The pain welled in Rhys’ eyes, and the confusion clouded his brain.

“I was invisible.” The man delivered the line calmly and with a matter-of-fact-ness.

Rhys’ heart started to pound in his chest.

“Why not me?” The man closed the door and dropped the pistol on the ground. He stared at it. His routine was about to change too.

The sirens were louder now.

“I was never invisible to you.”

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