In previous years, I’ve gone back and re-read the year-end blog and wondered how much I’d grown, or changed, or transformed. I haven’t read what I’ve written between the crossover of 2020 to 2021. Because this year was a conglomerate of change – physically, mentally, emotionally.
My truth became like a crusade during 2021; a year that compelled me to peel back the layers and dig deeper into who I am as a person even further than I had before. The pandemic wore each of us down to our final nerves, and as I was growing accustomed to not being in radio, focussed on weight loss, I started losing the edges of my person. And while I still grapple with figuring out who I am, I am more interested in finding out who I’m going to become.
Near the top of the year, I lost a colleague and her death still haunts me. Initially, it grew into nightly terrors, and panic-attacks, and PTSD meltdowns and gut-wrenching fear of death that would have me sitting straight up in bed, clutching my chest like I was in cardiac arrest. I have still not fully accepted that she’s gone, or that she was the one to go, and I haven’t fully forgiven the universe for choosing her. It was around the time that she passed that I finally lent myself to help. Real, honest-to-god help. The kind that came in little orange pills and talking with a therapist.
I had taken the reigns on my health in 2020, and by the time I was locked into the new year, I was a full 50lbs lighter. I was gaining traction on being “tiny”; I was moments away from losing the CPAP machine. I was figuring out how my body processed food, and what carbs stuck to my hips, and how to create recipes that were equally delicious as they were health-inspired and calorie-wise. By the spring, I had crossed a 60lb loss goal. But this would soon change.
As my depression from the pandemic grew stronger, lack of seeing family became more devastating, living with the shocking loss of a friend, and learning to navigate a relationship from stay-at-home orders became harder, the anxiety medication became exceedingly necessary. And Cognitive Behavioural Therapy became mandatory. I was simply not functioning.
I couldn’t have guessed that the anxiety meds were going to provide two extraordinary changes – assist me in getting a handle on my mood swings and disorder AND cause me to put back on the weight – almost thirty pounds of it. (In addition to a host of other side effects, including whack dreams and incontinence.)
The obvious also happened in 2021.
I couldn’t have predicted that I would end the year single, but by the same token, I can’t fully lend myself to the idea that it hadn’t been a real possibility. We were shaken to our very core, without a foundation to stand on, and when the world around us was falling apart, and we were forced to stand there in front of one another, leaning on only each other, it became too much. And suddenly the man I had called my best friend became the last person I wanted to talk to. It took a lot of guts for him to call it – to say what we were both thinking but I was refusing to acknowledge.
The pandemic forced us all into our homes without a whole lot more than a lack of space, and a whole lot of fear. And for him and I, the lockdown came mere months after we were living together. With kids. With ways of doing things. With nuances and ideas, and patterns of behaviour that we’d cultivated long before we realized they clashed. Suddenly, things between us became very cramped, and very suffocating, and before we were buried alive under the pressure, we went to our separate corners – with our friendship still in tact.
It brings me to present day.
Here I am, single, back to being overweight, living in a new apartment. And just to keep it interesting, I’ve also resigned from my position at work. I know. I can’t do anything simple. I have to keep the fires of interest stoked to make it from moment to moment. And here I am, technically unemployed.
I don’t have commitment issues – I am completely committed to continually being non-committal.
I am also not someone to rest on her laurels, or to consume oneself with the negative, but to see what else can be done, what’s the alternative for the moment. How do we continue making it bigger and brighter and more exciting and more fun and what’s the next chapter, what’s the next phase.
- My friend died. But I believe, with everything that I’ve got, that she would be pissed if she saw me was wasting away the life I still have left to lead
- The medication didn’t work. The therapy did.
- The relationship didn’t work. The friendship did.
- My house in the country was beautiful, but isolating. My apartment in the city allows for freedom, convenience, and my daughter and I have our own space. I am eternally grateful to my girlfriend Nicole for giving Anny and I a home.
- My former job was a position I couldn’t make work, so the pieces I loved, I kept. I am working in Marketing, Social Media Content Creation, Freelance Writing, DJ’ing weddings, Bookkeeping, Cleaning House, Delivery Driving. I am in a free, self-employed capacity that keeps a roof over my head, food in my daughter’s belly, and still allows me to make my own schedule. Daisy entertainment. is officially thriving. I did that.
- I loved radio, but not the radio I was doing. I am now on Amherst Island Radio, producing a podcast and a radio segment for Independent Bands – a sect of people in the music industry creating on their own terms. Nothing more has made me happier.
- And as for weight loss, well, this deserves a paragraph all on its own.
Each year, I set out on a fitness challenge. In 2019, I went for gold on the 90 Day Challenge with the YMCA of Kingston. I successfully quit smoking, and ran an 8k.
In 2020, the goal was to become a lifeguard. I was in the first few weeks of training when the pandemic forced us to shut it down.
In 2021, I lost 60 pounds.
So what of 2022? I am so fucking stoked to announce that I am joining a BODYBUILDING COMPETITION! Barring the pandemic, the event is in Ontario in September, and the goal is to enter in for FIT BODY. That means – yes, training. Lots, and lots and lots of training.
I have joined forces with Farr Ramsahoye of Visionary Fitness – the Fitness Coach, and Personal Trainer to an incredible group of people right here in Kingston. In addition to being a fabulous coach, cheerleader and champion of goals and healthy lifestyle, Farr is one of the kindest, most gentle giants I have ever known. And with him by my side, I have nine months to go from flabby and pathetic, to strong and lean. And I cannot wait to share the workouts, the meals, and ultimately the results as the months go by. I am have become inherently lazy the last few months. And yes, I picked up smoking again (listen – a breakup resulted in a vice, and I’m not proud of it, but the end date is near), let myself go again, went back to carbs again, but it all starts over on January 1st! Watch for the updates as they roll out.
I’m going to be 40 in 2022. I am so, so, so young. I have a daughter getting married, a son going off to Police Foundations, and a child planning her Sweet 16. And she’ll be off to University in less than three years.
I am self-employed. I have an incredible family. I have a network of friends, and two college diplomas.
I have weaned myself off of anxiety medication, continued with CBT, and love Booster Juice.
I am single, but not alone.
I am searching, but not lost.
I am excited, but not anxious.
Closing out my thirties, closing out the year, triple vaxxed and ready to see what life without borders is going to look like for next year. My wish to each of you is to define happiness for yourself. Is it in sporadic schedules, and lengthy blog posts, and lazy naps in front of third go at Grey’s? Is it financial security, in a 9-5, with a spouse and a dog and the kids and a BBQ on the porch? What matters is knowing that happiness isn’t a perpetual state of being, but a constant strive of mindset. You can have shitty days, and down right terrible days, but still aim for finding a rest on the happiness pendulum. You can grieve, and cry, and mourn, and lose yourself. But do it while knowing that happiness has to return. As Donda recited, “It cannot always be night.”
Thank you to my three incredible children, my fantastic family, my sisters Vickie & Katie, my Soul Sistahs, my Gino’s & Pisanos family, to my Bowling League, my besties and my support systems.
And to Jan. Who knows that with, or without romantic love, we’ll always be partners. In life, and work, and friendship, and hardship, and going-throughs, and need-you-nows, and don’t-goes, and please-stays, because I treasure you beyond measure.
Love to you all. Sending light and positivity for a successful, healthy and happy 2022.