I rarely post much on my personal life – but I’ve been making some changes lately that seem to want to be expressed a little more directly than just to my immediate circles.
I have a pretty fantastic life, I feel so lucky and fortunate to have happy, healthy children and to live in a wonderful, beautiful and free country like Canada. It’s not like I’ve missed out on life’s struggles entirely: I went through a pretty dismal time when I was doing my PhD at UBC. Both my dad and my brother (to whom I was very close) died. My dad of a heart attack 6 months before my wedding. My brother died of AIDS during a time when it was still a taboo subject and the only hospital with an AIDS ward was downtown Vancouver. To this day I remain grateful to all of the nurses and doctors who spent time and shared their expertise with my beloved sibling. He missed the magical cocktail by a mere three weeks.
I am divorced, and my ex-husband and I have a pretty terrific co-parenting relationship. It hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do, but we are both very committed to putting the needs of our children first. I’m quite convinced that we were never in love, but we were respectful of one another and always good friends. That’s probably why we get on so well 6 years after we separated!
The kids are doing great, they are growing into little people with their own minds and outlooks. I appreciate them much more now than I ever have before, probably because they are older and more reasonable. The baby and toddler stages were intensely difficult for me. I had post-partum depression 4 times and it was never easy.
In the past year I went through a heart-wrenching split. My ex-husband and I have been apart for many years, and three years ago I met someone who I fell deeply in love with. We got engaged and we were going to get married – and then, instead of that, I found myself in a position of victimization, fear and insecurity. The good times were so damn good. But the bad times were bad. And they got worse. Until I feared for my own safety and that of my kids.
And yet, as I sit here on a chilly December morning, there’s some part of me that wants him back. Because I’m lonely and sad. Because it’s close to Christmas. Because I sometimes feel like I’ll never meet anyone else. Ugh. All those things that you KNOW are normal, healthy and functional phases of the grieving process - for relationships or any kind of significant loss -and that hurt like fuck.
I’ll remain steadfast. I’ll continue to be a great mom, and to enjoy all the wonderful and amazing projects and people that come into my professional life, and I’ll continue to layer the love onto my close friends. I don’t feel any shame in sharing my struggle. I’m so sick of this world of social media glory where you can make it look like everything is rosy and perfect.
I work damn hard for my successes, and I enjoy them tremendously. I also work damn hard for my near-misses, my less-than-successful-successes, and my outright fails. I’m ok with stumbling. As a constant risk-taker I’m used to rejection, irreverence and indifference. Regardless of how they play out, it’s utterly impossible for me to exist without my back-pocket passion projects and my wacky sense of adventure that my readers and fans know all too well.
I’ll keep being that girl, because I like that girl a lot. Just remember that she’s always coming to you from a place of authenticity and reality. Not some kind of fairy tale where all of my achievements were simply handed over too easily or too soon.
Whatever your own struggles may be, keep in mind that every single person, no matter how lucky, unlucky or otherwise, is the same: a complex animal with a multitude of connections and complications and conundrums. These 4 C’s (among many others assuredly) will always keep us on the tips of our toes. Sometimes it looks like ballet. Other times it looks like a fucking hot mess. Either is ok.