Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

…I don’t even know where to start.

Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be writing this letter, but here we are.

At one time, our relationship felt like the best thing that had ever happened to me.

You brought me a sense of joy I never knew was possible, and at a time that I needed it the most.

You brought out the best in me and pushed me to keep going when all I wanted to do was give up, and for that – I will forever be grateful.

I’ll never forget the memories we created…but lately, things have just felt a little off.

It is as if, at one point – you were filling my cup, but for some reason I no longer feel full.

It isn’t fair to anyone to stay in a relationship that isn’t filled with love anymore.

It isn’t fair to you for me to keep pretending like this is going to work…not when my attention and my heart is elsewhere.

I’ve enjoyed our time together and appreciate what you’ve given to me – but it is time for me to move on.

I’ll always remember our time together as a special time in my life…but now it is time to say goodbye.

 

I will always love you, Jenn and the City…but, it’s time for me to move on.

 

~ Jenn

What Anger Needs Most Is Compassion | #MyToronto #TorontoStrong

What Anger Needs Most Is Compassion | #MyToronto #TorontoStrong

My heart breaks for our city, again.

The world is such a scary place. Nothing in this crazy thing called life is guaranteed, and the violent acts of last night on our normally (somewhat) peaceful Toronto streets is proof.

As we laid in bed last night, Mike was scrolling his phone and he said, “There was a shooting in Toronto tonight.” To be honest, I barely reacted. Over the past few weeks/months – there has been a whole heck of a lot of gun violence on our streets. It’s awful. Mike looked at me, and said, “No – like, a mass shooting.”

I immediate grabbed his phone and we scrolled the news feed together.

My heart broke. I was angry. I felt broken. Who could do such an awful thing in a city (I see) filled with love and tolerance? I felt as though this city I gave my love to all my life has changed. I began to think about the family we plan on having – do I want to raise our kids in the city now?

I kissed Mike goodnight, but I didn’t sleep well at all.

What Anger Needs Most Is Compassion | #MyToronto #TorontoStrong

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

When I woke up this morning – I wasn’t angry. I was sad. I was sad that someone had this much anger and hate in their heart. I was sad that I even for one second began to doubt the amazingness that is Toronto.

Toronto is a city filled with a sense of community. We support each other, celebrating our differences – learning from one another.

The people, the food, the culture – that is what defines Toronto…not the acts of violence from those filled with anger and hatred.

For all those affected by the shooting last night – remember that. Remember that in Toronto, we will always choose love over hate. Remember that you have a community of people who are here for you and support you.

And while we are all struggling to come to terms with what has happened – try to remember that what anger and pain need most is compassion. Be kind to one another.

Rants And Rambles | Why Does My Scalp Feel Like It’s On Fire?

Friend: “So, Jenn – what did you do last night?”

Me:

breaking-bad-nothing-gif

In all actuality I spent way too much time googling “90s fashion,” “90s grunge fashion for girls,” and “How can I look cool while trying to hide my anxiety at a 90s themed event?” while I had at-home hair colour (hopefully) working its magic (covering my grey hairs).

Tonight, Mike and I are heading to #ExtraInnings: Smells Like Team Spirit in support of the Jays Care Foundation.

When you think of the 90s, what comes to mind? Let me know because who knows what fun things may come your way. ? For me, it’s the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls. It’s butterfly clips in my hair and secret notes in my Caboodle. It’s going to see Titanic in the theatre and having a different LipSmacker in every pocket. • Oh, and of course – the back-to-back world series championship wins for the Blue Jays! DUH! Do you remember Joe Carter running the bases and Tom Cheek saying, “Touch ’em all, Joe – you’ll never hit a bigger homerun in your life!” • On July 19th, I’ll be joining fellow young professionals for a night filled with nostalgia…oh, and the likes of Jose Cruz Jr., Fred McGriff, and Mr. Joe Carter himself at #ExtraInnings in support of the Jays Care Foundation. You can join us by clicking the link in my bio for tickets! #WithRogers #Rogers_Partner

A post shared by Jenn and the City (@thejennandthecity) on

 

Join fellow young professionals and Blue Jays legends for a nostalgic 90s night out at Rogers Centre™. Party the night away as we transform the concourse into a 90s dance party for a throwback Thursday evening in support of Jays Care. Joe Carter, Fred McGriff, and Jose Cruz Jr. will all be on hand as we come together to celebrate everybody’s favourite decade.

…now do you understand the 90s Google searches?

Have you ever gotten trapped in a Google search web where you click on one thing, which leads you to another…then another…then another and then next thing you know, your scalp is feeling awfully warm and itchy and then you realize, oh crap – I forgot to set a time and this hair colour has been on for like, 30 minutes?

No? Just me. Oh, well – alrighty then. Carry on.

I remember when I first started out blogging. I was confident (or so I pretended) and eager to go to every event. I wanted to show face. I wanted to meet new people. I wanted to BE EVERYWHERE. Now, as the years have gone by – I find myself going out less and less. And the times I do RSVP “Yes” (and actually show up and not bail last minute), my anxiety goes wacko leading up to said event. The times have changed. There are so many new faces and I always feel a little out of place. I usually keep to myself, head down and in my phone…avoiding contact.

Mental illness is a son of a bitch, eh?

It’s a vicious circle. Your depression and anxiety (or whatever ails you) keeps you isolated, then you feel so utterly alone. You’re lonely. So, then when the dark cloud somewhat lifts and you get the kahoonahs to actually make plans – you either bail (ahem!) or isolate yourself once out. Then you go home, kicking yourself – beating yourself up for not putting yourself out there enough. All those negative thoughts – that self-destructive inner battle – pushes you back into a dark spot. And then you start the cycle all over again.

No? Just me. Oh, well – alrighty then. Carry on.

Anyways, that’s where I’m at now. But I have been writing more and plan on using the blogaroo here as my diary, of sorts. I want to share with you guys daily (or, at least a heck of a lot more than I have been). So, expect a lot more of these rando dando check-ins and rants and rambles. Oh, and stories. I have plenty of those from over the years and now’s as good a time as any to start sharing!

…and if something resonates – HMU in the comments.

Writing is therapeutic for me, and just for that brief moment when I hit publish, it feeds my ego and makes me feel like someone may actually read this and be like, “Huh – so I’m NOT alone in feeling like this.” Which, in the end – is really all I want.

…until next time lovelies! xx

Side note: #ExtraInnings: Smells Like Team Spirit tickets are still available, so if you’re interested in joining and supporting an awesome cause – click here.

Words I Write | Sometimes You Just Need To Shut The Boogeyman Up

jenn and the city

Real life isn’t always the silly selfies you see online. Real life can be hard; real life can be exhausting.

There will be those days where you feel down and out; those days where you feel frustrated and angry.

When you feel alone and have that boogeyman inside your head telling you things you don’t need to hear.

Those days where you will just want (and maybe even need) to just shut out from everyone and everything…and that’s ok.

There is no harm or shame in taking a little time to yourself.

It’s a healthy thing to do – disconnect and just ~*LiVe*~ your life.

It’s become so easy to get preoccupied and swept up into this whole thing, this “online life” we live…but, take that step back every now and then.

After the rain, the sun will reappear. There is life. After the pain, the joy will still be here.

Recharge and refocus your energy.

But always remember that no matter how bad it seems, it will get better. I promise.

…ok, love you – bye. xx

Words I Write | A Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

Jenn and the city jennandthecity
Dear 16 year old Jenn Jenn,

I’m writing you to let you know that no matter how hard life seems right now – it will get better. I know you are frustrated, and that you feel alone. You feel uncomfortable in your own skin and unsure of what the future holds…but believe me when I say it’ll all be worth it.

Those kids making fun of you for being so skinny and not wearing make-up – ignore them. Because soon enough you will grow into a beautiful, independent woman who will be so strong-willed that you won’t take that kind of crap from anyone anymore.

You will know your worth, finally – and you won’t settle for anything less than you deserve.

Keep writing. Write down every thought and feeling that comes your way. Carry around a notepad because you will never know when inspiration will strike. It could be a sudden warm breeze that you feel through your hair on a summer evening that’ll inspire you to write about how free you feel, or it could be those late nights you spend lying in bed wide awake, mind racing, when you’ll be motivated to share your deepest secrets. These inspirational moments can strike at any time and you want to be prepared because that’s when the good stuff comes – when you least expect it.

Stay true to who you are. Don’t change your beliefs and your morals just to fit in. It’s ok to be different, it’s better that way. You see things, the world, in a different perspective.

Keep that optimism and faith in humanity, because lord knows we need more of that.

Continue reading →

How To Help A Friend In A Mental Health Crisis, From Someone Who’s Been There

semicolon tattoo

I have never been one to shy away from talking about mental health, my battle with mental illness, nor my suicide attempt.

I strongly believe in talking and sharing these stories, because if it helps even one person feel a little less alone – it’s worth it.

In light of the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, I was asked to write a piece for 29Secrets.com about how to help a friend in a mental health crisis.

Let’s just get right to it. Mental illness does not discriminate. The recent sudden shocking deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are proof. On paper, and to the outside eye, these two had it all: money, fame, power, success, family…yet these two lives were tragically lost to mental illness.

 

At any given time, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness. And according to Suicide Prevention Canada, approximately 11 people will end their lives by suicide in Canada today, while approximately 210 others will attempt to end their lives. These numbers have been steadily rising: suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: it’s about time the stigma surrounding mental illness is removed and we realize that mental health is health, and needs to be treated as such.

…I offer up my advice, as someone who’s been there.

You can continue reading the article HERE

If you, or someone you know, is struggling and experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out to Suicide Prevention Canada. This link will direct you to local crisis centres in your area.

Mental Health Is Health And You Are Not Alone

The Lifeline Twitter

p/c: The Lifeline Twitter

The shocking and sad news about Kate Spade’s suicide is a reminder that just because someone’s life may appear to be “perfect” – you never really know what they are going through.

Rich or poor – doesn’t matter.

Mental health is a disease that can affect anyone.

Be aware of the signs. Get help if you need it. Keep fighting.

Your happiness is worth the fight and I promise, you’re strong enough to keep going…even when you feel as though you aren’t.

Mental health is health. If you are struggling or in crisis – you are not weak. You are sick. You need to seek help.

Just keep fighting – one day at a time.

Happiness is out there for you, no matter what the boogeyman in your head tells you.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

As someone who has survived a suicide attempt, my heart aches every time I see a notice of another life lost.

My heart breaks for the family and friends left behind.

But my heart also breaks for the life lost. I know the pain they were feeling. I know the feeling of giving up.

I know how easily one can spiral out and I know how easily the boogeyman in your head can tighten his grip on your thoughts.

I beg of you, if you are struggling or in crisis – reach out to someone for help.
It’s out there – I PROMISE.

…and if you know someone who battles any form of mental health, please – reach out to them. A simple, “Hi. How are you?” could save a life. Trust me.

One more thing.

If the news of Kate Spade’s passing is triggering you in any way – take care of yourself.

Get offline. Mute words. Call a crisis hotline. Go to a therapy session or a meeting.

Do something to take care of YOU.

You matter. You are important. You are not alone.

If you are in crisis, here is a link to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Rants and Rambles | Sometimes You Just Have To Yell “DO OVER!” To The Universe

jenn and the city new month do over

There’s something to be said of new beginnings. Of fresh starts. Of do-overs, if you will.

Today is June 1st. A brand new month, and let me tell you – I sure am glad to see May over and done with.

When I think back to the month of May, and really – the majority of the first half of 2018 thus far, the Friends theme song pops into my head. Not the whole thing, just a certain part…

“It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year…”

 *sigh*

But, as you all know, I’m a generally optimistic person. So, I’m going to get up, brush myself off and take on the rest of 2018 with a gusto!

There’s a lot going on. There are a lot of things for me to look forward to and plan for in the upcoming months, so I’m choosing to focus my energy on the good in my life.

Continue reading →

The Night The Bitter Cold Air Was A Wake Up Call

It was a windy Thursday night. The kind of wind that hurts your face. I could feel it as I rushed along Queen St West, pivoting around the crowds of people. The sun that was shining throughout the day was false advertising of warmer weather. It was definitely still winter in the city, and much like many others, I was feeling “the blues.”

But, my “blues” were anything but, and I knew it

The anxiety and depression I have been battling for as long as I could remember had taken over. The boogeyman in my head had tightened his grip over my thoughts and actions

I needed to break free.

Just like any other day – my mind was racing. How many times have I walked down this street before? How many times had I rushed through the crowds to get to an event that I was running late for? Remembering the times where within the 7 days of the week, I was out at likely 16 events over the course of 6 days. Remembering how easy it all seemed back then.

Well, how easy I made it seem. There was a lot of pretending everything was ok when in actuality – it was not.

…it was exhausting

Things were quite different now, though. I moved in (north of Bloor St. and if you are from Toronto – you’ll understand why this matters) with Mike and now it would take a whole lot more convincing to get me out and about

At first, I would blame my lack of presence at events on “exclusivity.” Which was, in fact, part of it. I didn’t WANT to be everywhere any more. But in all actuality – it was more so my anxiety. I COULDN’T be everywhere anymore

The anxiety that would come from going out was overwhelming. It wasn’t even just being out anymore. The thought of going out starting inducing panic attacks. I can’t tell you how many times I was on my way out when the fear and panic would take over, so much so that I’d either tell my uber to turn around or I’d have to get off of the public transit because it felt as though I was going to be sick

“Take a deep breath, Jenn. It’s going to be ok,” I mumbled to myself as I hopped over the streetcar track – narrowly missing getting my heel stuck.

I secluded myself. I isolated myself from people and places and things. I would stay home, and as I would scroll through my feeds, I would feel a sudden pang of FOMO. I’d see everyone out there with the smiles and the cocktails and the laughter and I would feel as though I was missing out. But that feeling only lasted a moment…then the overwhelming sense of relief would take over.

I knew that by isolating myself though, that I was actually doing more harm than good. I needed to make changes. I needed to feel better. I needed to be the best version of myself, for me and those around me.

So, what changes did I have to make?

I knew I had to start eating better. I knew that my steady diet of wine and chicken fingers and pizza was no bueno. I mean, it was delicious – but I knew I needed more.

I knew I had to start working out again. I knew that I needed to get those feel-good endorphins flowing. The hardest part of going to the gym is LITERALLY going to the gym, so I knew I had to get over that hurdle.

I knew I had to reconnect with some friends, and distance myself from some others. I knew that I had to be selfish and put my needs first and remove some toxicness from my life. I knew that I had to hope that it wasn’t too late with some people and that they would be understanding of my isolation.

I knew I had to start saying yes again. I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and start saying yes to events and plans again. I knew that getting out there again – socializing as opposed to simply scrolling my feeds, was a good idea

So, I started making some small changes. I started meal prepping my lunches. I launched a motivational month with some followers where we encouraged each other daily. I started going to sleep earlier, and leaving my phone on the bedside table as opposed to scrolling in bed. I started getting up earlier and going to the gym. Those early morning feel good endorphins became EvErYtHiNg to me. They’re amazing!

And I even started saying yes to events and plans again.

“Take a deep breath, Jenn. It’s going to be ok,” I said to myself as I took the 15-second elevator (which felt more like an hour) ride up to the event space.

I had RSVP’d yes to this particular event, and gone solo. Double whammy. I thought that by coming solo I could plot my quick escape, if need be.

As I reached for a glass of wine from the waiter, I caught sight of a grin being shot my way that so big it lit the room and was greeted with a hug so heartfelt I immediately started to feel at ease.

“See, a familiar face. You’re good, Jenn.” I thought to myself as I saw Casie approaching.

The distraction of our conversation helped briefly ease my anxiety. From talking about recent travel to our outfits to the industry…and everything in between – the distraction made the whole situation started to become more manageable.

Distractions are great, until they’re gone – am I right?

Now that my anxiety was easing off, I was able to focus and listen to the amazing panel. Which was great because it became motivation. Hearing the panelists stories, and those from the people in the audience who decided to speak up or ask questions – was that extra butt kick of motivation I needed to make more changes.

I left the event and decided to grab a cocktail on my own. I needed to decompress after the whole evening, and just wanted to gather my thoughts a bit.

It was only after the event that it really hit me how bad my anxiety was throughout the night. And really, how much my anxiety had gotten out of hand and had taken over. As I sipped my cocktail, I knew what I had to do.

I walked outside, and as the bitter cold air smacked my face like the wakeup call I so desperately needed, I made my first therapy appointment.

Happy New Year! Also – Benylin Isn’t That Bad.

jenn and the city happy new year

HAPPY NEW YEAR, MOFOS!

I hope that 2018 brings you nothing but happiness and success because you are amazing and you deserve the best.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “JJ – you’ve done lost your damn mind! It’s February!”

RELAX.

Let’s be honest – I had a bit of a rough go in January. I’m not going to sit here and list off all the things that went wrong or brought stress my way. (Not again, at least. Ha.)

I will, however, tell you that I’m writing this post from home, sick as heck and on a mix of penicillin and Benylin…just like I have been all week. And basically all of January.

But you know what, I’ve decided to take control of my happiness.

So, once February 1st rolled around, I yelled “DO OVER!” to the universe and decided to start 2018 all over again.

What?? It’s my life, I can do as I please.

So, basically – all I’m saying is that it’s your life, and you have to decide to take control over your happiness. Have faith in the universe and good things will happen.

Also, this Benylin is actually starting to taste not bad…that’s probably not a good thing.

…I’m going back to bed. Ok, love you – bye.