Tag Archives: self-love

Out of the Broom Closet

In my most recent letter to Stephanie (video below), I was challenged to do one thing that scared me.

In taking time to consider what I could do that 1. Genuinely scared me and 2. Would not break my bank (ala bungee jumping etc), I realized there was something I’d been… not avoiding per se, but that I had in certain times been very careful to tip toe around.

And I realize that’s silly. Because while I do feel this is something very personal and unique to me–it’s still part of me, so it would be strange for me to AVOID talking about it if it’s relevant to the moment.

And to be honest, I’m not sure when it ever really would be relevant beyond being open about myself and letting people know where I’m coming from. It’s a part of me and avoiding talking about it should it come up would be disingenuous. I’d much rather prefer to just be open.

And in doing this I realize there are other things that I’d like to be a bit more open about as well. But those are for other videos. <3

Rogue Training – Week 3

Welcome to the Training Board!

What is this?

Everyone has their favorite character class. Being a bard, of course I have a special place for rogues in my heart. So with the help of one of my best friends, we’ve devised a training regime that will be taking inspiration from the multiple iterations of rogues as depicted in the Dragon Age series, including specializations. These workouts will be focusing on core strength, dexterity and cardio and are intended to be done in a circuit.

Things to Note:

These workouts are created with a gym in mind. Gyms are awesome because people are there to answer questions, the equipment is maintained, and if somehow you hurt yourself, you have immediate assistance. I would like to eventually add at home alternatives but right now that’s not something I have time for. I’m sharing my exact routine.

I’m basically a 5ft tall Dalish, so you may need to adjust weights or reps to your comfort level. However, do keep in mind these exercises are with a rogue class in mind, not a warrior. It’s really not about uber heavy lifting. =)

Rogue Training

Rogues are crafty combatants who succeed in battle by combining speed, subterfuge, and a wide range of abilities to bring their opponents down in unexpected ways, sometimes before the enemy even perceives danger.

Day 1


AMT Machine (level 3): 10 minutes


Kettlebell Swings: 40 reps (10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Hollow Holds: 20-30 seconds
TRX Push-Ups : 15 reps (hands holding on to grip in straps)
TRX Pistol Squats into Balancing Stick Pose: 10 reps (per leg)
Statue of Liberty: 10 reps each side (10-20 lbs kettlebell)

REST 1 minute


Day 2


Rowing Machine: 800 meters (at your pace)


Kettlebell Swings: 40 reps (with 10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Leg lifts: 15 reps (fists under buttocks for support of lower back)
One-legged Romanian Dead Lift: 10 per leg (use 10-20 lbs kettlebell)
Push-ups: 7 reps

REST 1 minute



Specializations are sub-class choices that further define and customize characters in the Dragon Age series. They open access to new talents based upon the character’s base class (Warrior, Mage or Rogue).

Keep an eye out for extra info for specializations. These will be related to other aspects of health (diet, mental health etc) to help you continue your rogue training. These ARE optional, and you are encouraged to design your own specializations. These are meant for a platform to jump off from.


These unpredictable experts specialize in using alchemical mixtures that wreathe them in frost or flame. Fast, chaotic, and possibly mad, they wade into the fight and dare enemies to face the storm.

Since Tempests specialize in alchemy, these sections will be focusing on dietary needs and recipes. Remember if you’re upping your exercise routine, food is SUPER important. Your body is increasing activity and you’re sweating which means you’re depleting nutrients much faster. It’s imperative you eat enough calories and as equally important that you’re eating calories that HELP you keep going. Protein, sodium, iron etc–you don’t want to get dizzy because you’re consuming only one food group.


Having taken the minstrel’s art to new levels, bards are skilled performers and master manipulators; bards can inspire their allies or dishearten their foes through song and tale.

Bards are all about art and charisma, so for these sections, you can expect artistic and even social challenges. We’ll use this specialization to focus on some good mental health practices. Maybe we’ll collaborate on something together, or you’ll be challenged to watch a movie or read a book–or interacting with the Curiosity Community.

Stop Telling Me I’ll Find Someone

Everyone has their own post breakup rules.

Some people remove all trace of the relationship, some people need to be surrounded by friends, others have to binge on chocolate alone while watching terribly written sappy movies to give them hope that this is not the end of…whatever it is they’re scared of it being the end of.

Mine is simple.

Stop telling me I’ll find someone.

I know this sentiment is made with the best of intentions, but I find it an incredibly toxic response. First, you don’t know the exact circumstances in which someone ended their relationship–but most importantly, you’re projecting something onto a scenario that can only cause problems.

“You’ll find someone” tells the recipient of this sentiment that they’ve lost something. That they are now “without”.

I feel like we put too much pressure on the concept of soulmates. Of finding “that one person”.

To even remotely buy into this idea, I would have to accept that “true love” is something only afforded once to a person, and in my experience, love is a delightfully common thing.

Why can we only celebrate or truly value something because it’s rare?

I have been in love at least twice in my life–three times, quite possibly. And those romantic entanglements are vastly overshadowed by the great love I have and receive from my friends and family.

It’s overwhelming and wonderful and far too understated.

Look, it’s possible there will be another romantic what not in my future–it’s also possible there won’t be, and the best part about this question is it truly does not matter either way.

I’m complete on my own. It took me a while to find all the pieces as they weren’t neatly packaged together from birth–but I have them. And I’m fine. I’m awesome. I’ll have days of sadness, I’ll be hurt, I’ll be angry or even maybe a little bitter. I can even toss and turn over things that were or weren’t said or done in that relationship.

But that’s being real. That’s being human. You have those moments regardless what kind of role that someone played in your life.

Another person cannot complete you, and they are not a necessary part of your story. You haven’t failed because you had a break up, and you won’t be failing if you don’t find another person you want to share that kind of relationship with.

I think we perpetuate a dangerous mindset when we sing so many songs about not being able to go on without another person.

I’ve lost people to far more terrible things than break ups. I’ve said goodbye for the last time in this life to so so many loved ones–a pain, frankly, that far outweighs the realization that someone doesn’t love you how you thought.

And yet, I’m here. I’m still breathing. My heart’s still beating. I’m still able to keep going.

want to still keep going.

This line of thinking, I suppose, is also completely separate from the actual context of the break up.

I left an emotionally abusive relationship that had been draining my life bit by bit for nearly three years. Yes, there were happy moments, yes there were times where I had a plan for the future…

But it wasn’t healthy.

And telling me not to worry because one day “I’ll find someone” when I’m “ready” completely negates the really remarkable point of all of this.

did find someone.

I found me.

Returning to Stardust

Today I felt myself again. Today I wandered through unfamiliar streets with no real purpose or direction. Today I held my head up and smiled at strangers.

Today I noticed the little things. An unexplained purple-paint hand print on an otherwise bare concrete wall, the way my shoes sounded a little bit like horse hooves when I click them on the pavement just right, and that particular smell of fresh cut wood and burning metal indicative of construction sites.

Today I didn’t feel drained or scared. Today I felt curious and hopeful.

Today I felt like stardust.

I talk a lot about mental health. Depression is something that has plagued people I love for as long as I can remember. My father, my sister, and my brother, who we lost to suicide in 2013. It has been a hard and painful road, watching them struggle with their own versions of a unrelenting disease. On some level, I was grateful for this intimate insight, because it meant I would be a strong ally to my friends who dealt with similar struggles.

What I did not expect is that understanding and experience could be used against me.

There is a fine line between aiding and enabling. And it’s never easy to see when you’ve crossed it. Usually when you do realize, you find yourself miles away from it.

A few days ago I realized I had spent nearly two years nurturing an unhealthy relationship because I was still trying to save my brother. There were so many red flags. At more than one point this person had threatened me with self-harm, and I had ignored it. There was a continued pattern of disrespect, and I ignored it. I had become a financial and emotional crutch with no effort to ever relieve me of this burden, even after over a year. I ignored this.

And my reasoning behind this was maybe, just maybe, if I tried hard enough, if I sacrificed just a little bit more of myself… I could save someone. I could save someone where I had failed to save my brother, and at the time it didn’t matter if that meant killing myself in the process.

The mental health we don’t often talk about is you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, and if you try, it will destroy you piece by piece. Because that person wants to control you. Because that person has been controlling you.

So I finally left. It hurt, and my mind screamed against me that I was cruel and making a mistake. I felt guilty for days. I felt like I had gone back on everything I’d promised in being an ally for mental health.

My friends were kind and supportive. They let me talk and talked me through what happened. I admitted to things I’d been too ashamed to talk about in regards to this toxic relationship. And then I no longer felt guilty, I felt incredibly foolish.

Then a dear friend offered to take me with her to Chicago on a work trip. And I spent time alone, and in doing so, I found someone I hadn’t seen in a very long time.


Today, I truly let go.

Today, I forgave myself for loving me.