Tag Archives: self-confidence

My Top 5 Amazing Women of 2017

Hello, friends…

A lot of lists float around this time of year and I will happily add to the pile if you don’t mind. 😉

I know SO MANY AMAZING women and this is stupidly hard to chop down to only 5 to mention but… these are ladies you should know about & follow on the social media. Because they are awesome and I don’t know how I got so lucky to know them.

 

My Top 5 Amazing Women of 2017

  1. My niece, Charlotte … she’s kicking butt in the kitchens of Montreal and growing up into the coolest lady.  aaauuuggghh….  I AM SO PROUD OF HER!!!!! 
  2. Ashley Wittig…  co-owner of Bunner’s, teacher at Misfit Studio,  and just all around really really awesome lady (who I don’t see enough of really- must change that in 2018…). Follow her on Instagram @ashleyhalston
  3. The ladies of Baroness von Sketch… if you’ve not seen this show for some reason, please change that NOW.  I am blown away by what they’ve done and insanely proud of how my friends Jennifer Whalen & Aurora Browne have grown since I first met them many moons ago. Follow them on Twitter @BaronessShow
  4. Through making my documentary No Responders Left Behind, I have gotten to know some PHENOMENAL women… widows of 9/11 responders, sisters, wives of responders and responders themselves. So to ladies like Caryn, Taylor, Jennifer, Rebecca, Wendi, Marzena…. I marvel at you. And adore you. I won’t share each of their social media handles, but I will ask that you check out organizations that mean a lot to them:http://www.johnnymacfoundation.org/
    https://www.theraypfeiferfoundation.org/
    http://fealgoodfoundation.com/
  5. I have to give a LOT of love and thanks and gratitude to my editor at Hello GigglesRachel Sanoff because she is just the best. 🙂 Thanks to her, you get to read my essays and I get to share my stories with so many people. She is the best. And you should go check out Hello Giggles because it’s a great space to learn and share…  follow us on Twitter @hellogiggles

 

In truth, I could list 50 women on this… but it’s a small, amazing drop of the amazing people I know. My mom is up there, my sister and sister-in-law, my friend Jenny who’s starting her own wedding organization business, the wonderful women who run amazing comedy rooms in Toronto and invite me on… I cannot wait to see where we take things in 2018.

xo

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funny / not funny

Hello, friend…

I’m about to dash off to work but I need to get something off my chest before I head off into the world today. Yesterday, on the ol’ Facebook, I spotted a cartoon someone shared making light of how many people seem to be coming out with their stories of sexual assault. There are a lot of people. I get it.

I just started at my computer, looking at this cartoon.

And my thought was simply “oh. boy.”

Here’s the thing. There’s power in numbers, right? If you see a lot of people speaking up, this beautiful domino effect occurs, you can tell you story at long last. Because the truth is, when you experience something utterly horrible like rape or sexual harassment you tend to feel like the person who did that to you will be believed before you will. Because most of the time, a lot of the time, that is the case. So you keep quiet.

And this thing bubbles inside of you for YEARS.

This will likely make ZERO sense if you’ve not had this happen to you.

Those of us who have not spoken up yet, or are doing so after 30+ years aren’t “jumping on the bandwagon”, this isn’t a sports team for fuck’s sake. It’s happening because we feel safe to speak out, well those who can and are able. Some are not. Some may never be. I had something happen to me when I was a teenager- I still cannot speak of it and I’m almost 40 for christ sake.  (That sentence is the MOST I have ever said aloud about it. Really.) I’ve experienced sexual harassment at work, taunted “because I wasn’t in on the joke” and called a bitch because I wasn’t being “one of the boys”.

Sure, I will acknowledge that some people lie and pretend they are in this shitty, shitty club for a moment of fame. I have no idea why, but people can be dumb. They make those who have actually experienced stuff really really scared to come out. You turtle back inside of your shell.

I love turtles, but. Anyway.

Person who made that cartoon and those who shared it, please don’t be surprised SO many stories are coming to light. Be supportive that folks have the courage to speak up.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go to work and then prepare a roast chicken dinner party and then transcribe for a documentary. Because I got shit to do.

 

xo.

confidence

Hello, friend…

What a day it’s been. You see, along with writing & stand-up & filmmaking… I also work in bakery. And today, man, you’d think at the first signs of winter here in Toronto folks were thinking they had to stock up for the next few months… we were slammed. Which is great! For any business, especially a small one, you want that much foot traffic. And for the most part, everyone was super to deal with today which is awesome. (Though I could really deal with less of watching couples making out in front of me. It’s like, cool… you’re in love… you are so stoked we have cinnamon buns that you feel the need to make a baby in front of me…. but please, just order something and then rip each other’s clothes off. Pleaseandthankyou.)

At the end of the night, as I closed up, I went to the washroom and I smiled at myself in the mirror. Sure, I felt as tired as hell, but I looked good! I’ve not worn much, if any, make-up for a month or so now… not for any empowerment reasons… I actually haven’t had the money to replenish stuff… ANYWAY. I just caught a smile in my eyes or something, mostly because my teenage self would NEVER have permitted herself to leave the house without LAYERS of make-up on. I had cystic acne as a teenager… my skin wasn’t soft, it was speed bump city.

And I wanted to hiiiiiiiide. And now… well, you better like me for me or you can leave. 🙂

It makes me laugh a little, just at how my teen years were spent in a fight between figuring out who I was and how to get as far away from her as possible. I wanted to be older, I wanted to live in Florida, I wanted to be SOMEBODY, anybody other than who I was. And that was LONG before I’d know what social media was. (And for that reason alone I want to hug every teen in the world right now, I do not know how you find peace amongst all that noise. I’d be a MESS if I was 16 nowadays.) Granted, I still judge myself more than I should… whenever those life markers pop up in my head and I compare myself to others. Who are married, have stable incomes, have families… I question at times why that isn’t me. And then I yell at myself “Because that’s not supposed to be you right now! Jeebsus!”

(Insert Cher slapping Nic Cage in Moonstruck here. Snap Out of It!!)

Being 39 these days, actually, being 39 and single these days isn’t easier either. Online dating is my Achilles heel. But last night, watching the good egg that is Nick Offerman at Shea’s in Buffalo, he said that when he met the woman who’d become his wife he was doing some work on a theatre they’d soon be performing in. He was in his element and whatever light that came from him, must have caught her eye. He championed NOT trying to find love online, but in doing what you love … that way you’ll really connect with someone.

The man’s got a point.

When I’m in my element… I can feel it, that glow.

Confidence is a good thing, ain’t it?

Hmm… maybe a Tinder break is needed. I just did “Sober October”, maybe I can make… um… “No-Online Dating- Vember” a thing. (I will work on that title.)

 

xo.

me, myself & I

Hello, friend…

Just a quick thought for the night. Earlier this evening, I went for a wardrobe makeover at a favourite Toronto shop (Fresh Collective). I took home a couple of things that I felt gorgeous in, and as people do these days, I shared a picture on the ol’ Instagram.

And I looked at it…

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Not to toot my own horn too much, but dude… I’m going to be 40 in April.

40.

It’s kind of weird!! Ha! But I looked at this picture and just smiled. I’m not wearing any foundation, just some colour in my brows (as I started losing my hair there of all places) and that hair colour on my head isn’t from a bottle- it’s all mine. (I dyed my hair for 20+ years. I love how going to my natural colour as I approach my 4th decade was considered a “bold” move. So what if there is some grey?! I earned that grey!!*)

But that’s me I stared at, and I like me! I don’t like me every day, but the good days outweigh the bad.

I am quite thrilled to have bid adieu to my 20s, to be honest. I have (mostly) adored my 30s. I’m a bit scared about 40, but more so- I love this river of calm that comes with it… being comfortable in my own skin. A quote on my fridge sums this post up best:

“But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!”

xo.

 

(* Honestly? I hardly have any grey hair. I have a couple strands. I love them dearly.)

eeyore is my spirit animal

Hello, friend…

Despite all that is going on in my life these days, and there is a fair bit to keep me busy, as I said to a friend tonight- I’ve been feeling like Eeyore has been my spirit animal of late.

I’ve been feeling a bit sad, a bit stuck and I can’t really pin point why this has been so. It just has been.

As I occasionally do my terrible check list in my head of things I haven’t done yet (i.e Get Married! Establish a diverse banking portfolio! Learn to like Apple Cider Vinegar!), I put aside what I have done and AM doing and focus on things that haven’t come my way for one reason or another. I’ve also been blue because I’m moving soon, and with leaving this place I’m leaving an apartment where I learned I was going to become an aunt again & where I’d have my final conversation ever with my late James. And it’s like I’m losing him all over again, which is just a very heavy feeling. But good memories or not-so-good memories aside, I do know that moving won’t change that these things happened.  I guess I’m simply aware that I feel a bit out of sorts, and am trying not to judge myself too much for that.

Yes, there are a lot of good things in my life right now and yes, my heart feels heavy. And there’s been a part of myself that has been super-judgey of this paradox. How can you feel down? You have no reason to feel down!! So today when my boss asked if I was feeling okay, I told her that I’ve not been feeling like myself actually… and by admitting that out loud allowed a small weight to float off my shoulder. At a BBQ tonight, I confessed to a few more friends that I’ve been a bit stuck… and another weight floated upwards.

No one told me I was crazy or an idiot for feeling down, if anything there was compassion offered and permission given to let me vent. It silenced my inner critic enough that when I got home, it wasn’t there to bark at me that I’m not doing good enough at being an adult. Likely because I acknowledged it… I found it hiding and called out “tag, you’re it!”

The truth is, I may not ever know if I’m doing this right. Finding balance can take a lot of time.

And that’s okay.

I think the more I look to improve my balance, and like ALL the parts of myself (not just the ones that do stand up & write, but the ones that can admit to thinking that Bee Gee’s song More Than A Woman was called Four Letter Woman)… then it’ll just help me ride out the bumps.

After all, I do wear a tattoo that reminds me daily that I am braver than I believe, and stronger than I seem and am smarter than I think.

xo.

 

sugar & spice

Hello, friend…

I am hours into my 39th year. I am amazed that my 30s have gone by as quickly as they have. 10 years ago, I fretted about turning 30 and worried that I wasn’t where I should be in life and I should be more of an adult (even though at the time I was a homeowner) etc etc etc.

Last night I did an open mic at a long-established open mic in the city, sitting with my joke book and slice of pie (I didn’t bring pie with me- it was being offered to the comics) and catching up with an old friend who couldn’t quite figure out what happened to me. “When I saw you last you were quiet, and working at CBC TV…” he recalled, “and now you’re here telling jokes?!” My friend was happy to see me, don’t get me wrong, but he was also kind of confused. And I get it, the Kelly he knew before would NEVER have done stand-up. She NEVER would have had tattoos.

So here I am, 10 years later, seeing 40 on the horizon. I’m more certain of myself than ever before. I 100% never could have told jokes to strangers when I was 29. As much as I’ve always wanted tattoos, I was prevented from getting them sooner because it didn’t fit the image people had of me.

It’s taken time to find my footing. I’m still off-balance, but I have perfected my fall! I get up quickly. I dust myself off.

While yes, I’m more aware of time than ever before… and yes, I have days where I feel like I knew more then than I do now… I’m also aware now more than ever that things will happen when they are meant to.  My life is filled with things I NEVER DREAMED COULD  ACTUALLY HAPPEN. It’s kind of nuts.

So… my unsolicited advice? Live each day to the absolute fullest because there are SO many places to go. Trust that you’ll be okay. You’ll make mistakes because you’re supposed to make mistakes.

 

xo.

‪+1 (416) 839-8810‬ 20150131_172313 (That’s me waiting to take your call, 1979/1980)

 

 

 

tell your story.

Hello, friend…

I absolutely could not have imagined on Monday how this week would turn out. Maybe you’ve had a week like that recently, where by the time Sunday rolls around you’re not certain how x, y & z happened… but they did. And I mean this in the best way possible! I know utterly terrible things can pop out of nowhere, but in this case it’s all good. 🙂

If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s the power and the importance of telling your story. There is absolutely nothing better than speaking your truth, there is absolutely nothing more important. Because the thing is, you never know how your story can be a spark for someone else. And there have been some gorgeous sparks this week as the result of an article I wrote for Hello Giggles (well, hello…). From that article, I got a call from CBC Radio and a program of theirs called Fresh Air… they wanted to talk to me on air!!!! So many firsts have happened in these early days of 2017… I sold my first article, and I did my first Radio Interview.

Beautiful things can happen when we talk, when we share, when we listen. We don’t do enough of that. (This may make me sound old, but, it’s true… social media is quite the opposite of anything social. So after you finish here, please go make plans with a friend to have a coffee. Or walk in the park… unless it’s minus 20 outside. Then just stay inside with your coffees.)

A few folks have told me my career shift is inspiring to them, gave a dash of hope to a risk they thought of taking. That means more to me than I can tell you. I took a very risky turn stepping out of a role I had established myself in, but by taking that time away, I got to know myself again. I needed to get away from that life… I HAD to. I would love to run into my time machine, and go back 10 years to run to my 28 year old self with arms wide open and scream out “THINGS ARE GOING TO BE FIIIIIIINE! YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAKING A F**KING DOCUMENTARY IN 10 YEARS!!” as I hug her tightly.

Anyhoo…. Here is the link to my amazing adventure from this week, my very first radio interview:

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(with Eli Glasner at CBC Radio)

 

xo.