Let yourself be seen, truly seen


“We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch” – Brené Brown

I never thought it would happen that way.

I imagined that when I finally said it, we’d smile and kiss and then fireworks would go off behind us, a 40-piece orchestra would be playing and doves would be released in the air–you know, shit you saw in movies.

But it didn’t. In reality, before I said it, I went inwards and started catastrophizing what might happen. I did that quiet and distant thing I do to protect myself and sabotage things. I started to wonder, what does it all mean? How can I know if it’s enough? It was so much to process. I kept wondering what if my feelings are wrong and I’m not ready? What if I need more experience? And do I have what it takes to work through all the bad stuff with him? All these worries swam around in my head but I finally turned to him and broke down.

I started to tear up  cry and confessed what had been on my mind. 

I can’t quite remember everything that followed. I remember a lot of [what I feel like was] blabbering, a lot of apologizing for the unexpected eruption of emotions and me, watching his face while he tried to process it all. He consoled me and was there in a gentle, conscientious way that was very mature and sincere.

I cried the rest of the night and couldn’t sleep much. The last time I remember being that restless was after my last breakup.

The next morning, I went to work and still had trouble processing it all. My fears came to the surface in full force and I was mildly embarrassed that my emotions had come out that way. I finally realized that I was emotional because I wanted a guarantee. I wanted to know it would work out. That it was for sure. I didn’t like not knowing.

After realizing this, I felt like I needed some grounding and re-watched Brené Brown’s TED Talk about the Power of Vulnerability. It reminded me that the feelings I felt meant that I was alive. I had opened myself up enough to be seen by another and felt embarrassed so I started to catastrophize things and feared something bad would happen.

I watched a few more Brené Brown videos and started to feel my fear settle. I decided that I will look at this as a sign of growth and that I’m exploring a world outside my comfort zone. It’s all so scary and new and I really can’t know how it’ll all unfold. The only thing I can do is to stretch out my arms with my palms open to the Universe and let things unfold as they will.


Stubborn Love

It’s the last day of 2012 and I’m really excited for what’s to come. I normally don’t “do” New Year’s Resolutions because I believe that you can set a goal and commit to resolving something at any point of the year, but 2012 was so full of lessons and beautiful moments I was inspired to share the vision I have for myself in 2013.

Anna's Life in 2013

1. Attend a Surf Camp. My first choice is Brazil, but it seems that flights are wayyyy out of my price range. Like, 1.25 x more than I’m willing to spend. I’m looking at possibilities in El Salvador and Nicaragua. But however it unfolds, I’ll be spending some time on some waves this year.

2. Finish decorating my apartment and host my first summer BBQ. I moved into my place in April of this year, and up until two or three months ago, I didn’t have much furniture in my living room with the exception of an ottoman. I’m excited to finish decorating because I feel like it’s my ultimate statement that this space is mine (albeit rented) and to have a venue to host epic dinner parties.

3. Attend the Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal. Attending a music festival like Coachella, Sasquatch or lollapalooza has been on my bucket list for a few years now, and when I saw the line-up for the 2012 Osheaga Festival, I knew it was the one I wanted to lose my music festival virginity to. I didn’t commit to going last year, but 2013 is the year it happens!

4. Snowboard at least 10x this season. I’ve been “going” snowboarding for years now and I’ve never gone consistently enough to be really good at it, while my friends have been tearing up the mountains. This year I’ve signed up for a snowboarding clinic to improve my technique and am committing myself to hit the slopes and improve!

5. Buy a Cruiser-style bike with a wicker basket. It’s purely for cuteness and aesthetics.
Well, and I live in Vancouver, where all the “cool” people have bikes.

6. Try horseback riding. Again, one of those things that I’ve always wanted to try but never made happen. This year, I’ve found a friend who grew up horseback riding so I get to try it out with someone who knows what she’s doing.

7. Run the lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon. Once upon a time I was that girl who HATED running. So much so my hate deserves to be bolded and italicized. I would do anything and everything to avoid it because it was just. so. hard. I. can’t. breathe! But after working at lululemon, I decided to conquer my fear and start running with the running group. 5k turned into 8k, 8k turned into training for a 14k race. After that, I was hooked. I signed up for the Scotiabank 1/2 Marathon in 2010, but my knees starting having issues around 16k, so I “took a break” to see what the issue was. I haven’t run since. So, break is over. It’s time to take 1/2 marathon off my damn list!

8. Read a book once a month. I feel like my brain is getting mushier and mushier as the days go by. Consistently reading and engaging in literature is my attempt to keep my brain from completely shutting down and relying on google.

9. Fall in Love. This one is a big one for me because I learned this year that it scares me in the “OMG, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to pee my pants” kind of way. Some people fear eating out alone on a Friday night, or perpetually being single, but I’ve always been okay, too okay with doing things on my own. It was weird having the opportunity to let someone take care of my emotions. And, in classic the classic self-sabotaging, too freaked out to let good things happen style, I started to harden and push away. Things fell apart and I admitted too late that I was willing to soften and to let it in. So, I guess ultimately, the next year is dedicated to letting good things happen to work on letting myself accept all the good and bad and embrace them as they come. (I realize this one is one of those things that can’t be forced or scheduled, but this is my attempt by articulating what I want and to work on being open if and when the opportunity comes).

We can never be certain of exactly what’s to come, but I’m looking forward to moments planned or unplanned and friends near and far.



Uncertainty by Cristina B 

I got my heart broken on Tuesday, so I figure the blog was due for an update.

Uncertainty lead me here. But so did courage.

After the year long emotional struggle with *Tyler  I thought it would be a long time before I would meet someone who excited me. I met a few guys and went on some dates, and while they pursued me, I didn’t feel a spark. But one evening in May at a friend’s BBQ I almost didn’t go to, I met him.

I didn’t notice him much at first, but when I discovered he was going to a music festival, my ears perked up and he piqued my interest. At a closer observation, I thought he was cute. He has a some scruffy facial hair, lovely blue eyes and this skinny-hipster Hugh Jackman thing going on. We ended up talking and flirting and a few days later, we set up our first date.

On the first date, we started at an ice-cream shop where we tried out bizarre flavours like lemon-basil and durian and then strolled around the neighbourhood. I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. I hadn’t had that good of a first date in years. Midway through the first date, I knew I wanted him to ask me for a second date, and he did. In fact, he set himself up for several future dates. And the dates just got better and better. He made me laugh, held my hand in his pocket when I was cold, kissed my cheeks constantly, adored me and was so sweet. We talked about dreams and aspirations, made plans to go snowboarding in the winter and had random dance parties anywhere and everywhere. He told me about his family and showed me pictures of when he was younger. I felt like we were on track to something deep and meaningful.

But sometime in the wonderfulness, I started noticing that I didn’t have certain feelings and physical reactions I did with the others I dated. As much as Tyler was a world-class douche bag to me, my heart would race when I saw a text message from him. I thought about *Ryan and wanted to send him music links all the time. While I would be excited for our date, my stomach never fluttered and my heart never raced. But I dismissed these thoughts because I knew he treated me well and that I enjoyed spending time with him. I just chalked up my thoughts to being paranoid and living in past experiences.

I also hadn’t thought much about having that conversation of whether or not we were a couple. We were acting like it and I wasn’t interested in looking for anyone else. He bought me a toothbrush for when I slept over, we took each other to the airport and I spent an hour helping him with his resume and CV. I never felt the pressure to define things and I just knew that I liked him and wanted to see where things went.

He went to visit family and friends back home in Montreal for 16 days and I missed him. There were phone calls and text messages all throughout. I was excited for when he got back.

He brought back his snowboard so we could go snowboarding in the winter.

Despite all of this and my affection for him, I still had doubts and wondered about the depth of my feelings. And then after a wonderful, long date we were in bed joking around and the question of what we were came up.

I couldn’t answer. A long silence hung in the air. He pressed on– “you didn’t answer my question.” I still couldn’t answer. After some hard conversation, when I finally could speak, we decided that we would try, and that we were a couple.

But it didn’t change anything, really. My feelings for him didn’t grow deeper. And I felt him pulling away. But rather than talking about it, I let a story build in my head about him and I also pulled away. I didn’t say I missed him too when he said he missed me, I didn’t show my appreciation as much and I didn’t let him hold my hand when we were hanging out with his friend *Jackie.

Then I got mad at him and turned away when he wanted a kiss.

I got home and felt awful and was scared to not have him in my life. I thought it made me realize that I wanted to work on things, to give myself to him fully, to take it to a deeper level, because the thought of not having him in my life made me so sad. My plan was to tell him how I felt and that I was ready and I wanted to work on things. I apologized and made a plan to meet him on at the beach. It occurred to me that I could put my heart on the line and he would have already changed his mind. But I had to try.

So, on a beautiful day on the beach while the sun was setting, I told him that I wanted to try and that I wanted him in my life, but in the end, we broke up.

It was too late and he couldn’t feel that way about me anymore.

I couldn’t believe it. It felt so sudden. I couldn’t sleep the entire night and had anxiety at work. I had to work so hard to not burst into tears in front of people. He was so good to me. And I felt like I was too late to offer my heart.

I crashed the day after and could finally sleep. I woke up in the morning and perspective had decided to visit me. There was no more anxiety in my chest and I didn’t feel like I was going to spontaneously burst into tears. I was on the mend. I realized and started to accept the fact that it was over. He was honest with himself while we were together and put the effort in because he knew what he wanted from me. I knew what he wanted and was never sure if it was what I wanted to give him, and he felt it. I was scared to lose him because I care about him so much and didn’t want to let go of the possibility of it being more. But after all this time, and as the cliché goes, ‘you just know’ and I didn’t which meant that I didn’t truly want it. He knew that it wasn’t going to work and didn’t fight for it.

Alas, we are both free to find relationships that truly fulfill us and offer us what we want from life.

I feel like it’ll be a long time before I meet someone I want to spend time with, but the possibility is there.

It’s only three months and in the greater scheme of my life, it’ll be a short period in my life, but now I know what it’s like to be adored.


I miss you a lot and am sad that you are not a part of my life anymore. Thank you for holding my hand in your pocket when I was cold, the aquarium, all the kisses on my cheeks, taking the train with me to the airport, calls and text messages to see how I was doing, the toothbrush, renting a car to take my friends and I to Foster the People, not pressuring me to do anything I didn’t want to, making fun of me when I didn’t know the proper lyrics to the Ruff Ryders anthem, coming to a challenging yoga class with me, not carrying my cardigan and making it so funny, making me watch Super Troopers, telling me about your family and friends, the montreal-style date that was, indeed, an epic culinary experience, and most of all, thank you for taking a chance with me but in the end, being honest to yourself.

I’m sad I missed out on meeting your family, buying you Christmas and birthday gifts, creating vision boards, congratulating you when you get the job of your dreams, getting mad at you for something silly, snowboarding and surfing adventures, cooking you dinner, being your support when you need, late night conversations about our futures, make-up sex, and other crazy adventures that make up a meaningful relationship.

My heart hurts that you had almost everything on my list and still weren’t the one for me.

*Names have not been changed because they will never come across this blog.



Type: Eurostile
Song: 6 Underground, Sneaker Pimps

About Eurostile:

Alessandro Butti and Aldo Novarese designed a typeface called Microgramma in 1952 for the Nebiolo foundry in Turin, Italy. A true titling face, Microgramma contained capitals only, its uppercase characters much larger than those of a typical text design. Although Microgramma was available in five styles, its lack of a lowercase meant that it could only be used for display work. Ten years later, Novarese, drew a full character set for all weights, adding bold condensed and compact variants. The new family was named Eurostile.

When Eurostile was digitized by Linotype and Adobe in the 1908s, the design’s trademark “super curves” were flattened, and characters that didn’t follow the original styling were added. In 2007, Linotype released Eurostile Next. Akira Kobayashi, type director of the German foundry, carefully studied the original types, adding new weights, correcting imperfection, and restoring the mid-century modern detailing to the letter forms.” (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)

Hate leaves ugly scars, but love leaves beautiful ones

Type: Baskerville
Song: Turning Tables, Adele

About Baskerville:

“A legend of the printing and lettering arts, John Baskerville (1706–1775) was somewhat overshadowed during his lifetime by his more renowned contemporary William Caslon I. Baskerville is now considered one of the two transformative figures of British printing and typefounding history.

After working as a headstone engraver in Birmingham, UK, Baskerville raised the capital to set up a printing business, hiring John Handy as his punchcutter. With the goal of creating a typographically perfect book, Baskerville was responsible for innovations in press construction, printing ink, and papermaking, and experimented with improving legibility.

His seminal namesake typefaces were the result of his desire to improve upon Caslon’s Old Style types. He began designing the Baskerville faces circa 1752, giving careful attention to drawing consistent and refined letterforms that retained the elegance and spirit of the hand. Baskerville’s types were popular throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century, when they fell out of favor with the advent of Modern designs like Bodoni.

In 1917, American typographer Bruce Rogers revived Baskerville, using it in work for the Harvard University Press. The Baskerville types soon became fashionable again. In 1923, Stanley Morison created a version for British Monotype as part of its program of historical revivals. George W. Jones’ revival for Linotype appeared in 1929, and soon every major foundry had its own version of Baskerville. A variety of Baskerville-inspired designs have been developed in the digital era and are frequently seen in quality book typography and similar projects where readability and refinement are the focus.” (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)


Don’t make it a big deal, don’t be so sensitive

Type: Myriad Pro
Song: Sleep to Dream, Fiona Apple

Myriad Pro via Typekit and Typedia.

Myriad was first issued in 1992 as a multiple master Type 1 font family, which worked with a compliant font renderer to allow the user to generate variations in a wide range of widths and weights. Myriad MM was discontinued in 2003.

Myriad Pro is the OpenType version of the original Myriad font family. It first shipped in 2000, as Adobe moved towards the OpenType standard. Additional designers were Christopher Slye and Fred Brady. Compared to Myriad MM, it added support for Latin Extended, Greek, and Cyrillic characters, and oldstyle figures.

Myriad Pro originally included thirty fonts in three widths and five weights each, with complementary italics. A “semi-condensed” width was added several years later, expanding the family to forty fonts in four widths and five weights each, with complementary italics.

Myriad Pro Regular, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic are bundled with Adobe Reader 7.0 and higher.

Via Typedia



Occupational Therapy

So, it’s been a little over three months since the job and I split. I know it’s the best for both parties, but I never anticipated it would be such a struggle to find another. Before the split I thought I had it figured out: I would put myself back on the market and sift through the possibilities. A position came along that was perfect. I was qualified, I had the right kind of experience, it was only for a year , which meant I could save up and then attend a 1 year program, and it was with a reputable company. I thought it would be easy, that things would just fall into place because I was brave enough to let go. To leave, to want more for myself. Full of enthusiasm and confidence, I applied. I was convinced I would get a call, asking me for an interview and knew that once they meet with me, they would see that I was the perfect candidate.

A week passed. Tumbleweeds.

Another week passed. Tumbleweeds.

Finally, a month later, I accepted that I wasn’t going to hear from them. But… I was qualified. I was what they were looking for TO A TEE with french fries as a side! How could they not even call?

Accepting the fact that I had been rejected, I continued onwards, but with a little less enthusiasm and confidence than before. There were many other jobs that piqued my interest, but none called. I would “take initiative” and call to inquire about the position, only to be told, the position has been filled or you’ll be contacted if we want to go ahead with your application.

Then I thought, maybe I’m not getting job offers because I still have a job. So if I tell the Universe and make space in my life for something else to come in, it will. It totally makes sense. It’s like science–physics, calculus or the quadratic formula…or something. How could I not have thought of it. Plus the job was just getting more ‘political’ and annoying. So, with this trusty new science formula, I handed in my resignation and in two weeks time I was going to be freeeeee!

The freedom was fun for about two weeks before I was reminded that finding a new job wouldn’t be easy. I still applied for jobs that sounded interesting, but none of them were ones I really wanted. And then one appeared for an athletic company with a corporate culture that I aligned with. Again, I diligently did my research, wrote my cover letter and told people about the possibility and how excited I was. I even did a mock interview with a friend I wanted it so bad. Weeks later, I felt the familiar sting of disappointment and rejection. It was only after a conversation with a friend in a similar situation that gave me perspective. In city of approx 2.37 million people, I could potentially be competing with approximately 1000 people, so it’s nothing personal, it’s just a numbers game.

After that, I went into numbers mode. No attachment, just applications and increasing my chances to get a call. I called on apathy to be my friend. Law of averages, right? Rejections rolled off my back. And then it happened. A call. From a place that I wanted. I collected my work samples, prepared for the interview like I would for an exam, rehearsing answers to questions, and reviewed their organization. The interview went well, but because of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they were much busier than usual and would take time to get back to people. I left the interview with a renew sense of hope and pictured myself working there.I was qualified for the job and was excited about the different types of work I would be doing.I wasn’t sure if I would get the job, but I felt like I would at least get a second interview.

I didn’t get invited back for a second interview.

Now I’m here, feeling like I’m back at square one and a little bitter and unsure that I can find that job that fits. How hard can it be? “Find a job that I am excited about and that can also reciprocate.” Sure, there are a lot of fish in the sea, but only a few that you really want to catch but at the rate I’m going, I’m getting seasick and mind as well be fishing for a mermaid.

How the wholehearted live

“To practice gratitude and joy, in those moments of kind of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you that much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ Just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful. Because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.”
– Brené Brown

Furtive Pop Music, Mostly about sex

Type: Gill Sans
Song: Shelter, The XX

About Gill Sans:

“Beginning in 1902, British designer Eric Gill studied under Edward Johnston, the renowned calligrapher who, in 1916, designed the typeface used for the London Underground signage. Johnston’s work greatly influenced Gill, who went onto experiment with Sans types. Monotype’s Stanley Morison wanted to develop a Modern face on par with the German Sans Serif types being released following the success of Futura. Morison saw lettering that Gill had created, and worked with the designer until Gill Sans was released, in a single uppercase weight, in 1928. The typeface was chosen as the standard font for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) system and used for its posters and promotional materials. Gill Sans became popular immediately upon its commercial release and was expanded, appearing not just on the LNER work, but also on the iconic paperback book jackets that Jan Tschichold designed for Penguin Books starting in 1935.” (Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, Tamye Riggs)

Sensual Beauty

Bec Winnel’s Sensual Beauties