Originally published July 24, 2016.
A bit about what brought us here...
Last night I ran into an old co-worker that I haven't seen in 5 years. She told me, "You look good. Wow, you seem...really different." Well I FEEL really different. Looking back at the last 5 years I feel like a completely different person.
The main difference? I learned to stand up for myself.
I was raised to be kind and polite, and society groomed me to deflect to men (I'm looking at you beloved Disney movies of my childhood) and always apologize (I'm Canadian eh) and always try to make others happy no matter what the cost to myself. Couple that with my eagerness to love and a certain naivety that others will return that love "if only I'm good/talented/thoughtful/caring enough" and what was created was...a total push-over. A doormat. Meghan in early adulthood was the easiest person to take advantage of, whether you set out to or just (reasonably) assumed I would speak up if I didn't want to do something.
Then, little by little, I started to realize that I needed to be an advocate for myself.
I started saying "no" to attending events that I wasn't really into, even if I didn't have plans that conflicted.
I left jobs where I didn't feel respected in search of better work culture.
I stopped making an effort to keep friends and acquaintances, except for the ones that I really enjoyed the company of.
I stopped saying yes to every performance opportunity thrown my way. If I didn't dig it creatively, I didn't do it, even though performing is my #1 passion.
I made it clear that I was unhappy at my day job when I was asked to absorb another position and greater responsibilities without a promotion.
I burned a bridge. I said goodbye to someone whom I respected, who gave me wonderful opportunities over the years, and whom I felt in debt to, because keeping them in my life meant not pursuing my ambitions.
I left a lover. A person whom I desperately wanted a future with, but who only ever put just enough into the relationship to keep me around. A person who others told me was my perfect match and who had the qualities I love in a partner, but who's dark half wore down at my self esteem and gaslighted me and left me worse for wear.
And here's where I ended up:
I do the things that make me happy. Sometimes that involves staying at home by myself for some self care.
I love the entire team at my day job. I got that promotion and a $7/h pay raise because they didn't want to lose me.
The acts that I've created in the last couple years (and my other creative pursuits) make me PROUD. They fulfill me. They have creative integrity.
The friends that remain are all MY BEST FRIENDS. They are the people I want to be stranded on an island with. They are the people that have faith in me even when I falter and lose faith in myself.
I can breath. I'm open to the future. Some people are like poisonous fruit: they look really fucking good on the branch, but they make you sick, and the longer you keep them around the more damage they do. Mental abuse can be subtle and unintentional and come from people you want to love and trust - boyfriends, girlfriends, employers, mentors, family, friends. You must be an advocate for yourself.
I will never stop wearing my heart on my sleeve, and of course that comes with the risk of having it broken over and over. I still have a lot to learn but I'm taking it one step at a time, and now...I'm investing in myself.
CircoFit is only a couple weeks away from opening. This is a scary place for me, but it's exciting, and I'm ready to pass along the tools that have helped me on this journey to becoming strong.
This gym is my heart. I'm sharing it with the world because that's what I do with my vulnerabilities. That will never change and it's not a weakness but a strength.
CircoFit will be a place for growing. Getting stronger. Expressing yourself.
CircoFit will be a place for empowerment.
CircoFit will be a place for excitement and creativity and passion.