Hello hello! Thank you so much for sticking around while I took a little hiatus. These past six months have been pretty full on, and I am so glad I made a few changes to get my mental health in check. I’m finally feeling more like myself again, and I’m happy I feel like coming back to writing 🙂
I know long blog posts are not everyone’s thing, so here’s the TL/DR:
- Pandemic switched my job to remote working
- As a result, I moved to Michigan to be with Azim
- As another result, work-life balance became non-existent
- Azim and I got a puppy
- Azim got accepted to a residency program in North Carolina instead of Toronto
- We moved to North Carolina
For those of you that do enjoy a bit of a longer read, the recap is below. I’m also making some changes to how I’m sharing content (Bye bye Instagram…again, and hello new project that I’ll talk about at the end of this post!) 🙂
A “New Normal”
When the pandemic began, I was part of the privileged demographic that was able to continue working full-time from home. My daily routine was uninterrupted – in fact, it improved. I felt guilty for being happier than I’d been in a long time. The hours I gained back from not commuting turned into a regular workout routine, meals with my family, and improved mental health. Another huge perk of working remotely was that I was able to explore the possibility of moving to Michigan to be with Azim while he finished grad school. By September, my plan to move was finalized, and I moved to Ypsilanti! No more long distance!
A New “New Normal”
Finally being able to live with Azim – and it being just the two of us, with no family obligations – gave us the much needed “honeymoon period” we never had (he moved to Michigan a week after our wedding!). I was so happy! But then work started to get…intense. When the pandemic first began, there was a lot of conversation around burnout at my company, and there was a real shift towards work-life balance. By the fall, that conversation seemed to have dried up, and I was working more than I ever have. My weekdays were consumed with work, and my weekends were consumed with chores. Michigan was also in lockdown, so there wasn’t much to do or look forward to. I have a rich social life outside my relationship with Azim, and I was really starting to miss my friends and my family. We decided to travel back to Toronto for the holidays, but we adhered to the strict lockdown guidelines so I didn’t really get to see anyone besides my parents and brother and SIL – although that was truly a delight 🙂 When we returned to Michigan, work was still intense, but I was feeling refreshed after our break.
After months of researching and being on a wait list, Azim and I decided to get a puppy 🙂 I am going to dedicate an entire post to how this changed my life (uhm, I am pretty sure I don’t want kids anymore 😐 ). The first couple of months with Kylo were BAD. Yup, they sucked. But Azim was truly the best dog dad and partner, and he really pulled us through. As did my mom – I still call her a few times a week to complain about how annoying this puppy is, but when we first got him I was on the phone with her every single day. I am in love with this little muppet now, but it was not love at first sight, and I’m ok admitting that.
Getting a puppy while my mental health was at its lowest point probably wasn’t the best idea in hindsight. Unfortunately I suffer from bouts of depression – I’ve spoken openly about my struggles with mental health on this blog before, but I’ve never really named it. There it is. I was close to trying medication this time, but good therapy and support from my family (especially my brother and SIL who called me a few times a week for months) pulled me through. I wholeheartedly support the use of medication, but just found myself out from under the heaviness this time before I needed it. I’ll write more about how I changed my therapy (switching from in-person to online, switching to CBT) and how it helped.
So…we’re Americans now?
Our plan for 2021 was that Azim would graduate in April, and we’d move back to Canada so he could start his residency in prosthetics and orthotics. It’s a competitive industry, so he applied to clinics in the States juuust in case. We never could have predicted that we’d end up in North Carolina. It’s Azim’s story to tell, but as a proud wife I’ll say that he was offered the opportunity to work at a clinic associated with Duke University – and it wasn’t even a role he had applied to. He was that good of a candidate 🙂 It was too good of an opportunity to pass up, so we accepted and planned our move in May!
Life in the Bull City
Our move to Durham has lifted my spirits. Although I loved Ypsilanti, living in a small town just isn’t a good fit for me. I’m glad I did it…but I’m even more glad to have returned to a bustling city. Durham is not a booming metropolis, but it’s still rich in culture, is extremely diverse, and has a great food scene. As the “startup hub of the south”, it’s growing quickly and the majority of the people we meet here are from somewhere else! With that being said, everyone we meet – locals and expats alike – are incredibly warm and friendly, and have made us feel so welcome. I really feel at home here.
What’s “Normal” anyway?
I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, but I still have to make some changes. I need to prioritize the things I love to do, that make me feel like me. One of those things is creating content – writing, putting outfits together, sharing.
In addition to posting on my blog, I’m also going to start publishing a weekly newsletter! I’m going to include little bite-sized thoughts and musings, as well as OOTD pics, what I’m meal planning, quotes I love, and more. I know, I know – you already want to sign up 🙂 but guess what – if you do, you’ll get a copy of my e-book!!
That’s right, I kinda sorta wrote my own mini e-book 😮 It’s really just a style guide, but I tried to go more in-depth than most style guides you’ll find online. I wrote it awhile ago, but never felt the right opportunity to share it with the world. I thought I wanted to “do more” with my blog before sharing it, like grow a following on Instagram or YouTube, but I’ve realized that the typical “fashion blogger” journey just isn’t for me. I love fashion and I love writing, so I’m going to keep writing on my blog and in my newsletter. Let’s see how it goes? If you like it, please share with friends who you think will enjoy. Thank you so much for reading!
You can sign up right here!
Lots of love xoxox