Another Year of Awesome!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my beloved blog, Smashing Through Life!

It's a snake in a party fez!

It’s a snake in a party fez!

First off, welcome back Vincent the Viper, who proudly celebrated last year’s blog birthday with me while wearing a more traditional party hat. This year, Vincent is sporting a decidedly flamboyant party fez instead and I think he looks fabulous. During more lackadaisical times, my friend The Magpie and I entertained the notion of starting a business manufacturing and selling one-of-a-kind hats for fake snakes, but then real life got a lot more interesting in a hurry and we’ve since shelved that idea for the time being. Maybe we’ll come back to it again, when we’ve got some decent seed money pulled together. But anyways, that’s not what we’re here for today.

IT’S MY BLOG BIRTHDAY AND I’M REALLY FUCKING EXCITED ABOUT IT!

That’s why we’re here. Keep yourself on point, girl.

A lot can happen in a year, and I’m not saying that to be cliché. A lot really did happen to me in this past year. Some good, some bad, and some ugly too. I made some stunning 3-pointers, but I also spent a lot of time warming the bench, too. I genuinely enjoy looking back over a specific period of time and reflecting on the things that have happened in my life. It’s good for me, and it motivates me to keep reaching ever higher. I believe that my personal and professional development should never reach a plateau; I won’t let that happen. Not while I’m at the helm. If I’m learning and challenging myself on a consistent basis, then I’m growing and becoming a better me all the time. There is always room for improvement, and I’ve got an insatiable hunger for more. I’m always so eager to keep forging ahead, so it helps to look back once in a while. I need to make sure that I’m cutting the right path. That I’m living the life I’ve always wanted.

This blog’s mission, initially, was to act as an outlet for my frustrations and disappointments. It was an exercise in perpetual positivity. It was a place of refuge, an altar of optimism at which I could worship when I needed it the most. I was in a very dark place when it began, and this blog was my lifeline. It was a connection to the trademark brightness within, the brightness I’ve always been known for, but which was dimming more and more every day at an alarming rate. But it has since evolved, the aim has shifted. I don’t need to search for the positives in my life quite so desperately anymore because I’m surrounded by them.

This blog is continually evolving, just like me, and I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made together so far. It’s a place where I can chronicle my life, my adventures, and my many dreams in the most positive terms possible.

So, what have I done this year that’s so whoop-de-fucking-doo great, you ask? I’ll tell you!

Smash’s Top 5 Awesomes This Year

1.) I went on the vacation of a lifetime

I've never been this happy to be awake at 6:30am in my life

I’ve never been this happy to be awake at 6:30am in my life

D and I dropped everything and went on our first ever vacation together. And we made it memorable as hell by saving up the extra bucks and flying the extra miles to get ourselves a slice of Hawaii. It was unreal! The food, the adventures, the beach, the ocean, the people, the sites. We loved every minute of it. Going all out for our first trip together was definitely the right call.

2.) I Got Engaged (and set the date, too!)

 An old shot, from about 5 years ago

An old shot, from about 5 years ago. Super Retro Disco Party, obviously.

D and I have been together a long time. We’re coming up on eight years this summer, if you can believe it. I loved him from the first moment I drunkenly gazed into his sweet blue eyes, and there was never any doubt. But there was never any rush to get to the paperwork either, and he caught me completely unawares when he proposed during our aforementioned vacation. I tease him sometimes about being totally devoid of emotion, but he really surprised me that time. I don’t even question this decision at all. We go together.

3.) I Won Shitfest 2013: Fall

I fuckin' love this trophy!

I fuckin’ love this trophy!

Some of you will remember my graceful acceptance of the award from this wonderful post that our dear friend, The IPC, allowed me to share with you on his site. I don’t write a movie blog, but I love movies so I read a lot of movie blogs. And I love the movie blogging community that I’ve stumbled into on WordPress. I loved reading the posts that were entered in the first Shitfest, and when a fall fest was announced I knew I had to get involved this time. I knew a shitty movie that I could write about. A real fucking shitty movie. I just wanted to have some fun, and it proved to be an experience that I will cherish forever. I’ve got the trophy to prove it.

4.) I Started a New Blog

The Kingdom

I miss writing essays. I miss feeling scholarly. I long for my undergrad, on rainy days mostly. So I decided to start a blog to review the works of Stephen King, to sort of keep in touch with that part of myself that so loved turning in assignments. I’m just hanging out over there, doing book reports basically. But it’s a fun hobby, and I enjoy it. I’m not rolling out the reviews quite as quickly as when I first started the blog, but I am still trucking along and reviews get posted at least once a month. It’s a way for me to explore other facets of my writing, too, and that’s important to me.

And finally, saving the biggest for last…

5.) I Got Promoted

Always the consummate professional, jumping on the bed in my suite during a work trip 3 years ago

Always the consummate professional, that’s me jumping on the bed in my suite during a work trip 3 years ago

I’ve been waiting for this a long time. It was an exciting, albeit painful journey at times, but I’m finally moving in the direction that I want to go. I had never realized how deeply ambitious I was until I joined the workforce. Procrastination and indifference were my MO whenever I pondered that almighty “What are you going to do when you grow up?” question that seems to haunt us from birth. But once I started carving out my own way in the world, I found myself immediately hooked on ambition. It’s a heady device, man. I made the choice to significantly alter my career path a couple of years ago, and it’s all starting to come together now. The sky really is the limit, and I thoroughly enjoy reaching for it with all of my might. I’ve got plans and ideas aplenty, and I’m going to make a splash in a big way. Greatness abounds, when you’re willing to work hard for it. I love how it feels to earn my living, and being rewarded professionally for my efforts feels divine.

I’m not kidding around, you guys. I truly am kicking the shit out of life every day. And I hope to continue doing so, right here on this bizarre little blog of mine, for a long while yet.

Here’s to yet another year of awesome. Cheers!

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Gym Rats

I got suckered in again.

Yeah, to that whole “gym” thing. The pants are too snug, and I’d like to cut the winter laziness off at the pass. I’ve been super busy this summer with tons of stuff on the social calendar, but I need something more. Something to do during the blah days of winter to keep me from flinging myself off the balcony in a fit of despair. So… the gym it is. Plus, D got us a sweet deal through his work, and you just can’t say no to savings like that!

Our membership officially began on Saturday. So this past week I decided to make the most of my last days of freedom. In other words, I ate like a heathen. One morning I ate skittles for breakfast. Not any ordinary skittles either. Skittles Riddles!

The next bite is more confusing than the last!

The riddle behind these skittles? The colours don’t match the flavours. Mmm, and I had a fantastic Vanilla Coke to further muddle the riddles. So that was a fine culinary adventure indeed.

Also, I rocked a motherfucking Big Smoke Burger for lunch on Thursday (if you haven’t had it yet, you MUST), KFC for staff lunch Friday, and then Friday night I ate about 12 Rice Krispie squares during the Breaking Bad marathon I had with D, Joss, and Harry.

My undergrad years taught me that all high people like Rice Krispie squares

And there was some chocolate milk and dill pickle chips in the mix too because my boss had it for a work snack one day and it piqued my curiosity. You know, I needed to see if that was still my favourite snack too. Mystery solved! No surprise twist ending here, I still love me some DP chips and chocolate milk.

Hmmm, re-reading those last two paragraphs I guess I can’t really say I got suckered into a gym membership. I’m starting to see it as a necessity now…

We had gym memberships back in the RHill, but we decided to forego them this summer because we wanted time to settle into our new lives. And now that the dust has settled, quite nicely on the pudge mind you, it’s time to get back to kicking the treadmill’s ass 4 times a week.

There’s a GoodLife Fitness literally 2 minutes away from our apartment, which is ideal because we had to drive to the last gym we were members at. And since I don’t drive, I could really only go whenever D felt like going too. This gym being right at my fingertips is what I need. Partly because it’s accessible, and partly because I can sprint home to my shower. I’m a little bit neurotic about showers, so this is a very big plus point for me. Ooo and towel service too! (P.S. I just had a really hard time writing that last sentence because the auto-correct kept turning “Ooo” into “Poo”. I had to correct it five times before it would stick!)

Annnnnnd I got a free gym bag too!

FREE!

I fucking love free shit! I prioritize what kind of 6-pack I’m going to buy at the LCBO based on freebies. Sorry Carlsberg, but Grolsch is giving away half pint glasses this week!

Although, I may not get to use this free bag at all because Harvey thinks it belongs to him now…

He’s gotta get to his aerobics class!

So after a week of bingeing like a maniac, I was ready for Saturday to absolve me of all my foodie sins. Laced up the sneaks, loaded the iPod with my favourite workout jams, and then reassured myself in the bathroom mirror that I’m too young to die suddenly on a treadmill no matter how out of shape I am.

Ahhhh! The smell of spandex and bros on a hungover Saturday afternoon. Is there any other smell on the planet that can make me feel both self-conscious and embraced at the same time?

The gym wasn’t overly busy, I was able to get a machine right away. I debated starting off gently with an easygoing pace vs. pushing myself to see how much stamina I still had. Then I figured, fuck it, I’ve got a lot of guilt on my hips this week so it’s better to be brave and fail as opposed to wussing out completely. I programmed the machine for 40 minutes at 7 mph and held on for dear life.

At first I huffed and puffed like I was going to blow the whole gym down, and then eventually I slipped back into that familiar rhythm. My muscles responded like crispy, neglected houseplants. They soaked up every ounce of exertion that I doled out. I bobbed along to the music, checked out some of the tight butts on the machines in front of me for motivation, and let myself get lost in sweaty progression.

Before I knew it, 40 minutes was up. Oh the ecstasy! I had fucking crushed my first workout. Boo-yaaa, take that fellow gym rats. Smash is back with a vengeance! It was by far the most glorious moment of my week. And that’s no easy feat considering how many delicious moments I had this week.

I think the best strategy for me is to keep up with the gym while I slowly ween myself off the junky foods that make me swoon. I mean, I’m not going to cut things out entirely. I’ll still rock the occasional skittle breakfast when needed, let’s not be insane here people.

Working out feels so good. Not as good as eating whatever the fuck I want will ever feel, more of a distant second to that. “Being healthy” is a totally foreign concept to me. There’s nothing I despise more on this planet than a fucking salad. Why don’t I just save the 8 bucks and munch on the front lawn for free?

I may not adapt well to these changes initially, but for now I’m gonna get me some strange and see how I like it. And I will count every workout that I survive as a tremendous victory for that day.

Treadmill, you’re my bitch now! And don’t you ever forget it.