you are enough

you are enough.

you are not too much.

you put your whole heart into everything you do. you are invested. you are passionate. you are exceptional. 

exceptional.

why can't you see that?

please love yourself.

please love yourself.

please love yourself.

please love yourself.

you deserve love.

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dealing with loneliness

at this point in my life, I have never been happier. I have my own apartment, a job that I love, and friends who are important to me. while I still deal with anxiety every day, I don’t feel controlled by it. I have hobbies, I go on adventures, and I definitely love myself.

robineylea lonely

interestingly, I would still tell you that I get lonely.

we are members of a social species. evolutionarily, we strived to fit in so that we would have additional protection by belonging to a herd. it was important for survival to fit in with the group, and though our predators have changed over time, humans still naturally long to fit in. we long for friendship, for partners, for family. these relationships bring us different benefits now than they used to: while my best friend probably could fight off a lion for me (she’s seriously a badass), the emotional support that friendship brings is a lot more relevant in today’s world. I think loneliness pushes us to connect with others: it’s evolutionarily advantageous. 

while I have incredible relationships, I would say there’s sometimes this thought in the back of my mind that I’m going to be missing out on being known. loneliness is this constant fear of being left behind, of not being well-loved, of not being accepted by my friends. from talking to others, it seems that these feelings are not uncommon: our society is in a state of loneliness.

the thing that I’ve realized about loneliness is that it doesn’t go away just by surrounding yourself with other people. 

loneliness tells me to ask for acceptance from others, but I’ve realized that I really just have to accept myself. it’s almost like the best time to be alone is when I’m lonely: it’s those moments where I need to get into my own head and remind myself that I am exceptional, delightful, and strong. as Liz Gilbert said, I am braver than my loneliness. 

so how do I deal with the lonely moments? if I’m with others, it comes down to making quality time. this means turning off the netflix and having real conversations, really connecting with people, and talking about real life. if I’m alone, I remind myself that I’m in good company. 

loneliness is the time in my life where I get to learn who I am and who I want to be. it’s really about cherishing the time I get with myself, and repeating the truth: I am enough. 

how do you deal with loneliness?

was it assault? a powerful video from an amazing educator

a few years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was deeply immersed in human rights work, and was studying psychology at university. I remember thinking that I would maybe pursue HR, or maybe personal training (at the time I was very into fitness), or maybe I would work for fairtrade canada. while every lead sounded interesting to me, nothing ever felt like the thing. at the same time, I was always really interested in human sexuality, I didn't really think it could be a job!*

one day, I was watching youtube videos and youtube suggested a channel called sexplanations to me. I clicked on the intro video, and discovered that sex therapy was a real thing... and that I could have a career in it! this channel helped me realize that having a passion for sex was something that I could turn into a career. now, here I am with a sex blog hoping to pursue a masters in human sexuality! 

dr. doe's videos have continued to inspire and educate myself and thousands of others. it's easy to feel like she's a friend when you're watching her video. this week's video was one with a difficult but important message.

wow. I loved this video so much! it's something that needs to be talked about. I loved that this video was all about support for victims of assault instead of talking about context or details.

thank you, dr. doe, for making such great videos! this video can definitely help people, and I love that there is a whole channel dedicated to doing that.

(also, here's the link to the support website that she mentioned.)

who are your favourite youtube educators? 

*I giggled here when it occurred to me that this sounds like an oral sex joke!

six times lorelai gilmore was right about relationships

life has been so full lately. each day passes so quickly and exhaustingly that when I get home at night, I literally just want a cup of tea, netflix and some frozen grapes (yes, that's a thing, and yes, they're great). recently I've been re-watching gilmore girls because life in little stars hollow is the exact sort of relaxed but high-strung that my day needs. I've really realized how much I love lorelai. you can't help but root for her: she brings so much real raw emotion while maintaining a hilarious and honest view on life. I feel like lorelai's take on relationships is blunt, and although at times she can be a little (a lot) ridiculous, she can be pretty spot on with her assessments.

1. when she broke it down into basics:

2. when she gave us this harsh reality check: 

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3. when she pointed out that attraction doesn't make a relationship realistic:

4. when she told us what happens when we ignore things we don't like:

5. when she advised us on a breakup strategy:

6. and when she showed us all that sometimes you have to go all in:

long live lorelai. long live the coffee iv. long live stars hollow.


the IUD & my birth control story

about 7 months before my sexual debut, I went on the pill. I'd looked at my period calendar (I now use an app called clue!) and had a sad realization: my may period was going to overlap with my beach vacation in hawaii. I visited a doctor and she explained to me that I could have some control over my cycle if I went on the pill, and I agreed with her. she gave me a prescription for a combination birth control pill.

I got home with my bag of birth control pills and ripped open the box and read the entire massive booklet that came with the pills. 3 times. I agonized over whether or not I would take them - I wasn't sexually active (although I knew it wouldn't be long), my period was super regular (why mess with a good thing?), and most importantly, this particular pill had been found to have very serious negative side effects (including a life-threatening increased likelihood to get blood clots). my anxiety was already taking a toll on me, and I hadn't even taken a pill yet. I called every pharmacist and med student that I knew and weighed the pros and cons with each of them on repeat for a week (shout out to Tara, Marina and Lucy!). finally, I decided that since I really didn't want to have my period while I wore a bikini for a week in hawaii and since I was in the best shape of my life, I would go on the pill.

the day I took my first pill, I had a panic attack. afterwards, I went to the gym to work through the stress, and worked myself out so hard that I developed a massive muscle knot in my quad. in the shower that night, I became certain that this muscle knot was a blood clot, and had yet another panic attack. I constantly felt certain that I was going to die, and I would often wake up in the middle of the night, convinced that I was about to die from a blood clot. this cycle repeated itself for the entire year that I was on the pill. after a year of that agony, I made the decision to go off of the pill and rely entirely on condoms as my method of birth control.

note: I never experienced any of the negative side effects commonly associated with birth control! I think it's great that I live in a country where the birth control pill is so accessible, and I know that it works for a lot of people. I went off the of the pill solely because of the emotional turmoil that being on it caused me.

after a few months of relying on condoms, I decided I didn't like feeling stressed about whether or not there was a baby percolating inside me. I visited a doctor, and he suggested I get an IUD (to be specific, the hormonal 5-year IUD called mirena that releases small doses of progestin locally in your uterus over five years). I was hesitant after how stressed I'd been was while I was on the pill, but I took the prescription and allowed him to make an appointment with a gyno to get it put in for about a month later. after my appointment, I did quite a bit of research - the IUD had such positive clinical reviews. it prevented pregnancy with 99.8% accuracy and had far fewer negative side effects (the main risk is associated with improper insertion or with pregnancy during use). reminder: the IUD does not protect against STIs or HIV/AIDS so regular testing and condoms are still a priority.

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when I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, birth control was definitely the last thing on my mind, but when I found out my insurance covered mirena, I decided to get it put in anyways. according to my gynaecologist:

"the hormonal IUD is the most popular birth control option among doctors and medical students, and is the most effective and safe form of birth control next to abstinence." 

getting it put in REALLY hurt: I essentially fainted! half an hour and some apple juice later, I was totally fine, and I haven't looked back since.

since I got my IUD I have seriously been singing its praises from the mountaintops! firstly: my period has gone from 6-7 very heavy days to 2 incredibly-light-mostly-cramp-free days (read: only pantyliners needed here!). it's common for women to lose their period altogether while they have it. secondly: it's in there, and I don't have to think about how I'm going to prevent babies from getting up in there for FIVE YEARS! and, if I wanted to have a baby, I could get it removed tomorrow and get pregnant the same day. thirdly: it's really, really safe. as previously mentioned, the primary negative side effects of an IUD are related to improper insertion. as my gyno said, once you're through the first 6 weeks, you're in the clear. when I hit my five years with this one, I'll definitely be getting another one.

TLDR: I love my IUD because it has been worry free and has genuinely made my life easier.

I could quite literally sit here and talk about birth control forever: it is legitimately one of my life's greatest passions. note: this is just my story! in no way am I giving medical advice: I am not a doctor. the most important thing is that you visit your doctor and plan for your future. obviously, what works for me isn't what works for everyone. if you'd like me to talk in-depth about other birth control options, let me know! a great resource for picking a birth control option that's right for you is bedsider.org - I love that they have a chart that breaks down the options based on your needs! 

have fun, friends! & most importantly: stay safe. xo.