A quick aside – my January Cure project completely dropped off the map mid-month. I will not be completing it in February, but will attempt to keep the apartment tidy and decluttered, as usual. My list still exists as a reminder of my goals for the year. I hope everyone who was participating in the project completed it to their satisfaction.


January was the worst month I’ve experienced in a long time. There were extreme amounts of stress, my SADs kicked into high gear, Brandon and I fought. A lot. And yet, it wasn’t all bad. Somehow.

Brandon and I put each other through a bit of hell last month, but I feel as if we’re stronger because of it. To this day, it can still be a bit odd when yelling at each other creates a closeness instead of all our previous relationships where everything would have fallen apart. It’s in those toughest moments that I know we’re right for each other. Even if I can’t stand the sight of him that day, I know we’ll be together in the future.

Although I made some missteps on my personal journey, I have no regrets. I gave up on myself, and that wasn’t right. But through that, I found a new inner strength. I realized I had something to fight for, and surprisingly, that I wanted to. My talents and skills shine a bit brighter now.

Lately, I’ve read some blogs that suggest picking a one word goal instead of resolutions. Pick one word, and attempt to live your life in order to bring more of what you’ve picked into your life. I’m going to attempt this for February. My word?


Remembering Self-Care

I’ve been holding a lot of anger lately, and it came to a head last week. I should probably be surprised it didn’t happen sooner, what with owning a business and having a life together.

I was attempting to take control of my future, but Brandon didn’t see it that way at the time. We’ve since had multiple discussions, arguments, and screaming matches about what I want, what he wants, and what’s best for the store. Sometimes, those don’t overlap, and it’s easy to get bogged down in the muck and forget about the big picture.

Things are looking a lot brighter. I will be taking on the occasional side job for variety, extra income, and possibly my sanity. Some things, like owning a business or living in Edmonton, you must leave for a short time to really appreciate.

I’m proud of the work I do at the store, though it often doesn’t feel like enough. But I’m constantly figuring out where my balance lies, so I can give my full efforts to the store and my customers. This year, I’d like to establish a healthy work/life balance, and – this is a difficult part – be happy with what I can give the store and what I must keep for myself. I won’t let myself be shamed (whether by my inner voice or others) into working myself to the bone. Because, in the end, if I’m not healthy, the store will be affected.

Who You Are, Not What You Think

I am awful at being mindful. Just awful. Do you know how hard it is to be in the present moment ALL THE DAMN TIME?

In any case, it’s a good thing to strive for, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll stress yourself out more if you try to live it.

But back to me. I am trying to be better about being mindful. Last year, I was doing really well. Focusing my on my current emotion, not getting too far into panicked thoughts about the future or what I did wrong in the past.

But then I started a business. A business that women aren’t really welcome in, no matter what values the store starts out with. I was immersed in micro aggressions, off-handed comments about murdering a female character simply because they preferred the original male character, comments about me being an employee and expressing doubt when I stated I was an owner of the store.

I stopped being mindful because I started to fall into depression. The odd thing was, I didn’t realize it until months later. I had put an air of everything being fine. I had begun to believe the lie myself. I lied to myself every day because I thought since I own a business, I can’t be a person any more. I can’t have bad days. Everything must be “Great! How are you? How are the kids? How was your holiday?” I gave more of myself than I ever had before, and ended up losing myself in this persona I created.

Ironically, last year was the year I realized I deserved respect. Not from myself, of course, that’s the longer road I have to travel. But from others. Random customers who barely recognize my existence to people I should be able to trust. It’s taken me a long time to realize I am really good at my job, and while I still pass people along to Brandon, now it is because I know he has specific information about a comic series I may not have read, instead of fear.

As I try to be the best I can be in my work, I will circle back to being mindful. I’ll see if I can actually appreciate the small moments, like when a 7-year old tells me I’m the reason she comes to the store, when a woman tells me I’ve made a safe space for her to shop, when a friend tells me I’m doing great things for the comics community. It can be really difficult with all the crappy moments and casual sexism I see literally every day, but I will try and focus more on the positive. The moments that don’t make me feel like I should just wither, give up, cry, and disappear. I’m sure there are a ton of people that wouldn’t even notice I was gone, but it’s not for those people that I stay(seriously though, fuck those people), it’s for everyone I mentioned previously, but mostly, for me. When this job is good, it’s amazing. It brings me such joy to see people happy to read.

I’m going to keep fighting. Even if it’s only with myself.

Danica LeBlanc // Twitter

5 Things I Learned In 2015

I am brave. I learned how to create a business from nothing, stepped up to most challenges, created new working and personal relationships, and worked hard on making a space where everyone can feel comfortable and safe.

I am a coward. I did not speak up often, and have a lot of regrets that I didn’t use the power I now have when hearing others say hateful things. I let a lot of important decisions slide because I thought I could trust others to do their part. I chose anger over empathy, and pretended I didn’t have a choice.

I both forgot and discovered different parts of who I am. I like sparkly nail polish, the colour pink and being feminine, lipstick, and long, flowing dresses. My depression and anxiety returned with a vengeance, so perhaps I am disguising my inside with my out. I hate myself while attempting to show that I love myself.

I need to trust others more. I need to remember that I am not alone in this. That I will not be weakened by talking. This is my hardest lesson, and one that is most definitely not complete.

I learned that no matter what happens today, tomorrow really does have a chance to be better. If I must be stubborn, I will try to make it that about that in 2016.

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