Isolation blues…..

To think that March 13th I was out celebrating a friends birthday with no care in the world, and today I am finishing up day 10 of isolation with no end in view. So let’s have some real talk on isolation from my perspective.

I feel I am on autopilot with not much purpose in life. As a small business owner I have been hit hard with this situation, but I am not even worried about that currently. Instead my mental health comes first. I, like many others have depression, anxiety and PTSD. When I started serious social distancing I knew it would be a struggle for me, as I feed off human interaction. The first few days all I did was cook, bake and clean. I slept maybe 4 hours a night. Actually lets be completely honest. I slept 4 hours in the damn morning because I can’t fucking sleep. I can’t sit still. I can’t go out. I’m forced to be alone. This is literally so hard for me.

I started feeling like a robot. Go to sleep finally around 6 am, wake up at 10 am, coffee times 6, start baking and cooking and organizing and cleaning and before I know it it’s night time and thats where the loneliness kicks in. Kids are asleep and I am alone. Considering I am a single woman I should be used to being alone right? Wrong. The isolation blues have set in. No dinners out, no lunch dates with the girls, no Friday night drinks, no flirting with the guy I like and just enjoying his company. Instead I am in a constant state of what do I do so I don’t go crazy. From cooking a turkey dinner to baking a random cheesecake to the hundreds of times I walk up and down my hallway with no reasoning.

It’s disassociation at its finest once again. If I chose to just lay around and watch movies most likely I will do that for days falling into a deeper state of depression. So I cook and bake and eat and clean. This is my life.

The feeling of isolation has gotten the best of me. I have cried twice in these ten days. Nothing makes you feel more alone than being alone in the first place and then being alone crying just tops the cake. Oh ya I baked a cake too.

I am realizing how I took so much for granted. How I spent so much time on stupid shit. I’m trying to see the light in all this. Not only is our Earth on a time out and healing we are too. I’ve realized what I care about and what really matters. The relationships in my life matter most; my children and my closest friends. My relationship with myself too; how can I grow from this and become the best version of myself. No point in being isolated and not learning from this right.

What I have learnt about social distancing though is humanity is good. Not all, but more than I may have thought before. The integrity I have seen in some people blows me away. The amount of people willing to help others is amazing to see. As someone with lung issues it is scary for me to go out, yet I have some pretty amazing people in my life. All of my groceries were delivered by a friend, meals have been exchanged, coffees dropped off, and best of all birthdays gifts on my day. Even though we are in a new way of life does not mean life is over it just means we adjust to keep people safe. It’s part of being resilient.

I look forward to being able to physically see people again, to hold my nieces and nephews, to go out for play dates with the kids and to freely go about our lives. But for now I will continue get through everyday the best I can. Never will I take for granted the little things in life.

Drop your go to activities during social distancing in the comments. It would be great to hear how everyone is getting through this.

Why Badass?

So today I had the opportunity to speak for a group on facebook made up of survivors. This is my passion you see. To show people how to transition from victim to survivor. Yes, I was victimized, but to live my life as a victim serves no one. It is like carrying around a backpack full of rocks and trudging along in life miserably. Angry, hurt, sad and not letting go. When you make the choice to become a survivor life becomes easier to live. That backpack of shame, guilt, trauma and regrets no longer holding one down.

For many years I held onto my past thinking I was the way I was because of the molestation, abuse and shaming. Which sure, it set me on a path most wouldn’t want but it is something I cannot change. There is no time machine, there is no going back and there is no forgetting it. But we have this thing in life; its called choice. I chose to no longer let my past define me. I also owned up to all the shitty things I did in my life and separated my shame from my parents shame. I had shame for the shitty parent I was in the beginning, but I also gave my step dad his shame back for molesting me and my mothers shame for abandoning me and treating me poorly.

When I did all those things I took back my power. This was where all the magic happened. I started doing things for me and started putting myself first. I started the long road to healing and stopped feeling disgusting for something I had no control over. It’s crazy how messed up trauma can change us. From dissociation, to coping mechanisms, to not having boundaries, to my brain development, to tried suicide attempts. I never thought I would live a normal life. That was until I learned there was no such thing as normal. Who defines normal? Who is to say how we are to live our lives? Exactly.

Today I set boundaries, I say no without explanation and I live my best life. Thats when I decided to start my clothing line. Really it is much more than a clothing line. It is a movement. A way of life. It is a tribe of people supporting me and those around them to live an authentic and vulnerable life. Here are some of the things I have done that I consider Badass. I left a man after almost 8 years because I no longer loved him and knew I deserved more than a life filled of hatred and physical violence. Leaving a domestic violent relationship is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Badass! I filed a report on my stepfather over 20 years later (thank you Canada for having no statute of limitations on these offences) and that was badass! I wrote about my experiences in 3 seperate published books in the hopes it would give other people courage. Again pretty Badass. I left my marriage when I knew it was detrimental to my children and myself, another Badass thing I had to do to live my best life.

There’s a lot of little things that I do that is pretty Badass as well. I have PTSD, anxiety and depression, and guess what….. I don’t let those things stop me from showing up in life. Instead I carry these things with me and have learnt tricks to live with them. Like when I really don’t want to get out of bed I countdown from 5 and say blastoff and just do it. This is something I learnt from reading a Mel Robbins book. I trained myself to start believing in myself again. Writing positive self affirmations around my house, by positive talk and by writing and sharing my story. Ill never stop sharing my story because every time I do it reaches a new person and changes their life for the better. It’s about building a tribe of people that no longer want to sit in their story but sit on it instead. Let me tell you the view is much better from up here.

Being badass isn’t a bad thing. It’s a way of life. It is about doing everything you do with a positive attitude and with everything you’ve got. It is about building a community of likeminded people who are ready to change the world. We can all be change makers if we put our heart into it. Courage is contagious so spread that shit everywhere!!

XX Badass Bon

Midday thoughts

Often I sit and wonder about things and that is exactly how each one of my blog posts become. Reason #1 why sometimes I will go a week or more without writing. Life is busy, and as a single mom trying to just make it through the day it is hard. Actually let me rephrase that! AS A MOM LIFE IS HARD!! Single moms, married moms, all moms!! We ensure the life of our littles on top of our own lives. Pretty badass if you ask me!

Today I am working as a caretaker for an elderly lady who fell down the stairs and broke her clavicle. She speaks very little English, yet we are communicating through one word questions/answers and my own made up sign language. It makes me think how amazing we are as humans when we just need to figure it out. We do that often don’t we? Figure shit out.

I am figuring out how I am on the fence with communication. Sometimes I freaking rock at it and sometimes I absolutely suck at it and should go back to coaching lessons on how to spit out what I need to. I mean let’s be real. I’ve fallen for someone who probably has no flipping clue hahaha, but that’s okay. Half the battle is acknowledging my own faults. Does this mean I am going to go tell him? Ya no! BUT!! It does mean communication is something I will be working on in the coming months.

Have you ever just yelled at someone instead of saying “I’m really upset right now, this is why, this is how I feel, and how do you feel about this?” Yea me either. For example, I have a teen daughter and it’s like fighting with a miniature version of myself which let me tell you is karma through and through. I am learning to take a step back in every situation that involves my communicating and thinking before speaking. Next I will work on communicating when I really really don’t want to!

Sitting here also has me thinking about getting older. This woman I am caretaking is 88 years old! EIGHTY-EIGHT!!! I bet she has some stories to tell, and if I understood Polish I would most definitely be picking her brain to tell them to me. I find it fascinating to hear others stories. How they moved here to Canada, how their countries are different and how they adjusted to life here. I am intrigued in people in general. Just like people are interested in my stories of overcoming some of the most horrific things a person could go through and how I got to where I am now.

Now this whole aging thing. It’s like I don’t really think about it. I feel super young and let’s be real I look pretty young. I feel like I have many years ahead of me which I quite possibly might, but nothing is promised in life. Also, who knows how my body will treat me in the future. So it has me thinking! I spend way too much time watching TV! I spend way too much time arguing! And I spend way too much time overthinking!! So this stops today! I don’t want regrets when I am older.

I challenge you to cross something off your list! What list you ask!? You know the one!! The one where you’ll get around to it, the one you’ll do when you’ve lost more weight, the one you’re waiting for when your kids are a bit older! Yea! That list! Do it now, because you are alive and here for a reason and being happy is one of them, so please do what makes you happy.

XX Badass Bon

Don’t think. DO!

Here I am; 100% authentic, vulnerable, proud and confident.

Tonight I danced in my first Army of Sass dance class and I loved it! What is Army of Sass you ask. It is a heel based dance class for women to unite and be confident together. It is two hours of drills and choreography where we sweat, laugh and enjoy being women. Let me tell you I feel like my ass was handed to me. As I sit here I can still feel the burn in my arms and legs, but it is a welcome burn because it is time to get my butt in gear. I have struggled with my weight for far too many years and am taking a stand to no longer have my weight stop me from doing what I love to do. DANCE! I actually danced as a kid into my teen years and have always held dancing close to my heart.

Walking into tonight’s class took about as much confidence needed as I needed to enter the Miss BC pageant this past summer, and well we know how well that turned out. As British Columbias two title holder I would say my confidence has helped me in more ways than one. The thing is; confidence wasn’t something I always had. I actually never liked how I looked until about a year ago. From early on I always thought I was different. Guess what!? I am different and that is a good thing. We are all different and special in our own ways, and my super power is coming out on top.

I was asked once “why are you doing the pageant; aren’t they for skinny pretty girls?” Well well well. That was this one persons opinion and if I went through life any longer based on others opinions of me I would not be where I am today. Nope I am not a size 2 and most likely never will be, but I am a beautiful wonderful person. So like a friend used to say to me “if not now when?” Tonight! Thats when! So I walked into that class after not dancing for 20 years and had fun! Because at the end of the day thats what it is all about, and fun was had!

So the next time you want to do something but think maybe next time, or when I lose weight, or when I feel better about myself I say to you GO FOR IT!! Your here on borrowed time, so take the chance and take the dance class, or whatever it is you want to do but think you will just wait on it. Let’s teach our kids to own who we are and what we offer. Because confidence can be learnt I promise you this.

And so I leave you with this

“Courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver” Brené Brown

It never goes away but it gets easier

“Some people survive and talk about it. Some people survive and go silent. Some people survive and create. Everyone deals with unimaginable pain in their own way, and everyone is entitled to that, without judgement. So the next time you look at someone’s life covetously, remember… you may not want to endure what they are enduring right now, at this moment, whilst they sit so quietly before you, looking like a calm ocean on a sunny day. Remember how vast the ocean’s boundaries are. Whilst somewhere the water is calm, in another place in the very same ocean, there is a colossal storm.” Nikita Gill

The storm is always in the heart. Sometimes it hurts so much and I think it will never end. Loneliness; not from being alone but from being outcasted. Yes, I am one tough woman, but I too have my moments of loneliness and abandonment. I yearn for something I cannot quite figure out. The loss of my loving Grandma maybe. The idea of loving parents quite possibly. The loss of a childhood most likely.

Two years ago today I boarded a plane into the unknown. I was in a loveless marriage and too afraid to be alone. I jumped at the chance to be a part of a retreat for adult survivors of child sexual abuse. I had no idea how much this would change my life. Although I am a people person I get a ton of anxiety meeting new people. I was on this journey to stay with a group of women I had never met. I had no idea the power behind being with other survivors.

When growing up I never imagined what I endured happened more often than not. I had no clue the statistics, and now that I do it is a mission to talk about my past freely no matter how difficult it is. The more we talk about it the more we take the shame and stigma away. You bet it is uncomfortable. You bet no one wants to have a discussion on it. But if not now when!? If we don’t talk about it it will never stop.

When I went to The Younique Foundation Retreat I didn’t really understand how the abuse changed me. I think differently, I react differently, and I dissociate often and easily. I have PTSD, I rarely sleep at night (this is when the abuse always happened), and I get weird over even hugging my own children (something I work on daily). I cry often and usually alone and mostly when I blog. I overthink EVERYTHING and I still struggle with the idea of anyone truly loving me.

This retreat was one big piece to fixing myself. I learnt that I am not alone, and sadly that too many children are abused and almost always by someone they know. For me it was my Step Dad. The man who adopted me and raised me as his own. He spoiled me and I thought I owed him for giving me this great life, but was it so great? Would I have been where I am today if my Mom and I stayed in the downtown East side of Vancouver? I will never know. What I do know is it was not my fault. I know now that NO is a complete sentence. I know my worth.

When I got home from this retreat I stood taller. I was ready to fully stand on my story and no longer in it. I was done being the victim and ready to be a change maker. When I talk about my past people always offer their apologies. I get it, its uncomfortable but what I really want is for you to listen and be a part of ending it. How can we end it? We talk about it, we spread awareness and we educate our children on what is right and wrong and to never ever be afraid to tell. My Mom was abusive and I was always so scared to tell her. This is why my abuse went on for more than a decade.

Going to this retreat gave me 7 lifelong friends. I actually have a bird tattooed on my arm for each one of them. Always together strong and united in ending childhood sexual abuse. Always together on living our life the best way we know how. We are bonded by our horrific pasts that only survivors can understand. We get it. As someone who has tired to commit suicide, who lived life not afraid to die, who hated herself; these other women get me. I am not judged. They also have no pity for me. Nothing but love.

So, two years later I bring up this experience in the hopes that someone comes across this at just the right time. That they will learn of this retreat when they need it most. That just maybe it saves a life. When I got home from this retreat I ended my marriage. I got my voice back and I learned how to use it. I look back at the growth in two years and it is my confidence that has grown the most. When I walked into this retreat I saw an ugly woman that did not deserve love. I now see my beauty and no longer compare myself to others. Although I have not found love from a partner I have learned to love myself. Now that is growth.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused as a child and struggles with it please check out this link. Apply and go. All it costs is a flight and your time, yet the amount of therapy and experience you get in a jam packed 4 days; well you can’t put a price on that one bit.

I leave you with a few pictures from my experience. An experience I will never forget; one that forever changed my life for the better.

Back to reality

Well, it has been some time since I have engaged with all those that read my blog. I apologize for pulling a ghost move, but I had needed some time to get my life in order. Children are a blessing, but they require much time. Struggling with getting a designation for my one son while fighting with my daughters mental health took a toll on me. I chose to back away from a lot of events and writing and took some me time. Of course those that know me know I rarely settle right down so of course I had a few things going while on my downtime.

That’s what I am here to share with you about. It is okay to slow it down once in awhile and reevaluate your life. Just don’t completely stop, question yourself or throw in the towel. All things I do quite often. I have come to realize I am human and I have faults. What sets me aside from others is I am willing to share my struggles with those that know me and those that don’t to offer guidance in what not to do, and to push them to excellence.

It’s a new year and that means New Years Resolutions, but do you ever stick to those stupid resolutions? I know I don’t, so instead I am simply focusing on the same goals I have had for a couple years now. Personal growth. Financial security. Starting a clothing line. Speaking internationally. Writing my memoir. Starting a podcast. But most importantly doing what I started to do when I chose this lifestyle. To make a fucking difference in the world. To be the person I needed all those years ago. To lift people up so they can also be a BADASS boss in their own life.

And so I am back to blog and inspire. To ditch my shame in order to open the door to those that need guidance in ditching their own shame. I am here to be vulnerable and authentic; because that is fucking BADASS!!

So stick around, its only 5 days into the New Year and I am already booked on one internet show, booked in Edmonton in Spring, running a new clothing co, working on content for my podcast and have been informed my 2 titles of Mrs. Charity BC and Mrs. Lower Mainland are mine for another full year. This is a wicked start to an amazing year!

I am confident in those I surround myself with as I grow into the Bonnie I was always meant to be. I look forward to the relationships around me growing, and pushing myself to new limits.

And so I leave you with this quote that I read often. A reminder to show up and be the one in the arena.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

To believe in oneself is the key to success

I believe I fail often, but it is what you do when you fail that defines who you are as a person. I’m not one to stay down and my history has proven that. I am a warrior, a fighter and an all around Badass in this thing we call life.

I quite enjoyed school growing up, I didn’t think I was the smartest but I was definitely not dumb. I was always proud to show off my work to my Mother, the one person I wanted acceptance from, but it was not accepted. Slowly my self esteem dwindled. The sexual abuse I experienced also pushed me lower into self doubt. I always thought everything I did wasn’t good enough. A grade 8 drop out I began to believe I was not smart at all and could never achieve greatness in life. I never saw myself with a career and I could never stick to one thing long enough.

Accounting, office work, retail, sales. None of it seemed for me. I also had low self esteem and played it small in most jobs. I was always afraid someone would tell me I was doing it all wrong and I was done feeling stupid in my adult life after spending my teen years surrounded by those feelings.

Today I don’t think I am dumb but I do have some traits that hold me back. I sometimes self sabotage and my procrastination skills are on point and I’m not proud of that lol. Now just before Summer this year I was approached on Facebook by a woman who just loved what I was doing with my social media. She was amazed at my confidence challenges and bringing community together. She saw me for the service work I was doing to make the world a better place. We met in person shortly after and from the moment we met she believed in me. She saw something in me and not only praised me for my awesomeness but invested in me.

See this woman is owner of Primetuitive Education and she wanted me to take one of her classes called Train the Trainer. She invested her time and invited me to take her course. She saw something in me I didn’t see. She saw my strengths and she was positive I was meant to be on her team in the near future teaching her programs.

So about this good news I had. I got the call today that I was asked to take the Project Manager program, and was told I would be simply amazing at it too! As I blushed hearing these compliments I started to hear those limiting beliefs in the back of my head that I am not qualified and would pretty much suck.

And then I found this

When people have trust in you and believe that you will be good at something trust what they see

So, I will walk into this program next week with my head held high ready to learn. If I don’t know the answer to something I will ask for an explanation. And I will give 100% of my ability into these next 11 weeks.

I’m not going to lie. I am nervous and scared. Nervous because that is just a natural reaction. Scared because I live a pretty busy yet relaxed life and this is game time. Time to start living life at full speed and take the opportunities that are going to put my future in a good place. A place of abundance and reliability. As a single Mother this is going to be tough, but I have some pretty Badass people in my life that support me and are willing to help me.

I am always so grateful for where I am today. I have reinvented myself, lost family, been vulnerable, built integrity, fallen down plenty but most of all I have managed to constantly get back up and build a family built on friends.

It is all about living a Badass life and I intend on being as Badass at life as I can!! I will rock this program and by next year I will be teaching.

So you never know who is watching and you never know who is willing to invest in you. If someone ever believes in you make sure you trust what they see.

XX Badass Bon

Traumatic events give us perspective

I can’t even remember the last time I wrote. Avoidance is my coping mechanism. I easily move onto other projects and put on a brave face and “keep busy” but writing makes me happy. Writing is also acceptance. I write truth and sometimes I don’t want to deal with truth; like adulting, I just want to coast through tough times and start again. So this is me starting again. Not over because I will never start from the beginning, instead I pick back up where I left off and move forward. Even if I took some steps back I have the choice to go in the direction I want.

This post might be one of the hardest I have written to date.

I have this friend Mike. He is pretty amazing! He tells me how it is in a way only he can in a way that makes me listen. I respect this man and have come to call him one of my best friends, and if you know me you know I have many best friends. We talk many times a week and tell each other we love one another in a way that is strictly platonic. He doesn’t beat around the bush and has no problem telling me my weight worries him (he lost like 100 lbs and cares about my life). He is also my relationship therapist, during a time I was allowing a guy to play games with my head he would jokingly say “one minute Bonnie, I have another call. It’s Bonnie from last week” he is always there when I need him. He came camping with my family and I last week and he told me he loved all of my friends. He also said something that meant a lot to me, he said “Bonnie, your friends are cool and I actually respect you as a person more by the company you keep.”

You are the sum of those you surround yourself with!!

Now let’s move to Jenn. I don’t know Jenn like I know Mike but she is his friend and I can say now she is one of mine too. Mike invited her camping with us and although I had met her a handful of times before we got to bond over campfire and drinks. This woman is BADASS. She is gentle, adorable, determined and motivated. Like Mike she lost an incredible amount of weight. I look at her with complete respect and admiration for her journey. Like Mike I consider her another lifelong friend.

You might wonder why I am blogging about these two people you have never met and have no idea where I am going with this post, but you also can’t stop reading because you know I write good content and you are intrigued as to where this is going. Don’t worry we are getting there soon. I needed to explain who these two are before I get into the thick of it.

This past Sunday September 1st Mike called me and invited me to go quadding. “Come on Bonnie. Jenn is on her way too! Exit 183 hard left. Call me when your here.” This was Mike’s way of saying you’re coming and I will not take no for an answer. Ok ok ok. I am on my way. Who doesn’t enjoy a day of riding in the mountains without a care in the world, wind blowing in my hair and emptying the mind of all responsibilities.

Let’s fast forward to 10:30pm. The 4 of us are riding down the mountain and meet at the end of the trail. We both turn right onto the road. Mike is a bit of a free spirited daredevil and he rides off into the night like a bat out of hell. The guy I’m riding with yells that we have to drive slow because we are on road driving a off road vehicle. We near the last corner before our camp and Mike is nowhere to be seen. As the corner almost ends we stop and time stops when the tires stop. The quad is down an embankment still running, smoking away, but my friends are nowhere to be seen. This may seem utterly stupid to you but my first thought was where are they? Why wouldn’t they stand and wait on the road for us. Did they walk away? They were only 30 seconds ahead of us, if that!

I turn my cell phone flashlight on and start scanning for them. I’m not going to go into detail here but they were 20 feet from the quad. One shoe off each. Not moving. Still. Face first and upside down.

It was the day after that I replayed these moments over and over again in my head beating myself up for my lack of ability to properly deal with this situation.

Any normal person would have called 911 RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Not me though. I felt myself leave my body. I yelled at the guy as he went down to assess the situation “what do I do?” He panicked. He told me to get on the quad, he drove me to my car and told me to go back and call 911. I was sober. He was not. He cared about himself and his own well being and put it all on me. I am only thankful for him telling me what to do for what I was experiencing is called dissociation. I was back at the scene within 60 seconds and on the phone with 911 immediately. I then kept telling the dispatcher he needed to tell me what to do. Check for breathing. Don’t touch them. Ask them if they can move. Can they breathe. Are there visible injuries and so forth.

So lets fast forward again. My friends are alive. Banged up very badly, but alive. Mike almost died. That night and again in the hospital days later. Excuse my French but I told him “you are not allowed to fucking die on me!” These two are warriors! They are fighters. They are two of my favourite people in the world.

Now the reason for sharing this experience with you is because as I sat at home that night replaying the night and dissecting it I remembered a time about 14 years ago. I was at a creek and my oldest son was standing in the water. He went face first into the water and my Aunt jumped up and grabbed him. ME? I JUST STARED AT THE SITUATION. I look back and think wtf is wrong with me. I literally left my body and didn’t flinch. I must be a terrible Mother. I must not have the Mothering gene in me. How can one just leave their body during traumatic experiences. Then I started to beat myself up inside. Why didn’t I call 911 right then and there!? Would that 2 minutes have made a difference?

I’ve talked to some people about this and my therapist knows too. I dissociate from traumatic experiences. There is no other explanation for this. For someone who has not experienced trauma they would automatically know what to do and take the situation into their own hands. Me, not so much. It’s like the time I was driving big red (my old F350 turbo diesel) down a mountain road and I slid into the snow tracks and saw we were heading for a 20 foot embankment. Instead of trying to get out of it I just let it be. I let go and let it be.

I write this because dissociation is something many of us face. Now that I see that I experience this I can start the therapy to fix it. I can accept that my brain doesn’t function like it should and I can begin to heal it in hopes one day my traumatic past wont hold me back in life. I absolutely can’t stand that I’m different in this way. It is embarrassing and upsetting. I realize that every time I was molested as a child I most likely dissociated from the experience and left. Now it is something I still do in traumatic events.

Mike and Jenn, I wish I would’ve called 911 right then and there. I wish I could have been more present in the situation. I also am so grateful you are alive. We are closer in a way no one else can be for experiencing this situation together. I love you both.

Mike said to me the other day “Bonnie, I think we met for you to be there Sunday. You saved my life.”


XX Badass Bon

You are looking at the new Mrs Charity BC & Mrs Lower Mainland!

Ok let’s just take that in for a second. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I am a frickin BC title holder!! I won not one, but two titles in the Miss BC pageant!!!!

Ok now that’s out of the way I can really dive into the whole pageant experience and what has been going on in my head since last weekend. Yes, a whole week ago…. Pageant hangover is a real thing btw. This was not my first time competing as some of you know I competed last year for the Miss title. Some women were quite surprised I didn’t win, so I have spent the year trying to figure out where I went wrong. I have learnt it was not my time, and that this last year of growth was essential to where I am today.

Although I was exactly where I was meant to be last year I was not ready to show up fully. I thought I did, but this past weekend really showed me what it means to fully show up. Last year I played small and wasn’t ready to be seen completely. I struggled still with feeling like a failure in different areas of my life.

This past weekend I went in visualizing myself being crowned and walking away with a title. So my journey began about two months ago when I knew there was one coveted provincial title that is given to the Miss Teen, Miss or Mrs who raises the most funds for Cops For Cancer. So my first job was to give it my absolute all in fundraising. Last years Mrs Charity raised something insane like $10,000 so my goal was $6,000. I felt this was a bit high but achievable. I reached out to every single person I knew with a business and got over $5,000 in donations for raffle and auction items. I hosted an incredibly fun burger and beer night. I also used a portion of my shirt sales and all Epicure commissions for my fundraising total. My end total was around the $3,500 mark. I was very happy with how much I raised but was positive it was not enough.

Now when it comes to pageant weekend it is an emotional, empowering, tiring but fun time. At my weight and age my body was fighting me for more rest, but I was determined to make it through the choreo for the opening dance number and be 110% involved in the entire process of the weekend which is full of seminars, workshops and lots of rehearsing.

It was during day two I realized how last year I played it small. On show night we have 10 seconds to say our name, city and sponsor. This is the only chance the audience and judges hear you speak unless you make it to the finalists, and out of 51 women you best make yourself stand out. This was realization #1 that I needed to play big, and so when my turn came up on stage I confidently said “Abbotsford, Mrs. Just a girrrrl like me coaching (my awesome sponsor) BBBBOOOONNNIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” Think loud, proud and full of sass!! I spread my arms out when I said my name and I owned that shit!!!

Next came sports wear. Last year I was like I don’t play sports and I’m not even that active, and so I used a baseball bat and swung at a pretend ball and cutely walked the stage with a smile. SMALL!!!! This year I clapped my hands to get the audience pumped as I bounced to my spot on the stage and I did a couple Zumba moves, I smiled huge and I engaged with the audience. I was nervous! I was scared! I thought I looked dumb even! But I did it with everything I had and it didn’t kill me!!

My evening gown portion I owned that like I was meant to be there. I made eye contact with the audience and my smile said “hey, I am a winner regardless!”

When my name was called into the finalists I was beaming. I was called #11 out of the 16 and that’s when the nerves really set in. Whaaaaaat! I have to stand on the stage and answer questions. Me speak in public hahahahahaha!!!! Miss Canada was like, Bonnie you got this. Be you! Breathe!!!! My turn came and I made it through without messing up and I answered my questions efficiently and on point. Now we sit backstage and wait….. I will be honest, once I became a finalist my night became a bit about me. What would I do if I win. What if I don’t. Do I deserve this. Holy crap I am in a pageant. My mind was whirling, but backstage the women who did not make it into the finalists were all backstage in a circle building each other up. To me that was a beautiful thing. This pageant wasn’t a competition. Yes we all wanted to win, but we all had a message for the world. We are all change makers with big ideas, and when you see a group build each other up like that you know you are a part of something special.

As we all stood onstage in our beautiful gowns and smiles so big our cheeks all hurt names began to be called for crowns and sashes. “And this years charity winner is….. Bonnie Johnstone!!” What!!!!! You mean I raised the most! You mean I was comparing myself to last years winner and for nothing. You mean this self doubt was for nothing! Omg!!!! I gratefully took my sash and crown as 2019-20 Mrs Charity BC and beamed from stage. I set a goal, and I achieved it! I was now a BC provincial title holder and won a pageant! As more names were being called I began to think to myself I should’ve worked harder for the Mrs BC title, but then “and Mrs. Lower Mainland……. BONNIE JOHNSTONE!!!!” WAIT WHAT!!!?? DID YOU JUST CALL MY NAME AGAIN!!!

That is correct, I won a provincial and a regional title. I worked my butt off, I showed up and I gave it my all. On my way home I started thinking. “If only they could see me now.” The ones that laughed at me. The ones who told me I am uneducated and will amount to nothing. The ones who said I was too fat or ugly. The ones who talked down to me. I will admit I am not your average pageant winner. I am not average in life period. I am me though and I will not water myself down for anyone. I am classy with a dash of gangster. I listen to rap music and often come across as rough around the edges and that is because I am!! I am me, 100% authentically Bonnie and today I am more Bonnie than ever before. I make mistakes often but own them. I am not perfect and that is okay. I however am confident, beautiful, wonderful and full of life. It is my mission to spread confidence everywhere I go. I may get laughed at, or looked at funny but that is ok because playing small never got me a crown. Playing small didn’t get me business. Playing small doesn’t achieve goals.

So like I say in my speeches it is time. “Time to STAND up, RISE up and SHOW up!!”

XX Badass Bon

We’re All Battling Something

As someone people look up to for guidance and support people forget sometimes that I also have my own “stuff” to deal with. Just keep in mind being the person that people look up to sometimes I need to be “checked” in on once in awhile too.

So this all has been on the forefront of my mind as I am just over two weeks away from pageant weekend. If your just reading this now and unsure what pageant weekend is all about it is the Miss BC pageant that I am a contestant in the Mrs category of. As we come closer to pageant weekend my mind overtakes in a negative way, but I have come far enough in my healing to notice this.

We all know someone who says things like “I’m too fat” or “my thunder thighs rub together” or simple pointing out all the things they don’t like about themselves physically or otherwise. In my 38 years on this world I have been told more about my downfalls then my beautiful attributes and when your constantly being told negative things we sometimes begin to believe them ourselves. Believing these things can harm our future relationships. When a guy tells you your beautiful and you reply with no I am not eventually your insecurities will get in the way and he will possibly move on as your inner healing is not close to complete and there is nothing he can do to help you. Why? Because we can only help ourselves!!

I know from experience that negative self talk is absolutely a complete waste of time and our breath. I was taught as a child that if I didn’t have anything nice to say not to say anything at all!! Well that goes for self talk too! If you wouldn’t call someone else a fatty you better not call yourself one!

I am proud to say I bought a gown for the pageant and didn’t care about the number on the tag. What I do care about is that it fits my body and it is absolutely beautiful!! Instead of worrying about my body I worry about my health. Instead of worrying about what I look like I worry about how I feel. Over all health begins on the inside out. And the proof is in the pudding!! Since embarking on my healing journey I have gained a solid 40 pounds but funny thing!! When I run into friends the first thing they say is damn Bonnie you look great!!! So how is it I look better heavier? Well because I took off my victim hoodie and moved into my survivor mode and it shows. I smile everywhere I go, and not a fake smile. I’m talking ear to ear I am so damn grateful to be alive smile. You cannot fake these smiles.

Now lets rewind a few years. When I would explain my behaviours I would follow up with an excuse like; my life sucked, my childhood was bad, I was sexually abused, I was beat for years and on and on I could go. I will not downplay the severity of the effects of my past, however no one wants to hear the poor me story. How can I help anyone heal if I continue feeling sorry for myself and being stuck angry at all the people that have wronged me? That’s right! I can’t!

So what has changed?

My mindset. This is something that is constantly evolving into the best version of myself. I believe I will not be truly done growing until I die and can no longer learn. Yes my past is a grim one, but it was my choice to make poor decisions and feel sorry for myself. It was my choice to not reach out for help. Yes, maybe I didn’t know how to ask for help but it is common sense at some point. So that’s what I did. I started reaching out to friends, I started therapy and I have made it my mission to help as many people as I can reach to come to a point in their lives they can move past the hurt.

Today instead of being negative about my body I look for the positive in it, like it has birthed 3 beautiful humans, that my breasts have fed and nourished all of them to be strong babies, that my feet although sore have carried my weight around for a very long time and most importantly without my body and the strength it has I wouldn’t be here.

I have a proposition for you all. When your sitting there thinking negatively…. STOP IT!!! Turn it around into a positive statement and see how you feel. Now I’m going to push it farther. Do this for one month!! Check in with yourself and see where your at in a month on how you feel about yourself.

And lastly, don’t forget to vote for me for this years peoples choice awards. I thank all my support team in advance for constantly voting for me and supporting me in everything that I do. Winning isn’t just for me; winning is for everyone who thought or still thinks they’re not good enough! It’s for those struggling with addictions because guess what they’re people too. It’s for the survivors, the thrivers and change makers! It’s for those that have been beaten of their self worth! This win is for us black sheep and underdogs BECAUSE WE MATTER!!

Vote Bonnie as Peoples Choice

XX Badass Bon