Honestly, I am spoiled. I get a lot of help with my hair. There was a time when every time I washed my hair, I would be exhausted afterwards, still happens once and a while, so I ask for someone in the house to brush my hair for me. For about a year, I have had long hair. I believe it would have been shoulder length this time last year and now it's just above my chest. My preferred hairstyle for several years has been the pixie cut and most years previous to 2010, I usually kept to bobs and chin length styles, with the exceptions of three different years that I had long hair for special occasions: 1997, 2005 & 2008.
My daughters bugged me to grow my hair long and they promised they would style it for me as long as it was grown out. Just my oldest daughter was actually helping with my hair, she would braid my bangs and pin them back when I was started college in the fall of 2019. For my birthday this year, my oldest daughter gave me that cute crimped look in my blog profile photo (she did my makeup too). In the late spring, or early summer, she started doing French braid in my hair, I love that look. When she left for college in September, my husband styled my hair a few times and I really loved the style he tried on September 13th, it was simply beautiful.
Lately, I am sick of my long hair, it's so damaged from the hair dyes I've used and I've tried reviving it but it's still broken and the color is imperfect. I am very temped to go back to a pixie style but might consider a style that is short and could easily be styled with a braid or something simple for my daughter(s) or my husband to style for me.
Styles images by my family
My favorite short styles
About a decade ago, I was very involved with Girl Guides of Canada. I wasn't a member as a youth but found myself volunteering casually then I was asked to take on a unit or it would have to close (I think most leaders hear that line as they are joining, the urgency to keep the unit open for the girls).
I fully immersed myself as the unit guider for a Sparks unit. To the girls and their parents from our unit knew me as "Guider Chantal". I planned amazing weekly meeting with fun and educational crafts, I took the girls on trips, and special events. I found the greatest ideas for meeting and activities to do with my unit because of pinterest and that growing social media was most of the inspiration to the awesome things the unit was able to accomplish together. I blogged about the things we did and I dedicated most of my Instagram feed to my Guiding life. For the first year or so, I was the only guider on the roster and the community guider and administrative leader would rotate weeks to assist me/to cover ratio. I loved it but eventually I wore myself out. I was exhausted after my time as Guider Chantal with the 43rd North Bay Sparks unit. I left that unit in June 2015, and that was the spring that I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I had to step away, I became controlling and wasn't a good co-leader to my fellow guiders.
Because of Girl Guides, I was able to find myself. I made great friends and wonderful memories. I learned to love camping and challenging myself to a new activity each summer I was a volunteer at summer camps. Girl Guide camps became my favorite thing; I would volunteer in the summer, attend Guider training and skill weekends, and my family enjoyed a family camp or two, or three.
I am so grateful for the sisterhood in Girl Guides and all the wonderful opportunities my daughters and I experienced over the past decade. Girl Guides was my safe space when I was lost in my illness; the support from co-guiders, women I worked with through GGC-ON council, and the summer camp teams gave me strength when I needed it the most.
I hung up my Girl Guide hat in September 2019 after my last camp. For now, I am focusing on college and I maintain my membership through an internet Trefoil Guild. I hope to return to unit guiding in a few years.
I started working on a new page for my website, I look forward to sharing the content but I'm not quiet ready to share it. It's going to get personal and I hope I feel a sense of healing on my journey as I work through my story.
It happens to be the three year anniversary when millions of women simply taking their voices to social media and typing this hashtag: #metoo. I simply just added the hashtag but did not share my story/stories. Some women were extremely brave in my eyes, they spoke their truths and I stand beside them, I believe their truths.
My mind was racing today. I started building a biography page and thought about how much do I really share on a Fibromyalgia blog. Then I realized, for (most) Fibromyalgia Warriors, it is our past traumas that have led us to this pain. In my pain and suffering, there's also anxiety and depression. Possibly, my voice can help another woman speak her truth and work towards healing.
I am starting to work through these tough moments and memories in my life (time span from the ages of 16 through 18). Names will be changed to protect some people, not necessarily to protect the person themselves from the actions they did 20+ years ago, but possibly protecting their families and other victims of their behavior.
My "HERSTORY" page will have happy moments, stories, and photos as well. I experienced some wonderful moments. I am excited to work on this project: it may take some time, since I am often working on essays, assignments, and case studies for Indigenous Wellness & Addiction Prevention. I hope to launch the page "HERSTORY" by the time I'm on Winter Break in December, after my exams for semester one.
UPDATE: HERSTORY will be launched in March 2021.
It's been nearly a year I started blogging (simultaneously) stopped blogging; I am in the process of big changes in my life.
Last summer, I decided that I wanted things to change in my life. I was very sad and miserable (depression and anxiety). I couldn't stand the thought of living where I was living, being in the shape I was in, and feeling like I was not contributing to my family. I enrolled in the office administration program at Canadore College.
I put aside my funding from school to afford first and last on a new house to rent. Mid-October, we saw a listing for a house, and we were selected as tenants on October 21st. I love my new home. We are near parks and trails, we live in a quiet area, and we have wonderful neighbours.
While taking Psychology 101, I realized that I had another goal in mind for my future. I didn't feel that I would be cutout for the role as a receptionist and that I really wanted to help other women like me: women who have fibromyalgia.
In March, I was accepted in Canadore College's Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention fall 2020 program.
Chantal \shahn~ TAHL\
A devastating beauty with a fiery personality. Part lover, part fighter.
Chantals know how to make it rain. Your life is incomplete if you lack a Chantal. A completely magical girl.
- Urban Dictionary