I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this post. I feel like I’ve been writing it for weeks in my head, but as I sit here attempting to release it I feel so much resistance. I know it’s my ego. It wants to desperately protect me and keep the facade that everything is magical and perfect. But as most of us know, that kind of life doesn’t actually exist.
My friend texted me this the other week: “The Healthy Maven seems like she’s doing great, but how are YOU?”. Everything that has been happening is summed up perfectly in this one message. I try to keep THM a positive place. It’s not the dumping ground for my mess and while I’ve never claimed to be perfect, it’s not my goal to bring you down with me. But that doesn’t mean that behind the brand I don’t have bad days, or weeks or questioned if I’m legitimate enough to be inspiring anyone, let alone half a million of you.
But in the process of trying to not let my mess seep into my business, a wall was built. A wall that I’m tired and quite frankly, not very good at keeping upright. So I’ve decided to let it out and let you in.
I also want to say that things have not been all bad. Nothing in life is ever that black and white. It’s just that I’ve spent the last few months highlighting the good and while I’m certainly an advocate for focusing on the positive, I think it’s a disservice to all of you to let anyone feel as though life should look like unicorns and rainbows for it to be normal. Especially when it comes to health. We all have seasons in our lives full of great moments and even greater obstacles.
I hope this post can help tear down this wall I’ve built between us, but also inspire you to be honest with yourself and your community. There is no shame in imperfection.
Perhaps the biggest news and subsequently the thing I’ve most struggled with not telling you is that WE MOVED. My close friends and family have known what’s been going on, but I intentionally kept this news off the blog. We left Toronto for a lot of reasons and I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend in Minnesota with C’s family in the Fall. C and I had talked about moving to California since we started dating 5 years ago so after packing up all of our stuff to spend some time in Minnesota, we figured “Hey! Let’s try out this whole California thing!”.
So for those of you who have asked and who I’ve intentionally dodged your questions, or who have been wondering what the heck is going on:
We moved to San Francisco.
It’s still kind of surreal to type that and it definitely has not sunk in yet, but it’s starting to.
One of the biggest reasons why I didn’t share this news was because we wound up facing a lot of challenges in our move. On the practical side, we ran into some issues with being Canadians who had no credit in the US (we’re both US citizens too, we just hadn’t established credit) and after totalling our car, our plan to be outside of the city was kind of shot. We basically had to take the whole life we had imagined for ourselves out here and flip it on its head.
I was surprised by how emotional the whole experience made me. This certainly wasn’t my first move, but I think I was so focused on 7 steps ahead that I forgot or failed to prepare myself for the obstacles that you inevitably run into when you move. I also never let myself get emotional about what we were leaving behind in Toronto. We had a really great life there (and still do!) and it was only when the going got tough out here that all of this became abundantly clear. And while I know now that we made the right decision, it was hard not to dwell on what we had lost. I was and am still missing my family, my bestie, our close friends, and Rhett (!!!), but I’m also realizing that I can miss them and also build a really great life out here.
They say to “go where you’ll grow” and I’ve never doubted for a second that this whole experience has been one of the most growth-inducing of my life. I’m better for it, even if it involved a lot of tears and frustrations. I’m happy to say we’ve weathered the eye of the storm (or so I think) and I’m now feeling a lot more optimistic and excited about our decision.
Stay tuned for an apartment tour and lots more adventures in the Bay Area. Also if you’re from the Bay and want to connect, I would love that! I’m shamelessly looking for friends lol
As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, on our road trip out to San Francisco, we hit a deer and totalled our car. I’m probably annoying all of you by still talking about it, but honestly, I haven’t been okay. In the immediate aftermath it hadn’t really sunk in what had happened and I was laser focused on getting back on the road and finishing the trip rather than dealing with the emotional impact of it all.
As I think back on the experience and see pictures of the car, I realize how incredibly fortunate we were to have all come out of it unscathed. Had C swerved or had the deer been in a different position, it might have ended very differently. Of course, there is no value in playing the “what if” game other than to be a motivator to really appreciate and value what you have, but it still scares the living wits out of me.
One unfortunate side-effect of all of this is that I start to panic a little bit when I hear loud, sudden noises (I was freaking out with all of the fireworks in Guatemala), and driving, which was already my greatest fear has become a nightmare. I know it will get better with time, but I thought you should know where I’m at.
Since we’ve all hopped on board this honesty train, I have to admit that I strongly dislike the layout and design of the blog. So much so that I’ve pretty much stopped looking at the blog or previewing new posts. It makes me sad to say this, but I just don’t feel like the design really reflects what the blog is about anymore. About 6 months ago I launched a redesign process and hired who I believed to be “the dream team”. I blame no one but myself but the whole situation unfolded in a direction I had a gut feeling was the wrong one and in the end it resulted in a site that I’m neither proud of nor do I think is any better a reflection of THM than the current design.
It was hard, frustrating and just generally really sad to see a lot of resources (mainly $$$) and time wasted on this process, but I’m trying (emphasis on trying!) to get past this. It unfortunately means that the dream site I’ve been hoping for will have to take a back seat while I regroup but will hopefully become a reality in the future.
I’d like to believe THM is sort of like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, where the exterior doesn’t show-off how good the food is inside. At the end of the day, I want to do good and meaning-full work so the frills can wait!
Of all 700+ posts I’ve written on the blog, this one has to be the most cathartic. I’ve always found writing to be one of the best forms of therapy and it’s only amplified when your truth is released to a group of amazing readers that have supported you through it all.
There are a lot of great things coming. Things I’m unbelievably excited for (next season of the podcast woot!). But there will be challenges too. I’m doing my best to not run away from these challenges or hide them from you. In so many ways, you guys are my community and no one should ever have to weather a storm alone.
Thank you for always being so supportive and joining along as I share each season of my life. Both the good, and the bad.
Lots of love.
photo by Bettina Bogar
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Katie @ 24 Carrot LifeJanuary 26, 2017 at 10:04 am
I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while and I LOVE The Lively Show but your post here just motivated me to finally do it! You rock, lady!
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm
DO IT! Writing this was so cathartic. Would love to read once it’s live!
Chelsea's Healthy KitchenJanuary 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm
I’ve always envied your ability to be so honest on your blog! I don’t blame you one bit for being shaken up about the crash – things like that can really affect you! I hope you’re working through it and finding some peace.
Anyway congrats on the move and looking forward to hearing about your adventures in Cali! I’m dying to visit there but I’m terrified to fly. That’s something I don’t like to admit but it’s true – it keeps me from travelling as much as I’d like.
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm
Well you’re always welcome in our home if you ever head out this way! Thank you for always being an amazing support. Does not go unnoticed <3
Katy HopeJanuary 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm
Really great post, totally inspiring. It is so hard to be vulnerable, but really helpful for others. Thanks for sharing.
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm
CarmyJanuary 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm
1. I cannot even imagine how you feel after the crash. Smaller scaled things has happened to me and have left a lasting impact that I don’t even know how something like hitting a deer would make me react. Regardless, I hope you’re able to feel better soon <3
2. I'm totally bummed you left Toronto! SF is amazing and I've always loved my time there but Toronto will definitely miss you. Hoping you settle in soon 🙂
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:42 pm
Thank you, love! I’ll let you know if I’m ever back in T.O!
MackenzieJanuary 25, 2017 at 1:27 am
Aqq, D. Wow… this is so vulnerable and heartfelt and RELATABLE. You know how sometimes you are concerned about your platform making a difference? I can assure you that you are lovely. You are having more of an impact than you know. I just recently moved to SF with my husband too, and I feel your struggles. This post alone was a good reminder to me that life is a journey and it’s important to realize that the “wasted” time/money/energy may just be stepping stones to something great. Thank you for sharing this, dear! Everything will be okay- and you are in an amazing place of inspiration. The food isn’t too bad either 😉 Maybe I will see you around! xo
MackenzieJanuary 25, 2017 at 1:28 am
Whoops I meant to say “Aww” not “Aqq” 😉
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm
Mackenzie! Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s always nice to know you aren’t alone. As the dust begins to settle I’m realizing how incredibly fortunate I am. This city is so inspiring and yes, the food doesn’t hurt either 😉 xoxo
Casey the College CeliacJanuary 24, 2017 at 7:58 pm
Thank you so much for your honesty. Moving is hard (I”m struggling with my own move…only from CA to Colorado Springs), and it takes a lot of guts to admit that. Ironically enough, I’m sharing my own “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” tomorrow morning 😉
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm
Can’t wait to read!
Courtney LouisyJanuary 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm
Hey Davida – welcome to the bay! I’m glad you made it here safely (physically and emotionally, that crash sounded terrible). I’m originally from Canada but living here too in Redwood city (30 mins north of Sf).
Your content always gives me good vibes and I’d love to show you around my fav food, fitness, or whatever spots in Silicon Valley and the bay. There’s so much to see and do so if you want to hang out, I’m super up for brunch!
Here’s my info so you can Google me, if you want!
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Thanks so much, lovely! We were actually living not too far from Redwood City when we first landed here but just recently moved into the city. Thanks so much for connecting and once I’m back from my press trip I’ll be in touch!
Miss PolkadotJanuary 24, 2017 at 5:46 pm
As cheesy as it is: big hugs to you. It sounds like life has been a whirlwind with quite a few lemons thrown at you lately. Hopefully that means you’ll be rewarded with lots of sunshine [literally and metaphorically] in the future.
It’s been said so many times and still rings true: the posts that are the hardest to write are those that truly allow our readers to connect with us. Not like I hadn’t felt like that before but this made me think even more highly of you. Keep being your amazing self.
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:50 pm
Thank you so much, love. I am so grateful for your support and just how amazing you’ve been over the years. You never fail to make me feel a little less alone when I’m feeling down. So so so appreciate it!
MonikaJanuary 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm
I think you’re doing us all a huge favour by sharing both the good and the bad…especially as a lifestyle blog. I’d argue the way you’ve done it here (after you’ve had some time to process it all yourself) is the best possible approach. Thanks!
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:50 pm
Thank you Monika! Time has certainly helped ease some of the emotions and given me some space to process before sharing. So grateful for your patience and support!
DianaJanuary 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm
Here’s the deal – I feel like you are a friend, a real person who has ups and downs and shares stuff when it feels right to you. You post great recipes and write as if we were in the same room talking to each other. I appreciate the fact that you share your life with me and have nothing but respect for how you do you. We are all in a journey and stuff happens daily that may change the course of the journey and we can only do what we can do at that moment in time. You keep doing it the way you think is right and I’ll be along for the ride!
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 2:14 pm
Diana – thank you so much! I feel the same way. I admire and have such respect for anyone who can be honest with themselves, let alone an entire audience of people, because it certainly isn’t easy. Thank you for supporting me through this and just being an awesome friend in the process. I hope you’ll follow along as the journey continues and I can’t wait to stay updated on yours!
LisaJanuary 24, 2017 at 4:36 pm
Love this post! Yay for honesty. I’m in Berkeley, come explore the east bay!
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm
Definitely hoping to get some East Bay exploring in! Always open to recommendations 🙂
Kaitlin @ California Endless SummerJanuary 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Have to second all of the above responses! I’m so excited for your move and exploration of California (biased as a native Californian but currently in NYC hoping to get back) and admire your vulnerability. I’ve stepped away from my blog for a bit to figure out how to address more than just the happy go lucky and it’s tough! Especially since my grandparents read it and read into everything. I think I gravitated towards blogging (Lee’s blog in the first place actually) to find authentic people who I could connect with. I love all that you post about and send lots of well wishes! P.S. You must check out Smitten. It’s amazing.
Davida @ The Healthy MavenJanuary 26, 2017 at 2:09 pm
Omg I walked by it yesterday! I’ll stop in next time. Thank you so much for the support, love and definitely let me know if you’re back in Cali and up in the Bay!