life Wellness

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

January 24, 2017

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.

things-im-afraid-to-tell-you

THE MOVE.

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

THE CRASH.

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.

THE REDESIGN.

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.

-D

things-I'm-afraid-to-tell-you-2photo by Bettina Bogar

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  • Reply
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
    January 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    “Go where you’ll grow” rings so true for me. That’s what my entire college experience has been like. Away from home, full of tears, and also full of SO MUCH growth and confidence-building. And I also know the feeling of not loving the look of your blog. But your content is wonderful and looks are overrated 😉 You’ll get your dream design someday. I so admire your honesty and can’t wait to see how you thrive in SF.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      You’re so right! Looks are shallow, and the same applies to our blogs! College was like that for me too. I felt like I only really hit my groove there in my fourth year. It takes me a long time to adjust to things, which is something I’ve had to learn over and over again!

  • Reply
    ACKTIVE LIFE
    January 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Let it out woman!!! We are ALL always here to support you and each other when we go through the ups and downs and major changes in life. You have a lot going on and I am just glad that you are OKAY health wise and you have a good support system. On a positive note, you look beautiful and your recent photos are amazing. And I’ll let you in on something too, I am so done with my blog design and that my designer has refused to respond to my emails or text messages. It infuriates me so much and it’s so unprofessional and UGH…Rant over! XOXO

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Girl I feel your pain! It is so frustrating and I’m sure you know the feeling when your blog feels like your baby! Thank you for the support and always here to chat or vent when these things inevitably happen!

  • Reply
    Lo
    January 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I can totally relate with you about hitting a deer! my husband and I hit a deer on Christmas morning 2015. it was one of those things that I didn’t get to process right away and was just trying to soothe my shaken up husband so we could get home to our family. I find myself terrified to drive at night and on edge about it happening again. we too came out of it physically unscathed but emotionally… its like some kind of PTSD.

    I hope you soon feel “settled” in your new home! take it one day at a time.

    XO Lo
    thoseprettypieces.com

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Lo. I never imagined I’d be shaken up so badly by it (even without any physical injuries), but it’s been really tough. The nice thing about sharing this publicly is how many people have told me they experienced the same thing and knowing you’re not alone makes the recovery so much easier. So grateful for you!

  • Reply
    Hillary
    January 24, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this post, and thank you for being open and vulnerable with your community time and time again. Beautiful blogs and Instagram feeds and incredible videos (like yours) can certainly make it appear that life is all rainbows and unicorns, but thank you for taking the time to also show the messier sides of life.

    I can relate to your crash/anxiety. I haven’t been in a terrible car accident (knock on wood), but I have experienced a few other accidents that have left residual anxiety. Trust that with time, your body’s nervous system will calm down… but it’s normal for it to still be fired up.

    I’m also excited for THM’s new look whenever it’s ready, but you are so right: the real gems are in posts like these. The sidebars and headers and blog colors are just the extra fun fluff. Your content continues to shine. xoxo

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much, lovely! Your words of encouragement mean so much and I’m so looking forward to things settling down and getting back in a groove.

  • Reply
    Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
    January 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I have always admired your honesty Davida, and this post definitely supports that incredibly honesty. Congratulations on your move! I know it probably wasn’t easy to leave Toronto, but I know that you and C will start your new and exciting life on a high note! 🙂 I think it’s amazing that you took the leap in the first place. As for the blog, I know YOU might not be happy with what it has become, but I know I will always be here to read and support you in whatever way I can. <3 Your blog has gotten me through some really tough times in my eating disorder, and I'm not sure if I've ever told you that. If you ever end up on the East coast, I would absolutely love to meet you and have coffee and talk about everything! I guess C and Bodhi can come too. 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you so incredibly much, Marina. Your comment deeply touched me and know that I always want to be a source of inspiration and support to you, as you’ve been for me. We’re all on this journey of life together and I’m grateful for this community that makes it all feel a little less alone. Lots of love! xoxo

  • Reply
    Kelsey Preciado
    January 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I figured I better respond to this on every platform possible!! So excited for your move and all of the fun times in the city you have ahead!! As scary as it is between that, the crash and redesign, 2017 WILL be a better year!! Mostly because we will finally meet in person. 🙂 I know sharing this stuff isn’t easy but we all are here for you and hope things start to turn around!! You ARE a queen girl!!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Forgot to tell you that Curt called me “MAMA QUEEN” haha. Also I’m booked for Expo West. YOU BETTER HANG OUT WITH ME! K thanks.

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    January 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I admire your honesty and also your gut for moving! I’m following your stories since I discovered you at FBC2015. I admire your work and how you manage the growth of your business and I’m sure you will learn so much from what you experience before and after your move. Thank you for your amazing work and if you ever come by Québec city it will be my pleaser to meet you.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you so much, Alexandra! So grateful for your support through these past couple of years. I’ll certainly let you know if I’m ever in QC!

  • Reply
    Kelsey Yoki
    January 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I think we can agree how much we appreciate you sharing your heart with us <3 In time, as hard as that statement is to hear sometimes, you'll find normalcy and balance in your life again. You are filled with so much strength and determination, I know you'll be able to look back on the lessons all of this brought into your life. I'll be here rooting for you!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you babes! Excited to finally have all of this out there and start getting settled in our new life here in SF 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley @ The Small Town Foodie
    January 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Thank you for always being so open with your readers. That’s something I really want to work on for myself. I’m so excited for you as you make this transition and I know you’ll take any bad situation and turn it into something amazing. Can’t wait to continue following along! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amanda B
    January 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Welcome to the Bay Area! I’ve been reading/bookmarking/scrolling through your site since November when I wanted to commit to a healthier lifestyle and out of all the healthy food blogs, I always know the recipes I make from yours are gonna be delicious (and gonna make my roommates mouths water). When I first started reading your post I thought it was gonna end with: “and I’m gonna stop THM” and I almost cried. Glad you’re refocusing and rebalancing. I was just laid off from a job and that time off was an opportunity for me to take a breather (and start spending my days cooking ;). It also sucks to not be proud of something you’ve put time and effort into but it also means you’re always pushing yourself to be better and never settling. Don’t let that discourage you! Looking forward to some SF inspired recipes!!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you SO much Amanda! And nope, THM will remain through it all! In many ways this blog and the community that read it have been a source of strength when life feels incredibly uncertain. I’m glad you could pull from some of this strength has you navigate some challenging times in your life. Stay tuned for more recipes and honesty dumps as we get settled in our new home 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana
    January 24, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Hi Davida-

    Congratulations on the move and I’m really sorry to hear about the failure of the redesign and the car crash. I can’t help, however, but feel like you duped your readers a bit. You (rightly so) don’t have to share your move on you blog until it was finalized or just until you felt ready- totally legit. But, by talking for so many posts about a “big announcement” you have coming means so many readers are going to poke and prod to try to figure out what is going on– leading to the exact opposite outcome. Honestly, this seems pretty intentional and I’m sorry to say this but this post feels much more like click-bait than vulnerability. Also, moving to CA and especially San Francisco (one of the most expensive cities in the world) is a luxury that not many of us can afford. I’m shocked you haven’t acknowledged this privilege.

    Up really love this blog and your honesty in the past, but feel very turned off by this post. Hopefully you’ll accept my honesty, as I would be surprised if you didn’t have any other readers feeling similar to myself.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Diana,

      Thank you for your honesty. The reality of sharing your life on the internet is that you cannot expect that everyone will agree with you or understand your true intentions. What’s most important, is that I know this was written with integrity and authenticity and what you may see as “click-bait” was in fact, incredibly challenging to write and share. I’m learning that you can feel many emotions at once. Excitement about a new experience and sharing it with my readers, and true terror and sadness about the uncertainty of the future and what we’ve left behind. At the end of the day, it’s your prerogative to believe what you read, but know I have and will never try to dupe or lie to my readers.

      As for the privilege of living in San Francisco, this is something that I don’t feel I need to acknowledge or apologize for. My partner and I have worked incredibly hard to make this happen for us and while we are certainly grateful we were able to make it work, we know the effort, savings and sacrifices we’ve made to make it happen. No one should ever be faulted for this.

      Thanks for your support and I hope this can shed light on my perspective.

      Davida

    • Reply
      Anne
      January 28, 2017 at 1:20 am

      I have to agree with you Diana.

      Davida, I’ve always enjoyed your authentic voice, but lately I feel a lot of your posts are definitely click-baity, or so obviously sponsored it feels like you’re just throwing up a post to bring in a few bucks.

      Feeling duped more often than not when I visit THM these days, drawn here with the promise of big revelations or insightful posts, but it all just feels so contrived. ?

      • Reply
        Davida @ The Healthy Maven
        January 28, 2017 at 9:29 pm

        I’m very sorry to hear that, Anne. As I mentioned to Diana, sharing your thoughts and feelings on the internet means that you will never be immune to hearing a difference of opinion. That being said, I know my truth and I know without question that everything I shared in this post is my honest and raw emotions. The last few months have been incredibly challenging for me, both personally and professionally. There have been major growing pains that I’ve had to sort out and I wanted to let you all in even if I may not have them all figured out yet.

        Again, I’m sorry that you feel this way and I respect your opinion even if I disagree.

        -Davida

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Eat the Gains
    January 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I love these posts from you Davida. I love how you get so real because we all know social media doesn’t display it all. I’m glad you are doing better though! My bf and I moved across the country almost 3 (wow, can’t believe it’s been that long!) years and were in the same situation as you guys. You will def miss back home, but will be making new amazing experiences that you wouldn’t have if you stayed put. I just started a healthy meal prep delivery company for a handful of people and while it has been fun, it has been so overwhelming at the same time. Making 100 meals in a week can be stressful when you have only 2 feet of counter space in a tiny kitchen. I def have broke down a few times over it. But I’m learning and growing and it has been fun! I can’t wait to see what SF has in store for you. We are visiting in a few months and I’m so excited!! xoxo

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      That’s so exciting Kelly! Of course, social media doesn’t always display the struggles behind the scenes but your honesty is always appreciated and encouraging for me to do the same. Can’t wait to watch your journey unfold! Thank you as always for the support!

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