“You want ME to put THAT where?” The Botox Chronicles

“You want ME to put THAT where?” The Botox Chronicles

I get botox.

 

Cue the anticipated horrifying gasp.

 

I bet at least one of you considered not reading this post after that first line and that’s okay but if you just hang in there and try to keep an open mind, I promise at the very least you’ll get a good laugh.

 

I’ll even entice you to stay with me, vibrator in a doctor’s office. (Yah, you don’t want to miss that part).

 

The ugly truth, it’s more common than you think. It used to be associated with older generations and their attempts to re-gain their youth but that’s no longer the case, not even close. In fact I’d say cosmetic “enhancements” have become somewhat of an epidemic in younger people with the ever-growing urge to attain society’s beauty ideal.

 

Now, let me pre-face this post by saying that I am in no way against cosmetic enhancement nor am I encouraging people to alter who they are on the outside. If you want bigger boobs, go for it. If your skin crawls at the idea of having collagen in your lips, don’t get it. You are beautiful regardless of what opinion you have on the matter. Neither opinion is greater than.

 

I read somewhere that “you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously”. It is my opinion that this extends to not only our outer beauty (as society would have us believe) but our inner beauty as well.

 

Our personalities are fluid, as almost everything else in life is. We are constantly evolving and adapting in an effort to shape ourselves into remarkably individual beings. However, that isn’t the message we receive from our society daily. Instead we hear that we should be ourselves, but not too much so that we risk offending the masses.

 

I would like to not so eloquently contribute that I think that is absolute horseshit.

 

I beg of you, offend someone. Have an opinion. Change your mind. Admit when you’re wrong. Scream off the side of a mountain because “HELL YAH” you were right.

 

Just do so with the knowledge that someone who is utterly and completely unlike you, holds the very same right to do all of those things without apology.

 

We are all fighting with our mirrors and wrestling with our intentions, thus there is a good chance that your constantly changing personality is going to clash with someone else’s down the road, probably frequently.

 

The next time you find yourself wanting to pull out your hair remember that at some point you had an opinion that changed or an understanding of a particular subject that was vastly underdeveloped. Two people are allowed to be different and yet remarkably beautiful all the same. I find myself always needing reminding that while “flowers are pretty, so are Christmas lights and they look nothing alike.”

 

I believe we choose the groundwork for our belief system on a trial and error basis. Our belief system is not fixed, just as our personality isn’t and there is always vacancy for new opinions, provided we are willing to give them access to our minds hotel.

 

Anyways, back to where this rambling began. Not even two years ago I was the girl who cringed at the idea of cosmetic enhancement. I would have been the person who quit reading this post after I heard the word, botox. (See, I told you, just hang in there, we’re not so different). I used to pass judgement on the women who got it and more than once used them as the butt of an otherwise cruel joke. This of course was a product of my insecurities crying out in the form of petty female gossip but the point was, I didn’t understand it.

 

A common theme among women is that we are required to compete amongst each other. This theme, albeit a poor one, seems to be ever more prevalent when women do not understand each other and so our insecurities lash out. A good example of this, high school… Yah, no one wants to go back there.

 

It was at this time in my life that I met Monika.

 

Spring of last year, I had been renting a first floor condo in Steveston, British Columbia for a year. I moved there when my marriage ended and for the first time in my life I was alone. I was in the business of saying yes to almost any experience or opportunity that came my way.

 

Like, online dating, (shivers, sobs and reaches for the ice cream pint) but we’ll talk about that some other time.

 

I met Monika walking my dogs on the green belt just outside our building and as women often do, we got to talking. I quickly learned that Monika lived on the top floor with her fiancé and she was a receptionist at Carruthers and Humphrey, a posh cosmetic dermatology clinic in Vancouver.

 

Monika was gorgeous! Her flawless skin, petite figure and outgoing personality made women either instantly dislike her, or want to know more about her. I, of course, with my pigeon holed perspective at the time, dismissively asked what work she’d had done.

 

I expected her to be off put by the question but instead she excitedly rattled off the procedures, pausing every now and again to show me a frown line (or lack there of) and a perfect chin, among other things. In some awestruck, out of body moment I found myself telling her that I had always been extremely uncomfortable with the wrinkles on my forehead. I proceeded to show her the way the three wrinkles would appear as I raised my eyebrows in mock surprise.

 

Then, as though the fear of my imperfections couldn’t help but jump from my mouth at her in hopes that maybe should could “fix” them, I told her about my newest obessesion.

 

Lips.

 

Like any female submerged in the Jenner/Kardashian era, I had grown to feel like my lips were inadequate. How would I compete in this new dating world if I didn’t have the perfect pout?

 

If I wasn’t spending endless time editing my wrinkles out of pictures, I was perfecting the perfect way to pout so my lips would look fuller. As the days of doing this, coupled with the insecurities from my marriage, I began avoiding photo’s all together. Which, as I began to do more book signings with my newfound career as an author, was next to impossible.

 

I was in agony all the time. So much so that I’d genuinely convinced myself my smile made me look fat and ugly. Which is ridiculous and yet, if you follow me on social media, you’ll see I still rarely ever post a photo where I am smiling.

 

My soul and heart needed help with my body, stat.

 

I went back to my condo that afternoon with a free consultation at Carruthers and Humphrey the following week.

 

I was a wreck with nerves and running on an excited high, so the days in between passed quickly. When I pushed through the glass doors into the reception area, my heart was practically vibrating in my chest. The beautiful women behind the desk took my information and without any delay, I was ushered into a room with the most beautiful view of downtown Vancouver and a voucher for free parking.

 

I fired off a nervous text to my best friend and fidgeted with the large black recliner in the center of the room. How badly would this hurt? Could I afford this?

 

My anxiety was climbing the stark white walls but my excitement was pulling it back down. I was going to do this!

 

I raised the footrest a half a dozen times, took a picture of the view and examined the scuffs on my shoes before a gorgeous nurse (less blue scrubs, more heels and pencil skirt) came to get me. She took me to another room where I wore a blue hair net (being pretty isn’t always pretty, right?) and took a set of photos with my chin resting on a steel pole. Those won’t be going on Instagram I thought as she deposited me back in my room with a view.

 

I babbled on about my nerves when she returned to go over my medial history and she promised to hold my hand during the procedure. Bless her heart, because I was about as nervous as a whore in church.

 

Then, it was go time. My doctor, an ultra chic modern mother and wife, came into the room. She too, was kind and lovely. Her name was Katie.

 

Katie reviewed the nurse’s notes and proceeded to give me a small hand held mirror to look into. She pointed to the areas where she’d put the “baby botox” (a very small amount due to my young age) and asked what look I was aiming for with my lips.

 

I quickly rushed to say I wasn’t looking for Kylie Jenner lips to which she laughed and promised me they didn’t do “that” kind of work there. It would be a much more subtle enhancement. Less is more was the way they preferred to approach a first timer like me.

 

They were handling me with kid gloves, and I was grateful.

 

“Do you like these?” She pointed at my freckles. “We can get rid of these for you.”

 

I looked in the mirror, tilting my head side to side and running a finger over the freckles than ran across my cheeks.

 

Why would I want to do that? They were so cute, especially when the weather started getting better and the sun made them more prominent.

 

“No.” I shook my head confidently. “I like my freckles.”

 

It might have seemed small at the time, that question or my answer to it, but to this day I find myself constantly retelling this story. At a time where I felt so desperate to change my appearance to become more “beautiful”, I had love for this part of me that was so uniquely me. No one had freckles exactly like I did, that looked the way mine did and I acknowledged the beauty in the individuality of that. Even if maybe I didn’t realize it at the time.

 

Then, she handed me a vibrator.

 

A big, (key word, big) blue magic wand and if you don’t know exactly the one I’m talking about, honey, you’ve been missing out.

 

I quit looking adoringly at my freckles in the mirror and gaped at her.

 

“Just put it under your chin.” She said, positioning it under her own to demonstrate. “Then use the button on the side to turn the speed up or down. Whatever feels best for you.”

 

My eyes were wide as saucers. The romance writer in me wanted to burst out laughing and tell her I knew exactly what the buttons on the side did, but instead, I just stared at her. “You want ME to put THAT on my chin?” The numbing gel they’d put on my lips made me sound comical and my eyes travelled down the length of the powerful vibrator. “It’s a…”

 

She laughed. “I know. It’s a little weird.” Okay, so she did know what it was. “The vibrations help to distract from the pain. The higher you turn it up, the more it helps.”

 

Well, at least I’m familiar with that.

 

Hesitantly I took it from her, just as the nurse slid her hand into mine.

 

“Here we go.” Katie smiled.

 

I’ve never been so grateful for a vibrator in my life, and I’m saying that as a woman who has been single for over two years. That magic wand on full throttle because lip injections hurt like something that rhymes with witch and then some. No exaggeration. It ain’t breezy bein’ pouty.

 

Botox felt like running through a field of daisies compared to that. Okay, maybe not exactly, but it sure as heck didn’t require me to vibrate my face off.

 

She advised that the botox would take anywhere from five to seven days before it would become noticeable, and the swelling in my lips would go down after two to three days. Then I held a bag of frozen peas to my face for five minutes before my credit card was charged and I was out the door.

 

I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend an obscene amount of time looking in the rear-view mirror on my way home. My lips were so pouty and at first, I loved them.

 

After receiving lip injections, you’re lips are swollen and incredibly sensitive for the few days following the procedure. The filler is still setting, so any harsh pressure, like pulling at your lips with your fingers for an extended period of time would cause the filler to settle unevenly or essentially create a “bump.” Which, you really don’t want.

 

Note to readers, if you do ever decide to get lip injections, don’t make out with a boy the next day. For starters, it hurts and secondly, it will make you paranoid. Paranoid that you’re teenage style kissing was too “rough” and potentially moved the filler in your lips. This of course will prompt you to e-mail your new, beautiful, smart doctor to ask her if making out is bad for your lip injections. To which she will reply that it is very unlikely and you should proceed with kissing should you wish.

 

Yes, I did do that.

 

Now, of course, as my kissing paranoia decreased, so did the swelling on my lips. Which means that perfect pout I thought I’d paid for didn’t stick around. What the hell? I knew she said that it would be subtle but even with the zoom side of my mirror, the side you really should never look into for too long, I couldn’t tell the difference! No one could. My lips looked exactly like, well, my lips. The top one was defined, yet small and the bottom had a slight plump quality that for some reason my Dentist found annoying.

 

Needless to say, six months later when the filler faded away (not that I could see it in the first place) I did not succumb to the torture of lip injections again. It wasn’t worth the money in my opinion, however the experience brought me a newfound appreciation for my lips as is. Who cares if they’re not pouty? I sure don’t anymore and that feeling is liberating! So worth the vibrator on my chin and the ding to my credit card.

 

I call that a trial and error scenario that parks itself in the win column.

 

My third win from that experience happened a week after my appointment when the botox kicked in. My confidence soared. Gone was the girl who feared pictures because of her wrinkles or feverishly touched her forehead whenever she got excited, just in case someone was looking at them.

 

Every four months, I see Dr. Katie in her posh clinic downtown for my “baby botox” and I don’t hide it from anyone who asks. I don’t get it to trick people into thinking I’m naturally forehead wrinkle free, or to prove a point.

 

I get it because it makes me a happier, more confident woman who smiles for the camera just a little more than she used to, and for me, that’s worth it.

 

 

 

Anne Jolin 2017

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to Me – Day one

Day one.

Okay, so this isn’t day one as in “starting on Monday” or other lies I tell myself on the weekend. It isn’t day one as in I already threw out all the bad things in my kitchen, almost and not entirely excluding the kitchen sink itself. While simultaneously signing up for any all available fitness regimes within a fifteen kilometer radius of my townhouse.

You know what I mean. We’ve all been there! It’s no sweat, literally. If I had to guess, I’d say I’d been in that toxic “day one” mentality upwards of a hundred times in my life. One hundred times in twenty-seven years! That’s Ludacris (and not the rapper) in so many ways. If I spent as much time focusing on my career as I did starting but not completing every diet under the sun, I’d probably be mortgage free.

Instead, I have a substantial mortgage, zero successful attempts at creating a healthy lifestyle, one divorce and a job I’m almost never fully committed to due to my obsessive personality.

No, this is day one as in day one on the road to exploring and enjoying the person I am today while evolving into the healthier person I hope to grow into with time. Sounds easy in theory, right? I would bet my britches (if I had any on) that it’s quite possibly the hardest thing the average woman can do.

Love yourself. Do I love myself? I think so… Maybe? I certainly seem to want other people to love me if the three dating apps installed on my iPhone are any indication.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. After all, this is only day one. Ha. So, where were we? Ah, yes! My renewed quest for healthy living.

In the past I’ve always made the mistake of gearing my “healthy” perspective to that person on the cover of nearly every trash magazine beside the checkout line in the grocery store. The women they put next to the women who “got bigger” or “boy, she’s let herself go.” You know what I mean, the actress with the flawless figure, the singer with skin to die for. That’s what I always believed healthy was. That if I just starved myself long enough, shoved my body into the most expensive waist trainers money could buy and bought a bathroom full of skin care products, then I would be healthy and because I’d be “healthy” then I’d be happy.

Boy, have I ever been wrong.

I read a book recently; Healthy is the new Skinny by Katie H. Willcox that triggered a more soulful look into my struggle with health and wellness than I ever could have imagined possible. It felt empowering to know that women all over the globe had been experiencing what I had, and thinking what I thought.

I’ll stop now to say, if you haven’t read it, quit reading this post and start reading that. I wish someone had told me all of those things about self-care many years ago.

But anyways, back to my point, in the book Katie discusses how being healthy is about the combination of mind, body and spirit. That we spend so much time focusing on the body aspect that most of the time the mind and spirit are neglected. Without all three in line, we cannot possibly be a healthy person.

That is one thing I hope to keep in mind on this journey. That it is not a journey towards being “skinny” or “hot” or “getting my revenge body” but that it is a journey towards being at peace with my mind, body and spirit through self care.

That way, maybe when someone asks me if I love myself, I can honestly say, Yes! Without simultaneously wondering if they think my arms look fat in the jumpsuit I’m wearing.

I want to be more than the girl who appears happy on her social media account. I want to be more than the girl who Instagrams stories of the one off salad she made while binging on McDonalds behind closed doors.

I want to actually be happy. I want to actually be healthy. I want to actually love me, for me.

 

Anne Jolin 2017

Audiobooks are now available!

July 26th, 2016
(Narrated by Maxine Mitchell)

August 9th, 2016
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)

September 20th, 2016
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)

October 4th, 2016
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)

October 18th, 2016
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)

November 8th, 2016
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)

Preorder audiobooks!

✓ Hell On Heels: July 26th, 2016

(Narrated by Maxine Mitchell)

✓ Rock Falls Series
(Narrated by Lucy Rivers and Aiden Snow)
  • Chasing Rhodes: August 9th, 2016
  • Choosing Henley: September 20th, 2016
  • Breaking Bennett: October 4th, 2016
  • Keeping King: October 18th, 2016
  • Saving Steele: November 8th, 2016
Change Rein Trailer Reveal!

Change Rein Trailer Reveal!

 

London Daniels is returning home to Willow Bay, Alberta, on the heels of a televised loss. She blew her shot at the Summer Olympics and cost Canada the gold medal in dressage.

During her years of training abroad, her family’s stable has fallen on hard times, and thus, they’ve accepted an offer to board the racehorses of Branson Tucker, the infamous tycoon, for the winter.

London lacks conviction after her ill-fated fall. And as if returning to her hometown to watch her epic failure replay on everyone’s big screen isn’t torture enough, she’s expected to cater to a man with an ego bigger than her hundred-acre farm just to earn a dime.

Is London saddling up for another ride that will leave both her heart and her ass in the dirt? Or could the handsome, unwanted guest at Willow Bay Stables be her second chance to go for gold?

Eight Second Ride Cover Reveal!

Eight Second Ride Cover Reveal!

I’m so excited to share the cover for Eight Second Ride with you! Make sure to check out my Facebook page for giveaways and updates!

Eight-Second Ride_face

Eight-Second Ride

Eight-Second Ride

Author:
Series: The Willow Bay Stables Series, Book 2
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Tag: Coming Soon
Publication Year: 2016
ASIN: B01I0AWWS4
Will Rayne keep them from holding on to their eight-second ride? Or will love buck out of the chute in time for a perfect score?
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About the Book

Owen Daniels lives his life eight seconds at a time.  The thrill of anticipation that comes with sitting on twelve hundred pounds of untamed power is unparalleled. The adrenaline rush that floods his system when the chute opens is one of life’s most unique and natural highs.

Ride eight seconds bareback on a bucking bronco—that’s his life.

When Owen’s stock horse, Remington’s Lady, is injured midway through the rodeo circuit, he trailers her back home to Willow Bay, Alberta, to remain in the care of the local vet, Ray Brookes.

Months later, with a truck bed full of buckles, Owen comes home to collect his Lady from the man he trusted to help her recover. Only Ray happens to be short for Rayne, and Rayne happens to be a woman.

And this woman wants nothing to do with a cowboy fresh off the circuit. As far as she’s concerned, he can take his buckles, boots, and spurs right back on out of her life.

Will Rayne keep them from holding on to their eight-second ride? Or will love buck out of the chute in time for a perfect score?

Other Books in "The Willow Bay Stables Series"
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25 Things I Learned Before Turning 25

Good morning y’all. I tossed and turned last night, in typical me fashion, wrestling with my thoughts and the result, was this: 25 Things I Learned Before Turning 25. Xx

  1. Spend less time worrying about earning the love of others. Their love won’t be enough to fill you if you don’t first learn how to love yourself.
  2. Take risks, even if it means falling flat on your face half the time, because at worst, it keeps you humble.
  3. Embrace the breaks in your heart, they’re inevitable and I promise, you will be okay.
  4. When people tell you to slow down, listen to them. They aren’t trying to taper your ambition; they’re reminding you to enjoy the ride.
  5. Life is painfully too short for some, so tell people you love them, even if you think it’s silly. You’ll never regret letting them know you care.
  6. Kindness is never weakness.
  7. Don’t be afraid to say no. It doesn’t make you selfish, knowing what feeds your soul and what hinders it is a blessing.
  8. Understand that at certain points in your friend’s lives, they’ll fall short of what you need from them. So, pick up the slack and forgive. You’ll need them to return the favor someday.
  9. Love requires work, but loving anyone or anything that doesn’t make you smile at least once a day despite the effort it might take, isn’t worth it.
  10. We are only human. You will make mistakes. You will buckle under the pressure. You will fall down. So cry when you do or yell, whatever makes you feel better but don’t move into a pity party hotel for one, it won’t help.
  11. Don’t apologize for acting with your heart instead of your head. They don’t always see eye to eye but it doesn’t mean one is any wiser than the other.
  12. Try not to make excuses for people’s behavior. While it’s important to see the best in everyone, If they act like they don’t care about you, they genuinely don’t care.
  13. Wear your scars proudly. You didn’t earn them lightly and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
  14. Spend your days with people who make your sides ache from laughing so hard. Nothing will cure a wounded mind quite like laughter.
  15. You’ll hear this time and time again, but looks aren’t everything. I can promise you, when push comes to shove, beauty won’t keep you warm at night, love will. If you happen to have both, call it a bonus.
  16. Be grateful.
  17. Embrace your sexual curiosity. You’re not weird, it’s normal and finding out what you like will only work for you, never against you.
  18. Find a job you love. Forty hours a week is far too much time to spend unhappy, it will drain you.
  19. Try to find balance between spending and saving. While it’s important to make plans for your future, never forget you’re living in the present and it’s worth enjoying.
  20. Stand up for yourself and give them hell if you must. You’re no one’s punching bag, so throwing a punch or two to protect yourself doesn’t make you a bad person.
  21. While teasing is all in good fun, never criticize the things people love. Interests and passions are such personal desires. It may seem like a silly TV show or a bad song to you but it makes them happy, so let it be.
  22. Be spontaneous and sleep naked. Both are fun.
  23. Hug people, often. It’s good for you.
  24. Be honest. I know sometimes it’s scary, but it’s your greatest tool. I’m not saying people will always understand, or even appreciate it for that matter, but you won’t waste anyone’s time by being honest with them.
  25. Be white hot and passionate about the way you live your life. Set mediocrity aside and be memorable, no regrets.