A Love Letter to 2018

Dear 2018,

I know most folks are one million percent done with you, given that it’s now 2019, but I just needed a few days of space before I could write to you. I wasn’t ready to fully turn my back just yet — though I would have been well within my rights, given the trials you put me through.

Let’s face it. 2018 was a year of incredible pain: pain personally, emotionally, physically, politically, culturally, and environmentally. I’d like to be able to blame it all on 45 but there’s really plenty of culpability to go around — but let’s definitely heap a huge pile on men in general.

We both know that I’m A+ at holding grudges and, since I made no 2019 resolution to let anything go, I certainly couldn’t have written to you any sort of letter (love or otherwise) without first acknowledging the flaming dumpster fire you were on and off, all year long.

All that being said, I will also celebrate the joys you brought, for which I am grateful because, at the very least, they provided some nice content worthy of the ‘gram.

Specifically, I am so grateful for my time in USA. It afforded me time to learn through immersion about truly complex, systemic issues of racism and class divides that I [most likely] wouldn’t have ever experienced first hand otherwise. I will continue to follow closely the politics of the region in which we lived and hope for an improved future for all its citizens.

Also, there was delicious BBQ.

And crab.

And oysters.

In fact, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about most of the food I enjoyed in 2018. I mean, given the requisite amount of cognitive dissonance about where much of it came from, how it was produced, and its long-term social and environmental impacts, of course.

But there was also some amazing travel.

I loved all the trips to Dallas, Charlottesville, NYC, Washington, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Salem, and Portland. And I can’t forget that I actually started out 2018 in Cuba!

Not to mention, trips back to Nova Scotia, as well as heading to Moncton, New Brunswick for our fourth year of BlogJam AtlanticAtlantic Canada’s Blogger Conference! What a year it was for our amazing event. Once again we were able to bring together bloggers and influencers from around Atlantic Canada (and beyond!) to learn, share, and engage about all things blogging.

And, although you just couldn’t resist barreling through the end of the year bearing just a couple more tragedies, I’d rather focus on the best part of 2018: that it brought me home(ish) to Nova Scotia.

What a wonderful way to end the year! I loved our coastal Christmas in Cape Breton with a real (!!!) tree, snowy hikes, and plenty of joy with friends and family.

May your tail end have been indicative of a turning of fortune for myself and others.

Cheers, 2018. Much love.




A Year of Love Letters

I love a creative challenge. Although I try to make plenty of time to indulge in creativity on the reg, having a structured regimen really helps me to adhere to a project until it’s completed.

A few years ago I participated in the 100 Day Project for the FIRST time and attempted to write 100 poems. I came SO CLOSE but that pesky international move was a real interruption. You can check out the poems on Instagram under the hashtag #100HalitraxPoems.

Some were sweet.

here in my ocean_halitrax

And some were silly.

coffee love


Last year I took another run at the 100 days by writing 100 Beautiful Affirmations — and this time I FINISHED! YAY

I am a force for change

In 2019 I’m pursuing a year of small indulgences, including more time for the creativity that fills me up. Instead of waiting for the 100 day challenge, I’m starting now with a whole year of love letters — at least a few every month.

I’ll share some directly here on the blog and others will take the form of my other fave hobby: writing snail mail!

I hope you enjoy following this year of love letters.


A List of Public Places Where I’ve Cried this Year

A year in review is generally saved for celebrating accomplishments. Most take the opportunity acknowledge their hard work and achievements. Personally, when I look back on 2018, I recall a year filled with both victory and defeat.

Since I’m prone to weeping at either occasion, I figured “why not choose the latter to plot my own memorable benchmarks?”

Yes. I do cry all the time. Sometimes it’s joy. Sometimes it’s because of normal hard stuff that I’m experiencing personally. Sometimes it’s because I’m stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s empathy overload. Sometimes it’s frustration with politics, the environment, and the state of the world. You know, the usual.

Crying is normal. Crying in public, while nothing to be ashamed of, is less…normal. While I’m okay at hiding it — when I want to — I often don’t care enough to be subtle. I find a good wail really overpowers any sense of modesty and decorum (in the moment, at least). Maybe you’ve even been one of the unfortunate souls to witness my weeping. Or, even better, have you every joined me in a good cry?

I present to you, without any context, this highlight reel of some of the more indelible locations where I succumbed to my emotion burden in 2018.

Baltimore Women's March.JPG
Baltimore Women’s March 2018. An excellent opportunity for an angry cry.
  1. Airport (YQT)
  2. Neighbourhood Park
  3. Grocery Store
  4. Thrift Store
  5. Baltimore Women’s March
  6. A Bloggers Conference
  7. Pier 17 in the Seaport District
  8. Anthony Bourdain’s Memorial
  9. Camden Yards
  10. Charlottesville Historical Society
  11. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
  12. Antique Store
  13. Airport (YYZ)
  14. Airport (BWI)
  15. Airport (DFW)
  16. Another Bloggers Conference 
  17. Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  18. The CAT Ferry (Bonus points for crying on the open sea!)
  19. National Museum of African American History and Culture
  20. “Families Belong Together” March  (The whole time, but this moment in particular.)
  21. Brooklyn Flea
  22. Capital One Arena
  23. Airport (YQM)
  24. Baltimore Pride
  25. Avon River Heritage Museum

I’m okay with being vulnerable and I’m sure 2019 will hold many more opportunities to shed a few tears.

Happy New Year. May you stand strong in the face of your challenges — and feel free to get a little weepy now and again.