About Meghan Talk (A Tale of Chronic Perfectionism, Cursing at the Elderly & Ellen Ripley)

 

Years ago I completed a training course in the UK. During my final round of feedback, one of the facilitators said- “Meghan, it’s difficult to give you feedback on account of your perfectionism.” To which I replied- “Thanks!” Turns out it was not a compliment. 

 

I was given the advice to familiarize myself with the research of Brené Brown, so I did, I watched her TED Talk on Vulnerability that night and what I discovered changed my life (I watched it three times in a row, something I hadn’t done since I was seven and Free Willy had been released on VHS).

 

After a small existential crisis, I I watched her other TED Talks and spent a year devouring anything and everything she’d ever written. What does this have to do with the work I’m doing now? Well, if it weren’t for her studies around shame, I’d likely be silenced, rather than speaking. I’m going to go ahead and get a little bit vulnerable here (because #BrenéBrown). 

 

Not long ago, I managed to extract myself- slowly and painfully- from an abusive relationship.

 

The ramifications of that relationship called into question many things that I had once believed to be true about myself. About other people. About the world as I knew it. The question I grappled with the most, however, was why. Why? 

 

Why had I let that happen? Why had I not realized it sooner? Why had I allowed it to go on? Why had I let somebody treat me so appallingly? Why had it taken me so long to leave?

 

On my darkest day, the day I was finally forced to acknowledge that the man I’d loved had been abusive, and not just “brooding” or “the creative type” or “complex”, I found myself sitting in a shallow, lukewarm bath in a hotel, staring blankly at ugly tile while those questions ricocheted through my mind, wreaking havoc on an already frazzled psyche. Why why why why why why why. 

 

It was then that a voice I hadn’t heard in a very long time spoke up. My voice of reason. A voice I’d resolvedly silenced months prior, when it had implored me to trust my own instinct: something is terribly, terribly wrong. Go. Go now. Get out. Get. Out. 

 

This time it was very matter-of-fact. Listen, if you hadn’t spent that year with him, another woman would have. Would you have voluntarily traded places with another woman if it would have spared you the pain you’re in now? 

 

My response was immediate.

 

No. Never.

 

I’d endure what I’d endured a hundred times over if it meant I could spare even one woman what I was going through.

 

There, the voice said, that’s who you are. That’s why. What happened to you is happening to others right now. You have information and understanding that you couldn’t have gained in a classroom. You’re a speaker. You’re a writer. Put this to use. Get out there and help. Share your experience. Talk. I got out of the tub, dried off, and got to work. 

 

While my experience took place within the realm of an intimate relationship, we’re all faced with similar challenges in other dynamics as well, be it amongst friends, family or the within the confines of the workplace. Maybe it’s showing up as risk aversion or limiting beliefs. Conflict avoidance or a compromising of boundaries. Maybe it’s the misalignment of beliefs and actions, or the same consistently sh*tty patterns in relationships. It could mean passivity for the sake of other people’s comfort or convenience, or the willingness to accept blame and fault for other people’s behaviour and bullsh*t. Maybe it’s an inability to hold people- yourself included- accountable. Maybe it’s an inability to say the word “no”. No matter what, this is the stuff that impedes us. The stuff that gets in the way.

I can help.

That’s what Meghan Talks is all about.

Not only do I give literal talks, through writing and workshops I create space to talk about the hard, uncomfortable parts of life. By talking, by sharing, by engaging in discourse we create the opportunity for safe, tethered exploration of the parts of life that challenge us. The places that we avoid until we’re forced there by circumstance. If we’re willing to talk about those places, what we’ve learned and gleaned and discovered there, they become a little less daunting. Life itself becomes a little less daunting (still scary, but, you know, doable).

Life is going to test us, over and over and over again, and so many people readily abandon themselves in hardship. I did. Losing sight of myself was the most harrowing experience I’ve ever endured, and I’m tired of people- womxn especially- having to discover the true measure of their worth by losing it entirely first.

If we can begin to trust that we’re not alone in those moments of trial and tribulation; that we have a guide in the form of the version of ourselves we want to become, those inevitable hardships suddenly provide the opportunity to fortify resilience, deepen intuition and discover even deeper reserves of self-worth.

I’m passionate about empowering people to show up as their authentic, wholehearted selves and to remain resilient and consistently on their own side, especially womxn and people in the LGBTQ+ community, who often struggle to find their footing in a world that shakes their certainty on an everyday basis. That being said, the majority of my work transcends differences, making it accessible for anyone and everyone.

Now that you know a little bit more about why I do what I do, here’s a little bit about who I am:

I’m a voracious reader and I love to travel (especially for work, so don’t be daunted if we’re not based in the same city)! I grew up in Toronto and relocated to Vancouver in 2016, and spent a few months living in England a few years ago. Does that suffice? If not, continue:

 

  • I’ve been training in a professional capacity for over seven years, which is three years longer than the Spice Girls were together.

  • I can cross my eyes without looking down at my nose.

  • I have an extra bone in my feet which makes wearing high heels even more uncomfortable than they would be normally, but I still wear them even though I always wind up kicking them off midday.

  • My middle name is Ellen after Ellen Ripley, the “strongest woman” my mother ever knew.

  • I was born in the year of the Tiger and take pride in that fact- which I’m pretty sure is a defining trait of those born in the year of the Tiger.

  • For my thirty-first birthday I had an eighties themed party and dressed up as Steve from Stranger Things. Yes, there was a build-your-own-waffle bar.

  • Despite how much I love to curse, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve actually sworn at somebody in real life. The most recent occurrence was an old man on roller skates who called my dog stupid. I won’t repeat what I said, but it was not nice.

  • My karaoke song is Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything for Love.” It’s over six minutes long and I sing both parts. I don’t partake in a lot of karaoke.

  • I was only sent to the Principal’s office once during school, and it was for hurling a rock at a boy who was throwing stones at ducklings. He wound up with a scar on his cheek and I’m not sorry.

  • I’m not perfect, I’m still learning, I’m still struggling in many ways, but that means when I (inevitably) do make mistakes I take ownership. That I can promise you.

 

That’s who I am (in point form, anyway). What you really need to know is simply this:

I believe this world would be a much better place if we were all more willing to share the learning that we’ve lived, and I aim to use my platform as a speaker and a writer to do just that.

 

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”

-Fred Rogers

 

 
Meghan Campbell