2016 has been the year where I have had to face many things: my own mortality, my sense of self-preservation, my fears, my purpose… But the one lesson that this year has given me is that of self-compassion. Self care … Continue reading
I’ve had time to process the results of the US presidential election for a few days now. It was like going through grief all over again, and it sucked. I know it’s naive to believe that we cannot possibly go … Continue reading
On Tuesday, my dog got sick, and I got scared. It was digestive issues: she had diarrhea and was vomitting a bit. She was never sick like this before in her 5 years of life, so I got scared. I didn’t know what was happening and couldn’t really help her other than sitting by her side while she tried to get some sleep.
She’s okay now. But the next day, while she napped by my room after taking the medicine the vet had prescribed, I got hit with the lovely realization that her health and well-being was always her number one concern. It was so easy for her to just sleep off the pain and sickness. What a nice life, my family likes to say about pets.
But the thing is, my family jumping to take care of her was really nice to see, and again reaffirmed the signs I’ve been seeing about slowing down and prioritizing self-care. I get so caught up with work, volunteering, projects, ideas, outings, conversations, and life in general – and I get pretty damn excited about it – that I forget to slow down and collect myself and be still in the chaos and passion. I’m working so hard and am so focused on an ideal or end goal that I forget that life is always full of surprises and won’t always give us what we want and when we want.
Perhaps it’s a 21st century, first world millennial problem, but instant gratification and our fast-paced lifestyle has made us expect for everything and everyone to be ready at the slightest tremble of our fingertips. Which is ridiculous and rude, if you think about it. We are all moving at our own pace, and we shouldn’t compare our speed or direction to another person’s. Our journeys are our own, and we often forget how precious and significant they are.
I am quite guilty of taking my personal journey for granted. I see my peers and family and friends moving at different paces and taking on their own struggles, but I usually focus on the ones who are relentless in their race to riches, whatever these riches are. Looking at these people, I yearn to be as energetic, as focused, as smart, as non-stop. And that’s where the stress starts. Another lesson that needs repeating is to stop comparing myself to others, to continue to believe in myself – because that is where the answers lie and where I get my strength and validation. I also need to trust myself and the process, and wait for it, whatever “it” is.
Before, whenever I heard the words “wait for it,” I would get reminded of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother. Now, I get reminded of the song from Hamilton. A much better pop culture reference, in my opinion. It’s a song that will likely resonate with other 20-somethings as we go about our own journeys. Aaron Burr is the foil to Alexander Hamilton, and compares himself to Hamilton in the song, but I think that there can be a healthy balance. We’re not completely alone in life, after all. We just have to figure out how community affects our sense of individuality and well-being. And we must remember that we are inimitable and are able to control how we go about our journeys.
A lot of shit has happened between my last blog post and now. A lot. Some good, some awful, some terrifying, some exhilarating. Personally, politically, locally, globally… a lot has happened. History has been made. And it’s been a ride.
I think that the overall theme of this year has been extreme living: the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Friends, family, world leaders, citizens, all of us, have strongly felt something. Whether we have experienced love, heartbreak, loss, confusion, exhaustion, defeat, rejection… it’s all a part of life. And I’ve learned that we are all resilient and passionate enough to keep going back to the things that bring us joy and fulfillment, knowing all too well that we could be torn down again. And again. And again.
And yet, we keep going. We push to think higher, feel deeper. We strive to be the greatest. We act like heroes, even just for one day. Because one day can make a difference. We know this. And damn it, we are optimists and we want the best that life can give us. And we work hard to make sure that we get what we deserve.
I’ve said this before: I’ve had to fight for my happiness. For the past few months, and especially the last 30-odd days, I have put more into this fight than I thought was possible. The saying goes that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. What if life hands you a pile of shit? Do you ignore it, hoping it will go away? Do you toss it somewhere else, hoping that somebody else will deal with it? Or do you sift through it, hoping to find the rich fertilizer that will bring life to whatever metaphorical garden you are growing? (Because when life hands you shit, you deal with it, because it’s yours to handle. Sorry.)
Indecent expressions aside, I have to say that these past few months have been interesting and wild and revealing. If I’ve realized anything, it’s that no matter what is thrown at me, I can rise above it and be a better me. Because life is worth it.
We’re halfway through 2016. Let’s make the other half worthwhile.
It seems as though every social media website that you are a part of does a recap or annual report at the end of every December. WordPress just sent me my report, which was lovely and well put together. Facebook, on the other hand, just placed the photos that I’d posted that had the most likes. And most of those photos weren’t even of me or my loved ones, which was hilarious.
So, I’m going to do my own recap. It’s a bit of a “behind the scenes” post, since I didn’t really document these things here. Anyway, as promised, I’ve listed the highlights from this year – and there are a lot:
- I shared this blog with my friends
- I wrote blog posts every month this year
- I got the push to do the above from Anita Wing Lee, my coach who had helped me so much with my career and mindset towards money, success, happiness, and fulfillment
- I made more big purchases (such as the above) which have been worth it
- Learned how to do EFT/tapping, meditate, and do an intuition reading
- I had 3 jobs, all of which I at least really liked and helped me to grow
- Between the first job this year and the unfulfilling job from 2014, the gap was around 4 months of unemployment and uncertainty
- Between the first and second job this year was a nonexistent unemployment gap
- Between the second and third (current) job this year was a 2 week unemployment gap – such a difference!
- Did a lot of networking – calling, e-mailing, going to events
- Volunteered for a great organization for 6 months and met wonderful people
- Cooked dinner and did the laundry for my family for the first time
- Watched Potted Potter, The Sound of Cracking Bones, Once, and Kinky Boots
- Watched Good Will Hunting, The Fault in Our Stars, Ides of March, Big Hero 6, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Amélie, Into the Woods, The Artist, Romantics Anonymous, Django Unchained, the Star Wars series, Wet Hot American Summer, Jan Austen Book Club, Naruto: The Last, Age of Ultron for the first time
- Watched Pitch Perfect 2, Inside Out, Mockingjay Part 2, and The Force Awakens in the theatre
- Finished Parks and Recreation – 7 seasons of my favourite show. What an amazing workplace comedy that poked fun at politics but also emphasized the importance of being kind and working hard with people you love to do good
- Watched Agent Carter, another great TV show which I will be following
- Read some more books for the first time – not as much as last year, but still felt proud of myself
- Ran my first running race – a 5k
- Painted my nails and put on makeup more often, and overall made self-care more of a priority. This did wonders for my mental health and well-being
- Discovered James Bay, an incredible musician
- Continued with yoga, started running outside more often, and went to the chiropractor a few times
- Went to High Park, Glen Rouge, and Algonquin Park for the first time – beautiful places where I discovered my love of hiking
- Got home super late from a house party for the first time
- Went to a cousin’s wedding and cried. (First time crying at a wedding!)
- Actually dated!
- Got signed Avatar: The Last Airbender comics
- Happy and hopeful for my country’s leadership
So while Facebook didn’t really do a good job with capturing this year’s best moments, that’s okay. They can only do so much with the few photos I had posted. What matters is that 2015 was good to me, and I was in a good place in my life.
Here’s to an incredible 2016! ❤