2015 Again

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! ❤


Brief Hiatus

Working at a summer camp can really tire you out. I had made time in July to write here, but now that I’m working in the youth leadership program, I’ve been thinking about work more often than usual. And while youth leadership is something that I’m really passionate about, it’s making me shift priorities in a way that I am not okay with.

I miss this. I miss writing, sorting out my thoughts, sifting through the words and finding meaning. I haven’t done this in a while. I don’t feel like myself.

I also miss yoga. A couple of days ago, I went into child’s pose (one of the most basic and relaxing poses) and felt so at home that I thought about becoming an instructor (not the first time). I actually feel out of shape, even though camp has made me lose weight.

I miss the freedom that I had at the beginning of this year, when I worked part-time and was able to volunteer with two organizations at once. I was able to write, do yoga, read, and practice self-care and mindfulness everyday. I want that back.

But, I also want a job that pays. And so I’ll get back to this when I can. I’m actually looking forward to the end of this job, even if it means going back to square one. I know I’ll be okay, though. 🙂

A Spiritual Gangster’s Paradise

I bought a yoga mat that’s eco-friendly. I bought a yoga mat bag that was made from a sari. I consider myself mindful. I believe that focusing on your breath is helpful in more ways than one. I bought a freaking green juice the other day.

Should I be surprised with myself that I’ve become the kind of person who practices yoga and meditation? Is it too far of a stretch for me to realize that I actually like thinking about humanity and our relationship with the universe?

I’m still not quite sure. All of this is new to me. I started to practice yoga in November because my massage therapist basically said I have weak back muscles. I started to practice meditation around February because my career coach said that it would help me on my journey. Turns out that both ladies were right, and both yoga and meditation have helped me in ways I never even thought of.

And maybe this whole not-thinking-about-how-spiritual-I-am thing is kind of counter-intuitive of actually being spiritual? I mean, being spiritual means looking at life in a thoughtful, mindful way. And I haven’t had a meta-mindful session about being spiritual, so that’s interesting. Does that make me a spiritual gangster?

The Jacksons of Sporting the Right Attitude think so. It sounds like a spiritual gangster to them is somebody who does all of the above and doesn’t care what others think. It’s somebody who skips practice because they’re just not feeling it today. It’s somebody who rejects what society has in store for them and proceeds to be their own badass self. Which is awesome.

It’s definitely something to work on. I’m still new to this yogi lifestyle, and with such transitions, I tend to feel like a fraud until I get comfortable enough to not care. I guess I’ll eventually get to that spiritual gangster’s paradise someday.


Treat Yo’Self!

I’ve never made any serious New Year’s resolutions. I just vowed – actually, just hoped – to be a healthier, more active, kinder, smarter, and overall better person. Which isn’t bad. Everybody should strive to be better. But I wasn’t really that motivated to make a positive change within, aside from December 31st/January 1st and sometimes Lent.

But now, after thinking about everything that’s happened and what I want for myself – and after a restless night of thinking about everything which is all too common for those of us trying to sleep – I decided to actually make a real New Year’s resolution and vow to treat myself better.

It was all inspired by this Tumblr post by user romanovvidow:

“Treat yourself the way you treat your favorite characters. Look into your back-story to understand your current plot. Sympathize with yourself. Recognize your flaws, and appreciate your strengths. Defend yourself. Cheer yourself on when you go into battle. Appreciate every relationship you make and always look for hidden potential. You’re the protagonist in your story. You’re the main character. You’re the hero.

Treat yourself like one.”

Isn’t that amazing? Of course you should treat yourself with the same devotion and respect you have for your loved ones, real or fictitious. Actually, especially fictitious. It’s what a lot of people do: we love these characters like a devotee would their deity, and like a parent their child. It’s an interesting relationship, actually. We call these characters our idols and our babies, and we memorize their back stories and defend them from evil naysayers. There are a lot of layers to this love, so why not mimic this and apply it to ourselves?

And so, my New Year’s resolution is to treat myself like my favourite characters.

I will analyze and understand my past in order to make sense of my present and look into the future. I will create fun and meaningful head cannons that will explain why I do what I do and what makes me me.

I will look at my relationships and never take for granted my loved ones. I will nurture the relationships I share with my most beloved. I will improve what needs to be improved. And as for those that aren’t helping anybody or can be let go… I will let go. And it will be okay. Because I know that this is meant to be and everything happens for a reason.

I will be able to connect the dots and see how I have come to where I am today (like how Ted Mosby and Tracy McConnell meet, and hopefully with a better ending because I’m still not quite over that).

I will revel at my strengths, come to understand and appreciate my weaknesses, and marvel at how beautifully human I am. Because I am a rounded character with a real personality and a unique story.

And if I do something wrong or (this next word makes me cringe) problematic, then it will shape me, just like everything else does. It will add to my character. It will teach me (and hopefully you) a lesson. It may not be forgiven; it will not be forgotten. And that’s okay. Flawed characters are the most beloved, because they’re relatable. They show us what people are really like, and that good things can happen despite everything. And that people will love you no matter what.

I remember doing a vinyasa flow class at my yoga studio, and the instructor talking us through a pose. She reminded us that we are so busy with the universe around us that we forget to look inside and marvel at the universe within. Those words struck something within me and I actually teared up. I was so moved at the idea that there is something so precious and vast inside of me, inside of all of us. I was reminded of this idea again when I was reading Eat, Pray, Love, and Elizabeth Gilbert was meditating in an ashram in India. She said that her first spiritual encounter with the divine felt like something inside of her was pulsating throughout her body. And she explained that these experiences that happen while you’re in a meditative state are encounters with the divine. And this got me thinking… I want to have a more spiritual connection. With what or with whom, I don’t know yet.

So, how does that relate to my resolution? Well, treating myself like my favourite character means that I will keep myself in good shape (yoga). I will know simultaneously that there is something much bigger out there and that I am full of untapped potential (spirituality).

I could go on with this resolution and what it means to me, but unravelling every special little knot that makes me who I am will take years. Because that’s probably how long this resolution will last. Treating myself like my favourite character will be quite the journey, and I am so thrilled to start.

2014 Again

I’m definitely in a better mood and more positive mindset to talk about what was good things happened this year. Here we go!

– I worked my first job out of university (12 months after last exam, 9 months after graduation and after I started actively looking) and learned a lot (and got paid well)
– I’ve volunteered at two organizations I’ve wanted to work for since 2012. And I’ve been promoted twice in one of those organizations!
– I saw We Will Rock You
– I started watching Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
– I found out my Style Statement is Graceful Legend
– I found out my Element is writing and helping others
– I submitted some of my work for publication
– I developed a short story
– I read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo, and Yes Please, by Amy Poehler, which I believe are equally great and will make me a better person
– I read more in general
– I developed my career and career goals through research and networking. I also bought a program in November called Zero to Network to help with my career, and it’s been helping a lot so far
– I’ve been to several interviews and getting more confident in selling myself
– I started to practice yoga in November and it’s been so great to find a form of exercise that I actually like and will want to continue with
– I met a lot of wonderful people through work, volunteering, and just going out
– How I Met Your Mother ended – While I may not want to watch the entire series again, I do really value what I have learned from the show. I learned that it was okay to struggle with finding a job and finding love. I learned that there is a reason why it takes years for someone to find the love of their life. I may not know what the reason for my situation is, but the show did help me be more patient and understanding.
– Naruto ended – thank goodness it did! Because I thought that the story was dragging along. It was bittersweet to read the final chapters, though. The manga and the anime motivated me to be more courageous and frankly to exercise more (those ninjas were freakishly strong).
– Legend of Korra ended – the finale wasn’t as epic as the one for Avatar: The Last Airbender, but I did appreciate the show overall. If you’re looking for a show with strong, empowered women of colour, this is it.
– The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies capped the end of the Middle Earth movies by Peter Jackson and company. Another end of an era. I’m so glad that my dad introduced me to these movies; I remember him renting The Fellowship of the Ring from Rogers and me becoming totally engrossed in the story.
– And I watched for the first time: Dead Poets Society, The Godfather, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Pulp Fiction, Love Actually, and Spirited Away

I’m glad that I took the time and made the head- and heart-space for remembering the good things that have happened to me this year. It goes to show that once we realize just how much the positive outweighs the negative, our lives are richer and more fulfilling.

Thank you, 2014, and here’s to a better 2015!