If I do this, then I get to do that …

I have finally gone and done it. I booked my appointment for the full extraction of my last two wisdom teeth. On May 29th I will finally get to tick this big thing off my list of health issues I need to deal with before I can think about my next move. Actually it isn’t that big of a list but the things on the list are big-ish. It is sort of like a Health and Wellness list.

When I initially moved to Edmonton I had also been considering a return to Seoul, South Korea. I was in a bind and I needed steady, consistent income to pull myself out of a bit of a financial pickle. I gave myself 6 weeks to find work in Alberta and if that didn’t happen teaching was going to happen. South Korea has always been my back up plan. By the grace of the universe I found work in Edmonton and have been working tirelessly to get myself back on track.  The thing is – I am back on track and now I am ticking the things of the Health and Wellness list.

Truth be told -I have had an irrational fear of getting my wisdom teeth out. I have no idea why I started living in fear but here we are in my late 30ies doing that fear thing that is so irrational. Sometimes I feel like I lacked the years in growing up and all the sudden I need to do all of this shit so fucking quickly. Maybe that just comes with being in your late 30ies. Sometimes I feel sad that I was so lost for so long; the wake up smack didn’t hit me till recently in a way I never saw coming. Now I am just questioning and judging and trying to figure myself out so I can figure out relationships and friendships. I digress.

There are a couple of other things on this list that I have started that aren’t complete. My lease is up in April of next year … so I have some investigating, planning and figuring out to do. But all of that is on the back burner while I actually just do some living, loving and some gawd damn self care.

My new questions in life are … how will this impact my financial well being and how will this affect my emotional and health well being? The answer is simple friends –  getting my teeth out will likely stop my mouth from hurting, jaw pain, headaches and such, my over all oral hygiene will be better and now that I have dental coverage this should not impact my  wallet too much – in fact doing it now will likely save me money later.

Are you on a journey of self improvement? What is on your “if I do this , then I get to do that” list?

Lets talk about it below!

xoxo, C

 

 

The bag of burritos I needed.

Truth: Even though I had a fairly great job situation in Calgary post SAIT I quit my job and moved to Montreal. I transferred with Starbucks to get me started and took my boho looking, dreadlock sporting self to the city of liberty and freedom and decided it was about time I make a life for myself.  My friend told me there were lots of jobs, and even though I hadn’t actually found anything online and had no response I packed my stuff, shipped my entire life and decided to make a go of it.

Truth: Montreal was the hardest 6 months of my life.

Truth: I struggled with my pay dropping to a quarter of what I was making in Calgary.  I struggled with transferring into a store that instantly and blatantly hated me because I had dreadlocks among other stupid reasons (sidenote: I later actually made some amazing friends and connections at that Starbucks – Monkland represent!). I was already feeling self conscious and that just wreaked havoc on my emotions and my state of mind. I struggled with sleeping on the hardwood floor for 6 months. My self worth was trapped in material possessions.  When I finally made the decision to leave Montreal my options were limited. I didn’t have any money. I was so fucked. My spirit and soul were crushed. Needless to say moving in with my sister and her family for a couple months changed my life. It propelled me to get where I needed to be.

Edmonton has been a lot of growing and progress; baby steps to a brighter future. However, because I moved here under those dire circumstances. Edmonton has always felt like a failure. That my life is a fail. I failed at Montreal. And that, right there, my friends is a lesson I just learned after almost 2 years in Edmonton.

I have felt like a failure in Edmonton because of the hiccup of time I spent in Montreal that crushed my soul.

It is funny how that works.

So while this might sound like a pity party. It is actually a blessing and a break through in my development as a human. I am so focused on why this (Edmonton) was a fail I have failed myself in seeing my success. I feel so profound in my discovery. Like someone has ripped off some blinders.

So how did I get here ?…. Mark Manson.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Saturday. I read the entire book. It is fresh in my head so I am trying to implement as many of the lessons as I possible can. But the overarching theme is taking a look  at yourself and your self worth and basically working on yourself to become better for you and then others. I am not going to lie it sucks to realize that you are the root cause of all your problems. It sucks to realize that you are causing your own unhappiness from preconceived notions of yourself. But it makes me smile when I think about all the foolish pressure I have put on myself in the last couple of years because I have limiting beliefs about myself. My mind is fucking blown Friends. All the sudden I am peeling back the layers of destructive self hatred and attempting to lift some pressure from myself and work on my own happiness instead of placing that in other people’s hands and other peoples acceptance of me.

Truth: Sometimes I compare Carol today to Carol back then (not Montreal just happier times) to try and learn from the times in my life when I thought I was my happiest. The thing is. Those were times where I literally and wholeheartedly didn’t give a fuck about what anyone else thought. I never listened I just got on the plane and went. I went to Japan. I went to Korea. I went to China. I went to Chile. I went everywhere. I met amazing people. I didn’t give a flying fuck. I have realized recently I don’t actually want to live like that anymore. I like the stability of not having to figure out where I am going to move every year. I like knowing that my job still exist tomorrow. I don’t need visas and immigration and worrying about whether I can afford a visa run. I don’t have to save for my next flight – unless I truly want to. I think all that time I was searching for security and the only one that can provide that is me.

So today I commit to trying my best to stop that self deprecating behavior. Stop comparing myself to other people doing different things at different phases of their lives. And to just breathe. Because honestly I couldn’t of lived my 20ies any cooler than I did. I didn’t get where I am today but not chancing all those things …testing myself.  Learning that I can build a life where ever I go. Learning that people are selfish assholes and that most advice comes for their own personal experiences, drives, desires and failures. I commit to opening myself up to the possibilities of a wonderful life right here in this city – a place that has been so incredibly good for me, my bank account and my financial well being. I also commit to trying to stop interjecting my suggestions when people what to talk to me. My opinion doesn’t matter much.

So if your are reading this thinking – good gawd – know this – I feel like I am bursting with positivity because I unlocked a secret about my life or I finally figured something out. It is going to be a journey to a brighter Carol. It isn’t my first time pulling myself out of a mess. And I have the power to change everything. It’s a choice.

So Friends – are you trapped in a circle of negative behavior and thoughts? Are you trapped on the hamster wheel of self deprecating behavior and don’t know how to jump off? The sad reality is … it is a choice. Bad things may have happened to you but in the end you chose how you feel about it, how you internalize it or if and when it’s time to let go. You chose to stay. You chose to go. Everything is a choice. So you need to chose to not let past experience affect your current life. And it is hard as fuck. But I am sure as fuck it is going to be worth it.

And with that – all my Love and Self help magic vibes!

Stay dirty,

C

 

When you up & decided your goals aren’t working …

Guys, I was on a March Madness roll – but then I got really, really tired and had to take a break. I was feeling depleted of creative thought and really just wanted to sleep. Last night was night two of go to work, come home, eat a snack and pretty much lose focus on any form of human connection and get lost in a binge watching mess of CraveTV, Netflix and YouTube.

My anxiety got so bad that my back started seizing up, my gums started to burn and I couldn’t do anything but shower, throw on my sweatpants and lounge in my bed. If I am being honest I didn’t even attempt the couches – I was just to fucking tired.

I have been feeling lonely and unmotivated lately.  You know you want to do all these crazy adventurous things but you stand in your own way. Anyway – this reality got me thinking about the choices we make creating our own reality. Because while there are a lot of things that are out of our control – there are plenty of things that we can control.

Everything is a choice.  Sometimes in life we attached stories to justify things that happened. Instead of just being brutally honest about the facts. No excuses. Just reality.


 Lets take a look at this: I chose to attend university, I chose my major. I chose to live my life with reckless abandon. Trust in everyone, and live my life as if I didn’t have 30K of debt hanging over my shoulders. I moved to Korea thinking I would pay my loans off. After I got there, that reality got lost in travel around Asia. After traveling awhile and working contract jobs. I decided I needed to retrain. More loans, More education. More things that weren’t actually my dream. I chose it all.  Now as I settle into adult life – the debt scale is larger, I am killing myself to pay for the last 10 years and I have deemed myself unworthy of friendships, relationships and life because I have gained weight and I am in debt. I project those feelings on other people. I created it all.

 

I am hard on myself. I feel like I am unworthy of a lot of things. I have let other people project their realities on me.  When in fact I am completely capable of something more.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to be debt free because that will make me feel free, I put a lot of pressure on myself to wake up tomorrow lighter, thinner, more vegan. I put a lot of pressure on myself to go on dates and try and meet people – when the reality is I really need to do a better job of loving myself.

Today I decided to think more clearly about my goals, my motivation and my drive. What does success look like? How can I make choices for Edmonton that make me less exhausted, more connected to source, to nature and to humans?

So as we roll out to the end of march – I am re-budgeting, reformulating goals, and getting ready to set myself up for a successful summer. Because Friends, that is the thing with goals, and life … some times you need to reevaluate, stop making excuses and move forward.

How have you combated the harsh realities of adulting?

xoxo,

C

Goal Setting.

This last little while I have been extremely interested in the age old classic of goal setting.  I have been reading articles online, watching You-tubers and all around just asking people how they go about achieving their goals. Most of the goal setting strategies encourage people to write things down. The theory being that once you have a goal to work towards you can actually work towards it. Most of the top gurus of goal setting make implications that sharing these things with friends and family  are actually supposed to help you achieve your goals because you are being reinforced by your friends etc etc …  this all seems good right?!

This last few months I have actually wondered if the opposite is true. I find sometimes when sharing goals with people the truth is – in the moment I share my goal  – I activate it to no longer happen. Say what?!  Yes. This in fact has happened to me.  I read an article in psychology today discussing the reality of sharing your goals. It was saying that sharing your goals can be damaging to goal setting itself.

When you vocalize your goals – you then make yourself think that it has already happened therefore making it less likely to be achieved.

I am absolutely an ambition setter. I am a dreamer. I am a sharer of my wildest dreams of adventure. I am also someone that fails to meet a lot of their goals because once I share my process – the desire dwindles. And I am onto a new adventure, new topic, new life.

Typically what happens is I think I want to do something. So I plot it out in my mind. I plot it out on paper. I plot it out into the reality of what it would look like if I decided to do it. I start working towards those goals.  I see a small amount of success. I get excited. I share my dreams with other people, they get on board. Then I start telling everyone. And then that is when shit goes whack. That is the moment I lose momentum in my goals. Once I have shared the desire – it is like it has already happened. And poof! it’s gone.

There are quite a few things in my life recently that have fallen into this trap. So while I what to be transparent and share my goals – I also want to achieve them. So here we have it – the crossroads of drive to achieve success and social acceptance in goals setting. Do I share my goals with friends and family or not?

I have noticed the less I share the more likely it is to happen. So with that – I am going to run an experiment on goal setting and sharing of knowledge. I have a few goals that I want to achieve this year. I am going to actively not share those goals with people then just work away at them. And see what happens. They are not written down anywhere. This is just an evasive way of planning things out and sharing with you that in fact that it is a thing. My goal setting experiment.

I will run this experiment privately while I also try to publicly achieve my financial goals and we will see which goals yield more success.  If I am being honestly – while I have been paying my minimum payments on loans I am currently behind 500$ of extra AB loan payments and that I am hoping I can make up in April and still achieve my first goal of paying off my Alberta student loans at the end of May.

So with that I wonder – which way do you typically have the most success in goal setting?

Lets discuss – leave me some love down below!

xoxo,

C

 

 

that tiny space life …

You might know this about me but you also might not:

I LOVE TINY HOUSES!

There I said it, I am obsessed with the tiny house movement. I am super interested in alternative housing which is  broad category of tiny houses, micro homes, yurts, RV’s, van life, earth ships and anything else you can really think. I love them. I love the idea of not doing what society tells you and using your creativity to build a dwelling the suits exactly what you, the owner, needs.

This obsession started way back while studying architecture technology.  Most of my submissions for things where alternative structures. I just refused to see housing the way the typical home builder in ALBERTA  did. The infill situation.

Last year around this time I headed South to North Carolina to attend the tiny house conference. I met some amazing tiny house loving people.  Sadly I won’t be attending this year even though it’s in my dream city Portland which is SO MUCH CLOSER to Edmonton AND full of vegans!  It just isn’t in the works because of my commitment to debt reduction. If you haven’t figured it out yet – every thing this year will be about debt reduction.

4 reasons I am in love with alternative housing:

  1. Minimalism; for a lot of years I let my stuff own me. It defined me. It was me. I had boxes of stuff that I carted around home to home never opening. Sometimes living (the stuff living) in other peoples basements. Then in a huge life shift while living in Montreal – I cleaned it all out. When I finally moved from Montreal I had cleaned out past life baggage. It is liberating to get rid of things you don’t need.
  2. Financial impact; I live in a studio apartment. It is a dream. Tiny living without a tiny house. For me living tiny is part of a full package of Carol intentions to achieve a goal but also the less I spend on living, the more I can spend on traveling. The more I can power through my student loans – the more likely the dream of one day no longer have student loans will become a reality. It is a long way to freedom but every bit counts and that included a cheap, small space and spending well below my 30% on housing.
  3. Living Smaller to Live Larger; I will just say it again. The less my monthly experiences are the more I can spend on trips, hair dye, tattoos and debt repayment, retirement saving, blog stuff or what ever else I want. My house doesn’t make me happy. All the other things do.
  4. Environmental Impact; We are actively and knowingly destroying the planet. I care. I want my footprint to be less.  Smaller space, smaller footprint. It is that simple.

Are you an alternative housing lover? Are you into the tiny house movement? How did you get there? What is your drive?

I have a journal from forever ago that I made a label for that says “couch tour of North America” before couchsurfing was a things, before #vanlife was cool- I have for a long time just felt like gypsy was the way to go.  I am a nomad at heart. I think I might always be.

What is your tiny house dream?

xoxo,

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you live for Memories or in the ‘RIGHT NOW’ Moment?

I have had my laptop since 2010. It is an Acer. I am surprised it still runs, honestly. It has absolutely seen better days. I have known for some time now that I need to invest in a new computer. I have had to repair parts. I bought a new battery and a couple years ago the guy I was dating bought me a terabit drive for my birthday to back up the entire computer.  Since that time  – every photo, every bit of writing, every portfolio has been stored on that hard drive. It is my life. 2 nights ago  – it reconfigured and I lost everything.

I instantly wanted to cry.

All my photo memories. All my music. All my everything. It is soul crushing losing everything.

While making light of the situation one of my Besties said – maybe it is time to restart.  Is it the universes’ way of telling me to let go and move forward?  Maybe she is right. 

Maybe.

I am not frozen in time but sometimes I miss my old life so much that I have gotten so much anxiety about my new life.  I just think about being other places and forget that I am in a place. I am doing amazing things. The universe time and time again has offered me opportunity and I am so scared that I don’t take it. It is like she is dangling opportunity right in front of my face. People, things, events, social gatherings and I think no – it won’t compare to what I had. I am failing myself by not giving it a chance. Gawd Damn.

It is crazy how much trust I put into that little black box. All my memories, all my life, all my stuff. But the question is – are those things really important or is life trying to force me into a RESET!

I am going to take that magical box down to a  repair place and hope for the best today.  I wonder though – does all this social media, Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook – the photo memories of our life place as much importance as we think it does? or are we just caught up in the hype of showing that we are interesting people?

What do you think? Is social media a tool for bragging or a place for memories?

My Travel Bucket List

I have been in Edmonton about a year and a half and I am getting dangerously close to that time where I pick up and fly away. I have made lots of financial goal, health goals and a must do list of things in Edmonton – so travel is taking a back seat. Right now I am dreaming of all the places and things I would like to be doing that don’t involve working so much. So I put together a list of my dream travel trips. My currently bucket list of trips  want to do.

 

  • Take the Trans-Siberian from Beijing to Moscow (through Mongolia)
  • Take the train from India (New Delhi) to Turkey
  • Drive from Argentina to Canada
  • Move to Indonesia and live in a hut and write
  • Live in Dubai for a year
  • Backpack the African Countries
  • Visit Greenland
  • Travel to Newfoundland & Labrador, Nunavut and North West Territories (only places let to travel to in Canada)
  • Drive the west Coast of Canada and the USA
  • India (Nepal and Sri Lanka)

 

Where are you dying to get to next?  Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

 

that vegan life.

Tonight while chomping down on some vegan mashed potato pizza – I was thinking about vegan things.  While I am not always vegan I try my best most of the time. My slips up are always cheese or other dairy related things. In every other category I succeed. This used to really bother me – but it doesn’t have the same clout as it used to. I work a lot and some days there just isn’t enough time to prepare – and getting vegan food isn’t always as easy as you want it to be.  It is a journey at the best of times. A learning process. I have had moments in my life where I had thought about not being a vegetarian anymore. I honestly don’t think I could do it. But sometimes I need to give myself reasons to keep doing what I a doing. So here we have it:

My Reasons for Vegan:

  • I love beans
  • I love making new recipes
  • I love that being vegan has taught me to cook
  • I love introducing people to vegan eats
  • I don’t ever have to eat anything with eyes
  • I can be picky as fuck and blame it on vegan
  • I love fruits and veggies. I could eat only fruit all summer. Cherries, baby!
  • I don’t ever get meat sweats
  • I can grow my own food
  • I rarely have more than one or two options on a menu. It takes away my choice.
  • I feel better
  • I have minimized my kitchen
  • And my fridge
  • Most of my groceries come from one part of the grocery store
  • Mother nature’s fast food is fruit
  • I love what I eat
  • Whole foods are bomb
  • vegan is rad as fuck, who are we kidding?!
  • One day I will figure out being a skinny vegan and my life will be complete
  • My body doesn’t feel heavy after I eat
  • Man .. I just love my food lifestyle

 

I could go on about the cruelty of the meat industry  – but I don’t want to. I am vegetarian for so many other reasons that that. The real truth is – I just want to feel good and eating vegan does that for me.

Stay happy, eat plants.

Till next time,

xoxo,

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What keeps you HAPPY?

I recently started reading the book Pivot by Jenny Blake. One of those interesting reads that forces you to look within to figure out to where to go next.

This last little while I have been feeling stagnant in my life:  work, sleep, eat, sleep, go on a date, have it not work, go for a coffee with friends, realize I’m on a different page, sleep, chat with my sisters, visit the shopping store, buy shit, attempt to be fulfilled … blah, blah … I like all those things but it lacks adventure.  I have been feeling stagnant at my job because there is no where for me to advance and in Edmonton as a city as a whole. I feel bored. Boredom to the extent that it is causing me headaches from not being challenged enough.

Normally my next move would be to move. Country hop. Lifestyle hop. Do something that challenges me. However, I am trying to adult. Hardcore. I am trying to get a stronghold on paying off my loans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t move abroad again until I have paid down 20K off my student loans (hint – that is at like 19k and change away OR at very least I need to have paid of my Alberta and Nova Scotia Loans)

And then this came up in my Instagram feed this AM:

Screenshot_20170319-102218.png

And it hit me hard with the wonderment of this existence in my life. You know, happiness. What is missing? What is lacking? Am I happy with my life here in Edmonton?

With all this information smacked together – I have come to this vortex of knowledge.  The Oprah light bulb moment or “AH-HA” rang its bell. My intentions for Edmonton was money. Pure and simple. I moved to this city out of a place of desperation. I left Montreal crumbled, beaten down and exhausted. I moved back to Alberta and specifically Edmonton because I needed a fresh start, I needed a job in my field and I needed to crush some immediate debt that I acquired living in Montreal.  I was over extended everywhere.

 

However, since I now have paid those debts. Had my debt fatigue trips. And have re-budgeted for student loan payments. I am thinking, what’s next? I am month two into this and I just feel drained. I lack a drive and desire to do things. Be social. Have fun. I feel like everything goes back to money. I don’t want to drink because I don’t have money. I don’t want to drink because  am on a diet.  I don’t have money because I am spending $1000 a month on debt repayment. I want to be skinny but can be fucked to eat right buuuut my weight is wearing on my self confidence. There is always fucking something that limits me … and you know what guys, that something is me. That something is my intentions. That something is an unwillingness to go it alone and explore Edmonton for what it really has to offer.

In light of signing my lease for another year. And officially staying in Edmonton for awhile – I have decided to give it my all.  Because I know that debt repayment is happening I can now set my intentions on other things like – weigh-loss, building a social community, developing my creative space online via this blog, Instagram and twitter and just being here. This is a huge shift. This means maybe reworking my schedule, maybe feeling uncomfortable, maybe learning to not let my anxiety take over my life. But there is only one person that can change things and that person is me. Sometimes you need to change up the routine, apply for new jobs, work on your passion projects and really see the fruits of your labor.

With that in mind I want to know from you:

Are you in love with your life? How did you make that happen? Could you have more? How are you challenge yourself to be happier?

LEAVE ME SOME LOVE IN THE COMMENTS &

PLEASE FOLLOW ME – HELP ME GROW MY COMMUNITY!

XOXO,

C