Oh Hi, new job, new life and new adventures ….

Someone had to stand up for me … it might as well of been me  ….

The cat is outta the bag; the metal bars of fear have finally broken: the cheesy lines are a rollin’ and alas change is finally here!

 

“You’ve got to let go of who you were, to become who you will be.”

Friends, Family, Readers … I have finally done it. I have resigned from both my jobs. I have resigned from this life I have created in Edmonton. I have resigned from this insanity. I have finally admitted to myself that I am fucking tired.  I have finally decided that I need to put myself, my health and my mental sanity first. And  … stop doing things I think I should do and start doing things I want to do.

I jumped, arms swinging, heart chakra bursting open to something new.  It is terrifying and super exciting. I have not figured out all the details, I have not sorted everything out, I have not even figured out anything accept on Sunday the 27th of August my journey begins.

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For some time now I have been feeling stressed and depressed and over worked and under paid and dealing with a lot of bullshit and I hit my breaking point. I hit it like a semi truck on a squirrel running across the highway.  It was gnarly. I have felt undervalued and a victim of an abusive work environment. I have taken it out on my kitchen, on my refrigerator and now on my waistline and I am just done. I need to take back what the last two years has stolen from me.

 

 

Everything I was trying to get together has fallen apart because I am so stressed. Working has been all I do, all I talk about and I have given everything with no payoff. My finances are a mess, I gained back all the weight I lost, I am struggling with vegan choices, I struggle with going to the gym. I have lost control of myself, my emotions and my prowess for awesomeness. I got lost. I forgot who I was because I got busy trying to be someone I am not.

Why am I sharing this … because I am gawd damn excited. And with that you should expect the return to travel adventure blogging and vlogging …  lots of laughs and smiles and a whole lots less stress.

Have you even just stood up and said FUCK IT. I’m done?!

I wanna hear all about it below!

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Having a time in Halifax. 2012

 

pulling yourself out of an anxious rut

Confession: I have been writing posts then promptly deleting them.

Lately, my anxiety has been super bad.  Bad enough that I read up on psychedelic drugs use for mental health healing. If you know me at all – you know that I have zero problem with this. It’s not a far stretch for me to consider this – however, my research tells me that this treatment has only work for people that have had a crazy trip. And – if I am being honest psychedelics were never really my thing. Don’t get my wrong – I love a boogie. But I just chose different things. So I haven’t reached a point where I have turned to this. But I have noticed my stress and exhaustion have led to my face numbness again – that means stress, exhaustion and over worked.

(In case you are wondering – why the fuck I don’t take care of myself ?? – I recently booked a few weeks off of Starbucks to try and figure some shit out. I will still be working my full time job.)

The thing is I am putting undo stress on myself for fabricated reasons and fear. I have become hermited in my fear. I also have become not that interesting because I am not really doing much because I work all the time. I don’t have a lot to talk about because let’s face it – no one wants to hear about your work in a social setting.

Last night – I was having a conversation with someone – and it boiled down to this – I know what to do. I am just not doing it. I have let work take over my life, take over my health and take over my existence.  I am constantly jealous of what I think is other people’s freedom. So I wonder to myself – what is that cost of my freedom? What do I need to do to achieve it?

I know my freedom will cost around 60k. The sum of my debts. But getting there is a lot of work. A lot of fucking work. At which I am sacrificing a lot of other things.

I think I come back to the same things, over and over again.  And I realize that I need to figure out how to let myself have a better balance. I need to chose my priorities.  I can’t in fact have everything as a priority because there isn’t enough time. So, is debt repayment my focus? Is weight loss my focus? Is creating a business my focus? Is forging new friendships my focus? Is relationship building my focus? Because clearly I don’t have the time or energy to do all of these things.

In life, we try things. Sometimes those things don’t work the way we want them to. So we get up and try again. I have been late bloomer my entire life. Nothing new there. I spent a long time (all of my 20ies) trying not to feel because of a dubious upbringing and background. I have forever thought I was not good enough and I wasn’t worth it. And sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me and I go back to that dark place. I forget who I have become – that I have all sorts of wonderful things. And that the universe is giving me exactly what I need. Right now the universe is teaching me a lot of things.

Instead of analyzing it to death I decided step up, step out and get myself back on track. I also need to figure out what that mysterious thing is suppose to look like. Does it involve a tiny home? Does it involve a husband? Kids? Travel? My own business? Do I live in Costa Rica?  Bali? What am I working so hard for? When will I publish my book?

What is on your goal list? How are you going about achieving it?


PS; if you were reading a few weeks back when I was talking about my fun things to do – I officially signed up for rowing starting May 9th, 2017!

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

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:

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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

Laser Tattoo Removal

Here we are … I did it! Well I mean, I just began the process to get the beast off my leg. The art of tattoo-ing has come so far in the last 10 years. Gone are the days of flash. Hello are the days of LASER tattoo removal. You are probably wondering why I would even get a tattoo lasered off my leg …

It boils down to one fucking thing – I hated the disaster of a tattoo on my leg!

The more I looked at it and the more people questioned what it was, the more insecure I felt about it. I am on a journey in my life right now to find inner happiness and peace and all that zen shit and I really just want to be proud of the tattoo that takes up some serious real estate on my leg.

The tattoo was once a 3 heart-ed fairy dust ode to some friendships I made in my early twenties with some of the women I worked with. At the time I didn’t realize they were just trying to care for me and mother me and love me – at the time they were my friends. I still remember the day Nell showed up on my door in Antigonish. It was so amazing and beautiful and what friends do.  Many years later after my friendships dwindled because of distance and a heavy dose of drugs became the norm I caught feelings in what was to become a very painful relationship. I got the hearts covered with a lotus. I was determined there was beauty at the bottom of this ugly pond I was swimming in and the tattoo cover up was to be a reminder to find beauty anywhere – the thing is – the tattoo turned out to be a disaster … and for a long time I embraced it in my life. A beautiful mess of running, disappearing and evasiveness.

Fast foward through a bunch of personal blogs, and randomness and growth and running and rock bottom and here I am – in Edmonton – the last place I thought I would ever be and I am making it work. And as fucking cheezy as it sounds healing my broken wings – refusing to take shit from know one (no matter the cost) and dealing with all the shit that I didn’t have time to deal with before … like fixing the gawd awful mess on my legs.

 

That’s all folks – until next time!

xoxo,

C

 

 

Seoul Train.

So you want to live & work in Korea?

Or … you want to fuck off abroad but don’t have the cash to do it … teaching ESL – it’s a thing.

I have a had a lot of adventures abroad. Of all my adventures;  one of the most common questions I am asked is about teaching English abroad – in particular in South Korea. Even though that adventure took place some years ago I’m still asked how I did it?!

 How did I managed to take my small town Canadian white girl arse and land a teaching gig in Seoul!?!?

Actually, getting a job in Korea might be the easiest, hardest part of the process. My first trinket of advice is: GET A RECRUITER! They are essential. You DO NOT need to pay a recruiter. If they are charging you – find another company. I used Footprints Recruiting.   (if it is your first trip abroad teaching English – they will help you with EVERYTHING!!)  A good school will pay for your visa, flight (upfront – they just send the flight information), airport pick up and apartment.

DO YOUR RESEARCH! Recruiters are great but they are also there to fill positions at schools. Look up on a map where the school is located. Are you close to the metro? close to downtown? Are you in the city you want to live in? There are A LOT of Western people teaching in Korea – English speakers are everywhere but the last thing you want is for someone to tell you your area is close to city center and then find out when you get there – it isn’t. Be firm. But also don’t expect your rookie contract to be next to Namsung Tower.

There are two types of schools you will likely get a job at:

HAGWON: This is a privately run school. It is usually an after school program for kids. As you will learn most Korean kids are in hagwons for EVERYTHING. Small classes, guaranteed. It also means that you will be working after normal school hours (like till 8 or 10pm). Sometimes they are shady as shit. I worked at a hagwon – just ask to speak to one of the teachers from the school before you sign a contract.

Hagwon (Korean: 학원; also hagweon or hakwon) is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram school prevalent in South Korea.

PUBLIC SCHOOL: Exactly what it sounds like. You will have a full class of students in a normal school. If you can get in (hard to get on with the Public schools – it is dependent on the time of year you want to go to Korea) – the pay is better structured. Usually there are less foreign staff at these school. Everyone I know that work for the public system stayed longer in Korea.

ACTUALLY TEACHING ENGLISH: Teaching is not overly hard. I worked at a hagwon so there were lesson plans created and lists of teaching games and resources. Other staff shared tricks; I had co-teachers that taught the same kids. I learned more about English teaching English then I ever thought possible. English is a difficult language. There are a lot of irregular verbs, words and there is mostly no logic. Teaching makes you think about punctuation like you never have and ALL the things that you just know because you are a speaker and it sounds right. Korean kids all have cell phones with translators. They drop vocabulary words that are not wrong but totally out of context. The great thing about teaching in Korea is most kids have a vested interest in learning because they want to get into a super good University. Therefore they need English.

You do not need a teaching degree to teach English in Korea – but you do need a degree – in any subject. 4 years from a University.

LIVING IN KOREA:  It is not exactly like life in North America. But let’s be real – you didn’t move half way around the world for it to be similar. It takes some time to get accustom to Korean culture and way of life. Different religious influence. Utmost respect for Elders. Beautiful language. Busy, busy Asian life. Eating with chopsticks. Never understanding anything anyone says. Drinking excessively.  Only having 2 English TV channels for down time. Korean food. Korean beer. Korean people. Skype life. Time change to anything familiar.  Drunk Skyping friends at home. Maybe being taller than everyone. Only drinking bottled water. Guessing at food in restaurants. Being pointed at.  Drinking. Matching couple outfits. Plastic surgery. Being University educated yet completely illiterate. Living in a xenophobic culture where you are on the losing end. People being racist fucks to you for being a different color. Being told to go back to your own Country. Being touched – by strangers- on the metro. So so so so so many people.  There is so much more!  Did I mention the drinking? South Korea is an experience that you embrace at whatever level you want. The more you dive in and learn the more you benefit from your experience.

After a lot of teaching contracts, in lots of Countries I have learned there are two types of foreigners: those that embraces it, tried the food, learned some of the language, explored the country, took in everything they could and those that fucking hated it.If you hate it – fucking leave. No one wants to hear you bitch endlessly about how much you hate it. No one will want to be friends or hang out with you. Don’t be a dick. If you hate it, don’t spread your negative energy to all the people having a time. Figure out a way to be less scared of things you don’t know and become a better person for living the experience.

Korea was one of my favorite teaching experiences. I have  an overwhelming love for the friends I made, the deliciousness of Korean food, booze and culture.  I have more friends roaming the globe than I have in my current city from traveling so much. There is so much to talk about when it comes to the experience of embracing a new culture.  Friendships made in an experience that changes your life tend to be people you bond with for life.

I am not the ‘be all end all’ of Korean experiences and this post just barely scratches the surface of my time there – Different people had different co-teachers and different areas to live, different experiences. That being said – Korea was worth every tear drop of fear, every weekend of yellow liver failure diarrhea from drinking too much and every delicious bite of bipimbop. So if you are thinking you might want to do it – you should!

If you have more questions comment below, and I will answer as best a girl can.

Until laters, Chingu!