words. branding. online badassery.

The fabulous world of the big bad web is all about buying into someone else’s product. If they have something you think you need and they have caught your eye, they have sold themselves and their product.

When you see what they are selling and think: “fuck yeah, that is going to work for me?”  You see their charisma, their charm, their everything and want to be it. Then you wonder how they created all sorts of online badassery? You are hooked, line and sinker. If you are anything like me, you wonder how they crafted such genius.

I have fallen into this trap SO MANY TIMES! Buying into someones product only to have it not work for me, most of the time failing. The thing is – these things don’t work for me for a million and one reasons but the biggest one is that person, that thing, that is their brand. While I am awesome in so many ways I am not their brand and I need to figure out my own persona, my own brand and my own me. Without a confident force of self to be reckoned with I think there will be no mass following. You need to deliver your awesomeness and not try to deliver someone else success filtered through you.

  1. I honestly think I just realized that I have been trying to find success through other peoples personas. In my works, in my relationships, in my friends, in my blogging and in my drafting. I need to rip off the fear band-aid and be unapologetically me. The only way it can ever work. The raw, blunt, funny, adventurous spirit that I am. The one that likes thrift-ed band tees and Birkenstocks. That person needs to learn how awesome she is and stop trying to figure things out based on what worked for other people.

You know lots of people boast on their YouTube or blog all about all the things they are amazing at – I struggle with that … I don’t want to feel like I am boasting so I don’t tell people I worked on 4 Continents.  That is not a lie, that is the truth. I often downplay and say I volunteered in Chile instead of saying I worked with the United Nations in South America. I see all these people shout all the amazing things they have done and it made me realize that it is all in the language, the approach and not apologizing for opening up doors for yourself. It is all how you present the material. You create that image with your words.

 WORDS ARE MAGIC!

How often do you confidently write about you and say to the world FUCK YEAH – I’m awesome?!

Yesterday night I popped by my parents and in a conversation with my Dad he said something he always says to me … that I have the same disease that he has wanting to explore. The difference between me and my father is this: I think calling yourself a disease is unhealthy, it doesn’t bring your confidence up – in fact it shows how little you value one of your biggest assets! Your sense of adventure, your need to be busy and your need to accomplish things and to learn. It is not a disease to want to learn, explore and adventure. It is doing yourself some disease by not pursuing a passion and by letting yourself be told what you need to do to have a life you don’t  want.

It is really, really hard to disassociate with comments people make. For the last decade I have dealt with all sorts of people telling me how I should go about living my life. And that I need this career and this desk job life and this security and the thing is … it’s boring as fuck. I am tired as hell of working 60 hours a week, I am tired as fuck serving coffee and working with immature entitled bitches. I am tired of this life I created for myself that isn’t really getting my anywhere. Holidays damn near financially break me. I am tired all the time. Life isn’t that fun and I am a goddamn hermit. What the fuck even is that?

All I have wanted to do for years is have my own thing, my own business, my own income and by golly I am going to fucking make it happen …. With all my potty mouthed eloquence.

So it is all how you market yourself, isn’t it?Are you marketing yourself a tired, washed up, low energy zombie and are you ready to face the big bad world on your own?

What words are you?

Self Help: Are We Really That Broken?

Why do we let the world tell us that we need to fix ourselves?

I confess that lately I have been obsessed with Mark Manson. I know I come with a ball of baggage in my life. Don’t we all?  I mean social media kind of makes us all think that everyone else is perfect and then we start comparing and then start thinking we suck.  But the truth is – nobody’s life is as cool as it looks on Facebook.  But did we need a book to tell us that?

I love self help reads. Sometimes I get so lost in my head I need to see things in a different light. I really spent a long time avoiding my life. And in the last 4 years I have been working a lot at unraveling my inner self. Sometimes doing the work makes me right sad because I realize how unintentionally horrible I was to someone or I realize how many pedestals I handed to people for no reason or how much blame I put on other people because I am bored, sad, frustrated, solo, tired etc.

Lately I realized that reading most of these books teach you about finding your self worth. I mean maybe they don’t all say that but they all force you to look within – see what maybe wasn’t right in front of you and try to force you into fixing it. I have been doing a lot of that lately. I wonder though – does self help good intention force you into a negative space before you even begin.  I just wonder if things are as bad as we think they are? Or do we force ourselves to see flaws by trying to fix ourselves. Maybe we were never that broken.

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

 

You know – people endlessly ask me about teaching English abroad. It is honestly something I get asked about with a pretty constant frequency even though I haven’t lived abroad is 5 years. Teaching life is pretty fun. However inasmuch as you make fast friends – there is something amazing about have friends you don’t need to share you back story with. While getting to explore all the time is fucking amazing – constantly worrying about contracts and resigning or new jobs and new Cities and what you are going to do with your stuff – annoying. Fast fashion in a new Country and trying to fit in and cramming that shit into a backpack to start all over again. Draining your finances and savings (never mind wrecking havoc on your minimalist journey!).  There is always another side. People want to hear all about the adventures but never really consider the other stuff.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. let it affect you or not.”

I often think about having my own business. I dream of being able to come and go as I please. I dream of traveling when I want  – Freedom to me means waking up and getting to do whatever I want each day. But sometimes I wonder if I am chasing an illusion. You know – it has been shoved down our throats that the path to success lies at the end of a successful homegrown company; that to achieve all sorts of freedom you need to break away for the 9-5 because 9-5 sucks.  There are endless books, webinars and people telling you that this is the way to happiness and success. This entire business is making you buy into self improvement.

But do we need it?

Lately I have been thinking about all these things I acquired to make my life sustainable in Edmonton. I have been thinking about the “stuff” needed to make myself normal. And I wonder if once you have opened your mind to other realities – can you bring yourself back to this reality – societies normal. I feel like I have been told I need to hang on to or attain all these things to find my own happiness but I am not sure if I will find the gold at the end of your rainbow – mine might point in another direction.

I mean am I walking advertisement for an overrated millennial? Or a younger hippie ? I don’t know. I mean all of us are just trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. And while we don’t think we aren’t influenced by the things we watch and the things we read. We are. We are told by the media what the way to success should be. We are spoon fed it and sometimes I hear myself giving the same media driving response because that is just they way things are supposed to be. (And yes – this even counts if you are reading or watching antimedia – you are still  been spoon fed societal opinions)  My new found adventure with Mark Manson is happening because it is the first book I have read in awhile that has said ’ you know what – sometime life gives you shit. But how are you going to deal with that?’ and the reality is – how the fuck are we going to deal with it?

So is self help just an industry like the rest – tell you you’re broken and you can fix yourself and these 5 books? Maybe. Maybe it is just our own fault for not questioning why we want things.

Do you read Self help? Are you on a journey to become better? How are you doing that?

Leave me some love 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