Today is Strange.

I am literally having the strangest day ever.

Let me paint the picture for you:  It is about 430pm on a Monday – I am sitting in my car – a 2013 FIAT 500 2 door, hatchback – in Nose Hill Park in Calgary, overlooking the city – it is a pretty nice fall day.  I am anxious as fuck. I woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to write or create or something like that, mostly I just felt like I needed to get outta the house. It is hard for me to be in my own home (to be clear by own home I mean the room I rent in Calgary that is literally just a room rental). I left my house twice with my laptop thinking I wanted to find a café to drink a tea and finish a post I was writing about getting my finances in order. But I left both of those places feeling … off. And now, strangely enough, here I am, parked in my car with a beautiful view –  with my laptop, writing in my car.

I feel suffocated.

I feel so suffocated that I need to roll down my window in a dusty wind situation.

I have been feeling suffocated a lot lately. I am feeling that – plus unsure and not knowing. I feel lonely. I feel sad. I am eating my feelings one bag of NoName Sour Cream & Onion chips at a time. I am literally filling my body with swill. Every time I look in the mirror I make a comment in my head about my weight and how I look. I feel gross. It is like I stopped caring but I haven’t – like I have given up but I haven’t … I dunno what is going on in my head but here I am sitting in my car looking at the changing fall leaves feeling like something big is about to happen. I can feel it.

You know for a long time in life – I really used to think there was no harm in believing you were better than you were. Growth, you know. But as I approach my 40th year around the sun  I think it might be time that I take a different approach. Less dreaming, more reality. One time someone asked me if I still believed I was going to have a charmed life – he knew his life would be mediocre – at the time I didn’t realize that I was the very thing I hated. I believed I was better than I was, entitled to more than I am and was so gawd damn obtuse about it I didn’t know I was thinking it.

The winds of change have arrived.

The thing I am learning all the time is to feel less guilt and feel less shame and learn to feel more happiness, freedom and strength. I am a master of self help reading but not a master of self help doing.

I used to be an all-in kinda lady. Like if I was going out and getting fucked up – I was coming home the most fucked up, if I was getting high I was getting so gawd damn high I couldn’t keep my eyes open – like the kind of high that people worried about you (Gawd I miss that). There was no just have one beer or two. It was all or nothing. Then I spent a long time being a nothing gal. Recently I have decided I want to be a half in Gal. Somewhere along the way t become a better human I forgot that humans need to have fun. Then I realized I forgot what fun was like. I realized that I have become a hermit.

Anyway, sitting in my car I realized how great it would  to actually go after one of my big dreams. for example – I have wanted to rebuild the interior of a van to live and work in. I have been dreaming of the tiny living for sometime. Instead of committing to a sprinter van and a permanent van home – maybe I can commit to a caravan and weekend warrioring. See what I am getting at – I set my bar to high and then get sad when I don’t achieve it.

I have an end of year move thought lingering in my head, a huge debt repayment happening and then things will begin to shift. I am ready.

Self reflection, Friends, it is a part of growth. It is needed. In whatever strange way to let it happen. For me, today, it is sitting in my car on the top of a hill, writing out my feelings. Thanks for coming along of the journey.

Where are you at in your goals for 2019? Are you making things happen??

xoxo,

C

 

The One Where I Talk About Debt Fatigue and What I Am Doing About It.

 

 

Debt fatigue occurs when a debtor becomes overwhelmed by the amount of debt incurred and the seeming futility of the debt repayment process, and it may result in a debtor giving up on making loan payments and beginning to overspend again.

This is for real and my life. DEBT FATIGUE. As of April 2019, I am feeling some serious debt fatigue. I have a few weeks of holidays right now. When I bid for these holidays, I actually had thought I was going to be in Asia for a few weeks. I am not in Asia – I am sitting on my friends couch hanging out with her cat listening to podcasts and writing this blog. I am not in Asia because I don’t have money to be in Asia. Since shit went down in my life in Montreal I have been very careful with my spending and hyper focused on paying off my debt. But the reality of focusing on paying off debt is that I have been feeling the debt fatigue for awhile.

The thing is I am not even sure if it is debt fatigue or if I am just not making enough money.

In the past I have made some really bad financial decisions. I bought into the student loan thing for a university degree then I bought into it again for a college diploma – and now I am working a full time job that I am not sure I even need post secondary for … I am now looking for a second job that is so far removed from either of those things just so that I can pay off students loans for a degree and a diploma that I am not using in the conventional sense.

About every 6 months debt fatigue happens to me. Everything goes to shit. I stop paying my bills, break free and do something financially stupid. Go on a trip or spend my entire payday on shit that I don’t need. Or just stop paying my bills. It gets so damn exhausting paying bills and putting everything towards my debt. I then feel guilty and spend like 6 months recovering from the financial mistakes that I made. The thing is sometimes it feels like I am not even making a dent in my overwhelming amount of student loans.

I have written about side hustles in the past. I have had 2 jobs many times in my life – I have no aversion to hard work, but I promised myself I wouldn’t work two jobs when I started flying. But after almost 2 years I think I am looking to restore a little bit of balance into my life. See I invest 20% of my payday, every payday into stocks. I am building a nest egg to pay off my loans – but that is leaving me with not so much money when its all said and done. – not so much for right now money. So, I end up flying more, then I am gone more and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. I need to be home a bit more and the only way I can do that is if I make money from another source. And here we are May 2019.

It is Wednesday night, May 1st and I am listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to refocus my priorities. I do realize that this might mean doing things that I don’t want to do. Manifesting debt reduction is happening. My plan is in place. I just need to keep pushing myself. It has come to my realization that I need to use my free time to make some more money – it doesn’t matter what it is just need to put cash in my bank account.

So what do I do about the debt fatigue??

• Stop, Breathe, Relax, Put my wallet and credit card away.
• Start applying for second jobs and ways that I can bring in extra income.
• Only drink free coffee on the airplane, drink free coffee in the hotel room, stop buying coffee out – goodbye Starbucks for a little while (yes, the latte affect)!
• Think about it, write about it, put my stress onto paper instead of on my waist line or my bank account.
• Look at the money growing in my stocks and see the nest egg I am building that is making it all worth it!!
• Remind myself how cool thrifting is and how wicked it is for the planet and how lucky I am that I have a uniform job, so I don’t need to invest in work suits and clothing that I would never wear in real life.
• Make a new budget that is more attainable.
• Talk money with my friends see what they are doing – how are they making ends meet?
• Realize I am not alone but also realize that everyone’s journey is different.
• Remind myself that future me will thank present me for getting a second job and getting my shit together!
• Breathe in some lavender and relax!
• Budget into my spending that this will probable happen again in 6 months time and plan for it, because making a financial plan to work through expected debt fatigue is probable the smartest thing I can do.

Have any tips for me on dealing with debt fatigue? I would love to hear them!

10 Introverted Side Hustler Things To Do for Fun When You Are Spending Your Money Paying Off Your Debt!

Let me paint the picture for you: It is Good Friday. I worked a redeye from Cancun the night previous and we were mega delayed. Like mega, mega delayed – we were supposed to land at 5 am – we didn’t land till 7am. I had thought that what I would do was sleep for like 6 hours and go to this interview. But by the time I got home from work and got into bed it was close to 10am. But I made a commitment – so on 3 hours of sleep I decided against my better judgement to go this interview for a job that I seriously didn’t even want.

Now I am at a job interview for a place that I literally have no interest in working at … it happens. I want more money. The thing is they ask me what I do for fun. I froze. I literally had no idea what to say – like what do I do for fun these days. It got me thinking probably in a way that I shouldn’t be thinking but seriously it just made me assess what was going on with my life. What the fuck do I do for fun? Who the fuck am I these days …

I literally thought to myself – I don’t have money to have fun. I am that strapped for cash. That is why I am at an interview to work at a smokehouse as a vegan – because I need money so I can have more fun. But this also made me think what are the things that I do do to entertain myself while I focus on paying my bills.

Here is the thing – more than ever before, right now, my primary focus is to pay off my debt. I eat, breathe, sleep paying my bills. Even when I have no money to make the bill payments, I make them – and live off of practically nothing so that I can get myself ahead financially. If you are wondering – it fucking sucks. But I am banking on future me to be happy that past me hunkered down and paid off my fucking bills.

I mean telling someone that what I do for fun is sending hilarious memes to my friends because I can’t afford actual fun seems kind of pathetic but right now it is the truth.

So here are 10 thing I do for fun  – someone that is super introverted, looking for a side hustle and mostly into things that don’t cost me money:

1) Drink coffee or tea and walk on the Calgary/local trails: this is one of my favorite spring/summer/fall things to do. The city I live in is FULL of wicked trails on creeks and rivers and all nature like and honestly I am not tired of them yet. I make coffee or tea and home or bring a hydroflask of water and literally wander for hours. Good for the soul, good for the heart, good for the pocket book.

2) Hike in the Mountains: There are so many awesome trails in day trip proximity to Calgary. If you stay out of Banff you can hike for free. And if the word hiking sounds intimidating – honestly it’s walking in the Mountains. You can make this whatever you want to make it. Download the ALLTRAILS app – you can find all the cool trails near you and it is free.  I wear my thrifted flannels, my Blundstones and bring a backpack. Honestly you don’t need expressive hiking gear to do this and pack a lunch and snacks. If you are extra smart you might pack a few ciders and leave them on ice for when you are done the trail! You could make a small one-time per year investment and get a park pass for the Mountains – it would be worth your while!

3) Netflix: Yes this is a month expense but honestly, I am paying for it anyway so might as well use it. I went through a phase where I was all about watching documentaries. Now I am on a kick where I am trying to watch all the classic movies that I never watched when I was younger. I am embarrassed to admit there is a super long list. I was busy traveling and being outside and going to raves to care about movies back in the day.

4) YouTube: Watch and Create!! There has been a lot of years that I have wanted to be a YouTuber – vlogger. I just travel so much for work that I thought it would be interesting. I love Youtube is it so fun. There are lots of people I follow. It is honestly mega fun to make videos. Everyone that has some sort of phone – use the camera, make the videos, string them together. Just start. Anyone can do this and if you are good enough one day it might be your side hustle but mostly its just fun as fuck to create things.

5) Podcasts: Listen and Create. This is another platform that I love. It is something to do. Literally you can create voice recording on your phone and upload them. Interviewing my friends is super fun to do – just talking without having to actually look presentable is pretty wicked.

6) Take Photos: Instagram. I love taking photos. The camera on my phone is awesome. Why not just find cool spots in the city to take photos and go for it. It is totally free to do and to upload. I have 1000s of wicked photos – if you put in a little google search you can find the coolest places to take photos in most cities.

7) Volunteer (at music festival) – I used to be a mega festival go-er. Times have changes. Money is tight. So now I find a couple festivals I would love to go to and I sign up to volunteer. It keeps me busy AND I get a free festival pass for volunteering. I meet amazingly cool people, still get take in the music and get myself into way less trouble because I have festival commitments AND it just win-win in my mind. Volunteer (the animal sanctuary) – hanging out with animals, spending time outside, learning some new life skills – I think finding things you are passionate about and getting involved is so good for your mental health. If that is working with animals or volunteering with kids. The point of this on is basically just volunteer for things that you find interesting so you can meet people with the same interests. Get involved in your community.

8) Writing/Blogging. Free as fuck. It is just your mind. WordPress is free. You just need to sit down and hammer it out. I love working through my life by writing it out. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. The dream is to write a book – current mission write the plot summary and book ideas out chapter by chapter and then giver.

9) Read: I love non fiction. I really, really love self help. But that doesn’t mean I don’t read other stuff. I trade books, borrow book, use my library card, use the libby app to read online. There are all sort of ways to get free material. Sometimes it is really good to just shut the internet connections down and get lost in a book. Whatever your like.

10) Try new recipes!! I realize this isn’t free but we all have to eat. I love to cook. I love trying new vegan recipes. I love testing out things in the kitchen. This is a good excuse to find cool things to try online or in one of the many cookbooks that I have. Also a great excuse to have friends over – sharing food is the best.

Bonus) Have a few drinks with my friends, drink coffee with my friends – eat out with my friends, travel with my friends – while it is really, really good to stay on top of my finances – it is also super good to spend some money and to not always go the cheap route. It is super duper important to occasionally spend money on yourself. To treat yourself and to say yes to some of the social outings that are offered to you.

 

So here I am folks at the local Second Cup spending my early evening doing something that I find fun which is writing this blog post and think about what I am going to do for my next staycation day.

 

Things I Think About: Burnout & Life Trajectory

 

It is my morning off. I am in Calgary, drinking my very large McDonald’s coffee in my bed watching Youtube – because I have next to zero responsibilities until 1135pm when I need to check in for work. It is a rare occasion I am home alone; the weather has broken its unbearable cold snap to a balmy -4C and it has been a mega mood shifter. Things today seem like they are a -ok. However, the last month or so things have been far from okay.

The truth is – I have been crying a lot lately. And I think we don’t talk about being sad enough. People get sad and it is okay.

I have known for many years that I struggle with winter depression and this winter hit me hard – like really hard. I don’t know if it is the extreme cold the last few weeks, or so much other chaos in my life. But seriously I haven’t cried this much in years. I know it is healthy to let out the frustration but LORDY it has been a lot. Feeling this way always leads to me over committing and under delivering in my life, to my friends, to my family and to basically anyone – I then over-work to deal with all my stress. Because I am a grown ass woman and dealing with stress by working too much is obviously the way to handle life.

One of my biggest, crippling life stressors is finances. I have a lofty goal of crushing out my student loans in the next couple years and I literally have a plan and I am sticking to it. But fuck me it is hard to stay on track and literally limit social interactions just so I can pay off my debt. I am literally barely dressed drinking my coffee reading up on side hustles and wondering if I had an online business what exactly would I sell?! I would love to just get all those bad ass brand deals by posting videos of me drinking umbrella drinks on my overnights in warm locations, but I do actually think it is more work than that. ‘Cuz well imagine if it was that easy? Why would any of us have Monday to Friday jobs?!

Yesterday morning while I was in Puerto Vallarta, I was recording an episode on my podcast about feeling burnt out. I actually found a Forbes articles detailing signs of burn out and I think I hit all 10 of them with a ‘bang on – ya, I sure am’.

See I think that the first part of fixing any sort of life problem is actually realizing you have the problem. Then the fun part begins and that is figuring out  how to solve the problem – like what do I do to stop the burn out from happening because girl needs a payday and also a vacay (that rhythmed and I am very okay with that).

So today I am just being a social media whore. I am writing, I am searching, I am signing up for freelance work websites – I am literally doing all of this from my bed because it feels like I am kind of resting all while getting shit done. Is it the dream? I am not sure but today it feels right!

I am actually curious what the rest of the world does to deal with burn out. How do you deal with that stress of it all? The stress of life? I mean as I approach 40 things seem to be so different than before, life is different – I actually started worrying about different things like retirement funds and buying property and if I will ever be able to retire. I wonder if I will eventually need to settle for a man that is ill suited to me because I long for some sort of companionship that I have yet to find. I think about all sort of things that on the surface seem really, really sad but are just a harsh truth. These are things I think about.

We all get there in life. It happens. We need money, we work too hard, and then we negate all the other things in our life that create balance. I am well aware of the fact that I have lacked balance in my life for a long ass time because I over work ALL THE DAMN TIME. But the truth is it is all on me to fix. There isn’t another person that can fix my trajectory but me. Being aware of your situation certainly helps in the process – because we all know you can’t fix something you don’t know is broken. So it just leaves me with this isolated feeling of what my next steps should be. Am I paralyzed in my own fear? yes – it is hard to make decisions when you feel stressed and burnt out.  It’s so easy to shut the word out and just focus on pushing through and not really thinking of anything else but making it to your end goal. But that just leads to all sorts of questions about what life is really for, right?! like am I having a good enough time? am I laughing enough? do I have enough people around me that support me? Am I enough?

Anyway – here I am just thinking about things – lots of things – am I the only one?


 

 

2019: Bucket Lists & Tangible Goals

  • Location: Cancun, Mexico
  • Currently Eating/Breakfast: Mexican Doritos with cilantro guacamole and a light coke (weight watchers fail)
  • Smokes: Zero (but it is still early)

It is actually really nice in Cancun today. It is 27C but the sun isn’t shinning bright and it doesn’t really feel like a beach day for me today. I am not overly sad about that but mostly because I am exhausted. After a few drinks last night I literally slept for 13 hours. I absolutely had to have the melatonin to sleep because my anxiety has been so bad that I literally cant get more than 3 or 4 hours at a time lately.  My body clock is off and I am ready for a few days off.

This week I actually got into a conversation with someone about top 10 bucket list items. I literally rattled off a few things that have been on my bucket list for YEARS … like I am talking a decade – that I have actually never done and always thought – one day, one day I will do that. I wrote down a list in my bullet journal of bucket list stuff and realized that I needed to make some tangible goals about actually achieving some of the items.  I mean it is a bucket list so there are lots of items on there that are massive undertakings and require a certain about of money to make happen. This time I actually added to the list things that I never had before like … PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS  … things like that are seriously a slow progression and not happening without hard work and a whole lot of budgeting.

In the spirit of “its the end of the year and I should makes goals for 2019” – I actually thought it would be fun to list out some of my bucket list items and to actually try and accomplish one of them in 2019. I haven’t decided completely but honestly if you don’t take a dream, analyze it to death and start with small steps to the bigger goal it’ll never get done.

So here is my top 10ish list as of today:

  1. Take the train from Beijing to Moscow via Mongolia

  2. Stay in an ashram in India/travel India

  3. Travel through the ‘Stans – but mostly Uzbekistan 

  4. go to Rythmia healing centre in Costa Rica

  5. Write & Publish a novel

  6. Become a successful content creator on youtube or a blog or podcast or some combination of all of the above

  7. Open a vegan coffee shop/café/ sustainable food place

  8. Make a vegan cook book

  9. Pay off my loans and have a moment to understand what debt free feels like

  10. Buy a Sprinter Van (or something similar) and convert it into a living space – tiny house life

 

Now that is a list Friends – The thing that I have learned over the years is that if I set myself unrealistic goals then I will surely never accomplish them. But if I am truthful to myself about things I can actually accomplish I am more likely to see success and keep going.

Lets break down the things I think I want to work on in 2019:

Goal 1: Paying down my debts. This has been something I have been working on for while now but I actually made a practical debt repayment plan in the spring of 2018 that I am still following and if all goes to plan I will be completely debt free in 2.5 years. All the hard work I have been doing with actually start to slowly show its efforts this year but I do owe a chunk of money to student loans and when you compare that to my annual income  – it is a lot for me. So I guess without going into to much detail on that bucket list item  – just know I am working on it and I won’t see the end of that for a couple more years.

Goal 2: I would like to do one of my travel bucket list items this year. If I am being truthful the train trip is gonna be super expensive and I just don’t have the money for that right now  (see goal one) …  And I don’t actually want to take that much time off of work just yet – so that leaves me with Uzbekistan and Costa Rica – both on the list, both take less time. So I will spend the next couple of weeks researching and seeing what I actually need to make those trips happen, look into cost and visas and all the things and start planning that for one of my holidays this year. Small goal, easily accomplished.

Goal 3: The vegan eBook. I get people asking me all the time for recipes and if they can come over for food I have prepared. I love cooking. I have a vegan Instagram right now that I have been building followers on. I just think it would be super fun to figure out how to actually put together and ebook or cookbook of all my favourite recipes.  Maybe just one recipe a week for the year and get it published for Christmas. We will see – also something that needs to be planned out and researched and photographed and edited and all the things.

So here I am, December 30th, in Cancun I have a few more hours to soak up the warm weather and then off to Vancouver.  What is on your bucket list? Have you been trying to break down some of that list into things you can actually accomplish? Leave me a note below sharing your top 2019 must do!!

All the Love,

C

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

tell tale signs of impending change

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Fig.1:  When I need to clear my head, clear my thoughts, I go to the water.  Reykjavik Iceland. Greenland Sea.

 

I have a huge decision to make. HUGE. And while for some people that is super easy for some reason at this point in my life (or maybe all points) I am really struggling with decisions. I stress like an overthinking motherfucker, I lose sleep, I talk to everyone about, I even go as far as being physically unable to sleep, socialize or do anything normal because of it.

In my later years I have noticed patterns or things I do when a massive change in my life is about to occur:

  1. Anxiety. My anxiety reaches an all encompassing level.  I literally walk around in days in a full blown anxiety attack. I even wish I had friends these days with Xanax or something of that nature. I have an inability to focus, to have conversations, to just be a normal person doing normal things.
  2. I buy hair dye. Currently at home I have lavender and pastel pink, both wash out in 6 washed but nonetheless I bought the hair dye – lots of hair dye. I then do something stupid to my hair. I usually then spend 6 months repairing said stupid hair decision.
  3. UNSUBSCRIBE.  This time I unsubscribed to all the YouTubers I was following who weren’t aligned with my current mission. I also deleted Facebook and YouTube from my phone. In the past I have deleted social media apps – take away all social influence.  I also turned off notifications to everything on my phone so I am not getting 5000 little icons telling me to watch videos, pay attention to traffic, weather pop ups and everything else. I shut off.
  4. Clean out my closet and donate. This will inevitably be a weekend project. But I have so many things that I don’t wear, don’t fit or are just not right. Get rid of old me stuff.
  5. Eat up all the things in my freezer. I am a meal prep machine. Often I make extra so I can freeze them. But every now and again my freezer goes all crazy and I need to eat up everything and start fresh.
  6. Clean out my cupboards. Same concepts. Clean out and regroup.
  7. Drink tea. Tea is so relaxing and it makes you think. I forget to attempt to shut everything off.
  8. Think about it to a point that I can no longer write about it.
  9. Finally reach a point that I can write  – hello blog post?!@
  10. Agonize over every possible life solution and try to make what I deems is a sound, grown up decision.

The truth is since I moved to Edmonton. Life hasn’t been that much fun. I have had fun times but over all I feel low most of the time. I have consistently worked 50-60 hours a weeks to at first catch up on bills and now to pay for my life.  In the last year I have dabbled on and off with weight watchers in hopes to get back to my healthy self. However, it has proven to be incredible difficult with working so much. So a few months ago I decided I needed a better paying job. I needed to change things up. I needed something different.  So my decision is contemplating a shift. Choosing me and health before choosing a job and money.

 

I got offered something that isn’t in my field that I would be a perfect fit for. I accepted it instantly doing all the things I need to do to make it happen. Then I realized my current life with all my bills that the perks of this job  wouldn’t be perks because I would never be able to actually use them making me wonder if it really is worth it. Enter Crisis.

So now I am about a few weeks out and I need to make decisions. I need to wake up, smell the coffee and get all grown up about what my actual needs, desire and wants are. What the fuck do I want my life to look like?

As I savagely tear apart my apartment I wonder what the universe has in store of me. See I have known for a long time there are no right or wrong decisions just choices. And with every choice there are pros and cons and you just have to fucking deal with the consequences of your choices. How do you make a decision knowing all those things? I am proposing a plan. I am just going to throw it out in the universe and if it is meant to be, it’ll happen. Nothing else I can do about it.

How do you deal with impending change? What are you go to decision making solution? What do you do when you really want something but road blocks are there?

 

Why I HATE Christianity

I try really hard to not get into conversations that discuss Christianity.

I am not religious. Spiritual yes, Christian fuck no!

Christianity is a toxic topic for me and the drivel that comes out of my mouth when people talk about it is disgusting. It wasn’t until recent years that I realized that I hate the concepts of Christianity with every fiber of my being.

I remember a time when I was young and out at a sleep away camp. I forget the name of the camp but I was young and it was a new camp. I recalled being at a session where some Camp Counselor told me that unless I got down on my knees and begged God to be able to follow him I would never be a true Christian and I would burn in Hell.

I cried.

I had always been taught that God chose me. I felt confused and scared.

I didn’t want to do it, but I had too. I felt bullied into being a Christian.

Fast forward many years and my parents forced me to attend church and youth group. I HATED youth group because I always thought the kids where picking on me and didn’t want to be my friend. I was not in the same elite social circle of Paster’s kids at the time and they let me know it. And what was worse than all of that was – if I didn’t attend these two events on a weekly basis I wasn’t allowed to go out with my school Friends.

I think it was at that age I realized that Christians can be fucking assholes.

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So when people ask me about the church and about religion – I can go on a rant about how I think most Christian are assholes. And I do. I can pick out all the things that prove my point, all the bullshit around the stories of the Bible. I will go there if I need too. I have even gone so far as to delete certain friends from my social media feed because I can’t stand the Christian bullshit they post.

Yesterday at work we were talking about how people can only really have an opinion based on their unique experience at life. And while you, the reader or Friend, may feel completely different that I do about religion and Christianity. My opinions are shaped by a pretty menacing unfair undertone and by mistreatment and unfairness that was part of my childhood.

What I didn’t understand as a child but I understand now is that that camp counselor was dealing with something in their own right and that they felt that they needed to be a servant of Gad – that feeling had nothing to do with me.  My parents were dealing with whatever struggles they were presented with and that shitty treatment was their insecurity and anxiety and had nothing to do with me.

Humans are simple creatures. Attitudes, perceptions are always a reflection of yourself and what you are going through. So remember that the next time someone is telling you what kind of spirituality you need, or what kind of God you need to believe in. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

While I will likely never change my adult perception of Christians because of some super scaring childhood memories – it is best to understand it is completely based on my perspective. I have found something else that works for me.  And, so should you.

Love, Light and Perceptive.

xoxo,

C

 

 

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