Eugenia Cooney is slowly dying while the world watches and nothing is getting done about it.

The role of the influencer is certainly an interesting one. You make videos of yourself and post them online. Eventually you get a following if you are consistent and entertaining enough. The theory is that anyone can do it. There are influencers in all areas, that cover some interesting and not so interesting topics. There are influencers for everyone. Once you reach a large enough audience you can basically market anything. This is primarily how these people make money.

But what if your influence isn’t about what kind of shampoo to buy or what protein powder is best but your influence is fostering an eating disorder with young women?!

Should you be allowed to continue on?

Should you be banned?

Should be have to have warnings on your content?

Should your content be age restricted?

What is your social responsibility as someone that has influence over millions of people watching your content?

Meet Eugenia Cooney.

I want to talk about Eugenia Cooney and her content.

Eugenia is a female Youtuber in her mid 20ies. I want to say 26. She is 5’6″ and last weighed in at 86 pounds.

Let that sink in.

She is visibly incredibly thin and not in the model sexy kind of way. She is thin in the SOMEONE TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL kind of way. She is visibly in the throws of an eating disorder.

In a video Shane Dawson did – there was conversation about having spent time in a “treatment centre” however there was never an admittance by her that she had an eating disorder or that there was something to be worried about. (Sidenote: She actually looked really healthy and pretty good on the video after her return from treatment.)

It was truthfully pretty scary that she took to the internet as soon as she returned home instead of taking care of her health and continuing to focus on her health journey.

Recently there is a petition going around to try to get her banned from social media so that she can spend time taking care of herself. Truthfully even with almost 50 000 signatures – it is unlikely that this will make a difference in social media banning her from producing content. It is clear that all she knows as a life is social media influencer. Be it Youtube or Twitch or whatever platform, she spends all of her time making content and showing off her very slender body.

The real truth is that SHE DOES NOT WANT ANY HELP (even though she desperately needs it).

Recently there has been a lot of discussion online about the decline of Eugenias’ health. There has been a resurgence of trying to get her care and a hope that collectively the audience can get her the help she needs and to see her return to a treatment centre. Back a few years ago, Jaclyn Glen put Eugenia in a situation were she was 5150’d and was forced into treatment because of her mental health. A 5150 is a 72 hours psychiatric hold that is involuntary. Once Eugenia was detained she then ended up in treatment for 6 months.

Upon her release she ended up returning to Youtube with a documentary that was orchestrated by Shawn Dawson (with the help of Kati Morton) the video seemed well intentioned but was not put together properly. It left Eugenia to pick up where she left off on social media which inevitably caused her demise and decent back into the grips of her eating disorder.

With 2.2 Million followers she is definitely someone of influence. She is absolutely showing young girls how to be and live as an anorexic. Her cosplay content showcasing her emaciated body should come with trigger warnings and be adult only content. This girl will absolutely lose her life while the world watches.

There have been so many creators try and help her out and it never works. Any type of criticism is received with the notion that people are haters. We, the people, created a world of cancel culture. And this is no different. Eugenia simply cancels anyone that makes a comment she does not like. If some one mentions her weight negatively – she calls them haters. If someone calls her anorexic – she claims she is fine. She talks in a high pitched tone and it appears the sicker she gets the higher pitched her voice becomes.

So what is the solution?

Stop watching in her content. Stop watching. Stop enabling.

Stop supporting the demise of a young woman.

I am truly not sure what the answer should be. I wouldn’t say I am an avid supporter of Eugenia because it isn’t really my interest: cosplay, Japanese animation, characters, anime in general. Just not my vibe. But the entire world is just watching her starve herself with nothing happening. It is crazy.

The truth is addiction and eating disorders are often enabled by people in your immediate life. In order for Eugenia to change there need to be a support system. It is going to be a completely new version of what her life is now, how she lives it and what it will look like without the pressures and ideals of social media. For a woman that makes all her income from being online – that is a HUGE career move. Not only does this affect her and her life but it also affects her family and their lives. It feels doubtful to me that she is NOT financially supporting her parents. So of course they would NOT be onboard to changing her career because their life suffers.

It is kind of like when kid actors get forced into more and more productions because their parents get accustoms to the money they are bringing in. Instead of saving their children’s money they start spending it. They then are requiring their children to continue to work so they can maintain their lifestyle. Selfish if you ask me – but happens all the time.

If you feel like you want to try and help … sign the petition linked here. And stop clicking on her videos.

Thoughts?!

Setting Boundaries

If there is one thing that I find incredibly difficult it is setting boundaries with people.

Second to that is properly expressing my feelings when they are hurt.

I am a HIGHLY sensitive human.

Sensitive to the point that something that happened months ago can boil up and hurt me at an unsuspecting time. I have over the years known this about myself and mostly learned to deal with it. But on occasion it creeps in out of nowhere and I lose control.

2020 has thrown me a mind fuck of a time – I honestly didn’t really vision me being unemployed for this long. I didn’t vision me wondering what to do with my life. I also didn’t plan on setting my bar high and going after some long term dreams.

But here I am … just doing that.

In the last few weeks I have really started to feel like connecting with other humans has become increasingly difficult. I don’t know if it is the people that I have chosen as friends, my fear of making new friends, or just an overall feeling of complete social isolation … but some sort of shit is happening and it is powerful.

I have realized that I, for the most part, have been (in the past) a pretty chill human being. I am flexible wth plans and flexible with changes … or at least I thought. I guess until now. I think that because I want to have social/friend time I become too flexible to other peoples schedules and then forget about myself in the process.

2020 has made me realize that I need to be more selfish. I need to be better at sticking to my guns and doing what I want and following the lead of others and making sure I take care of myself first.

Setting this type of boundary has definitely shaken up a lot of my friendships and relationships.

When you set boundaries you change your role in friendships and relationships – you change you position and it changes the dynamic.

And it is hard.

REALLY HARD.

Very few people talk about what happens in your world when you set personal boundaries – it gets lonely.

It gets lonely because all the people that were taking advantage of you and not respecting you are now put into question.

It is really hard to stand up for yourself and see that you are worth it. Your schedule is worth it and that people that don’t respect you are not people worth having in your life.

Forging a new path, a new dream – it takes work and dedication. The same with deciding how to let people treat you. You set the bar for appropriate behaviour – you choose.

You are worth someones full attention.

You are worthy of being a priority.

You are worth you goals and dreams.

You are worth standing up for yourself and not taking any shit for anyone.

Setting boundaries and setting the pace for what I need, for me, is honestly some of the hardest things for me to do. Because when I set boundaries I feel like I lose out on things. And honestly that isn’t the truth.

When you set boundaries you don’t miss out on anything. You get everything that you need for you.

If someone doesn’t want to respect you or your boundaries – if they don’t want to treat you as human – they are not worth it.

2020 has been a great year for reflection and understanding. Setting new goals and aspirations and seeing the shifts that we are all making as we adapt to what is now the norm.

Today I challenge you to stand up for yourself and set one boundary that wasn’t there before. Loudly state something that you need that you aren’t getting because of an action you are allowing (from yourself or someone else) – see how that feels …. and grow from it.

25 Things I Miss About Being A Flight Attendant

Flying is exhausting and hard work. It can be draining and challenging and push all your buttons. It can also be super fun. I miss the lifestyle of whizzing around and being a social butterfly. There are so many amazing things about being a flight attendant – here are some of the things I miss the most.

25 Things I Miss About Flying:

  • Always going places – the constant act of getting on a plane and being in different cities and sleeping in different beds. Motion. Always going.
  • Airplane cookies. Biscoff cookies. It is both embarrassing and staggering the amount of times I have eaten cookies and pretzels for breakfast. It has been months since I indulged in such behaviour.
  • Putting on high heels and the uniform and feeling suited up and acting the part.
  • Making new road friends every few days.
  • Sunsets in Mexico.
  • Hawaii. Just all of it – beaches and sunrises and humidity and Maitai’s
  • Getting all the fun stuff from all the places: Rumcream in Halifax. Coconut granola in Hawaii. All the American vegan foods pretty much anywhere in the USA. Colliding Tides in PEI – it is so amazing to pick up all my special treats on the road and bring them home I miss all those things.
  • Hot men in uniform. There are lots of men in lots of uniforms trolling the airports. It some nice eye candy.
  • Redeye flights and working all night.
  • Hypoxic giggles from flying to many hours in such a short amount of time.
  • The passengers. The good and the bad – but always interesting.
  • The drama.
  • Getting home from Mexico and cleaning sand out of my suitcase in the middle of the winter
  • St John’s, Newfoundland. I miss you.
  • Room Parties.
  • Paydays. Actually working my butt off for a huge payday and being rewarded with all that money to freely spend how I want.
  • Hotel room coffee in bed.
  • Awesome places to take badass photos.
  • Visiting my network of friends in random cities.
  • Day drinking in the afternoon in warm places without an care in the world.
  • Exploring new places.
  • Adventures.
  • The galley of confessions. Getting to talk about real stuff with real strangers and really opening up.
  • Feeling like the world is my oyster and that I can go anywhere.
  • Feeling alive.

 

I am sure there are more things to miss about flight attendant life – I just am feeling nostalgic and missing all the things that such a fun career can bring.

Are you a furloughed flight attendant? What are you missing the most?

Listing Out my Creative Projects to Give You Inspiration to Work on The Things You Always Dreamed Possible … #inthistogether

It has been almost 6 weeks since my last flight….

6 WEEKS!!!

It actually feels kind of strange to be on the ground this long. When all this chaos first start I volunteered for a leave of absence. That 2 month period is quickly coming to an end. On May 8th, 2020 I got officially furloughed starting June 1st – not that I was not expecting this, I was. I knew it was going to happen but seeing it there in the email – “my services are not longer needed” due to this crazy Pandemic was a feeling I wasn’t prepared for.  I have come to the realization that very likely I wont be flying for the remainder of this year.

For me – the only way to deal with all of this stuff is to just stay kind of busy.  There are many lessons I have learned in this life and one of them is that sitting around doing nothing on unemployment is literally THE WORST THING I can do for my mental health. The problem I have been having is discipline and focus. Literally if you saw my journal, planning book, day book, bullet journal and online course note taking book – you would know that I think up more ideas than I can even handle. But executing those ideas is a whole different thing.

I know – Everything is insane right now. But I also can’t help but feel like this is a gift from the universe. A gift of time to work on anything I ever thought would be a fun creative job – while I am getting paid and have endless time. I therefore can only see this as almost wasted time if I don’t pursue these passions.

Here is a little catch up of how I am keeping myself busy while being grounded from flying but also a list of ideas of things that you could do to keep yourself busy:

  • I started making a vegan cookbook. This is a project I have been wanting to do for YEARS. I was really excited from the get go but writing out recipes is kind of boring and I definitely waiver in what kind of things I want to include. I also sometimes feel I need to test the recipe – which means a lot of the same foods for me to eat and a WHOLE lot of cooking.  I really need to invest in the equipment for the next stages of the creative process and that equals daunting. I often get lost in the idea of how I would present the book. Then I decided to needed to start posting Meatless Monday recipes to garner interest and then the entire project just got really overwhelming. When things feel overwhelming I have a tendency to quit.
  • I started an outline draft for a book I want to write and for the first time this idea seems like the winner or more so it seems like I finally figured out a way to organize my thoughts. I will continue to map that out as social isolation drags on – and soon will start my chapter breakdowns. This is going to be a long process but something that will be so validating.
  • I have committed to a few knitting projects for some friends – they are in the works but not completed. I do that while I am watching Netflix as part of my evening routine. Knitting socks is complex.
  • I have started brainstorming ideas for YouTube because for the last 5 years I have been telling people I want to do this (imagine where I would be had I just started) – I have actually tried to create videos but I rarely get the gumption to post the video for anyone to see – which I need to do if I want to get some viewers. I think it is a really cool creative platform that I want to explore more. Plus filming is fun.
  • I started the MLM experiment where I thought I would join Arbonne and actually try and make money that way – but that is just sitting there and I have a series of blog posts half started that I never finished. The thing is now I just mostly order products for myself because I quite like them and then I don’t even mention it to anyone.
  • I started a blog series called #grounded (this series that you are reading) that I have essentially not written a post in a month because I thought my days weren’t interesting enough – because lets face it – what are we all really doing at home. Pressuring myself to write posts about doing nothing all day got slightly daunting.
  • I have bought many, many random things online that I don’t actually need. And now I am wondering if I will need to return most of them.
  • I spent a lot of time in my car with a backpack, my laptop, a handful of journals and a couple of books thinking I am going to pull off some sort of creative miracle in terms of creating content but I never actually do anything but drink coffee and stare into the park  – kind of planning but not doing.
  • I have reorganized my space to try and un-stifle my creative energy. It has kind of worked.
  • I start working on a vlogging – travel videography course – still plugging away at it – one lesson every few days. It is actually why I want to start filming YouTube Videos because I can – inspiration for travel video isn’t really my top priority during social isolation times.
  • I have been to a couple webinars on artists at the Glenbow Museum which quiet frankly is really cool and I can’t wait till the gallery can open up so I can by a membership.

 

Well that is it – that is what has been keeping me busy. I feel like while I am sad that I am not flying I am really trying to use this time to work on things I always wanted to work on but never, ever, ever made time. I think it is pretty cool to have this time to really explore my creative energy. It is really exciting.

What kind of creative projects are you working on while cooped up at home?

I am absolutely looking to build my creative community so if you are doing any of the above ideas please message me so we can create together.

 

 

#grounded: a blog series [Day 3 &4 …]

Welcome to my new series about what I am doing now that I am grounded.
I am  1) grounded from flying,  2) feeling like I am a teenager grounded at home and not allowed to go out,  3) trying to figure out how to be spiritually and emotionally grounded.
Tune in for frequent posts about how I am dealing with it all:  #grounded: a blog series

 

I said to my roommate in recent days that we are in the endless space time continuum of nothing and I really, really meant it.

Certainly we all know it is a strange, strange time.  The unknown is crazy and very uncomfortable – the world as we know it is dramatically changing and we have no way of knowing how. What will our world look like in 3 months time, in 3 years time? …. Will we go back to things as they are? Will entire Countries collapse? Who knows?

Unsettling, right?!

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Me; thinking about stuff before writing stuff. Wondering about how my future is going to look. April 2020.

The days are trucking on and on; this cold weather here in Calgary definitely has me feeling unmotivated and blue. I go through phases of productivity and fear. I go through the gauntlet of thoughts – like I guess it is time to figure out my life. Will I find a partner? Will I find a house? Will I travel forever? Is our world reverting to olden days and we will need to start canning and pickling and gardening to survive? Will we be the same? What do we need to prepare for? It feels a little bit like if you just told me – I would just get ready and make it happen. But no one can do that – no one has the answers.

 

Is it actually making me regret things that I didn’t ever do even though I wanted to, Things like:

Why did I never take journalism?

Why did I never move to Dubai to teach?

Why haven’t I traveled India yet?

Why did I let my life be chaos for so long? Why am I so boring now? Why am I eating bags of Doritos when no one is home but eating health drinks when people see me? When did binge eating become my norm? When did I become such an emotional eater? Can I fix this?

I guess it is just to much time to think? And Lordy knows – I am a thinker. Today I took the time to turn off the laptop and watching Netflix and Youtube and started with some podcasts (change it up, right?). It led me a a journey of micro dosing psychedelics and wondering if micro dosing on mushrooms would be a good idea during this time. Then I wondered if I had any connections to do this? Then realized how much my life has changed.

I started to dive into Arbonne’s 30 days to Healthy Living. I am not entire sure my gut can handle the sheer amount of detoxing – but it had me questioning my eating beliefs. Why am I so against eating eggs but I can wolf down some (enter some strange, really bad vegan junk food here)? When did my eating get so disordered?

I pulled out some jewelry bins and realized that I have lost my identity over the years. I stopped expressing myself with clothing and scarves and jewelry. Where did my creative identity go? – I assume it left when I moved back to Alberta and systematically gained weight working so hard to get myself out of debt.

As you can see – I am all over the map – day 3 & 4 have been me really evaluating my life. like really diving in – asking millions of questions with very few answers. It is crazy how the mind works in a time of limited stimulus.  In the end, I continue to ask myself the same questions I have asked for years but then got to distracted to answer. What do I actually want? What is the vision?

Today’s plans  – there is no list. There is no expectation. There is just me – spending time writing, reflecting and trying to figure it out. Times are changing hugely. I am just trying to keep up.

What phase of isolation/quarantine are you in today? Productive? Questioning? Pensive?

#grounded: Day 1

Well it is probably going to be a hot minute before I see another sunset in Puerto Vallarta and not because it is almost the end of my Mexico flying season but because starting today  – April 1st, 2020 – I am officially on a “leave of absence” (aka voluntarily laid off) from my work. I am sure in 2 months time it will become an extended involuntary layoff.  *sad face

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I took this photo of the sunset on the last PVR I got called out for in early March 2020 – right at the beginning of the pandemic arriving in Canada.

I am already missing my East Coast summer layovers and they haven’t started.

From what I can understand about the state of the world and the state of aviation right now – it is probably going to be a long time before I fly. It is a range of emotions that I feel – sadness but also relief  … to not be flying when the safety precautions are not in place to maintain my health. It is safer for me to be at home while we ride out this COVID19 situation. I have thought about all the things that I might take the opportunity to do with all my spare time – but it is still to early for me to focus on that while I am kind of grieving the state of the world.

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I stole this image off a post on Facebook because it sums up my feelings about my work life.  No idea who the creator is but I love it.

Kicking off DAY ONE I am starting with my normal kind of normal morning/day routine where I get up and make some coffee – have a quick snack and then go back to my bed to either read or write. Sometimes both.

At around 11:30 I start to feel like I should get up, get dressed and make myself presentable for the day. Then friends – it is anyone’s guess as to what will happen. I cook most things from scratch because it is the food I have – then I bring my computer from room to room – watching YouTube about online teaching or ESL teaching in general. I research Dubai as a backup plan for the fall. I think about whether my skills have lapsed to much to start drafting again. I then think about what I want my life to look like.

I take some time in there is be extremely grateful for all the hard work I put in to make my financial situation as great as it is right now.

I often write a huge blurb about the things I want to do that I lack motivation in doing then I make some tea …. I have been drinking an excessive amount of tea. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest – planning out my next hair color as soon as I have some help doing it – be that a salon open or a talented friend. I daydream a lot about being able to write full time (even though I never publish anything after I write it) – I think about making YouTube videos. And then it is around 8PM – I retire to my room to watch something on Netflix while I chat with my friends and then around 130AM it is time for bed again.

Today’s goals:

  1. Bake some vegan double chocolate muffins
  2. Figure out how to use up 7 red peppers (because for some reason buying a bag of 8 peppers for $4.50 seemed wise the other day at the grocery store)
  3. Pull out the big wall calendar and plan out #isolationApril
  4. Get some exercise – Hit @home, Beachbody OR out for a walk
  5. Start writing Friday’s blog post in my MLM series (I didn’t forget – just the world feel apart)

I think those are attainable goals for the day …  #letsdothis

What are you guys up to in isolation today?  Do you make small daily goals to keep yourself busy?

 

Pitch Week & MLM Experiment Guidelines


 

Mother of all things holy – the pitch week has been insane.

I decided before I talked to anyone – there would need to be a set of guidelines that I had to follow. Any pitch needed to be well executed and informed; I would feel comfortable with the person I would need to be my mentor. What follows are things I really need to pay attention to before I can join any team of independent distributors and mixed in with that is a bunch of things I am committing to myself as I go forward with the project:

  •         I need to pick an MLM that I am genuinely interested in the products. It must be products that I will honestly use. It is important that it is vegan (for personal and long term business reasons)
  •         I need to commit to reading everything about the company. The good, the bad and the ugly – all the stuff. Take notes. Be informed – don’t make egregious stupid claims about products that aren’t true. (Yesterday while doing online research I listen to a girl talk about how big companies take the fat from road kill and put it in makeup and that is what you are putting on your face – this, friends, is why most people think MLM people are crazy)
  •         Track money in vs money out (keep track as visuals) – everything you spend vs everything you make. It is important to track to see how much you are making vs. losing.
  •         3-6 months. The premise is that I actually work the program. If I am making money perhaps I will continue on – Who knows where this will take me?!
  •         Find a thriving supportive upline that can help me build my “business” – I have always struggled when women have called their independent consultant business’ as there “own company” – the culture of preying on women as weak and trying to show them that success is growth is scary. But i’ll dive into that later. 
  •         I will commit to regular Friday posts to update how the project is going – how dealing with the public as a person that works for an MLM is going. Do I feel like I am putting a strain on personal relationships?
  •         Have a ‘why’ – why did I pick this particular company. What was the decision-making process? Why do you think their products are good?
  • Exit clause – can you bail? If after 3 months you are just spending money. Can you bail?
  • Actually test the products. Use them. Decide for yourself. Things that might benefit you.

 


 

With all the above in mind ….. Asking anyone that is actively trying to make money in an Multi Level Marketing company to pitch me their best pitch opened up a world of crazy that I didn’t really realize was going to evoke so many opinions and so much attitude. It has been an exhausting few days to say the least.

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system.  – Wikipedia

 

Ladies have been coming at me. People I haven’t ever talked to online have come out of the woodwork. I learned that some of you guys love these companies and some of you fucking hate them. There have been some VERY strong opinions. It is pretty damn interesting the amount of ‘super for’ or ‘super against’ opinions that are circling around the web.

I have been curious about this kind of money making for some time. I have always inherently thought it was wrong. And I am not so certain I changed that opinion but I realized while talking to people that: a lot of women don’t love the products they are trying to push, a lot of women are angry that other women haven’t changed their products – their everyday routine to support their multi level marketing business. Women are angry that other women didn’t sign up to be a part of their business – even if the products are not aligned to then, their ethics or even if the products are possibly out of their price range. There are some women that have drank in so much of the culture they have failed to see anything aside from you not purchasing from them makes you a bad person. Friends, this is just week one. 

Before I got to far on this journey I really needed to know so many things but most important to me:  

 What are the startup costs? What is my monthly and yearly financial contribution? Can I opt out after 3 months or six months? Can I get out if I need to? 

As someone who has spent a lot of time trying to dig themselves out of a financial hole the last thing I want is to get myself on the hook for something financially that I can’t really afford. I don’t want to commit to a company for a year of spending hordes of money that I can’t get back.

So I let people pitch me in any way they wanted to – I had Amway, Young Living, Valentus, Arbonne … some were good – some where bloody awful.

Stay tuned for next Friday when we talk about which company I am choosing to get involved with and …

In the meantime – are you or have you been part of any MLM? I would love to hear from you about your experience?  Please comment below what you think about it – are you making money? Why did you get involved? 

 

HUATULCO: Pacific Ocean Boat Rides, 6 Degrees of Separation & Icy Cold Dos Equis

It was only a few nights ago that I was in a random taco bar in Huatulco, Mexico with my crew. Sometimes flying is like having 2 Dads and some step siblings all crammed together trying to make group decisions. Every now and again you get a group of people that just kind of fit and when you find them – you just need to go with it. 

Our little road family was pretty cute. We banded together for our 48 hours in Mexico – on a mission to experience some things, be out in the sun and remember why working as aircrew can be a super amazing job. 

Huatulco is in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Oaxaca is found on the Pacific side just where the country does a geographical turn on the map and the continent starts to get more narrow. The only reason I actually know where Oaxaca is located is from my younger years as a Barista. I got a job at a Second Cup when I first moved to Calgary some 20 odd years ago. Second Cup was all about coffee but also learning about coffee kinda stuff and being knowledgeable about random things like growing regions and flavors in the soil. Oaxaca is absolutely a coffee growing region in Mexico and they make fine, fine coffee.  

Anyway, after a gong-show of a flight down to Mexico I was feeling pretty spent. In fact – I actually had to take refuge up in the flight deck for a little 15 min break in the last quarter of the flight. I had a chat with the guys about how I thought I might actually bail on the crew for some alone time. 

HUX beer me
Ice Cold Dos Equis

But as every good crew member knows – those decisions can’t be made till you are in your hotel room, out of your uniform and back in the world of normalcy -As soon as I was changed and breathing in that humid Mexican air I was ready for some Dos Equis. 

 

It was that first night – in a little local taco shop just a half block from the square in La Crucecita that I realized that the 6th degree of separation bullshit was actually a thing. I was telling the crew that I had lived on the East Coast of Canada and that I went to university out there. I wasn’t wearing my x-ring so when I mentioned I went to university in Antigonish the Captain leaned over to check my hand  – what do you know; The Captain on my crew just happened to go to the same University as me.  

HUX me
Me – reppin’ my East Coast Lifestyle gear like a motherfucking boss!

Like the typical people from the East Side we went off on a tangent to figure out if we had any commonalities and there you have it- he just so happened to be friends with a professor I held dear to my heart. 

It is crazy to me that everything sort of leads back to that place for me. That place that tried me so much. The place that changed me. The place that took my life in a very different direction. The place where I understood my childhood but hated it all at the same time. The place that I didn’t realize kind of unraveled me until I painstakingly put myself back together some 10 years later.  You get so connected to your own story that it becomes hard to rewrite it. Figuring out a new path, changing your identity, your story – it’s hard work. I have become fixated on trying to figure out who I truly am – understanding, growing. Can I see through that time and that darkness or will I forever be cloaked with that sadness that leaves so much hollowness inside? Are we supposed to spend our entire life searching? I digress.

HUX boatDinner in the Taco bar led to morning plans to spend the following day together. We all met for breakfast and sat in the square in Santa Cruz having Oaxacan coffee and chiliqilies. I opted for a vegetarian version and when those barely cooked eggs showed up on top of  my food I wanted to barf. I guess I am more vegan than I thought. The iced coffee was divine though. After breakfast we headed down to the beach to find a boat for hire. That is when we got linked up with Jamie – our boat guy – for barely $40 CND each we had hired out a private boat named Johanna II  for the day to do some bay hopping, see some secluded beaches, snorkel and of course day drink. 

We headed back to the hotel to grab our gear while Jamie iced our beer and tequila. We set out on a boat on the Pacific Ocean to explore this tiny area in Mexico. Admittedly I felt like the outsider of the group. But even though I was feeling slightly odd after a couple of drinks none of that stuff mattered.  I had a great time drinking tequila and beer and plunging off the side of the boat into the crystal clear waters. I barely thought about the yellow bellied poisonous snakes at all. 

HUX water
Jumping off the side of the boat into a bay after far to much beer and tequila. 

 

My previous experiences with Mexico have been in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. Busy party central districts – Huatulco felt nothing like this. I swear to you Huatulco is where all the old hippies go -It might be because we were in the town of Santa Cruz which is part of the Huatulco region and not at a resort. It might be because Huatulco is pretty underdeveloped; you can see where they have made plenty of attempts but never actually finished construction on something – but this is a super chilled out area full of people just wanting to be in Mexico in a different capacity. You can see there are all sorts of great resort type projects on the go that have just been left abandoned. It is sad to see but at the same time it makes this area significantly less busy, less people around. It actually feels like a more authentic type of Mexico – whatever the hell that means. 

Getting up on morning two we had about three quarters of the day to just be. We headed down for a crew breakfast at Itoo – which if you are in town is a must. Fresh squeezed juices, and a menu of authentic Mexican food kinda written in English if you need that sort of thing. We sat around and chatted and made a collective decision for some beach time. 

The beach that was linked with our hotel on the Bahia de Santa Cruz wasn’t the prettiest I saw in my 48 hours. But for some last minute sunshine and some time for reading it did the trick.  I tapped out early to head back to my room to mentally prepare for my flight home. Maybe it was the full moon energy but things have been feeling off and I am definitely one that needs a lot of alone time. Sometimes to much. But preparing for work takes time, mental preparation and sometimes meditation. 

Landing back in Calgary makes the little bubble pop. Your little group just disperses and you go back to your normal life and normal things and cold weather. It’s like it never happened. It’s a crazy life how you weave through people and connections and experiences and end up exactly where you were – some of you cross paths again but it’s never in the same circumstances, people or places. You can’t relive a moment or time – you just carry on with the good parts. 

Life.  It’s interesting like that. 

Thanks Mexico, Onward.

 

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!