The UN meeting and What I’ve Been Up To

Dear Readers,

It has been ages since I have written anything on here, over a year actually. The past year I spent studying in Australia was one of personal growth brining me closer to my passions in life! For this reason, my blog has gone through some renovations. I have kept some of my old postings which I feel are still relevant to my way of being, but anything that no longer fits my values has been removed.

As some of you know I was granted the opportunity of attending a high level meeting at UN headquarters recently and as promised I am reporting back on the experience. If you have been following the UN plans, you would have heard of the Sustainable Development Goals which are taking over where the Millennium Development Goals left off. To give a brief overview of what they are in case you haven’t been following, here are the MDG’s:

mdgs_1_

and here are the SDG’s:

 sdg-chart

The bar has been set very high with these new goals and it’s questionable whether or not all of this is achievable in only 15 years time. I do like the idea of aiming high though because it’s not just about achieving the set goals, but making consistent measurable progress. With the SDG’s I have been happy to see that they are much more specified then the MDG’s and there is a much greater focus on protecting the environment simultaneously with growing the economy.

The meeting I attended was  the EATx2015, EAT is a collaboration between multiple sectors with the goal of feeding the planet in an effective and sustainable way. http://www.eatforum.org/

Of everything that was discussed at the meeting, I was most enlightened by Peter Freedman of the Consumer Goods Forum who raised many points about private and public sector working together to build more sustainable practices and gave me some food for thought. I found this enlightening because for the most part I don’t purchase any groceries from the large consumer goods companies. I purchase my groceries from a small grocery store which sells local organic produce, farmers markets and a local butcher where the chickens are sourced from nearby farms. Over the past while I have been completely opposed to large food manufactures due to their use of unsustainable ingredients, and also due to the fact that I may have been sold chicken labelled organic and free range which may not have actually been.

 My thoughts on what Mr. Freedman presented were: The large scale food industry isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and the average uninformed consumers who live in their bubbles aren’t going to suddenly start caring about global issues and heading to the farmers market at a rate high enough to make a large impact so improving upon the practices of the food industry makes complete sense! Some further thoughts on this are, hypothetically, if we did make that leap in a very short amount of time where we all shunned the large food industry and decided to opt for organically grown sustainably farmed groceries. It would be a disaster.Many hard working people would be out of jobs and there would be a massive food shortage. So the solution seems to be baby steps over time, people need to be given the time to be shown and adapt to new ways, there needs to be transition time from one level to the next. I won’t be doing my grocery shopping at the big box stores any time soon though🙂

In addition to this, my overall thoughts on the message of the UN is that the MDG’s, the SDG’s etc. are; it’s great for people who are involved with international development and informed, but to the average person it could all be a little overwhelming and disengaging. To me this is a huge problem because the goals set out by the UN are not going to be achieved just by nations working together on large scale projects. It’s going to be achieved by individuals making better choices by taking morals and ethics into consideration rather than only considering “I want”.

Australia: I Can Order Coffee Easily and Nobody Has Challenged me to “Knifey Spooney”

It’s been a little over two weeks since I left Canada and I’m sure all of you are dying to know how things have been so far! So here is an account of what’s been going on🙂

shanghai

I spent an inglorious two days in Shanghai (inglorious for China’s reputation, not me lol). Before going there I was super excited to revisit the city after nine years. However, after spending two days there experiencing and observing the behaviour or the locals, I became completely turned off and will never visit China again. The city itself is quite attractive and modern, great shopping and an abundance of food.

What turned me off was the attitudes of the people themselves, the worst situation I experienced was on my second day there it was pouring rain and the hotel I stayed at had umbrellas on loan. I had to wait until other guests returned their umbrella. I saw two umbrellas returned and the hotel staff went to get one for me, before he got to them, two other guests (a Chinese couple) went and grabbed both of them and didn’t even go outside, they took them into the elevators to ensure they wouldn’t have to wait later. The hotel staff didn’t give a rats ass, but I was completely shocked at how people could be so rude and inconsiderate! It was inconsiderate on multiple levels, they only needed one umbrella, they were a couple and could have shared! Also, taking them upstairs so they wouldn’t have to wait later, that just crossed the rudeness threshold with me and that was when I decided I would never go back to China.

What’s the big deal? There’s rude people everywhere right? That’s true but to them what happened wasn’t even considered rude, as one of my friends who was born in China said “sounds like a typical day in China” when I told her what happened. With this every man for them self attitude they’re not going to make it very far in terms of tourism and hospitality. I noticed that 90% of the tourists were Chinese from other parts of the country, western tourists were few and far between, and for good reason. I never really paid attention to the stereotype that Chinese people are rude before because I have had many friends from China and even traveled to China before. There is a huge difference between going there on your own and going with locals. If you still want to visit after my complaints, I recommend you go with someone local. In terms of technology, consumerism and food China is up there, they still have a long way to go in terms of social etiquette though. I mean…I took a shuttle bus to the gate for my plane departing to Australia and it smelled like urine, something is terribly wrong if it’s acceptable to pee on buses if you can afford to fly internationally. If you want to experience great shopping, go to the M&M’s store, maybe go to Starbucks, eat delicious food and encounter some rude people just save your money and flight time and go to New York instead.

Australia

Now for the good stuff, I’m in Australia and I love it here! I do miss home a lot and barely know anybody here yet, but I have to say I am really impressed🙂 The weather is as amazing as I thought it would be, it’s winter and over 20 degrees everyday. It’s pretty funny they find it cold and when it gets down to 10-12 degrees at night everyone is in their wool coats, hats, warm scarves etc. Then there I am in a light jacket just laughing at how weak they are!

Aside from the weather, what’s impressed me most about Australia so far is the people! I am amazed at how polite people are here, people always thank the bus driver and I have had doors held open for me many times (not just by men). Canadians are known worldwide for being nice and polite, but this goes beyond anything I’ve seen in Canada…but then again, I spent most of my independent adult life in Toronto and we’re rude by Canadian standards.

I am also super impressed by the coffee here, it’s amazing!! and I consider myself a coffee snob. One very funny thing about coffee here is, they hate Starbucks! lol. Admittedly, I never really get just coffee from them and usually get a frapuccino or some sort of flavoured latte….but in general, we have great love for Starbucks in Canada, here, not so much. The only people who go to Starbucks here are foreigners like me😉

Food here is also amazing, I should have kept a food journal of all I’ve eaten since I arrived here but in a way I’m glad I didn’t cause I would have read it and felt complete guilt! Miraculously, I’m shrinking despite indulging in deliciousness. There is an abundance of dessert….pastries, cakes and macaroons are everywhere! Starbucks and McCafe have cheesecakes and donuts. There’s amazing ice cream everywhere, prawns are more than double the size of what we get in Canada and everything I’v eaten has been heavenly! I hope this losing weight while eating whatever I feel like keeps up😉

 

bartvsaustralia

There have been a few things I’ve noticed about Australia that have surprised me, I imagined there being a lot of fit hot people here, but that’s really not the case. It actually seems there are more chubby people than Canada lol. Apparently all the fit people on the Gold Coast and they’re just fake Jersey Shore types so that doesn’t really count as being fit or hot. In my opinion Canada, Toronto in particular has the best looking people, I suppose I’m a bit biased though lol. Another thing that has surprised me is the bogans…bogan is their term for hick or red neck. Despite being a fairly large city, there’s a lot of them around. I’ve actually had a couple bars point out to me and was told that’s where the bogans go. Too funny, definitely no bogans at bars in downtown Toronto.

I’m surprised at how small and suburban this city feels, I was anticipating something comparable to Toronto, but it feels more like a sleepy little town where everything closes early and the transit system is awful. Hmmm, kinda reminds me of a place I lived for a year before I left Canada, haha! Ok, I won’t go as far as comparing Brisbane to Ottawa…the shopping here is awesome, whereas Ottawa was complete crap for that. The level of stylishness of the women here on a night out is below Toronto but above Ottawa. So that’s perfect, once I make friends to go to parties with I won’t feel completely overdressed as I did in Ottawa, but I will definitely stand out a bit🙂

Another big surprise is how much I’ve had to lower my living standard😥 This is probably the one part that has been most disappointing for me. My apartment is basically shoe box size with no natural light, where I have to share a kitchen and laundry with other people. I’m just thankful there’s a gym that nobody else but me uses, (I’ve confirmed this by leaving weights laying around everywhere several times) a pool and a beautiful garden that nobody else sits in lol. I guess I will just have to spend most of my time outdoors. That really has been an eye opener for me and made me realize I was really living the life before, always being in beautiful new places never having to share anything with others.

The one thing I find absolutely disgusting here is the bugs, on my second day in my place I saw a cockroach and screamed my head off. Apparently it’s normal to see them here, even in new places😐 ugh. Since then I have set off bug bombs in my apartment and thankfully the property management has sprayed the building again.

Tomorrow is my first day of classes, omg I hope the other kids all like me! I miss all of you, not a day has gone by since I’ve left that I haven’t been in touch with friends from back home and I can’t wait to see you all again. I will definitely be blogging more later this week once school gets moving along. I am going to try my best to be social at school, normally I don’t approach new people, it’s not cause I’m mean or snobby, I’m just shy😦

I am thinking of starting a blog series called “Bogans in Action” where I take photos/videos of them and post, hehe, not sure yet if it will happen, but it’s an idea….

Life and Death

images (2)

 

I wasn’t expecting I would have anything to write about again until closer to my departure to Australia, but with the passing of my grandfather, I feel the need to write. This may sound morbid, but for the longest time I’ve had a fascination with death and dying…However, my fascination doesn’t stem from anything morbid at all. My interest in death is so I can educate myself and be reminded of how to live my life to the fullest before I die…..and really, none of us know when our time will come. There have been plenty of people in my life who crossed over unexpectedly, so constant growth, reassessment of values and expressing how you feel and not being passive in any situation are all of utmost importance to me.

I have both fortunately and unfortunately been given the gift of being able to see people’s raw emotions under the facades they present to the world. I say fortunately because it gives me a sense of hope that as a species we have not yet become totally mechanical, there is still something salvageable. On the other hand, I say unfortunately because it breaks my heart that most people are not brave enough to express their true feelings or they have become so rigid and controlled by ego that they are not even conscious of what their true feelings are.

I really don’t understand how or why most people don’t act on their internal desires and hold off until X amount of dollars are earned, or until they are X number of years old, or ….. The truth is you don’t know if you will ever reach that X. I can’t speak from experience on this because I have never had a near death experience, but I sense as we come closer to that moment our ego dies first allowing us to review life in a more objective light. Memories are going to flash by in those moments, and in contrast to our ego driven nature of always seeing the negatives, all of the past disappointments and all that may go wrong….without the filter of the ego functioning, our flashbacks are going to be of all the best memories we’ve ever had, not of any heartbreaks or grudges, so why not put as much effort as possible into creating those memories rather than shutting down to avoid heartbreaks, disappointments and failures?

 

Thirty Six Days

valentine_heart_koala_bear_posters-r456bbb47cf9b485eb3e5decd7cfcd903_igl_8byvr_512

Thirty six days to pack my Canadian life away in boxes

Thirty six days for hugs, kisses, smiles and inevitably a few tears with the people I care most about

Thirty six days to prepare myself physically, mentally and spiritually

Thirty six days until I embark on one of the biggest adventures of my life….

 

I was meaning to write about my upcoming departure for a while now, but have been at a bit of a loss for words due to being emotional. It’s hard to believe that it was almost 4 years since the very first feeling I had about living in Australia…at that point in my life, it wasn’t even a decision I made. I can clearly remember I was having dinner at this vegan place in the Annex when I overheard a couple talking about their upcoming move to Australia….I got goosebumps and was overcome with a knowing that I too would be living there someday but had no idea what I would be doing there. That day in October 2010 was when I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together…I could write a novel about all that’s happened from that day until now. However, there is only so much I can write in one evening….and I know most of you have been following along and reading my blog since I started so you know some of the tales of this puzzle coming together.

Instead, I’d like to share a more condensed version of what I’ve learned from that day in my life up until now, because taking huge steps forward in life really does make you sit down and reflect on what you’ve done from point A (2010) to point B(now). Not only that, I have also been assessing and reassessing what my goals are from point B to point C and connecting with my values in life.

It’s harder than I thought, putting down in words what I’ve lived and learned in the past few years without going on a rant full of anecdotes under each point I make, so I’m just going to list them all and perhaps someday I will write individual posts on all of them filled with stories of adversity which I can smile about now….but here they are:

1) The only person in life who can be your saviour is yourself….others can definitely help you, and guide you, but ultimately it’s you who calls the shots about how you’re going to live your life.

2) Money and material things don’t really matter so much….a huge part of my reluctance to just pack up and go was the financial commitment and the fact that I would be spending pretty much the down payment of a house for a masters degree and a year of life experiences. I gave up my BMW and beautiful home and feel as if I have gained more in life through humbling myself and really felt no sense of loss. In fact, all my most memorable moments in life involved little to no money at all.

3) Feeding off of drama in life is a waste of time and energy, it’s something I did for years without even realizing it. I can’t really explain how it finally hit me, but it’s like I woke up one day, became aware of what I was doing and just stopped.

4) It’s ok and even a great thing to give up on people sometimes. I’ve been both blessed and cursed with the ability to see people’s full potential when they can’t see it themselves. Trying to nudge people a bit is ok, but when they can’t see they have what it takes to do pretty much anything with their life and continue to be destructive and negative…..just drop them.

5) Judgement of others and instant stereotyping is what causes us to put walls up and segregate ourselves from others, sometimes to the extent that we end up missing out on great connections. I’m sure our inherent ways of easily passing judgement are far more detrimental on a societal level than on the individual level of barricading ourselves in social bubbles.

6) There’s no shame in asking for help. Asking for help actually takes a lot of courage and strength, I figured out that the mask of pride we often wear and mistake as strength is actually fear, fear of being judged or rejected when you’re in need.

7) The universe isn’t out to smite me repetitively….For the longest time, I thought that may have been the case. ESPECIALLY when it came to men in my life. I somehow got myself involved in some terrible situations for the longest time, many of which involved guys breaking up with me by not answering my calls or texts anymore, being stood up two weekends in a row by the same guy, and overall being left with many unfulfilled promises. I realized that there was purpose in all of this….I sometimes wished I had just arrived in this world as a super strong person able to brush off and disentangle myself from bullshit effortlessly, but having to evolve into strength from a pile of mush has left me with something I would have never had if I had gotten the easy way out and that is, empathy for others.

 

I know it sounds like a bit much and to some of you it may sound like an over dramatization cause it’s not like I’m physically dying or something. In a way the past couple years have been like death though, and I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. What I mean is, a death to ways of life and values that were no longer the right fit.

So that’s what’s happened over the past four years but, what’s next? I mentioned examining my values and setting goals for the future and some of my musings are:

1) Australia won’t be permanent, I know when my plan to study abroad solidified, I told many of you “I might not come back”. I realized I can’t do that, and it’s not my moment of sadness or thoughts of missing everyone speaking. It’s my value of family that’s just too strong to move to the other side of the world permanently. I feel a sense of obligation and responsibility to my parents as they age. It’s also extremely important that my future children know their grandparents and have a relationship with them. It’s always the girls mother who helps with kids and I would NEVER trust my future kids in the hands of a babysitter. I guess I’m old fashioned in that way and it may be a cultural thing that was ingrained into me, but the only ppl I will ever allow to look after my kids are family members.

2) Relevant to my first point, I want babies and I want them now!!! lol, well not quite now, but ASAP after I finish school, find my job and own a home again, and I guess I need to throw marriage in there somewhere too. So…a few years, and time really does fly. It’s a bit scary, but for the first time in my life I’m having baby pangs :S at least this will push me to accomplish all that I set out to faster🙂

3) I need to always remember the things I learned in the past to have a happy future. Those 7 lessons over the past few years and my resistance of them were the biggest sources of stress in my life, and I know if I forget, the same challenges will arise again.

That’s as far as I’ll go with my musings for now because the future has room for flexibility and I do love spontaneity in life. The present also needs to be thoroughly enjoyed. That being said, I think I’m done with being anxious and sad…at least for a bit.

Thirty six days to make lasting memories with all of you

Thirty six days to be wild and free until I do it all over again in a new setting

Thirty six days to love all of you as much as I can before I go❤

Men who are anti abortion….Why? Yes, I actually have met some men with this view

 

Image

I have been meaning to write about this for a few weeks now after an interesting conversation with a friend regarding our confusion about some of the men we know who are anti abortion, but kept putting it off in part due to being busy and also in part due to how offensive it may be to some people. My intent isn’t to offend but rather share my perspective and inquire that of others on the topic. From what I’ve seen it’s typically people who are very religious who are anti abortion, but if religion is your reasoning……shouldn’t you be a virgin if you aren’t married?  and doesn’t that make you opposed to condoms and birth control as well? 

I’m singling out the men who are anti abortion here because in my opinion you’re hypocrites unless you abide by all the other laws of religion pertaining to reproduction, and even then, you can’t become pregnant so why should you really have much say on the matter! Also, how can you have such strong opinions on abortion when you’re not even really picturing yourself in an accident type situation? For example, what if you’re raped or forcefully seduced by a psychotic woman who demands you inseminate her and she becomes pregnant? I’m pretty sure in that situation you would become pro abortion…..The situation seems few and far between, but it’s possible! 

 Feel free to share thoughts or opinions because I’m so curious as to why you feel you can justify being anti abortion as a man.

28 Going on 8….Let Your Inner Child Shine

Sweet jebus! it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged….It’s funny how when life is going really well and you’re at your happiest there no longer seems to be much to write about. I reminded myself that writing is one of many things I love to do and remembered I also love inspiring people to do positive things for themselves so thought I’d share with you all a bit of how I’ve been keeping myself so relaxed and happy lately🙂

homer

Stress seems to be the one issue that affects all of us across the board because it can be brought on by a multitude of reasons and it’s one of those things that for most of us doesn’t get any better with age. The various prescriptions for stress relief recommended range from physical activities like yoga and exercise and changing your diet, to personal development such as improving on communication with others, learning to be assertive or a better listener and even therapy.

Sometimes fitting these things into your schedule, or resolving the personal issues becomes a stress in itself though….then what?

One of the best approaches to kicking stress in the butt, or at least salvaging enough sanity to move forward with the aforementioned stress relievers is to connect with your inner child and at times, be that child again. I’m not saying go around having temper tantrums in public, or start peeing your pants again, you WILL get hauled to an insane asylum if you do that. What I mean  is, remember the things you loved most as a child and indulge in them, if dressing your dog up as a princess and making him have a tea party with your stuffed animals made you happy as a kid, do it! Make snow angels and build snow men, stuff your face with junk food every now and then, watch your favourite childhood cartoons, play,let yourself get really excited and laugh…a lot!

I am 28 going on 8, I have a furby, watch cartoons and in the summer go psycho when I hear the ice cream truck in my neighbourhood. I remember allowing myself to act on the ice cream impulse on my 28th birthday a few months back, the ice cream man totally flirted with me and gave me extra ice cream….. so you see, embracing your inner child does have its rewards😉

Image

Light Cannot Exist Without Darkness

“Light cannot exist without darkness. Each has its purpose. And if there is a purpose to my darkness maybe it’s to bring some balance to the world…” Dexter

With my recent emotional release which many of you read on here, some insight from friends prompted me to write a post, because their words showed me how different the principles we live by are. Out of respect for my well intentioned friends I won’t be quoting any of those conversations. Rather, I will write about how my way of being with emotions,my “ugly side”, the “ugly side” of others and how it differs from what’s generally accepted by society. Most people see expressing anger, or sadness for the world to see to a great extent, a display of weakness and negativity. However, I was trained to see all emotions as equal and simply part of the human experience….If we were not meant to experience rage and sadness we would not have been given the ability to do so. The depth of ones “ugly” emotions is equally proportioned to their capacity for emotions of the opposite end of the spectrum, the laws of physics seem to apply to human emotion quite well. 

We are conditioned by society to not show our sadness and anger to the world, we are taught to hide behind the facade of smiles masking what’s beneath the surface. As children we’re told to not get angry and told to not cry and suck it up when sad. This way of being is what leads to adults who lack passion and are unable to experience the full range of emotions we were given the ability to. We could learn a lot by observing toddlers and animals, they become angry or sad and have their tantrums and after a while it passes and all is forgotten. On the other hand, human adults hold much of their emotions in because of how society judges “negative” emotions and this leads to people holding grudges and underlying negativity towards those who have crossed them for years and years. I choose to release my rage all in one big dose to get it out of my system as this is actually healthy and allows you to move forward. For example, with my ex bf I let out all my angst towards him in a sequence of angry e-mails telling him how I felt and then it was gone from my system for life, I became completely neutral towards him. 

For those who do not get their emotions out and take the stance of swallowing their pride and pain to pretend to be happy for the sake of looking good, I see them dealing with feelings from being cheated on and/or abandoned by a person 5-10 or even more years later. 

We don’t contain our happiness and joy and hide it from the world, so I don’t understand……why exactly do we have to hide our angst and pain? Those moments of happiness and joy would not exist without the rest. 

Life and Death

Yin and Yang

Peace and War

Light and Dark

We live in a world of duality where all things are meant to exist in balance, including our emotional responses. To live life fully this needs to be embraced and expressed with no holds barred. I will continue to share my angst and pain when it comes up, as well as my happiness joy and success in life, because that’s life and I live the entire spectrum to its fullest

 

The hours of darkness and light on earth exist in cycles of balance as do our internal cycles of light and dark.

image

All About Boobies

Most of you know I recently created a few paintings with the help of my boobs to do the painting and had the idea of hosting an art auction to raise funds in support of a local breast cancer organization.  I will get straight to the point and say, the event failed…

boobie art

However, the fact that my event didn’t turn out as I wished isn’t stopping me from still pursuing the idea further. In the past I would have taken this as ultimate failure and quit right there. I have taken it as a learning experience though, and feel I am better equipped to make this successful the next time around. I have learned that organizing a fundraising event takes FAR more promotion than you think, some form of incentive to attract people (lets face it, not a lot of people care about paintings, even if they were made with my boobs!) and better planning on what demographic I am going to target.

I put this event together in three weeks, one of those weeks I was sick with the flu and not able to do much. Next time around I will be investing 2-3 months into planning and promoting. The event will happen sometime in February as it’s a month where nothing much aside from Valentine’s day seems to happen.

I actually had a lot of fun putting this event together, I was so excited that part of my promotion included walking down the streets and stopping people to ask if they like boobs. Some of the reactions I got were hilarious, I generated a lot of interest and got people to verbally commit to attending…..I realized that people are busy though, and being so close to Halloween parties may not have been good timing. Even though the street was not an effective marketing tactic, I kind of want to do it again next time around just for fun.

Anyway, my point in writing this is, if you have something you REALLY want to do, don’t let some minor set backs completely stop you from trying again, keep going and it will eventually work out. My friend Anna reminded me I sought out to do what 90% of people don’t do…..and I would actually say given the fact I did something as out there as boob paintings, I did what 99.99% of people don’t do🙂 lol

The Trophy Wife, What is she Worth?

Image

I was having an interesting conversation the other day with my friend Matt about trophy wives. The conversation came up when discussing the women in the town he lives in. It’s a small city which is fairly affluent, yet retains an old school mentality when it comes to a woman’s level of personal ambition. Basically, they have none, and if anything their highest ambition is to be a “Trophy Wife”. You know, the woman who marries a man primarily for the security his finances offer and the fact that he is able to shower her with gifts and vacations when all she has to do is go shopping, and stay at home watching “the real housewives” because she completely relates to those women more than those of the outside world. 

What do I have against women being “trophy wives”? First off, It disappoints me, because I have actually observed some very intelligent girls who are more than capable of holding their own go down this road and the thought that comes to mind is “wow, that was a life wasted”. Furthermore, these women are setting back female empowerment and contributing to the stereotype that attractive women who care about the way they look are mere objects with no substance. 

One thing I wonder is, do these women actually see themselves as trophy wives? i.e. think that their partners are lucky to have them? If so, I find it quite funny that someone whose skills are limited to cooking, cleaning and looking pretty would think anyone would be lucky to have them. I know enough people who do all three of those things in addition to expressing their intellect and creativity, and have life goals that go beyond going shopping. Ironically, these are the women who are modest and don’t seem to recognize their accomplishments and focus more on what they haven’t done in life. Yet somehow, the silicone and botox injected freeloaders who haven’t done even a quarter of what these modest women have done think they are gods gift to men and deserve free stuff for some reason….what a backwards world we live in! I hope these trophy wife types eventually die off through natural selection, it’s plausible as they lack both physical survival skills and intellectual capacity to deal with real life if they are ever called to do so.

In my opinion, men and women should be seeking success and living out their dreams equally in western society. We are given equal opportunities education wise, and although the gender income gap still exists, it has significantly decreased over the years and statistics show that in younger generations the gap is much smaller than when looking across the board. Surely, this is a sign of progress and an indication that all women are capable of holding their own financially. 

So what is the trophy worth? No more than the dense lifeless stone she was carved from….this is the message you are sending when you are essentially giving another person ownership of your life. 

Revelations: Do What You Love

 

Image

I remember writing a month and a half ago about how I was dissatisfied with almost every aspect of my life and set out to make Changes. Shortly after making that post I heard from a friend who hadn’t spoken to me in about two years due to a falling out, it was such a nice surprise to hear from him. Not only was it nice to catch up after so long, but seeing and hearing about all that he’s done over the past couple years was very inspiring and motivating…

Speaking with someone who in comparison to myself has “got it all together” motivated me to really get on track. When I say “got it all together” I don’t mean they’re making crap loads of money, what I mean is they have discovered their passion in life and are living it fully. They are living a life that’s full of spontaneity and excitement, and earning their living at the same time. Ironically, seven years ago when we first met he was the one who would say “you’re beating me in life” cause I made more money than he did.

I used to think that I would have to make a choice in life and either work a job that pays well but brings me little fulfillment and have my passions just be hobbies or do what I’m passionate about full time and be broke cause it’s not a “real job” Seeing in black and white this way has been one of my weaknesses, even after going to Tanzania and meeting an amazing woman who lives her passion through her work and being inspired by her I ended up having difficulties seeing the same for myself. That recent re-connection with my friend has hurled me into action and it feels amazing. Work is going well, and although I know what I’m doing now isn’t my final destination, I’m building a financial foundation to do the things I want to and  am getting better at accepting this as one of the necessary steps in moving towards the future rather than whining about not being farther ahead. I actually just won an incentive trip to Cancun from my work for January! This gives me even more motivation to keep working out and taking care of myself. 

I know I had said I would work out in moderation, aiming for three times a week but something happened and I fell completely head over heels in love with it again. To the point that I can bolt out of bed at 5am to do it and I am NOT a morning person at all. Typically if anyone interrupts my sleep I will want to murder them, when it’s exercise that interrupts my sleep though, I am one real happy girl! Much of my spare time has been invested in preparing delicious healthy food, working out, learning more about nutrition and fitness and sharing what I know with others. With food my creativity is flourishing once again, when I feel a craving for something less than healthy come on, an idea for a healthy substitute usually comes to mind automatically and I’m lucky that in being a scientist by nature, I don’t need to follow recipes to cook.  Seems I’ve rediscovered something I’m passionate about and want to build a future around.

I mentioned before that I have a lot of great ideas, but have often lacked follow through. Surprisingly, (I know, it’s terrible for me to be surprised at my own forward momentum) things have been flowing at a nice pace.  I’m teaching friends how to eat, and how to work out, keeping them motivated and following their plans to a T. I even scoured my friends fridge in TO this weekend to make sure there wasn’t anything in there that shouldn’t be lol.  Once this becomes a set lifestyle for them, I’ll have some amazing people to vouch for me :) 

Another big thing is, I’ve stopped worrying and being critical of myself for not being farther ahead in life……I don’t know exactly how I accomplished that but taking action that is fueled by positive inspirations rather than that fueled by fear and anxieties about not being where I want to be in life is FAR more productive. Another positive source of inspiration in my life other than the friend who re-connected has been my father. It’s funny that it’s taken me 28 years to see him as a source of inspiration, but I suppose I had a few things to learn before I could see it. My father has so much passion for his work, he’s in his late 60’s and tried to retire at one point but he was bored and lacked energy. When he’s working he’s up before the sun every morning and drives over an hour to the site he’s working at.  When something gets you out of bed every morning and you don’t complain about it, that’s passion. When something draws you away a bit from other aspects of your life but not to your detriment, that’s passion. My dad built his business on a dream, and many people told him he was crazy to even try. He educated himself independently and started with trial and error, and almost twenty five years later he’s still going strong even though he’s had some major ups and downs.

Image

What I had to learn before I could see my dad as an inspiration is, life is hard, and the only way to be successful is hard work and dedication. It took me a while to catch onto that one, although my dad had to work really hard for everything he’s ever gotten in life, I just had everything handed to me. This gave me the idea that life was easy and success could happen overnight. Once life stopped giving me free rides, the realizations about how important strong work ethic is came along…..the realizations that if I didn’t work hard now I would not have the career I want by the time I’m in my early 30’s kicked in. I used to think I could sit around on my butt and do a bit of work here and there and the rest would take care of itself. This is why independent projects I’ve started working on the past have always come to a halt. In my actual jobs, I look back now and see that I mostly got by on my looks and charms, I once got an 11% raise within 5 months of starting a job for major reasons!

I’m not content with that though, sure it’s money and it can be sustained easily with looks and charm, but it’s not passion and (gasp!) what if my looks are gone someday? Now I don’t feel great unless what’s given to me is earned through hard work, even if it’s not one of my great life passions I’m working at, that sense of earning something really feels great. My overall approach to work has changed quite a bit, and this whole hard work thing that I wanted to avoid like the plague in the past is now proving to actually be pleasant and rewarding. I know it’s even more rewarding when that hard work is being put into something you’re really passionate about….now that I’ve found something that really makes me tick, and have discovered that genuine hard work is actually great, it is time to work at combining my two findings into something grand! 

I also realized that in addition to hard work, the path to success involves sacrifice and discipline. Through my twenties I spent most of my time frivolously on other people to the detriment of my own professional development. I mean, look back at some of my older articles and you will see that the bulk of them are about my dating life and the opposite sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with that lol, we all need some lovin’. The way I see things now is, that can wait. In my mind it’s easier to accept not being in a successful relationship until later on than it is to accept not having the career I want until later on and quite frankly, I think sustainable relationships are easier to cultivate later on anyhow, at least until you’ve gotten through the bulk of your  “know thyself” and “to thyself be true” lessons in life, I seem to have taken a long ass time with mine. I’m not saying that this is an absolute truth for everyone my age, I know plenty of people my age who seem perfectly on track, know exactly what their goals are and are in great relationships. The things I write about are a reflection of what I put my energy into and prioritize, for a little while I think I was doing things backwards if career and achieving personal goals are higher priorities for me than dating and relationships. 

That being said, I am looking forward to including more posts on this blog re: professional development, inspiration to achieve success, and strategies that have worked well for me. Life is definitely on an upswing at the moment :)