October 27th, 2017

Post #18: The Summer of ’17 – Part 1

Autumn is now in full swing. October is almost over, and the trees that once dazzled in golden colours, have lost most of their leaves. Cold winds blow, clouds hang low, the sunsets are glorious, and everything is beautiful. This time of year always has a way of making me nostalgic. There have been a lot of changes in my life recently, and I know that more are coming. Until those changes come, I choose to reflect on my summer and reminisce, not about every detail, but only some of the best moments.

June was a month that mostly consisted of going to work. Other than going to a night market with a friend I hadn’t seen in months, and volunteering at one of my city’s annual summer festivals (where my team and I were serenaded by a quartet), I spent my days at work. My days spent at work were not boring, I made so made memories that I could fill another post with them, and I intend to.

Over the course of July, I actually chose to go out and have fun. At first, I invited a friend that had been away for University the whole year, out on a downtown shopping adventure. What started out as a simple trip to the mall, turned into a walk through the park, and the discovery of a “hole in the wall” ice cream shop.

The following week, I convinced a friend to go to a drop in dance class with me after work. She brought one of her best friends, and we all went to an hour long heels dance class. There, we learned a short routine to “Slow Hands” and had a fabulous time with a teacher who reminded us of the importance of body confidence, getting out of the comfort zone, embracing yourself, and just going for it. Goodness did my legs hurt after.

The next day, I went to a “bar” with my best friend and caught up on the patio over drinks and pub food, good food. Hours after eating, we found ourselves sitting in a playground laughing about everything we spoke about.

By the end of the week, I was with family, wandering through another night market, appreciating local artists and businesses. From there, we walked to my city’s largest annual event. It had been 5 years since I had been a part of the swarms of people in cowboy hats eating crazy fair food (like ice cream sandwiches made with rice krispie squares), watching concerts (like Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals), marvelling at fireworks, and admiring local artwork. Happily, I can say it was one of my favourite nights of the summer. That being said, the summer wasn’t over yet.

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August 11th, 2017

Post #17: 19 years of age

It’s already been a year. One year ago today, I started this blog and began my steady journey into womanhood.

In all this time, I managed to start and finish a year of university; subsequently completing all of my certificate requirements. My classes, as well as various volunteering opportunities, have allowed me to meet some amazing people. More than anything, they reminded me of the significance of doing what you love. I have also continued to bond, and made new connections with my coworkers, who constantly remind me that one should never completely grow up.

Above all, as I have begun to take steps in the adult world, making my own decisions, plans, and standing my own ground, I have come to truly appreciate how important it is to take time out of your busy schedule to talk and spend time with the ones you love.

To reflect on what I said in last year’s post, I will continue to remember to try and find the beauty in the little things, and the joy in everyday. Like finding happiness in taking a trip to the farmers market, eating Vietnamese food, and of course cake, on my 19th birthday for example.

I know that the next year has even more surprises in store for me than the last. I can’t wait to see what’s around every corner as I grow and develop myself as a person, go on realizing who I am, and what it means to be me.

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July 1st, 2017

Post #16: Canadian pride

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada! Every Canadian has a different way of celebrating Canada Day, and Canada itself means something different to each person that calls this beautiful country home. However, today was something special. People everywhere, young and old, could be seen wearing maple leaves, or simply red and white.

I personally had the pleasure of waking up early and serving a free pancake breakfast, at a place where all year round, people learn about Canada’s history, properly celebrate where we as a country come from, and what it means to be Canadian. In a place like this, it’s hard not to feel a profound sense of pride. Especially at a time when it seems like everyone is coming together to celebrate.

Thank you, Canada, for giving us a place to learn, grow, and prosper.

Thank you, Canada, for giving us a home.

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May 5th, 2017

Post #15: Seeing stars

Last Thursday evening, I had the chance to see a performance of “Miles Electric Band”. This group of incredibly talented gentlemen (some had traveled with The Rolling Stones) brought so much energy and life to the stage, and their sound was unlike one I’ve heard before. Led by Vincent Wilburn Jr. (Miles Davis’ nephew), the group came together to play from the heart and share with the crowd how Miles Davis had influenced them, goodness did they leave an impression.

That weekend, I volunteered at a Comic and Entertainment Expo. From behind the admissions booth I got to interact with a wide array of creative and excited individuals. It was Sunday, when I got to wander around the Expo myself, that I got to catch a glimpse of a number of famous faces. While walking around the autograph tables I briefly saw Nathan Fillion, Wallace Shaun, Billy Dee Williams, Corey Dee Williams, Steven Yeun, Mara Wilson, Colm Meaney, Kristian Nairn, Ruth Connell, and walked right past Patrick Warburton as he was headed back to his table.
What is exciting to me, (and a lot of other fans) about having these opportunities to be in the same room as famous people, is the fact that you get to be a little bit closer to the people that in one way or another have inspired you and impacted your life. Thank you to the amazing actors, actresses, musicians, authors and artists who have used their extraordinary talents and minds to change the way we live our lives and see the world.
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March 18th, 2017

Post #14: New (hair)do

Yesterday, I did something that if you had asked me to do it a year ago, I would have asked you if you were crazy. I got my hair cut shorter than its ever been cut, and I got it dyed with purple highlights. Until more recently, I never even wanted to dye my hair. I was always too afraid that I would look ridiculous and regret the decision as soon as the process was over. I don’t know what changed my mind, something just snapped and there was nothing to do but try and hope for the best.

I had no idea what to expect. My ignorance led me to believe that the whole experience would only take an hour. Boy was I wrong. After nearly 4 hours at the hairdresser, and spending much more money than I had expected, I still managed to leave with a smile on my face. As I stepped out onto the sidewalk and gusts of wind blew through my hair, purple streaks falling in my face, I felt so wildly different, but I loved it. I felt like a completely different person. Maybe the positive result gave me a boost of self confidence, or maybe the fact that I hadn’t cut my hair in a year had gotten to me and the change came as a welcome relief. Whatever was going on in my mind, the dramatic transformation reminded me that maybe it really is good to go outside of your comfort zone once in a while.

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February 22nd, 2017

Post #13: Never underestimate

Never underestimate the power of a five minute drive home that turns into an hour and a half because you and your best friend decide to sit in your driveway and have one of the deepest conversations of your entire friendship.

Never underestimate the experience of taking a train through a blizzard to go to a theatre to volunteer and help the lost audience members to their venues. There is something special about the feeling of helping another simply because you have the time of day. At the end of it all, you know that you made a difference in their day, and made their life a little easier. Who knows, your giving may even lead to you receiving. If you help out at a theatre, you might receive tickets to an orchestra for example.

Never underestimate the escapade of waiting outside in -30 degree weather for 45 minutes, for your bus to go to school for only three hours, to make you question if it’s even worth it. The longer you stand there, the colder you get, and after time your toes are so frozen that tears nearly start to well in your eyes. However, for whatever reason, you continue to stand there, knowing that eventually a bus will show up. You wonder if you’re crazy for sticking through it, and in the end you realize that if you’re passionate enough about something, you would go to the ends of the earth for it, so a little cold weather is not going to hold you back.

Never underestimate the experience of getting a ride from a colleague you barely know because you both have to attend a company event for a class. As long as your initial impressions of this colleague are that they are trustworthy and good hearted, your experience is likely to be more pleasant than you would expect. You learn a lot about a person in a few short minutes of conversation, and when you’re both attending an event that neither knows what to expect, you are likely to find yourselves having a lot of conversation. Ultimately, you will have each other for casual conversation when everyone else and their coworkers make you feel slightly out of place.

Never underestimate the feeling of either jumping in, or walking through a huge puddle of melted snow. Depending on the shoes you’re wearing, the sensation of cold water soaking through to your bare feet can be unexpectedly liberating. On the other hand, the sound of the water splashing and the resulting mess can bring you out of whatever gloom you may have been in earlier, and make you feel like a carefree kid again.

Never underestimate the beauty of a baby’s smile. The innocent little eyes looking up at you as they giggle about spilling their food all over the floor, or making a funny noise, can not be compared to anything else.

Never underestimate the power of an individual’s words. One person, has the ability to inspire you, or change the way you see the world, just by saying a few words that you feel a connection to. If you have something you need to say, about something in which you are passionate, say what you need to say. Yell it at the top of your lungs. Don’t hold back. Everyone has the power to make a difference. Never underestimate.

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January 24th, 2017

Post #12: Music as an expression of emotion

If, for one reason or another, I was only able to use one piece of technology for the rest of my life, I would choose any form of music player. I could live without my cell phone, and the laptop I’m using to write this entry, but I don’t think I could ever go without a source of music. There is something so comforting about the rhythms, beats, and melodies of a song flowing through my head.

music |ˈmyo͞ozik| (noun)

1 vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

Music is so much more than the sound. Music, regardless of whether it has lyrics or is simply instrumental, has the ability to convey emotion. Therefore, music can play off the emotions you are experiencing as you listen, putting into words the feelings you’re faced with. A song can be an outlet for the artist to reveal their emotions or story, and that the listener can find solace in or feel a relation to. Behind every song are stories, whether the story be that of how the artist came to create the song, the story of how you discovered the song, or the fantasy story that runs through your head every time you hear it.

More than anything, music is personal. Particular songs can spark memories of specific moments or people in your life that only you would think of. In this way music connects us, not only to each other, but to our pasts. We may remember a loved one’s favourite song and play it in their memory, or the song that was playing when we first met a new friend and play it to stir up happy thoughts of them.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

Music can also be an escape. When listening to any given song, one may find themselves drifting off and losing themselves in it. The sound, may that be the gentle melody of a piano, or the deep and pounding thump of a bass, can help drown out the unwelcome noises of the world, numb your pain, and make you happy enough to dance around the room like no one is watching.

Thank you artists, musicians, and everyone involved in putting music out into the world. You have a way of touching each and every one of us.

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