I’m alive, it’s 2015.

My philosophy for the coming year, or, avoiding my quarter life crisis:

Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right, and your head up. Do well, live well, and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. Never settle for a life you don’t want. It’s time to start living.

My Wish For You:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read beautiful books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

The last few days of 2014, or, The Gypsy Life:

The holidays have been and probably always will be an absolute whirlwind for me, as I’m sure many of you can relate to. Due to my loveable, but modern family, I have a variety of Christmas dinner celebrations to attend in multiple cities. I literally transform into a gypsy during this time of year, and travel around to see all my family and friends with roughly 300 pounds of presents and luggage in tow. January marks the end of this blissful and chaotic madness, which is bittersweet.. But also a huge relief (wheew, I can breathe again). That being said, I’m so fortunate to have amazing people in my life that are worth travelling for, and I’m lucky to be able to spend the holidays with them! I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.. I didn’t choose the gypsy life, the gypsy life chose me.

2015:

Here we go again! Another new year, bursting with fresh beginnings and 365 days of unknown adventures and opportunities awaiting our discovery.. So, in the words of the ever-wise Vince Vaughn: Grab that net, and catch that beautiful butterfly, friends (figuratively speaking, of course.. or literally, if you’re into that). With each new year lies another opportunity to “get it right”. In reality, we often fall short of our own expectations, biting off more than we can chew. But even if you missed the mark this past year, you’ve still progressed, evolved and learned a little bit more about yourself.. It’s a chance to re-evaluate your current situation, and make changes where you see fit in order to better yourself. And honestly, in my opinion, that is a huge accomplishment in and of itself! I’m somebody who gets overwhelmed by taking on more than I can handle. I like to break things down, and create manageable and realistic goals for myself. For example, instead of projecting to be a super ninja body builder by the time 2016 rolls around, I would much rather commit to daily or weekly fitness goals.. Such as, hitting the gym 5 times a week and only indulging in pizza (my vice! god love it..) on weekends. When your goals (or “resolutions” as some might call them.. sorry, but that word makes me cringe..) are attainable and scheduled on a daily or weekly basis, it’s a heck of a lot easier to stay on track and not get discouraged (RE: the notorious february resolution burnout).

Switching gears..

2014, on a global level, was very troublesome in a lot of ways. We witnessed a huge shift in the level and degree of hatred, violence and ignorance that is relentlessly plaguing our world. Love, peace and respect are all concepts that seem so far fetched in the face of political and religious warfare. Some might argue that these things have always been a growing toxin in our society, which I do not disagree with, but it’s just so much harder to ignore when it transpires so frequently, tragically and without remorse. Terrorism has become such a general term that stands as an umbrella for countless forms of violence that do not see human beings, innocent lives, families or humility because those behind it are blinded by their own egocentric value systems. Whatever your opinion may be, it’s getting to the point where there seem to be fewer and fewer boundaries that are left unchartered in the way of how wars are fought and how we treat one another. This is so concerning to me, and you can’t help but wonder where, when and if it will ever stop. Are we a species that will ultimately act as it’s own killer due to greed, religion, hate and lack of communication skills? Perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but you catch my drift.. And definitely some food for thought that I strongly believe we should all dabble in: Take it home, chew on it a bit, and see what you come up with, in terms of an opinion.

Another topic that has gained a lot of attention this past year has been the utter lack of awareness, knowledge and compassion surrounding mental illness and resources available to those suffering in silence. This is such an enormous issue and is still not getting the attention that it deserves. I would love for 2015 to mark itself as a time where the stigma for these invisible diseases vanish, and for more resources to become available for inviduals and their families. January 28th is ‘Bell Let’s Talk’, a movement that works to create more awareness and acceptance for mental illness. Here’s a link to the official site: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ Educate yourself, join the conversation and help end the stigma!

Similarly, I can only hope that 2015 brings more acceptance and love and less fear towards those who don’t fit into a conventional mould.  I strongly believe that you don’t necessarily have to agree with how every single person chooses to live their life or the choices that they make.. But it’s your obligation as a human being to at least have enough sense to realize that it’s not your right to tell another person what they can and cannot do. Just because you don’t understand why or how people can possibly enjoy watching curling on television does not give you some empirical power to tell them that it’s wrong. Sounds ridiculous right? The same concept applies to the confused idea that simply because you don’t understand why a young girl realizes that she would rather be a boy, or that two men wish to celebrate their love by getting married automatically means that it shouldn’t happen. The simple fact that you are afraid of something you do not understand or agree with does not grant you the power to take away someone elses rights. Peace, acceptance, and respect: let’s do more of that this year.

A couple goals that I have for myself this year:

1) Give Back: I am so fortunate to be where I am in my life, and have so many supportive wonderful people in it. I think it’s really important to always step back and be thankful for what you have versus wallowing over what you don’t have. If you know me, you’ve probably heard my recent war cry of an impending “quarter life crisis” – I will touch more on this in a later post.. I feel like my life needs to have more meaning to it, in the sense that I want to be a part of more positive change and proactive activities to better our planet. After much deliberation, I have found an organization that I feel really passionate about – Big Brothers and Big Sisters. They have a really amazing program called “Go Girls” that promotes healthy attitudes toward health, fitness and positive body images. It’s so hard to be a young girl, and they deserve positive role models! If you’re interested in this program I highly suggest checking it out — Link: http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/en/home/mentoringprograms/gogirls.aspx Alternatively, figure out what you’re passionate about, or what you’d like to see change in our world, whether it be on a global level or something more community based and do your part to contribute!

2) Read More: I am so busy and barely have a spare minute to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee let alone pick up a book and read for an uninterrupted period of time. I feel like this is a problem that so many people fall victim to. Between work, the gym, and maintaining a social life it’s nearly impossible. (I will admit that I find time to feed my extreme addiction to “Scandal“… If you haven’t seen it, drop everything and watch it immediately. You’re welcome.) I have so many books that I want to read and I really truly enjoy slipping into another world through literature and I’m going to make a more valiant effort to read before bedtime. My goal is to finish at least one book a month. We’ll see how it goes…

3) Cultivate Kindness: I realize this is a very general goal. But every day, find a way to be more kind and do at least one thing to brighten someone elses day. It doesn’t have to be much, a little really goes a long way. We’re so used to not making eye contact with strangers and experiencing road rage (I am the worst for this.. Ever heard of Napoleon syndrome?…), that even the smallest gesture can turn someone’s day around. I realized this when I noticed that the barista who serves me coffee every morning was wearing a little extra makeup and did something different with her hair. I internally thought she looked amazing, but thought to myself.. Why not tell her? I mentioned to her that she looked gorgeous, and the smile that instantly spread across her face was so worth the risk of potentially having sounded creepy. She told me that it meant a lot hearing a compliment from another woman. Women are rarely nice to one another, and it made me think about how meaningful and important it is to compliment each other and genuinely appreciate the struggle that every woman goes through to get ready each morning… It’s so real! This is just one example, but the point is.. it doesn’t take much to make someone smile. Lastly, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. I know that I’m an enormous perfectionist and am often my toughest critic. Appreciate yourself, your body and your spirit and if you’re able to be at peace with yourself you’ll feel more inclined to spread that same kindness towards others. Smile at yourself, smile at others, smile at animals… Just smile!

4) Break My Comfort Zone: I think my biggest fear is probably living a complacent life. I want to be constantly evolving, improving myself and learning new things about myself and the world. I want to travel new places, see new things, and take my career to the next level. This is going to be a huge year in making moves to ensure that I don’t settle into a life that’s not full of adventure. Wish me luck! And I encourage you to do the same; push yourself to limits you never thought possible and make a million beautiful memories.

 

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Happy New Year, and may 2015 be the best year yet! XO

 

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