Things I want to write about.

I’m writing this here, to hold myself accountable. I will make posts on the following subjects. If I don’t, kick my butt in gear. Remind me. Don’t let it go. (Not that anyone has that much investment in my opinions, lolololol I sound ridiculous)

  • Pretty privilege
  • Sad-fishing
  • People confusing cancel culture and accountability
  • Side effects of anxiety that people who don’t have anxiety often don’t realize
  • The dangers of influencers recommending after-pay to their audience
  • How every aspect of your digital footprint affects yours, and your company’s brand
  • Paying people what they’re worth and not downplaying the value they provide
  • The toxicity of ‘Girl Bosses’ and ‘Mom Bosses’
  • Things you should know before buying a car
  • Things you should know before buying a house
  • Why your blog doesn’t get the views you want it to get
  • Instagram is changing, will you need to change with it?
  • The sides of marketing that everyone seems to believe just magically happen
  • The importance of doing your own research for investing in stocks (to include crypto scams currently plaguing the web)
  • What is the VPC of your blog?

I have so many thoughts and ideas I want to share on this blog. I need more hours in the day.

Also, if you have thoughts on any of these subjects, please write a post and share it on your blog and tell me to come and read it. I like reading other’s opinions and seeing where people agree with me and where they don’t.

Financial Trauma

Recently, one of my favourite YouTube commentator channels, Tiffany Ferg, did a video about the role that wealth and class play in one’s ability to succeed with social media as a career choice. Video here, for reference:

One of the things that Tiffany spoke of in this video is the way that money, or lack thereof, can play a significant role in who we are, and who we become.

So, let’s talk about financial trauma.

The concept of financial trauma is the idea that those from low-class economic status have larger portions of their personality shaped around money than those raised in the middle class or upper class. Essentially, growing up poor or barely scraping by, play a considerable role in who you become.

From a personal perspective, this is absolutely true.

From a societal standpoint, I do believe this to largely be true. It’s one of the reasons, I think, why lottery winners are infinitely more likely to file for bankruptcy than regular folk. The sudden windfall of money is something that they really don’t know how to deal with, especially if lands in the laps of someone who’s spent their whole life scraping by, or just making it pay cheque to pay cheque.

But, let’s backtrack here.

I grew up in what is regularly defined as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. I was one of five biological children and seven total children living in the house. As a family, we were very much house poor. This means that we were living in a house, we had a roof over our heads and were ultimately very privileged in that sense, but the sacrifices made to ensure that roof stayed over our heads meant a lot of sacrifices in other areas of life.

My siblings and I would regularly go out on bicycles after dark to collect cans and bottles from dumpsters, to earn what very little money we could so that my father would have a way to and from work each day. There were actually days in which he hitchhiked to work. (Due to my father’s profession and the location of our house relative to where he worked, it was very difficult for him to find a coworker who was headed there at the same time as him)

Those memories, they stay with you. They define you, dare I say.

Even so, I know that while I may have grown up low-class in an upper-middle and upper class world, I still acknowledge how blessed I was to be in the situation that I was. Sharing a bedroom with three other people was annoying at times, but I did have a room. I had a house. I had a place to come home to. It’s something that I know a lot of people in the city which I grew up, and the world, did not and still do not have. For the sake of this share, I just wanted to acknowledge the privilege that I did/do have.

One thing I distinctly remember from my childhood is that, for the years in which we did have a vehicle (largely my teenaged years), the gas tank was always riding ‘Empty’. My parents had scraped together enough to get the vehicle, but between the vehicle and the house payments, things felt tighter than ever before.

I think this is very much one of the reasons why I didn’t purchase my own vehicle until I was 31 years old. I think this is one of the reasons why you will never, ever, ever see the gas-tank in my car get below the half-way mark. I can’t do it. The anxiety and stress that I get from seeing the gas-tank read closer to ‘E’ than it does to ‘F'(Full) is something that I cannot tolerate. If I cannot afford to fill up my car with gas, to keep it above the half-way mark on the tank, then I won’t drive my car until I can.

This, to me, is the idea of financial trauma. That the socioeconomic status in which you’re raised is something that stays with you, for what I can only assume is your whole life.

I know I’m not alone in this.

I know someone who grew up in a world-renowned mountain town, one famous for skiing/snowboarding, winter lifestyle and affluence. Their parents brought them to this country as refugees and they landed in this mountain town by some sort of cosmic coincidence.

Their upbringing was hard. This mountain town, known for accepting wealthy tourists from all over the world year-round, was one where cost of living was high, while the possible wages able to be earned by a refugee couple and their children was.

They’ve told me stories about working as a bag-boy and shelf-stocker in the grocery store every day of the week from as early in life as they were able to work, with the money they made in week not even being able to afford them the groceries they would want to buy from that very store. And of following their mom and dd to work as janitors at night to help them get work done faster so they can get more done, and thus make a little more money for the family.

This person, a lot of the financial decisions that they make today are the outcome of what they went through growing up. They go out of their way to ensure that living pay cheque to pay cheque will never again be their reality. They also go out of their way to ensure they don’t/won’t work in any industry remotely related to the jobs they worked growing up. The way in which they grew up has played a big role in defining the decisions they make today.

To an extent, I think this idea of financial trauma will be present in anyone who has lived, or is presently living in a situation in which money is not something that allows them to be comfortable. And, when you really stop to think about it, it’s something that really doesn’t affect those who come from a higher-level socioeconomic class. Because they’ve never had to worry about money, they’ll likely continue to not worry about money, or the choices they make with their money. Not unless they suddenly fall into bankruptcy.

So what shapes them, then? What shapes the upper half? If they’re not plagued by the choice of which bill to decide to pay this month, how do they discern how to make difficult decisions in life? I’m not too sure, really. I can speculate. But, since I’ve never experienced being in that place in which I don’t have to worry about money, it wouldn’t really be fair for me to do as such.

Also, I just want to point out that this is not my shaming of people who come from, or presently reside in, upper-half socioeconomic classes. Money is a wonderful thing. And, if you’re able to reach a point in life in which you’re comfortable, which you have a cushion in your bank account, I think that’s a very good thing.

I wouldn’t say that I have a cushion, where I’m presently at in life. But, I did manage to pay off my debts earlier this year, so I reckon I’m probably in better financial standing that many people my age. That feeling of having no debts, that feeling is unlike anything I’ve ever achieved before.

Funnily enough, my parents, in their late 60’s, have officially paid off all of their debts this year as well. While I’ve noticed a certain ‘lightness’ to them that I’ve never experienced before in my life, I also notice that there are certain things they’re unwilling to do. There are certain decisions being made out of the preservation of their present status in life, to ensure they never go back to their state of financial trauma.

I’d also like to note that financial trauma affects everyone differently. For some people, I think financial trauma manifests itself in hyper-consumerism. People desire to have things to showcase their status. For other people, financial trauma can manifest itself in an unwillingness to buy anything.

As much as money can’t buy happiness, it doesn’t play a very large contributing factor in who we grow up to be. Whether we went through financial trauma in the past, or we’re presently going through it now, money affects every decision in our lives, to some extent.

I’m not really sure how to close this, so I’ll just leave with an ideological thought that’s been on my mind for years. Internships should be abolished. The concept that young people should be forced to work for free and that University, College or High School credit, or ‘experience’ should be enough of a reason to force them through financial hardships should end. Free labor/labour should not exist in the western world. It shouldn’t exist in the world at all, actually. But that’s a discussion for another day – something I need to do a lot more research on and learn a lot more about. The concept of forcing a young person to work for free, ‘to pay their dues’ whilst they’re still required to pay their bills, their rent and they still need to eat is wholly unfair. At the very least, interns should be paid minimum wage in the industry for which they work.

At what point in time do we stop wishing for younger generations to ‘pay their dues’ (a grossly misguided belief) and start saying ‘perhaps the favour I can do for future generations is to ensure they don’t have to go through that which I did’.

Fin.

Job thoughts.

Do you ever meet someone and think ‘damn, you’ve got so much potential’? It always seems like the people who have the most potential are the ones who are the most against changing, improving and getting better. Whether it self esteem or something else, for whatever reason, they just don’t think they can succeed.

Maybe you are that person.

I know I was for many years.

I became so complacent in the position I was in. In the stage of life I was in. I told myself that was what I deserved and, even though I didn’t like it, I accepted it. I told myself that people like me weren’t meant for more in life.

Now that I realize what I’m capable of, what I can accomplish, what it’s like to feel valued… I look back on that person that I was and… while I am not ashamed, I am angry at myself. I stayed still for years. I was treated like shit at work for years.

There are some people in my life these days that are just… still. They don’t move. They won’t move. Every time I try to tell them how great they are and how much potential they have and how they just need to step out, I get excuses. Different excuses every time. There’s always a different reason as to why they cannot. And I get, I do. I was there for sooooo many years. But, now that I realize how wrong I was, I don’t want to see other people making those mistakes.

You cannot achieve anything in life if you don’t try. I should know. There are posts on this very blog where I talk about how I wouldn’t try, I didn’t want to try and I wasn’t going to try.

Change is worthwhile. Even when it sucks. Actually, when change sucks, that’s probably when you’re accomplishing the most growth.

Just..

I know it’s hard when someone is seemingly bossing you around, trying to push you into a place you’re not comfortable with. Just know that it comes from a good place. Take that from someone who ignored those people for YEARS and now has become one of them.

It’s okay to want more for yourself.

It’s okay to chase more for yourself.

You might not be able to make a change tomorrow, but as long as you’re working toward something, progress will do wonders for your mood and well-being. And to be clear, I’m not advocating for anyone to up and quit their job. I just think it’s important to make a plan. A reasonable plan. Something for you to look forward to. Something for you to work towards. Something that’s realistic and able for you to accomplish. Six months? A year? Two years? Five years? Give yourself something to work for.

I have a plan in place. Just knowing there’s a plan helps me immensely.

ENOUGH with the mansplaining already – a rant.

Every time, EVERY TIME, that I go into speaking about any subject, there seems to be a man right there ready and waiting to interrupt me so that he can explain to me just what it is I am talking about.

All day.

Every day.

Justin, from our Texas office, is particularly bad with this. Actually, all the men at my company are. If I’m being completely honest, I think they see their advanced degrees in specialized subject areas as a classification that they’re ultimately smarter than everyone with respect to every subject. Axel doesn’t just think he’s smarter with respect to everything, he KNOWS with his whole heart and every fiber of his being that he’s smarter than everyone else on earth with respect to every subject matter.

During our meeting this morning, I was drinking a smoothie. After being asked what was in my smoothie and not making it past the ingredient ‘protein powder’ I was promptly cut off so that I could listen to a tangent about what proteins are best for me as I’m female and I can’t just go to the store and pick a protein powder because the packaging is cute.

Apparently that’s all females do, select any and every product they buy based off what the packaging looks like. At least that’s what I got out of the 20 minute tangent I listened to this morning.

It’s getting to the point where I’ll avoid conversations outright and make up excuses to get out of conversations so that I don’t have to listen to people mansplain. I think I’ll be okay if you don’t interrupt me today. How about you go back to your own job and leave me alone.

My coworker, Kat, says ‘You just get used to it after a while’. Kat, I don’t really want to get used to it.

There’s a BIG difference between making a suggestion, telling me how to do my job and telling me why I’m doing my job wrong. There’s a BIG difference between asking me what I’m drinking and telling me that I shop based on what the package of a product looks like.

I’m annoyed.

Baby Harry

A couple of people have asked how he’s doing. I haven’t provided much of an update because there hasn’t been much of an update to give. He’s awake. He’s hooked up to machines 24 hours a day and is being pumped full of antibiotics and steroids to help improve his condition (which it has been). He’s still a pretty sick little dude. Doctor’s are estimating he’ll be in Children’s Hospital until the middle of May.

Due to the remote location my brother and sister-in-law live, they don’t want to send him home until he’s fully healed because they don’t want to run the risk of having to airlift him back if he was ‘almost better’ and then took a turn for the worse. Basically, because he’s so young and small ‘Healthy Enough’ isn’t an answer the doctors are willing to accept. He needs to make a full recovery in hospital before they’ll release him.

My sister-in-law is getting used to sleeping on a chair next to his hospital bed. My brother is going back to work because his parental leave is over and they still have bills to pay. Thankfully, we’re Canadian, so those bills are not hospital bills. The family is hopeful. The doctor’s have said that if he continues on the path he’s been on, he should make a full recovery by mid-May.

Various updates all in one place

I got my package. It was misdelivered to Smith Court and the woman who found it on her doorstep brought it to my house.

I got a raise. And… a promotion? Not really a promotion. Just more responsibilities and will get more money for it. I understand that’s kind of the definition of a promotion… it’s a weird grey area. It’s not a promotion. I think my boss realized that I might have been looking for something new and they wanted to add a little something extra to try and keep me around.

I bought a Christmas tree and I’m going to decorate it. This is a big deal for me because (with the exception of the time spent at my parents house in 2019, the first few months of 2020) I’ve lived on my own since I was 16 and I never bothered to invest in a Christmas tree before. I’m going to this year. This pandemic ain’t going to stop me from celebrating the holiday in the simplest, most special way… exactly how I want.

I’m considering adding a four legged fluff-ball to my life. I’m on the hunt for a small dog. My place just isn’t large enough for a large dog, it wouldn’t be fair to keep them here. But a small dog, I think they could fit in well in this house.

I have a meeting tomorrow with someone who’s looking for someone to design work done for their website. I genuinely don’t know if I have the time too. But, I think that’s a nice problem to have. I’m too ‘in demand’, I can’t help everyone. Okay, that sounds a little too cocky and I didn’t mean it to be that way. I just think it’s a good problem to be too busy. It’s nice when people come to you.

Now if only I could get paid money to just watch movies. That would be an ideal life. I used to say I wanted to paid to travel the world, but at the moment I don’t think that would be too fruitful.

Anyways…

I think I spent too much money on Christmas presents. I need to stay home for the next 10 days and not spend money. Whoops. Good thing it’s -20 outside and snowy. I don’t feel like going anywhere. And, I guess it’s a good thing my Christmas shopping is done. Mad props to companies offering free delivery this year because of the pandemic. That is forward thinking business.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane.

Fun fact

I, along with two of my brothers, was an extra in X Men: The Last Stand.

The entire summer the movie was filmed will forever stand out in my mind as some of my fondest memories. It was one of the most fascinating, fun, difficult and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Also, I was a teenager being paid more money in a week than most adults make at their day job, and I was hanging out with people that my teenage self truly idolized.

The whole summer came about because my brothers and I were sitting in a mall food court one day and heard a man near us pointing to a blind ad in the paper telling his friend that he was certain it was a casting call for X Men. ‘It would be fun’, we thought. ‘Why the heck not?’ At the very least, it’d make a cool story to tell our friends… going to a movie audition. Turns out to be a ton of cool stories to tell our friends.

I know it’s an older movie, but if anyone owns it or watches it, I’m a student in the mutant school. I’m not saying which one though. If you watch it, tell which one you think I am, or which three you think my brothers and I are. Your hint? We look enough alike that the casting crew thought we could pass as triplets.

Targeted

There was a shooting (and subsequent car crash) near here last night. You know what helps an anxious mind fall asleep? It’s definitely not hearing gunshots and a car crash after dark when you’re in a house alone at night.

Two people were killed and one is in hospital. While the police have said the shooting was targeted, that doesn’t make it any less scary. People act as though guns aren’t an issue in Canada… I disagree. People being shot within hearing distance of me is not cool…. targeted or not.

A boring story.

I banged my head.

‘Banged’ is a really weird word. It almost defies the rules of English. It sounds like it should be ‘bonged’…

Anyways, I banged my head. Really badly. I have a stacking washer/dryer set and this is the first time in my life to ever have the stacking laundry system. Since I moved into this place I’ve been extra careful about ensuring I don’t stand up with the dryer door open. Well, careful until last night.

I grabbed the last two pieces of clothing out of the washing machine and stood up quickly, gesturing my hand upward to throw them into the dryer. On the way up, though, I hit the dryer door… so fucking hard. My head has been throbbing since last night. There’s actually a giant lump on the side of my head, where I hit it. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve managed to do that to myself.

I had a really hard time sleeping last night. I’m having a really hard time focusing today. All I can really focus on is the gnawing pain… reminding me of what a dumbass I am for knowingly standing up whilst the dryer door was open. It’s like I was asking for it.

Anyways, I banged my head.

It hurts.

That… was a story.

Posting pictures of people you don’t know

Marla (MarlaOnTheMove) and I have been chatting today about the idea of posting photos online that include people you don’t know and also, about posting photos of people you do know that you haven’t asked permission to share. I’ve briefly talked about this subject on my blog in the past and I got a lot crap for my opinions. What I never did, however, was share the story that largely shaped why my opinions are the way that they are.

In 2014 whilst working PR for large event, two coworkers and myself stopped off for a breather in the media scrum room. For anyone who’s not aware, at large events that have groups of journalists come to them, the hosts will often have private rooms for the journalists to meet, talk, eat and relax between speeches or games or whatever is happening that day.

The food in this room on this day was a hot dog, pasta and potato bar. We grabbed some food, sat down in the far corner of the room and I secretly took off the world’s most uncomfortable heels for a few minutes. (I wear heels once in a blue moon, and when I do, I very much regret doing so)

While in the corner, minding our own business at our own table, a journalist that was sitting at a table about forty feet away from us, took a photo of my coworkers and I eating. He was far enough away that we didn’t know this photo was being taken. Not until after the fact.

We were eating hot dogs. It was a gourmet hot dog bar, with different types of meat and probably forty different items for toppings. I don’t make it a regular occurrence to eat hot dogs, but I mean… when in Rome… or when there’s a gourmet hot dog bar, why not right?

So, this journalist took a photo of us eating hot dogs without our knowing about it. This journalist proceeded to post this photo of us eating hot dogs to his Twitter account and make a lewd comment that compared the hot dogs we were eating to a penis.

He took a photo of three women who were minding their own business, eating their lunch in the middle of a busy work day, posted the photo to the internet and made a lewd comment as the caption.

We didn’t find out about the photo until probably close to midnight that night. It was actually our boss who showed us the photo. This journalist, not thinking about the reach that he had with his social media platforms, thought that it was completely appropriate to take our photo without our knowing about it and share it as a means to turn us into a joke.

That is why I don’t eat hot dogs anymore.

But also, this is largely why I have a firm, hard stance on people posting photos of someone they don’t know.

People deserve privacy.

In a world where there’s a camera on every phone (and likely to be a camera on every watch soon enough) finding privacy seems to be a harder feat with each passing day.

I’m of the firm belief that just because you can take a picture of someone doesn’t mean that you should. And, if for some reason someone has ended up in a photograph of yours on accident, you do not have permission to share that photo online without asking them first. If you want to blur them out, or crop them out, then go ahead and post the picture. But, if you can clearly identify someone in your photograph and they haven’t provided you permission to post said photo online, then you shouldn’t be posting it.

This counts for people you know, this counts for people you don’t know. This very much counts for EVERYONE under the age of 18. In my personal opinion it’s especially important if someone is under the age of 18 to either not share photographs, or seek permission from them (if they’re old enough to provide it) or their parents if they’re too young to provide permission.

If you don’t have permission to post a photo of the person in your photo then don’t post it. It’s as simple as that.

Do I think that everyone in this world is seeking to go out and take photos of people at vulnerable moments to post them online and turn them into a joke and humiliate them? No.

But, that doesn’t change my stance that people deserve privacy. They deserve the right to wander the bookstore without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to drop their kids off at school without you taking their photo. They deserve the right to privacy, no matter the circumstance or reason that saw them wind up in your photograph. They deserve the right to privacy no matter what you plan on doing with the photo. Even if your account only has ten followers.

I also believe this applies to everyone. Public figure or random nobody. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the guests of honour and speakers for a public event, go ahead and take their photo on stage while they’re speaking. They know what happens at these events and they sign up for them, likely signing a contract that agrees to their photo being taken. If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are out for a walk with their son on a quiet trail on a Sunday afternoon and they can’t see you, or even if they can, don’t take their photo. It’s rude. It’s uncalled for.

People deserve the right to privacy in their lives. Walking out of your front door each morning is not a free pass for the world to use or share your likeness anywhere you go. Whether they’re Joe Schmoe from Timbuktu or the most famous person on earth. Whether you know someone or you don’t. Whether they’re in the photo purposefully (on your part or theirs) or they’re in the photo accidentally, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have the right to share it.

If your intentions are innocent and you just think it’s a cool photo that you’d like to share, get permission from the people you do know and crop out the people you don’t. It’s not that hard to figure out.

And, to the people in this world who argue there’s no such thing as privacy in 2020, there can be. If you choose to be a decent human being, there definitely can be. It’s all a matter of choice. Who do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to lead?

I’m sure I’ll get harsh critique of these opinions, but that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I get that not everyone thinks the same way as I do. That journalist seemed to think it was a completely okay thing to do to take a photo of us eating hot dogs and post it to Twitter with a lewd comment. Myself, my coworkers, my boss, we all did not.