Please be kind.

This photo has nothing to do with my post, it’s just a beautiful day around here today so I thought I’d share.

Please be kind. It’s a general rule for life, yes. But I find this time of year everyone seems to be stressed out and some people really don’t handle it well while in public. This is just a reminder that, instead of losing your cool on the poor cashier who didn’t cause the issue and can’t solve the issue, just be kind. Don’t yell at the Post Office Attendant because everyone in the world wants to mail something at the same time as you. Don’t walk out of the restaurant without tipping your waiter/waitress just because the kitchen was slow. That’s not your servers fault, everyone eats out this time of year. Also, please, please, please don’t harass, belittle or mistreat the gate attendants if you’re travelling. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are all trying to get somewhere for the holidays and they’re only trying to help. They cannot control plane maintenance, weather, where you’re sitting or where your bags end up. So please remember that when you embark on your travels.

Please be kind.

Practice patience. Be kind. Leave yourself a little extra time to get things done and the busy stores, restaurants and post offices won’t seem like as much of a hassle.

And, as a general rule of thumb, whenever you get the urge to be an asshole, stop yourself.

I got the blues.

This is not directed towards anyone in particular (more like a handful of people in my life), this is just a culmination of thoughts I’m having as I reflect on the week that has passed.

To be totally honest, I just don’t know how to talk, or motion, my way out of this funk. I’m unhappy. Immensely unhappy. I know why I’m unhappy and there’s quite literally nothing that I can do to fix it. Not a fucking thing. This dark cloud has decided that it’s going to sit above my head for the time being and, from what I can tell nothing will dissipate the shit storm that it’s brought with it.

I’m tired of people telling me to just be happy, or just smile, or just let it go, or just go for a walk. Someone left a comment on here the other day that said ‘Perhaps if you went for a walk once in a while, rather than blogging, you’d be happier’. You want to piss me off in a real hurry? Explain away mental illness by implying that if someone exercised it would just go away.

I do walk. Every fucking day. Even when it’s -30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit). I walk. I run. I routinely get 20,000 steps on my smartwatch. I also listen to calming music. I try stay away from stressful situations. I try to get adequate sleep. I take my vitamins, every single day. I try to nourish my body with the food that I’m putting into it. I try to do everything that possibly I can to minimize the effects of truly debilitating anxiety. And I still have it. Go figure!

So now what? Go for another walk? Will that fix it?

I’ve had a lot of things making me angry/unhappy this week and I’ve just been trying to keep my head afloat. I’m trying to do for others and occupy my mind, but some nights, like tonight (clearly), my thoughts just get the better of me. So, let me state this explicitly for anyone who does not understand…

Mental illness is not something that can be swept away with a brisk walk in the park. Mental illness is not something that people want, choose or ask for, and it’s most definitely not something they can control. Yes, you can take certain measures that help you cope. But that doesn’t fix things. That doesn’t make someone better, and it certainly doesn’t make the issue disappear.

If all of someone’s problems can be fixed by going for a walk, or smiling or just being happy, that’s not mental illness, that’s just a bad fucking day. So the next time you want to say something ignorant to someone who is suffering, don’t. Educate yourself. Ask yourself ‘will this really help them or am I just believing what I want to believe because I don’t know any better?’

I didn’t ask for this anxiety. I don’t want this anxiety. I certainly wish I cold be normal and happy-go-lucky and always see the brighter side but that’s not real. I need to be me.

Am I kind of a bummer sometimes? Yeah. I try my absolute best to not let it get the better of me but sometimes it does. Sometimes I just need to vent and let it out. I guess that’s what this is, because people have been pissing me off this week and I just need a break, a holiday and maybe a beer.

Instagram vs Reality

Instagram is a tricky beast. I love sharing photos and I love looking at photos, whether they’re of people, places or things, but I am also abundantly aware of how fake the platform is.

There are some incredibly creative people in this world, people who quite literally share their talents with the world thanks to Instagram. But, for the most part, the platform seems to be a beauty worshiping pit of vanity. So I have always been hesitant to share photos for fear of feeding the beast.

A few days ago I stumbled about an YouTube video made by someone from Vancouver who spent nearly 45 minutes going through her perfectly curated Instagram feed to talk the truth behind the beautiful photos and catchy captions she’d been posting for years.

With 2.1 million Instagram followers, hearing the truth behind her photos was actually quite shocking. As much as you know people aren’t truthful with their Instagram accounts, you tend to just envision people’s lives as perfect because… well because that’s what they want you to think. But her life, well it’s far from perfect. I was quite shocked about how far from perfect it was. But I found myself respecting her so much more after knowing the actual truth behind her photos.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing some photos on Instagram and, in the comments, sharing two captions. Firstly, I’ll share the caption I would write if I were trying to make my life look perfect, and secondly I’ll share the reality of what was going on at that point in my life when I took the photo.

And, if anyone else wants to include this ‘Instagram vs Reality’ captions on their photos too, let me know and I’ll follow your Instagram.

Honestly, while I think my life is far from interesting, by any means, I do live in Canada and this entire country is basically the equivalent of a ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard. So, I do have some pretty beautiful photos. But, as with all things in life, there’s two sides to every story…. Instagram versus Reality.

What do you want for Christmas?

Photo Credit: earth.com

I find this question really interesting to ask people because there are so many different ways a person can approach this question.

There’s people who’ll say “a million dollars” and people who’ll say “I don’t want a thing”. There’s people who’ll say items that they really know and love, and people who’ll provide practical options they know that person can afford. Some people even ask for donations to be made in lieu of gifts.

Honestly, to me, what people provide as an answer tells me a lot about who they are. Not that any one answer is better than another. Well, perhaps some answers are better than other’s. If you told me you wanted to kick a puppy for Christmas then I’d think you’re a bad person But, that was a huge tangent and I should get back on track. For the most part, when people answer this question, I really think it tells you a lot about who they are. I read a lot into what people ask for Christmas.

Me? People look at me oddly when I say it, but I tend to tell people that I want the staples for Christmas gifts. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, makeup remover… these types of things. Is that weird? Possibly. My thoughts behind it is, if people give me these things as gifts, and I can use them for the next 3-6 months (or longer depending on what they give me) then that’s expenses that I don’t have to worry about. It’s practical to me. And I think that’s really thoughtful. I mean, whoever buys me those things are going to be giving me something that I’ll like and get use from.

Decorative blankets are great and all but there’s only so many of them a girl needs, ya know? And heavens, I’ve got enough clothes, shoes and accessories. I don’t need any more. Of course I’m always thankful for someone thinking of me, but if someone is going to go ahead and spend their money on me, I just hope they’d take me seriously when I say I want thinks like shampoo and toothpaste, etc…

I’m curious to know, what do you want for Christmas? Are you the ‘ask for everything’ type? Are you the ‘ask for something I know they can afford’ type? Are you the ‘I don’t want anything’ type? Or do you prefer experiences over tangible gifts?

I FINALLY GOT PAID.

Please excuse the caps. I’m just THAT excited.

In follow up to ‘The Downsides to Consulting‘, I finally got paid. It didn’t come in time for Black Friday, which was a huge bummer. I wanted to use the money to buy some Christmas presents for some people in my life for cheaper than they would inevitably be this week, but nevertheless, I still got paid!

Ironically (not ironically, more like coincidentally) the money came today because of the fact that they have another project request for me today.

‘Okay, I’ll pay you now because I need something from you again.’

It can, at times, be a very vicious circle.

If you’re freelancing/consulting, please don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. If you do the work, you deserve to get paid. Don’t let people delay payment, give excuses, prolong things.

Like mentioned in the comments of my last post about this subject, a person would never leave a hair salon without paying for the services they just had done, whether it cut, dyed or styled. So, a person should not take over a month to pay an invoice for the work you complete for them for a project.

Stand your ground.

Your value is mighty. You got this.

Starting in January

I’ve thought a lot about it and one of the things that I would like to do, starting in January, is a series (or maybe a one off depending on who wants to participate or not) about careers. What is your career? How’d you land in your current role? What drew you to the industry? What is your education? What are the requirements to do what you do?

If anyone would like to take part, and be my first guinea pig for the series please email me at millenniallifecrisis12@gmail.com.

Whether you have a relatively common job, such as a teacher or a nurse, or a relatively uncommon job, such as a Biochemical Engineer or the Travel Agent for the British Royals, or anything in between, I’d love to hear about it.

FYI: The series (or one off) won’t give away any specifics, like the name of your employer, I just want to do a series on careers and what people do to achieve them.

Update: I’ve gotten a lot of responses since posting this! More than I ever thought I’d get. It might take me a couple of days to get back to you. But there are some pretty cool people with some pretty cool jobs that I look forward to sharing more about in January!

I’ve you’ve sent me an email, I will send you one back, I promise! It might just take me a day or two!