Mental Health Awareness Month

Hey Self,

I know you’ve been a little down lately. I know you’re struggling. I know that things really don’t seem like they’re ever going to turn around for the better. Please here me when I say this: KEEP GOING.

Please, keep going.

There will come a time when this will all be a distant memory. There will come a time when you smile because you want to, not because you have to. Most importantly, there will come a time when you are happy, again. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but trust me when I say this, you will be happy again.

When you feel sad, remember that the sun always shines after the rain… even in Vancouver. When you don’t want to go out in public, force yourself to. Being around people is good for you. And when people annoy you, practice patience. Why? Because no one is perfect, and there are presently people in this world practicing their patience on you.

Don’t be wary of the people who want to help. Whether they love you, they have a saviors complex, or just want a project, an offer of help is an offer of help. Appreciate the offer for what it is. Also, please don’t alienate yourself from people who do not understand. If they’ve never been through it, it may be hard for them to understand, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. Education is far more important than alienation. If you can help even one person to understand it, that’s one more person to have in your corner.

Look after yourself. Don’t ever be afraid to treat yourself. Make decisions that are going to benefit you, make you smile or contribute to your happiness. You deserve it. You deserve the whole world… and then some. So please don’t let your brain tell you otherwise.

Cry. Cry when you want to. Whenever you want to. Tears are not a bad thing. Far from it. So don’t ever be afraid to shed tears if you need to.

Speaking of your brain, please don’t ever let it win. I know it’s hard. Sometimes it can feel as though the negativity is all you can see, but trust me, there is good in there. Your brain does not control you, and it does not define you. Your choices define you. Make the choice to not let your brain win.

Exercise is important. Integral… to your well being. When all you want to do is lay in bed and hide from the world, tell yourself that 30 minutes is enough to make a difference. Because 30 minutes is enough to make a difference. You’ve got this. So do this.

Lastly, be yourself. Who you are is enough. Who you are is fucking amazing. Remind yourself that you are a warrior and that you can get through anything. One day, when this is all a distant memory, you’ll look back on this time and realize how much strength you have, how much growth you’ve been through and all the crap you’re truly capable of getting through.

Love yourself.

Respect yourself.

Just keep going.

Sincerely, Me.

Adventures in job hunting (the saga continues)

If there’s one thing that I absolutely hate in life, it’s being lied to. Just be honest. There’s no reason not to. If you’re trying to hide something then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

This morning, I went to a job interview at ‘Company X’. Company X advertised a marketing position on their website, that, when I read the description, I thought I could do well at. My degree is in Marketing with a Minor in Economics. I’ve been working Public Relations for the past decade, so when it comes to skills, I’ve got the vast majority of the Marketing/Communications sector covered.

What a fucking waste of time this morning was for me.

Flash back to last week – When I applied for the position, I noticed that the job description was incredibly vague. That being said, I applied for it anyway, excited of the prospect of landing a marketing role.

The position title: “Marketing Executive”

The position description:

  • Work with local businesses to understand their business cycle and their advertising needs 
  • Work with local businesses and non-profits to design an advertising campaign to meet targets 
  • Provide on-going support to ensure optimal client service 
  • Ongoing awareness of our clients’ day to day challenges 
  • Receivables control 

Vague, right? But, I thought that in my current state I should apply and see what happened. A marketing role could be good for me right now, and if they selected me for an interview, I could ask them the questions I wanted at the interview to learn more about the job.

There’s one GIANT bullet point missing from the job description. The actual position description should be:

  • We are looking for a Sales Representative. This position is 100% sales based.

That’s right. The actual position has nothing to do with marketing. The actual position doesn’t have to do with businesses marketing or advertising needs. They have a team for that. They just want someone to sell companies – and bring in revenue.

The interviewer asks “What experience do yo have in sales?” None. I have no experience in sales. You know this. Why? Because you read my resume. You knew this when you called me last week and requested an interview. Why would I think I need sales experience… it’s listed nowhere in the job description or title.

Working with local business to determine advertising needs, to me, means that you sit down with the boss and find out what he/she wants their brand to be portrayed as. Working with local business to determine advertising needs does not mean cold calling all over town to beg people to purchase advertising. You know this, and you purposely left it off of the job description because you know if people knew the full truth about this position whilst it was posted online, no one would apply.

Furthermore, what I learned today: the position has no salary, it’s 100% sales commission paid. Therefore, if you sell something you get 10% of whatever sold. He says “To put that in perspective, if you sell $300,000 in revenue in a year, you’re going to make about $30,000.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Who is going to sell $300,000 in revenue in this industry… in this town? We’re not in Vancouver or Toronto. We’re in a town in the middle of nowhere with a limited customer base and even more limited audience.

You’re required to work 8-5 Monday to Friday, but you don’t get paid unless you make sales. That’s fine – then advertise this as a fucking sales position, not as a marketing position.

One other thing I learned was that they have teams to put together advertising needs and desires for clients. Yeah, all those bullet points up there about working with clients to determine their needs… they have a team for that. They literally just want someone to go out and do the sales.

My final question for them this morning was if they have a database to work off of for potential customers/people to start with. No. They don’t. Whomever takes on this role has to create the database of potential customers through cold calling. They quite literally have NOTHING set up for this position.

Why would I waste my time with this?

If you can’t even be honest on your job description you post online, why do you think anyone would want to work for you? You know you’re creating a ridiculous ask of any incumbent and that’s why you lied about the position in the job description you posted.

I won’t be speaking to Company X ever again.

In the words of Ariana Grande… thank u, next.

Repeat after me: You can do this.

If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.

Rachel Wolchin

Solo travel: where to start.

‘Why don’t you take someone with you?’ I was asked.

Truthfully, I just want to feel empowered with myself. Like I don’t have to rely on the likes of someone else to feel happy, or safe, or secure. I just want to know that I am enough to keep myself company, to keep myself occupied and to make myself smile.

Solo travel is an intimidating thought.

Honest truth: I don’t believe in myself. At least, not right now. It sucks to admit that, but it’s true. I rely on other people for validation and that scares me.

One of the reasons why I am going to do this trip alone is that I want to face the challenges it presents on my own. I want to see if I am capable of looking after myself. Because if I am being fully honest with myself today, I’m scared. I’m scared that I can’t do it. That’s why I am going to do it though. I need to do this in order to know whether or not I am capable.

I want to believe in myself again. Will I get that belief out of one solo-trip? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s a start. And everyone has got to start somewhere.

Wish me luck!

Being honest with myself.

Sometimes I feel as though I don’t belong anywhere… like I was born to all of the leap days that never happened. This particular space and time in the universe just might not be the right place for me, and that’s okay, I’m sure that happens to more than just I.

Perhaps one day I’ll find my place in this world. But for now, I think I’m just stuck being a wallflower. Unlike the movie suggests, these days, in my life, it doesn’t seem as though there are too many perks to it.

Worries of the day.

Today hasn’t been the greatest of days. My anxiety is exceptionally high and I don’t know how to control it.

My brother lied to me this morning. Right to my face. I knew that he lied to me when he did it and he knew he lied to me when he did it, and still, when I called him out on the lie, he chose to try and ‘save himself’ by offering up another lie. I don’t believe in lying to someone to spare their feelings. Knowing that my brother is lying to me doesn’t spare any feelings. It just pisses me off. I wish he would just tell me the truth. That’s all I want, the truth.

On a completely different note, I’m worried about my parents. My mom, I’ve been worried about for a while. My dad, lately, has become a new worry of mine. He seems to be struggling more and more with simple tasks. And though he’s been incredible at helping my mom through her cancer treatments, he’s getting very forgetful. I can say something two or three times and he’ll still ask me again as though we’ve never talked about it before. He’s also losing his hearing. Having a simple conversation is getting increasingly difficult and it’s worrisome to see, to be a part of, and to not be able to help with.

Switching gears again, I lost out on a job interview today. I got an email at 9:00 am this morning asking me to come for an interview in another province at 10:00 am tomorrow morning. Under normal circumstances doing that is difficult. How do I get there in less than 24 hours? And even if I could get there in 24 hours, the cost of that job interview on my behalf? It’s hard. It’s so hard. I have so many abilities and so much potential and I’m continuing to hit these roadblocks. I want to feel like I’m contributing to society. I want to be working. How do I justify spending $1,000 on an interview that has no guarantee it’ll even pan out? When I asked if I could push the interview back to later this week or early next (as a means to give myself more time to formulate a plan to get there) I was told that they’re moving forward with interviewing candidates willing to come in when requested of and wished me luck with future career endeavors. Thanks, I guess.

Lastly, I’ve been feeling quite sick lately. I’ve been chalking it up to being stressed about just about everything in my life, so I’ve been trying to not get anxious about it. But the truth is, the nausea is worrisome. I can’t seem to eat anything without feeling sick. And I’m tired. So tired. Not just in the literal sense, but in the figurative sense too. I’m struggling to sleep, I’m struggling to deal, and it’s hard.

I need to stop pouring my heart out to the internet, I know that. But it’s an outlet, for now. And if something can help me feel at list a little bit less anxious, I’m going to do it.

“Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

What is home?

Have you ever felt as though you just don’t seem to belong anywhere? My whole life I’ve always carried around this feeling that I just don’t fit, that something isn’t right, that I don’t belong.

I have this great-big family, filled with all sorts of different characters and personalities. When I say ‘great-big’, I really mean it. I have four siblings, my parents each have 6 and 7 siblings, I’ve got something like 45 cousins at this point. There’s family everywhere. And amongst all of the different personalities and characters that exist within my family, I’ve never really fit.

I’ve tried. Don’t get me wrong, I have really, genuinely, completely made an effort. I just don’t think they understand me. I don’t think they want to understand me.

When I graduated from University, I made myself a promise that I was going to do things for myself for a change. Instead of putting my family first, I was going to put myself first. And I did that. For many years. I liked it. And though I never really felt like I found home during that time, I was content with the understanding that I was living life for me.

Lately I’ve been coming to the realization that home is where the heart is. Whether it be a dingy, overpacked hotel room, a dusty old apartment, or the basement bedroom someone else’s home, if that is where your heart is, that is where your home is.

I can say for certain that my heart is definitely not in this room right now. Nor do I think it will ever be.

I got in a disagreement with my mother today. Which makes sense. We’ve been around each other for 24 hours, so it was bound to happen eventually. I just… as much as I know she has the best of intentions, she’s never really taken the time to get to know me. So we butt heads quite frequently. I’m trying to be sensitive to what she’s going through, but, it’s hard. It’s so hard. And that almost makes me feel worse. I just feel as though I can’t win. She has this expectation that I’m going to be the doting daughter, and I’m not that. I’m not that at all and I never have been. The more I continue to fail at being that, the more I’ll disappoint her and myself in the process.

My heart isn’t here. My heart doesn’t want to be here.

And, as I begin this total reinvention of ones’ self, I can’t help but think that I’m doing this all wrong. Why am I here? I left my heart in a million pieces along the way and I’m scrambling to figure out where to go next or what to do.

I love my mom dearly. She’s an incredible woman and a warrior. I love my whole family dearly. I do. But I don’t belong here. And I know the longer that I stay here the more that it’s going to eat away at my soul. I want to go home. And that’s so sad because I don’t even know what home is anymore.