True crime hitting too close to home.

The remote part of Canada which I live has been making a lot of international news lately for some very horrible crimes. When things like this happen in this area of the country, it really hits too close to home. While murders might be prevalent in large, metropolitan areas, the population of Northern BC is so small, it’s really true what they say when they say everyone knows everyone. The fact that someone could do something like this, it’s a hard pill to swallow.

Chynna Deese and Lucas Fowler (Credits: NSW Police) – Photo from CBC Article

To those of you who’ve heard of the terrifying murders of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese, a millennial couple travelling the world, who were murdered on a remote stretch of highway en route to Alaska, the story continues to unfold.

A third body, that of an unidentified man believed to be in his 50s or 60s was found some 500 miles down the highway just steps away from a burned out truck and the two teenagers who owned the truck were/are missing. The public initially believed the two teenagers to also be the victims of foul play. Today, however, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have announced that the two teenagers are the primary suspects in all three murders.

The teenagers are believed to be on the run and were last seen driving a 2011 Toyota Rav4 in Northern Saskatchewan. Kam McLeod and Bryar Schmegelsky are to be considered dangerous and people are being asked to call 911 immediately if you see either of the two suspects, and do not approach.

Kam McLeod, left, and Bryer Schmegelsky, right (B.C. RCMP/Al Schmegelsky) – Photos from CBC Article

I’m hoping these two are found quickly and I’m hoping there’s more to the story. I’m still having a hard time believing two 18 year old’s are responsible for three murders. That being said, if they are, I hope they’re caught before they have the opportunity to hurt anyone else.

Lucas and Chynna’s family deserve some peace after this truly horrible crime. So does the unidentified third man found dead next to the burned out truck. If you’re in Canada… or even if you’re not… keep your eyes on the lookout for these two.

For Lucas, Chynna and the unidentified third victim, I sincerely hope that police are able to find some closure for you soon.

All photos and information in this post from CBC News. Link here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/couple-killed-in-bc-missing-persons-lucas-fowler-chynna-deese-1.5221657

I’m tired.

I’m so tired. I’m tired of painting a smile on my face. I’m tired of rejection. I’m tired of trying to explain who I am to people I’ve known my whole life. I’m tired of trying to be a neutral party when one side is so clearly out of line.

I’m tired of everything that I say being wrong. I’m tired of everything that I do not being enough. I’m tired of ending up on the losing end of every discussion. I’m just tired of talking. I’m tired of consistently falling short of everyone’s expectations. If they don’t know me, why do they get to have expectations of me?

I’m tired of considering their feelings when they never consider mine. I’m tired of being told there’s nothing wrong with me, that I’m just making it up. I’m tired of hearing ‘you’re not anxious, you’re just overdramatic’. I’m tired of being told ‘just cheer up’.

I’m so tired of being constantly watched. I don’t need to be inspected and I definitely don’t want my every move, my every action judged. I would love it if people could just let me be… leave me alone…

I’m tired of people taking advantage of me. I’m tired of everyone always wanting help from me but never wanting to help me.

I’m just tired.

I dread the night’s most.

Lately I’m finding that when the day winds down and everyone goes to bed for the night, that’s when my anxiety takes over. Swallowing every ounce of what’s good about my mood and my being, I turn into a twisted knot of explosive fear and delirious sadness.

I tried to stay positive about the world this week, I really did. I made a conscious effort every day to try and see the good in what was happening. The good was there. There was good in my life and I did see it. The problem was, the negatives seemed to swallow me whole.

I’m scared that I’m going to make the wrong decisions, do the wrong things or say something that cannot be taken back. I’m scared that I’ll never feel like myself again. As much as I can give myself pep-talks that fear doesn’t really seem to fade these days. Coping techniques help, for a little while. It always comes back though, seemingly stronger than before.

It’s a vicious hamster wheel I’m spinning in.

The largest Ancient Inland Rainforest on Earth

Nestled in the heart of the British Columbia interior is the largest ancient inland temperate rainforest on earth. The watershed of the upper Fraser River has given rise to a unique inland wet-temperate rainforest; a forest ecosystem that combines attributes of both the coastal wet-temperate rainforests of British Columbia and adjacent boreal forests of Alberta and the far north.

Though forests are plentiful in British Columbia (close to 25% of the earth’s temperate rainforests are in BC), this particular region of the province is something special. Showcasing trees that span five meters in diameter at their base, reaching hundreds of feet towards the sky, densely packed to canopy vegetation and plant life found nowhere else on earth, it’s estimated the trees in this forest range between 1,000 – 2,000 years old.

Though this land has been protected as provincial park for several decades, in 2016 a portion of the park was turned into a hiking/walking trail to teach people the importance of rainforests in our ecosystem. What a perfect place for Auntie Vee to take the little chickens for an adventure! Their dad works 5-5 on Friday’s and mom had to be in court, so I had my niece and nephew and we went for a day hike.

Without further adieu, here are some unfiltered photos from the largest ancient inland temperate rainforest on earth.

It was quite a rainy day for an adveture. But hey, there’s something poetic about finding rain in the rainforest. The kids loved it, and me, I’m always happy to experience just how vast this planet truly is and remind myself what a beautiful corner of this world I come from.

30 lessons to live by

While I believe there’s truth to the statement ‘you learn through experience’ I also believe there’s truth to the idea of learning from other’s mistakes, gaining from other’s wisdom and becoming who we are thanks to those we surround ourselves with.

Even if they might sound cliche, there’s plenty of life lessons that can be learned from the simple act of listening/reading. In a lot of cases you might already know these lessons. In a lot of cases, it’s just a matter of re-reading it to put it top of mind.

Here are 30 lessons to live by that withstand the test of time:

  1. You are not your parents. As much as people might try to tell you that you’re just like them… you are not, I repeat YOU ARE NOT, doomed to repeat their mistakes or force yourself into the same situations as they are/were in. Be yourself, don’t try to become them.
  2. Collect moments, not things. Memories are the only currency we have that doesn’t diminish in value with time. While tangible objects collect dust and can invariably disappoint over the years, our memories never dim, nor fade. They forever live on in our minds with a bittersweet sense of belonging.
  3. A man is not a financial plan. This one comes directly from my mother. Trying to hinge your bets on living off someone else is an insecure way to live. Make sure that you’re capable of looking after yourself financially, then your partner can add to your life, not control it.
  4. Debt isn’t worth it. Buying things you cannot afford might fix your problems in the short-term, but long term will give you nothing more than stress and anxiety.
  5. Failure is growth. Society tends to tell us that failure is a bad thing and that’s really not the case. So long as you’re learning from your failure, you’re growing as a person. Learn from your failure and you’ll appreciate your success so much more when you accomplish it.
  6. Comparison is the thief of joy. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. Don’t compare your step one to someone else’s success. [Insert Name Here] might be a billionaire at 20, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you’re not.
  7. Change is good. Even when it seems like it sucks. Remaining stagnant in a world where change is all around you is a naive failure to flow with the natural order of the world.
  8. Age is just a number. Don’t ever discount someone because of their age. Age does not tell you intelligence, competence, capability, confidence, or anything about a person beyond the year they were born.
  9. Body positivity has zero to do with what you believe is attractive. Body positivity is a respect for the human body and what it does for a person. What you find attractive in a person has NOTHING to do with treating people with respect and appreciating what your body does for you and their body does for them.
  10. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. There’s no need, reason or excuse for being rude, mean or demoralizing. If you can’t be kind, keep your mouth shut.
  11. Putting up walls diminishes authenticity. Creating a persona to shield yourself from surrounding judgment, or potential judgment, diminishes the integral aspects of who you are. Don’t let your true self fade behind the walls you build.
  12. Exercise contributes to every aspect of your well being – physically, mentally and emotionally. It improves your health and your outlook. It forces much needed serotonin on your brain and can vastly benefit your outlook towards the world.
  13. Giving love is one of the best gifts you can give. Receiving love is one of the best gifts you can receive. Never underestimate the value of love.
  14. You get more from giving more. Success doesn’t come from seeing how much you can take. If you want to live a life of abundance, give with grace and give as much as you can.
  15. Even if you’re questioning whether to let your head or your heart decide, ensure you listen to your head. That tiny-voice inside of you always knows what’s right.
  16. Grudges cause nothing but pain. Allow yourself to move on from the past. Remember that just because you forgive does not mean that you need to forget. You can forgive someone and not carry the weight of the pain they caused whilst remembering so that you don’t ever have to suffer that same pain twice.
  17. Travel makes you more interesting, insightful and accepting person. You learn when you see how others experience and you become more open to things beyond what you could ever imagine. Travel and travel often.
  18. You aren’t always right. There’s always more than one version to the story. Practice humility and remember that you’re wrong sometimes, too.
  19. You define your life. If you want it to be meaningful, make it meaningful. If you don’t, you won’t.
  20. You cannot control others, only yourself. Make sure that you’re a positive example of what you want the world to be.
  21. Gratitude multiplies happiness. Consciously focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t, is the best use of your brain.
  22. Please yourself first. Don’t wait for approval from others in order to look after yourself. Just like no one in this world can make us feel as bad as we can, no one in this world can make us feel as good as we can.
  23. Self-awareness is more valuable then personal achievement.
  24. Knowledge is power. The more you learn, the more you earn. The more you know, the more you bring to the table. The more insightful you can be, the more tolerant and understanding you are. Don’t ever stop learning.
  25. If you want something done right, do it yourself. You know what’s right for you. Don’t try to pass it off on someone else if you know you’re more than capable.
  26. Your thoughts are like boomerangs. What you put out into the universe will come right back to you. What do you want coming back?
  27. The easy road is never that. Trying to take the easy way out is like trying to cheat the system. In the end, it’s going to come back to haunt you.
  28. Honesty, even when it hurts, is far better than any lie, comforting or not.
  29. If someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time. I’ve heard this quoted to Mya Angelou. She’s pretty darn right on the money when it comes to this quote. Offering second chances always seems to show you what you already know/knew.
  30. Make every day count. You never know when it will be your last.

July 17, 2019 – As I ramble on.

Lately I’ve been realizing just how much the weather affects my mood. At what felt like the height of my struggles earlier this year, we went for a period of nearly a month in which temperatures outside were -30 degrees Celsius or below. It was difficult to go outside for more than a few seconds without feeling physical pain from the cold.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally trying. And, as I stare outside at the pouring rain, for the seventeenth day in a row, I know that this weather isn’t causing my issues, but it’s definitely contributing to my mood being so much worse. We’ve had an exceptionally cold, wet, rain-filled summer thus far… if you even want to call it a summer. It feels more like fall, to be totally honest.

Keeping with that theme of being totally honest, I’m scared about the future. More distinctly, I’m scared that I don’t have a future. I’m scared that I’ll never amount to anything, that this hamster wheel I’m spinning in will continue for the rest of my life.

Last time I went for lunch with Knight, his sister and his sister’s family, she explained how I’m feeling in a more accurate when then I’ve ever been able to put into words.

“It’s hard,” she said. “You want so badly to know that things are going to work out and that everything’s going to be okay, but the universe doesn’t tell you when that’s going to happen. It would be so nice if you could just know a day, a time to expect it. A time so that you wouldn’t have to worry so much and you could just focus on getting through to that day. But that’s not how the world works.”

In a nutshell, that’s really it. The worst part of being in this situation is not knowing how, or when everything’s going to work out. Or even if everything’s going to work out. I wan’t so badly to know, but I really don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

I’m taking it one day at a time. Or, at least I am trying. And I’m trying to stay positive… I really am. Today, it’s a positive that… yeah, I started writing this four hours ago and I’ve been thinking about it since then and I’m having a hard time. I’m thankful for the things that I have in my life, I really am. I’m thankful for the people I have in my life. Honestly, it saves my sanity that I get to talk to Knight every night before he goes to bed. I guess I’m just struggling to be positive right now. I think it’s important to note that you can be thankful and grateful for what you have while still having a hard time being happy.

I think that’s a huge misconception about mental illness. People who don’t understand it will say things like ‘But your life is so great’ or ‘You have so much’. I do have a lot and I am very grateful for what I have. Having good things in your life doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to feel down, sad or upset sometimes. I’m getting off topic.

Positives. Positives. Try to stay positive, self. You can do this. You can see the good in the world, even when it feels like things are crashing down around you.

I really need a little bit of sunshine in my life today. I feel so needy and lousy saying that. But my oh my… universe… if there’s a sign you can send, I’m ready for it.

Good Friends

I’ve always been a firm believer in the distinction between friends and acquaintances. And, though over the years I’ve qualified some into the friend category that really didn’t deserve to be there, or belong there, I’ve learned my lessons and I think I have a sincere understanding of those that cultivate my inner circle.

See, good friends don’t want things from you. Good friends don’t put stipulations on your friendship. Good friends are just there for you. Good friends help when they can, listen when they can’t and call just to genuinely see how you’re doing. Good friends add to your life. And you, if you’re a good friend, do the same for them.

Good friends are good people. And you know who are good people and who aren’t.

When you really stop to think about it, you know who your good friends are. Like they say in the song, ‘somebody’s gonna drop everything, run out and crank up there car, hit the gas to get there fast and never stop to think what’s in it for me… or it’s way to far’.

Are you a good friend?

Do you have good friends? Is there anyone you’ve categorized as a friend who is more of an acquaintance?

Can you be a better friend?

How can you be a better friend?