What’s the cure for loneliness?

I cannot remember if I’ve asked this before on this blog. I’m just lonely and I cannot shake it. No matter what I try to do. No matter how much I try to distract myself. I’m just abundantly aware how alone I am at all times.

As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice sometimes to be able to cheers with someone sitting across the table. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to watch a stupid movie and hear someone else laughing in unison. As much as I’m an introvert, it’s just nice to have someone show up.

Thursday Thoughts.

Things can be both good and bad at the same time.

Dealing with the bad, in any way that you know how, does not mean that you don’t appreciate the good. Nor does it mean that you don’t recognize the good.

Problems are not a competition. Someone will always have it worse. That being said, just because someone has it worse, does not mean that your problems are invalid. Everyone’s problems are valid. If someone makes recognition of their problems, that does not mean they cannot see good. It just means that the weight of the world is a lot to carry some days.

Privilege is subjective. While I consider myself to be extremely privileged in some ways, there are some ways when I envy others. Whether it’s looks, health, economic status, family status, access, etc, etc, etc… there are plenty of reasons we’re all privileged. There are also reasons why we’re not. And that’s okay. I just want to live in a world where we can recognize our privilege, use it to help others, and have others recognize their own privileges and use them to help.

Looking after your mental health is the best thing you can do for yourself. If your head’s not right, everything else in your life will fall apart.

It’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to feel like your life is falling apart. Sometimes it is, when you’re on the inside looking out. If other’s can’t see that, you don’t have to explain it to them. You can try, if you think they’ll understand. But, if they don’t, it’s not worth getting angry about. It’s hard for people to see life from someone else’s shoes.

If things aren’t okay, that’s okay.

If things are okay, I’m happy for you. I also hope that it stays that way.

I don’t know where I was going with this. That’s all, I guess.

I don’t know how to title this other then to ask, what the hell?

There’s a story that’s making international news right now that I’ve refrained from commenting on for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason I haven’t wanted to talk about it is because the family is going through a lot with loss, and the entire world playing amateur detective and hacking their digital profiles. So, for that reason, all I’ll say is this thought I’m about to ask is related to the case currently making international news tied to Wyoming and Florida.

If your child is potentially involved in a crime, how do you react?

If your child is potentially responsible for a really heinous crime, and they say ‘hey I’m going to go hiking’, do you say ‘Okay, be home for dinner’? Do you try to stop them?

I just don’t understand.

I’m not a parent, so maybe that’s why. But, if your child did something horrible, do you protect them? Do you make excuses for them? Do you help them disappear? Or do you turn them over to authorities?

Virtual Education

So, I have been taking a class for several weeks now (I don’t even remember how many) that was supposed to be a one off, but has since snowballed into what I think is quickly becoming a full business program.

This is not important to the story, but my boss wanted me to take it. Since work is paying for part of it, I obliged. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to take, but I won’t say no to education!

So, the first professor was/is great. He understands my work schedule, he understands the stresses of being in school in general, without the full-time job tied to it. He’s just… chill. He’s my kind of a professor.

The second professor, she’s cynical as all hell. She’s giving me major flashbacks to those entry level courses everyone was required to take in first year of university. (Yes, I know that sentence alone showcases a lot of privilege) She’s questioning everyone. She doesn’t care about stressses of being a student. She doesn’t care about people who are also working. She doesn’t seem to care about anything beyond her rules.

The second professor, she has a rule that we’re required to have our webcams on the entire class. The problem is, she records these sessions. She’s recording them and she’s not giving them out to people to look back on. So she’s recording them and keeping them… for something? Who knows. Who cares what she keeps it for.

I DO NOT like being recorded.

It’s a thing for me. I worked in PR too long, I know the nefarious things that have happened with recordings. I have, myself, been responsible for burying recordings of people. I have, myself, been responsible for turning over recordings of someone for a criminal investigation. I don’t like recordings of me existing. I’ve seen too much of how the sausage is made, and I just… am not for it.

What if I wanted to become a spy? I basically would need to wipe my existence. I can do that if some professor has all these recordings of me.

What if I wanted to become a criminal? I don’t need her turning over videos of me that people could use to study my behaviour.

What if I just really don’t like being recorded? Why can’t she just… tell me I can turn my webcam off?

It really doesn’t matter why. If I don’t want to listen to her lectures with my webcam on, I really shouldn’t have to. It’s not like I’m taking an exam. I’d understand if they waned to see me to ensure I wasn’t cheating. It’s a lecture/discussion class. My mic and webcam don’t need to work in sync. I can use my mic without the webcam.

If I do end up taking all of these courses, I’ll probably run into this more and more. I know I need to chill and just go along with her rules. I just… think her rules are stupid. You should not be required to be recorded in order to complete a course.

Assholes and apologies.

If you are an asshole, apologize.

The longer that you wait to apologize, the more apology that’s due. Sorry, you thought leaving it for several days or weeks meant that the hurt you caused would lessen? It doesn’t work that way. When you leave an apology for several days or weeks, it only causes more distress and unease for the person you aren’t treating fairly.

If you think that you have free reign to be an asshole so much as you damn well please, you need to realign your perspectives. You also need to ask yourself why you’re so okay with treating the people in your life so poorly. I think some soul searching is on order, on your behalf.

On the flip side…

If you are someone at the receiving end of an asshole’s shiteous behaviour, don’t let them off the hook.

An apology is due. Expect it. No matter how many days go by, do not tell yourself they’re sorry without them telling you they’re sorry. Do not make excuses for them. There are no excuses for unfair treatment. Full stop. Not if they’re stressed, not if they’re sad, not if they’re scared, not if… anything. You deserve an apology. Hold their feet to the fire until they recognize that they’re being an asshole and that it’s not fair to you.

Lastly….

“I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry you are offended” or “I’m sorry you think that” are not apologies. Someone needs to feel bad about their own behaviour, not for the way their behaviour was interpreted.

“Yeah well, imagine how I feel” is not an apology. It feeds a notion that if someone knew how an asshole felt, they’d be more accepting of the behaviour. The truth is, it doesn’t fucking matter how an asshole feels. No feeling warrants someone being an asshole. Also, they’re probably already well aware of how an asshole feels.

Work Opinions

My boss and I are butting heads this week.

She thinks that nice compliments are enough to keep me around.

I want a raise.

I don’t go to work in hope of nice compliments.

People in my city, working in my position at other companies are making $10,000 – $20,000 more than I am. The only reason I am not is because I haven’t found the right position yet.

Am I greedy? No. I know what my time is worth. If I wanted compliments and unwavering praise, I’d probably ask my nieces and nephews. I go to work to make money. Sorry to anyone who believes the naive notion that we all just do what we love and the pay is an added bonus. Here in reality, the pay is the priority and the added bonus is that I don’t completely hate my life while doing it.

I work to make money. I want to pay my bills. I want to hopefully travel again, eventually. I want to move. I want to buy a new computer (because this one is on the fritz). All of these things get accomplished by my working.

Compliments, while nice, are kind of just empty words if you’re not backing it up.

If you, as a boss, have enough money to spend $30,000 on a new “OPTIONAL” piece of software for your sales team, then you have enough money to pay your employees what they’re worth, you’re just choosing to not. And… if you’re choosing to not provide a raise, and instead opt for nice compliments, then those compliments are a tad hollow.

I know how much revenue that I, alone, generate for this company.

Am I entitled to a raise? No. No employees are, if the boss doesn’t want to provide it. That being said, if she truly believed even half of the words she’s said to me recently, then show me the money. I know that makes me sound cold, but I don’t care. I know what I’m worth, and it’s a lot more than empty praise.

2 Blogging/Marketing Tips

It’s been a while since I’ve provided any tips/tricks or advice related to blogging, so I figured tonight’s a perfect time.

If you’re looking to expand your blog to a wider audience, to get more hits, and to have even more regular readers who continue coming back, try these two things:

The first piece of advice is to post content regularly. The easiest, most effective way to gain regular readers is to post content regularly. If someone reads your blog and is interested enough to come back, make sure there’s new content for them to see when they come back to your blog.

This doesn’t mean that you need to post daily. This means that you need to post regularly. If you want people to return to your blog, you need to be posting on a schedule. Whether you determine that’s every day, twice a week, twice a month – whatever you have time to commit to – let your audience know. If you want to post once a week, tell your audience they can come back for new posts on Mondays. If you want to post twice a month, tell your audience to come back on the first and the fifteenth. The simple act of having the schedule will create a psychological call to action for them to come back and read what you have to share.

POST REGULARLY. Whatever you’re able to commit to, do it. If you don’t, it’ll be a lot harder for you to garner the audience you so desire with your blog.

The second piece of advice that I have is to relate pop-culture and news stories to your blog content. If something happens in the news, share your take on it!

Now hear me out – a lot of people think that the best way to attract the web to their blog is through click-bait. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube are filled with clickbait. People are trying to get attention through dishonest tactics. For some it might work in the short term. Long term, though, there’s no sustainability in trying to lie to your audience repeatedly and hoping they care for you.

How do you get people to care? Relate your content to something they care about.

For example, let’s say that you write a blog about travel. People love travel. The odds are, if you’re sharing content regularly, a certain amount of people can, and will, find your content. You’ll get decent feedback and your blog will be ‘cruisin’. But if you’re looking to expand, perhaps you share your story about a certain country. Now, let’s say that you notice the news is talking this week (right now on September 14, 2021) that the Arc De Triomph in Paris has been wrapped up. People all over the world are googling why the Arc De Triomph was wrapped up. Now would be the perfect time to share your stories and photos from the last time you visited the Arc De Triomph. Mention in your post you saw the news story about why it’s been wrapped (more for search engine crawlers then anything) and then share your content.

Your story and photos about the Arc De Triomph could/would get double, triple or five times the views if you decided to write about it/post about it this week, versus had you done it a month ago. Take advantage of what’s in the news – what people will inevitably be using Google to search for right now, in the present.

When someone gets to your blog to read about the Arc De Triomph, perhaps then and there is when they see “suggested posts” and read other posts, and you convert them to a reader. They stumbled upon you accidentally, when googling why the Arc De Triomph is wrapped, and now you get to keep them as a reader.

Both of these suggestions obviously take some time, effort and a little bit of planning. But, if properly executed, it’s an easy, free and honest way to increase traffic to your blog. You don’t need to post clickbait. You don’t need to beg for traffic on Twitter. You just need to be strategic about when you’re posting and when. Strategy is E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

A note for the hospital protests today

There are scheduled protests in front of hospitals in every major city in this country today and I’m just so fucking angry.

So, let’s teach the important distinction between two words:

RIGHT – a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way. Example: You have a right to not get vaccinated against COVID.

PRIVILEGE – advantage granted or available only to a particular person or group. Example: You have a privilege to eat at a restaurant. If you do not follow the rules, they can deny you entry. You don’t want to wear a shirt? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to pay for your food? They can deny you the privilege of eating there. You don’t want to show proof of vaccination? They can absolutely deny you the privilege of eating there.

A right for everyone is not the same as a privilege for those that comply to the rules in place to create a free and safe society.

You don’t have a right to a driver’s license. You have the privilege to obtain it, if you study for the test, follow the rules of the road, wear your seatbelt, insure your vehicle, etc, etc…

You don’t have a privilege to eat at a restaurant if there’s a potential you walk in with the bubonic plague and could spread it throughout everyone in the building. The restaurant can accommodate you, if you have the bubonic plague, by offering to have your food delivered to your front door.

You follow me?

This morning whilst scrolling Twitter before work, I saw a note from a Doctor in which he was pleading with people to not protest in front of a hospital. Why? Because the people in there being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace. Another comment noted that health care workers, who’ve largely been carrying society as a whole for the past year and a half, have really difficult jobs. Really, really difficult jobs. And standing in their way, is going to make it so much harder for them to protect all of us, like they’ve been doing for so long now.

In Ontario, the Premier actually had to threaten the general pop to not block ambulances trying to get into the hospital today because he’s so damn worried these protests he cannot stop will block someone from being able to get life-saving treatment.

If someone is in the hospital, for COVID or other reasons, regardless of what brought them there, they deserve the privilege of medical treatment. They need the privilege of medical treatment. They don’t need a bunch of assholes who don’t understand infectious disease, our health care system, the economy, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, trying to block them from someone who could save their life.

If you want to protest because your privileges might not be as plentiful due to COVID, go to a government building. Stand outside your MLAs office and protest. These are the people who can actually shape the way in which our country responds to this crisis. A doctor doesn’t make policy. A nurse cannot dictate laws. They can save your life, though. So protesting the very people who are, or will be responsible for saving you, just makes you an uneducated, inconsiderate donkey.

While we’re here, let’s talk about discrimination.

DISCRIMINATION – the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

I hear a lot of people saying that those who are unvaccinated are being given unjust treatment because they’re choosing to not be vaccinated. What exactly is unjust about what’s happening right now? An unvaccinated person cannot go to a hockey game? It’s not as if you can’t watch the hockey game on television. An unvaccinated person cannot get on an airplane? Why don’t you drive your personal car there. An unvaccinated person cannot eat in a restaurant? Well, if you like the food that much, why don’t you order it to be delivered?

There’s a giant fucking chasm between centuries of discrimination of people because of who they are (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc) and some entitled assholes in 2021 who think that society owes them the privilege to spread disease freely, without restraint.

Your privileges will never be rights. NEVER. EVER. EVER.

My privileges will never be rights. Privileges are privileges, whether you’re vaccinated or not.

You are not being discriminated against for choosing to not get a vaccine. You can still eat restaurant food, you just can’t eat it in the restaurant. You can still go on your trip, you just have to drive instead of taking a plane. You can still protest, please just smarten the fuck up and don’t do it in front of a hospital. If you catch COVID, you’re going to need to rely on those very doctors and nurses you’re so vehemently, grossly, disrespecting by protesting in front of their place of work.

If you want to protest because you feel that your privileges should be rights, well I’ve been alive 32 years and you didn’t seem to care about it before 2020, but hey, please go to the office of your local MLA.

Or you could, you know, just stay home and not be a selfish C***.

While you’re at home, maybe you could even read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s some good stuff. Possibly consider putting your money where your mouth is. If you want to protest the altering of privileges because of vaccination status, take a look at your other privileges while you’re at it. Because if this is that important to you, you might as well swing for the fences – get a lawyer. Fight the rules in place that say you have to insure your vehicle to have the privilege of driving. Fight the rules in place that say you cannot drink alcohol before you drive. Fight the rules that say you have to put on clothing to cover your genitalia before you go for a run through your neigbourhood.

Do I sound ridiculous? Good. So does protesting in front of a fucking hospital in the middle of a pandemic.

Society does not owe you anything if you’re unvaccinated.

Society does not owe me anything for being vaccinated.

Society is merely trying to adjust privileges to protect the masses as best as humanly possible through a global pandemic, in hopes of being able to operate as openly as possible. This is not 2019. The world has changed and we need to change with it.

If you’re going to a hospital to protest today, how about you just move the protest to an MLA office. Or, just stay home. Those doctors and nurses and health care workers don’t need your idiotic, selfish arrogance disrupting their ability to save lives. And the people who are being treated deserve to heal, or die, in peace.

Canadians – Listen Up

Early voting starts today for the September 20th Federal Election.

What does that mean? That means if you don’t want to go stand in a crowded room on September 20th, you can go today.

Early voting is September 10, 11, 12 & 13th. You DO NOT need a to provide a reason for voting early. If you don’t want to vote on the 20th, then pick one of the next four days, whichever works best for you. Grab your identification with proof of address and go vote.

Election day is September 20th. If election day works for you, please put it in your calendar to make sure you vote on the 20th.

Just pick a day, one of the listed days, and go vote. Please. Don’t skip it. Don’t throw away your vote. Go. Vote.

Visit https://elections.ca/ for any information you might need about your specific riding and where you need to go. Also listed on the Elections Canada website is all of the information about COVID precautions being taken at the voting booth. All you have to do is put in your postal code.

Please go vote. Don’t make me ask 100 times over.

And to anyone who might say, or think, that an individual vote doesn’t matter, stop thinking that way. The riding that I live in was decided by 137 votes in 2019. 137, that’s it! Not 1,000. Not 1,000,000. It was decided by 137 people. Could that margin be even less this election? Could that margin be wider given how COVID changed things? Who knows!

If you listen to nothing else I say this year, please hear me when I say that you exercising your right to vote is an important piece to a well functioning democracy.