Things I want for this world

I realize these are what most would refer to as ‘pipe dreams’ and that when I speak of these, most people tell me ‘Stop wishing for it because it ain’t gonna happen’… or something of the sort. I can’t help it though. I have high hopes for this world, and I refuse to let those hopes go.

I want to live in a world where education is a right for everyone and not a privilege for the lucky few. Whether you live in Boston, Riyadh, Bloemfontein or Sydney I think knowledge should be afforded to you. An educated world is an empowered world, and I want to live in a world where everyone is empowered.

I want to live in a world where no one has to go hungry for lack of food, or lack of access (geographic or monetarily) to food. In my dream scenario, no food would go wasted… what we buy from the grocery store, we’d eat. And we wouldn’t judge others for what they do or do not eat. Also, when sports teams have leftover food from games, whether it popcorn or hot dogs or burgers or WHATEVER it is that’s edible, they’d donate it to the homeless shelters in their cities rather than throwing it in the trash. Because there is ALWAYS food left over after the hockey, basketball, football and soccer games, and people just… throw it away, while tens of thousands of people go hungry.

I want to live in a world where health care is free for all. Or, if not free, at the very least, affordable and attainable – whether you live in Canada, the USA, Denmark or Sub-Saharan Africa. There should be no reason that a mother from Michigan needs to come to Canada to get insulin for her child. Insulin is ten times the price in the USA as it is in Canada. I mean… excuse my language but what the fuck for? To take advantage of someone suffering from a disease that’ll effect them the rest of their life? No one should have to decide between medication and paying rent. No one should have to question whether or not they can afford a surgery that’ll save their life, or what the consequences of said surgery will be (paying off bills for the rest of their lives).

I want to live in a world where no one claims the moral high-ground, regardless of their job, their wealth, their religion or any of the other stupid reasons people use as a means to believe they’re better than everyone else. In my ideal world, we’d all understand that we’re all just human. We do good. We make mistakes. We forget. We fumble. No one is perfect and no one is better than anyone else whether you’re the Prince of Whales or the man under the bridge.

I want to live in a world where people can disagree with one another and still show each other respect.

I want to live in a world where equality is a reality. Where you get the job based on your intelligence, experience and skills, not on what you look like. Where women aren’t told what they have to wear and how to act and where men aren’t treated as superior solely for being born a man.

I want to live in a world where… if you can dream it you can do it. I hate thinking about all of the unmet potential in graveyards across the globe because of lack of confidence, lack of money, lack of resources, lack of anything that kept them from being who they could have become. If you want to be President, do it. If you don’t want to be President, then don’t.

I want to live in a world where no one is judged, shamed for or embarrassed about mental illness. The stigma is so real. And, as far as we might have come, there’s still so much more to do. See, point one about education.

I want to live in a world where they remove all pineapple from pizza.

And, I’d really like to live in a world where people choose kindness over anything else. Keyboard warriors, assholes and outright nasty people could just have a change of heart, realize that their nastiness doesn’t get them anywhere and do some good. The world needs a lot more good in it.

These things I want out of life…

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m trying to be nicer to myself.

Being my own worst critic, I’m finally starting to realize that being mean to myself for all of my faults probably isn’t helping me get better, it’s just sending me farther into the darkness. I have faults… but I need to learn how to learn from that, not make myself feel worse for that.

My goal for this week is to be nicer to myself. Honestly, I think we could all benefit from being a little nicer to ourselves. But I’m going to start with me.

Summer Solstice is knocking at the door.

Today is day three of my week of positivity.

When it comes to life in Northern Canada, there are two really important days of the year: summer solstice (the longest day of the year) and winter solstice (the shortest day of the year). These days are how we measure seasons, they’re landmarks for the year.

Okay, let me go back to fourth grade geography for a hot minute. The earth rotates around the sun. During the winter months, the North Pole is tilted furthest from the sun making for days with minimal daylight (sun rises at 10 am and starts setting around 2 pm). During the summer months, the North Pole is tilted closest to the sun, making for some exceptionally long days where it seems as though the sun doesn’t fully disappear.

This time of year, here in the North, the sun rises around 3 am and sets around 11 pm. Summer solstice (the longest day of the year) is Friday, June 21. It’s summer’s way of knocking at the door and saying ‘I’m here! Come outside and enjoy life!’

This summer, I want to:

  • Get a full-time job (Preferably in Calgary, but I won’t be picky)
  • Go to Vancouver, at least once, to see my best friend and her babies
  • Hike the Ancient Forest
  • Meet my new niece or nephew (who should be arriving into this world any day now)
  • Get myself a new phone
  • Possibly invest in a camera so I can start taking photos of the beautiful places I see every day
  • Exercise at least five days of every week
  • Create a new Millennial Life Crisis design to make myself some new t-shirts

I’m putting my intentions for the summer in in writing. The process of writing your goals helps you clarify what you desire to do, understand the importance of pursuing them and commit yourself to making them happen. Goals have value only if they help you develop and improve your potential.

Summer is coming, and I’m trying to start it off on a happy note. This week of positivity has been one that hasn’t always been easy, but I’m holding onto the fact that I’m at least trying. The only way to accomplish a goal is to keep going and keep trying.

I will say, the world is a lot easier to see in a positive light when you get a good night’s sleep. Knight sent me another package of Fadeout, which is a supplement that I use to sleep. It’s the first sleep aid that I’ve ever used that genuinely helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. As someone who has always struggled with sleeping, this is HUGE for me.

Get a good night’s sleep! It’s so important. It regenerates your body, allows your skin to regenerate itself, helps you with symptoms of depression and anxiety, helps with your patience, allows you to be more alert and full of energy.

My goal for this week.

It’s Monday and I’m setting an intention for the seven days ahead of me. My goal for this week is to be more positive.

I’ve been realizing lately that I use this blog as a means to vent. Which, I’m totally okay with. I’m a firm believer that life is messy and that sharing the negative pieces are just as important as sharing the positive. I’ve come to the realization though, that I need to share more of the positive. So, that’s my goal for this week.

I’m going to do everything that I can to be more positive. I want to think more positively and I want to look at the world in a better light.

Venting is healthy. It absolutely is. I vent a lot and I welcome other’s who vent as well, because I believe in being real. But in being real, I need to look at the world in a more positive light. It’s something I definitely struggle with, and since the good is out there, I need to make more of an effort to acknowledge it and appreciate it.

The importance of ‘YOLO’

As much as it annoys me when I hear people saying ‘YOLO’ for stupid shit, there’s also a tiny little voice in the back of my brain saying ‘they’re right, so listen to them’.

You only get a limited number of days, a limited amount of time. Don’t waste those days and that time on people who aren’t worthy of being in your orbit and jobs that aren’t challenging you, or making you happy, or fulfilling your life.

I had a really good conversation with my sister-in-law last night. It was one of those conversations that went well into the wee-hours of the morning where it seems as though everything under the sun gets discussed, so to speak. It was really nice. I don’t have a lot of people like that in my life who I can just talk to. Anyways, the point of this tidbit is that we got to talking about happiness.

What makes you happy? What doesn’t? What do you do because you have to and what do you do because you want to? And if there are things in your life that you’re doing that are making you miserable but you don’t have to be doing them, why are you?

My sister-in-law has a younger sister who got married at 20. Not only did she marry at an age which we consider to be young, but she married a man 28 years older than her. He was the first man she’d ever been with and she’d dated him since she was 17. (Yeah was and still is pretty gross. It’s a whole big family-drama story for another time) Now, having been married five years, she’s 25 years old wants kids and is with a man who’s ready to retire and live out his days lawn-bowling and spending winters in Arizona. She’s miserable. And she’s too damn afraid to leave him that my sister-in-law doubts it’ll ever happen.

She’s miserable. She’s 25 and she’s too afraid to do anything to escape the misery.

The thing is, she’s 25. She’s got soooooooo much life left to live. I wish I could knock some sense into her that she’s capable of leaving him and more than strong enough to do so. Why? Because YOLO.

Life is far too short to live it being miserable. I say that in funny situations and I say that in serious situations. Being 25 and married to a man who’s 53 who you don’t want to be with anymore, that doesn’t have to be your forever.

She owes it to herself to be happy.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

I’m sure that we all have things in our lives that we can’t escape. That’s life. But honestly, when you can cut the ties with what’s weighing you down, do it. Whether it’s a 53 year old man you’ve grown to hate, a stupid job that’s making you miserable, friends that tear you down, or whatever it is that is weighing you down, you are strong enough to move past it.

You owe it to yourself to be happy.

You only live once. It’s far too short to waste your days with someone or something that doesn’t make you happy.

For what it’s worth, it’s never too late or too early to start over. Begin again, chase the life that will make you happy/happier/happiest. Eat that piece of cake, take that trip, buy that ________(insert expensive object here), be the most fulfilled version of yourself that you can.

At the end of the day, the best thing that you can give to your future self is the memories of a happy life, and the knowledge that you lived it to the fullest.

YOLO

Set goals and make radical changes.

I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. 

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

‘What do you want out of life?’

I’m actually asked this question quite frequently. Especially in the past four months.

Genuinely, I want adventure. I want to be able to stop and think ‘I can’t believe this is my life’. I want to do things that I never ever thought I could do. I want to go everywhere, see everything and meet everyone. I want to try foods that gross me out and scare the crap out of me.

I want to get on a plane and not know where that plane is headed. I want to know that I always tried, that I always put forth the effort and that I never backed down from a challenge.

And most of all, I want each day to have a new and different sun.

Where do I see myself in five years? Where do I see myself in ten years? Happily travelling the world, sharing stories of people and culture, places and faces, showcasing the unknown, the overlooked and the forgotten about. And, most of all, hopefully instilling a whole lot of wanderlust in everyone that I meet.

I hope that you’ll join me for the ride. And perhaps a cheap flight or two hundred along the way.

Working on the story of my latest adventure right now.