Letter to a lost soul.

Dear Self,

Hold on. I promise you that it won’t be this way forever. So please, I beg of you, hold on.

You might not know where this next year is going to take you and the sheer prospect of it might frighten you to your core, but I promise you that you can handle it. Good, bad, happy, sad, no matter what comes your way, you can handle it.

There’s a lot of unknowns right now. Even more than those unknowns, there’s a fucking lot going on that you cannot control. Please don’t let that weigh on your heart.

I know that you can get overwhelmed at times, feeling like there’s really nothing in this world you can do to make things better. It’s times like these that I encourage you to remember that it is not always you responsibility to carry the weight of the world. As much as I know you’re not a religious person, try to remember the sentiment to the statement ‘let go and let god’. Because putting everyone’s burdens on yourself is a really hard way to live.

Please don’t be afraid of the future. Don’t be afraid for opportunities, or lack thereof. Like the lyrics say ‘what is meant to be will be’, and if it never comes to fruition then it wasn’t meant to happen.

Stop worrying about money. You’ll always find a way to get the money – whether it takes a week, a month, a year or ten years.

Stop worrying about time. There is no rule that says you need to have an established life by a certain time. This is your life and you determine the time frame of which things happen, no one else.

Stop worrying about not being good enough. Worry about leaving a lasting impression on the world, especially your friends and your family. Worry about improving yourself daily and about making people’s lives better.

Hold on, self.

Hold on for dear life.

Work had, self.

Even with all the bad there is in this world, you can be good. You can lead by example and you can make change.

Be kind, self.

You never know what sort of challenges someone is facing or how hard of a time they might be having. Perhaps all they need is someone to show them genuine kindness.

Love yourself, self.

Regardless of the insecurities you might see when you look in the mirror, you’re a pretty fucking amazing person. And while you may see those insecurities so clearly, I promise you that the people who really matter to you, they don’t. And even if they could, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t care. It’s a nice feeling being loved and appreciated for exactly who you are, so stop letting those insecurities dictate your happiness. Let people love you for exactly who you are.

Regardless of what happens, you can and will get through this. It may seem like insurmountable demons right now, but I promise you that one day you’re going to look back on these times and be proud.

Hold on, self. I promise you that it won’t be this way forever. So please, I beg of you, hold on.

Sincerely, Me

Natalia Grace on Dr. Phil

Well, today was the day. For the first time after all these months hearing Michael and Kristine Barnett slandering their adoptive daughter in the news with nothing but speculation they’re trying to claim as ‘evidence’, Natalia finally got her chance to share her side to the story.

There are varying degrees of opinions following the interview today. A lot of people online still painting her to be a liar, still doing… what I would consider to be online bullying with their words.

While I admit, there are some things I would love to have been asked/answered that weren’t, I trust that if Dr. Phil thought anything ridiculous going on he either would have 1) Stated that, or 2) Not aired the episode at all. He, as an executive producer has the power to decide what makes it to air and what doesn’t. He doesn’t need the ratings, his show isn’t in jeopardy. So, there was no reason for him to air this interview other than him wanting to let Natalia share her story.

In my personal opinion, Natalia is a 16 year old. I thought this before I watched Dr. Phil and after watching Dr. Phil, my opinion is only stronger that that is, in fact, the case.

A couple of important things happened on the show today:

  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia over and over and over again what her thoughts were so far as to the Barnett’s and their actions and, not once, did Natalia say a bad or negative thing about them.
  • When asked if she thinks the Barnett’s should serve jail time for their actions, Natalia said that all she wants to happen is that she gets her life back. She wants her age changed back to what it should be. She said that the court could give them jail time, and if they do that would be the courts decision. She said that she just wants her age changed back on paper and to be able to move on with her life.
  • Natalia said it wasn’t two months into her adoption that the Barnett’s started questioning her age and stopped treating her like family.
  • Dr. Phil asked Natalia about the speculations the Barnett’s have blasted through media cycles the past couple of months and Natalia responded to each of them. And honestly, it just seems like things the Barnett’s are blowing out of proportion to try and play a victim card.
  • Natalia’s parents, the people who have looked after her since she was abandoned, speculated a couple of things. 1) The father speculated they were trying to discredit her mental stability and when they couldn’t do that, that’s when they came up with the plan to change her age so they could leave her ‘because she was an adult’ and 2) The mother speculated that Natalia’s medical conditions and need for surgery would slow down their ability to devote their lives to their boy genius son and be touted in the media as an incredible mother looking after a son with Autism and advocating for people with disabilities, and that Kristine just didn’t want the negative press.

Honestly, I do think it’s a bit of both.

As mentioned in the previous posts I have done about Natalia Grace, I do believe she is a child. I do believe she is still a minor. Call this opinion biased if you’d like, but I am stating this is, in fact my opinion because I don’t want people to ‘come for me’ for saying it’s fact.

I’m grateful for the Mann family for taking in Natalia, a little girl who was forced to grow up way too quickly and who deserved better from both the Barnett’s and the United States government.

I sincerely hope, when all is said and done and the trial is over, that her age is legally changed back and she gets to lead a normal life. The Barnett’s are callous. The State of Indiana fucked up here. They really did. The judge who legally changed her age needs to be investigated. To me, it’s abundantly clear the Barnett’s crafted a way to ‘dispose’ of her that wouldn’t hurt their image and public notoriety gained from being the amazing parents to their child prodigy son Jacob. Natalia wasn’t an daughter to them. Natalia was an inconvenience to them. She’s the victim here.

I’m so disappointed in the media. I really am. All of these people who’ve been promoting Kristine and Michael’s lies and dragging this girl through the mud, they should have to apologize. I really hope they swallow the sword and grow up and apologize. Because until they do, Natalia is never going to be able to lead a normal life. Her name, face, likeness and person has been dragged through the mud for months… at the hands of this couple who refuse to admit their wrong doings.

** Oh, Dr. Phil also said that he’s arranging for Natalia’s birth mother to come to the United States to reunite the two. Which is awesome. I hope this birth mother is, in fact her birth mother and that Dr. Phil can help prove that. Because if so, that’ll be a big help into getting to the bottom of this case!


Couple of Dr. Phil clips:

Natalia responding to specific claims made by Kristine Barnett
Natalia answering with what she wants when all is said and done.

Previous posts about this subject:

Natalia Grace Speaks! – Nov 4, 2019

Natalia Grace – I can’t even with this crazy story… – October 9, 2019

This millennial’s music guide.

I’m not really sure what genres I could call this collection of songs. But, since music is such a big piece to my life, I thought for the first time ever, I’d share some of my favourite songs on this blog.

I truly believe that a person’s taste in music can tell you a lot about who they are. People are often surprised when they hear my selections for song choices. I’m not really sure that this collection will say much about me, but if it is does then please feel so inclined as to share some of your favourite songs. I’d love to let your favourite songs tell me a little bit more about you.

I really tried to narrow it down to ten but I just couldn’t. Thus, this list is thirteen…

Tom Cochrane & Red Rider – Boy Inside the Man

I can’t really explain the reason why I love this song so much. It just a certain ‘purity’ to it that makes me think of all the adventures I go into growing up. It’s pure nostalgia for me when I hear it.

Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes

Oh goodness, I might need to stop actually talking about why I like these songs because I’m only on #2 and I’m struggling. This song, it reminds me of a specific moment in my life when someone said to me “Forgive me for staring, but your eyes, they’re the most blue of anyone I’ve ever seen.” When I hear it, I’m transformed back to a much more simple time and place in life. And, I like that. I guess you could say this one is nostalgic for me as well.

The Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See

This song is waking up in the morning to smell a fresh pot of coffee brewing and hear some extremely loud singing coming from the shower. It’s a peaceful drive into the city, on your way to work, witnessing the truly incredible sights the Canadian landscapes have to offer, with the sun beaming on your face and a sense of fulfillment in your heart. This song is… peace, calm and serenity to me.

Tom Petty – I won’t Back Down

Though it doesn’t sound like much of a fight song, this song is my fight song. When I feel like the world is kicking me around and throwing all sorts of shit at me that I can’t handle, this is the song I’ll go to.

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark

Ugh… to me this song should be a Millennial Anthem. It’s like… as we were being born, he knew how we’d feel 30 years from then…

Paul Simon – You can call me Al

This song is equally annoying and incredible to my brain. I both love it and hate it equally, and cannot stop listening to it. It’s like an earworm that I’ve had since I was ten years old.

Otis Redding – Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay

This song reminds me of my grandfather. This was his favourite song, and I think as a result that’s why it’s one of my favourites. My grandfather was someone who could hear something on the radio and sit down and play it on his piano, or guitar, or any of the instruments he had in his house. He was a music genius and he always had a soft spot for this song. As a result, I do to.

Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel

I love Elvis. I love all Elvis. From Jailhouse Rock to Blue Christmas to Suspicious Minds, I really love it all. If I had to pick a favourite though, this will always be my favourite Elvis song.

Dobie Gray – Drift Away

This is the most chill of all chill songs (for lack of ability to describe it any better).

Chris Stapleton – Millionaire

A song from this decade, how did this sneak in here? Actually though, Chris Stapleton is one of the most amazing musicians ever in my mind. Fun fact: he was actually a songwriter for other artists before he broke onto the music scene himself. I’ve seen the man live… 3 times now. I’d go to his concerts again and again and again because his lyrics are incredible, his voice is powerful and his shows are just as damn good as the recorded songs. And when his wife appears in concert with them – oh my god, you won’t be let down.

The Wallflowers – One Headlight

This song was a key piece to my ‘I’m a moody teenager soundtrack’ and has stuck around on my list of favourites ever since. The 90’s was a truly great decade for music. Seriously.

Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man

This song also ranks on my ‘top of the tops’ list because of my grandfather. I recall so many times going over to his house and this song was playing. I think this was one of his favourites. He used to sit down and play it on his various instruments and try to make me sing. I would never sing though, because I’m horrible. But… fond memories.

David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

ANOTHER SONG FROM THIS DECADE! This song is my go-to for when I’m in a really bad mood. It always seems to make me feel like it’s better than I think it is…


Have any song suggestions that are your favourites? I’m always looking for some new music to encapsulate my soul.

Don’t wait for the new year for resolutions. Things for you to quit TODAY

  1. Trying to please everyone.
  2. Fearing change.
  3. Living in the past.
  4. Overthinking.
  5. Being afraid to be different from everyone else.
  6. Sacrificing your happiness for others.
  7. Thinking you’re not good enough.
  8. Thinking you have no purpose.

People always wait for New Year’s Day to make resolutions and honestly, why? Make these resolutions today. Make change today. Better yourself today. You deserve it. You’re worth it. Don’t wait for some arbitrary day to try and change you thinking – start to try and change the way you think today.

It’s not going to be easy. And it’s not going to happen at the snap of your fingers. But if you make the effort to enrich your life with serious changes that will ultimately benefit you long-term, the change will be worth it.

Do it. Do it today.

A tale of two millennials

How much of who we are is a reflection of circumstance versus a reflection of our own freedom of thought, expression and power of will? Could two millennials from two very different walks of life be very much the same?

Josh is a 35 year old male who grew up at the helm of one of the most Conservative states of all of the USA. I am a 30 year old female who grew up in one of the most progressive cities in the world. Josh enrolled in the Marines after high school. I enrolled in University after high school. Josh is married with a children. I have yet to marry and start a family. Josh works for the police. I am unemployed. It’s true, on first appearance, we’re very different people.

We’re very different on paper, that’s for sure. But we’re also very similar in a lot of ways. We’re both very much aligned in our desires for equality, how to treat people and how we wish to be treated. We both studied the same subject in school and understand the importance of good communication in all aspects of life. We both have sincere appreciation for travel, for culture, for people being able to be their authentic and true selves. In a lot of was, we’re two peas in a pod.

What do you think? Are we a product of circumstance, or is there something more to who we grow up to become? Josh and I are sharing some discussions had, some questions answered and some lessons learned. Half of this will be displayed here, on #MillennialLifeCrisis, whilst the other half can be found on Josh’s blog. So, without further ado, these millennials come to you with its noisiest authorities insisting on it being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.


Where did you see yourself by the time you were 30 and where were you actually by the time you were 30?

Josh: I set a lot of goals for myself before I was 30, but many of them were experience orientated.  I wanted to have traveled the world, seen a lot of different cultures, served in the military and maybe… had kids and got married.  I didn’t really think a lot about the marriage card until my mid-twenties.   

I ended up achieving most of them.  I served in the U.S. military as a marine. I had a very successful military career and I traveled. I think I hit 15 countries and 4 continents by 24.  I did a lot of traveling outside the military, so I got to experience a lot of cultures. I stayed with families in Cambodia and South Africa.  I got lost a couple times in Europe and South America.  It’s nice accomplishing goals, but it doesn’t always bring happiness.  I wish I had worked more on myself and well-being in those years.  I have a lot of regrets during that time, drank a lot and slept with a lot of women. I didn’t have a lot of meaningful relationships, but meaningless ones, if that makes sense

Vee: I set a great deal of expectations for myself for where I would be when I was 30. I wanted to work in management, I wanted to be changing the face of how people thought about and felt about sports. I wanted to have travelled the world, have mastered my skill-sets and have really enriched the lives of my nieces and nephews. I wanted to be the woman who had it all.

Right now, at 30, I am unemployed, still working on changing the way people feel about sports… but I think that will always be a work in process.

If you could go back in time and tell your 19 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Josh: I could probably write a novel for my 19-year-old self, but one single piece of advice… that’s tough. I probably would tell myself to immediately pursue education and continue doing it until I couldn’t anymore and not give up when moments get hard. I’d also tell myself to not be scared of girls and be respectful to them.

Vee: Oh goodness, it’s really hard to pick just one. I think I’ll have to settle with ‘Dump that asshole and do it right now!’

Did you feel pressure to complete school within a time period and find steady work, immediately after college or high school? 

Josh: Yes and no, I felt like when I graduated High School it was kind of the thing to do.  If you didn’t go to college I felt like society looked down on you and I felt shame for not wanting to pursue education.  I feel like a lot of motivation is brought about by shame, its good to avoid doing things because you feel shame for not doing them.  

But, I did start working pretty quick. I had a bunch of crappy jobs and then I got a good one. And, then in the middle of the Iraq stuff I joined the military. It was something I’d always wanted to do and it changed my life.  I don’t know if I’d say it was good, but its effect was really massive.  I felt like I gave the best years of my life to the marines and I know I can’t get those back.  

Vee: I went to University right after high school because I received a scholarship. To me, it just seemed like a no-brainer… get the degree now, do the fun stuff later. After I graduated from University I packed up all of my things and went on a road trip for several months. It was incredible. Then, when I returned from my trip, a job just sort of fell into place… almost as though the universe had a plan for me.

Do you feel like if or when, you’ll have to be involved in their lives to a certain extent, pta, sports? 

Josh: I hate the expectations that go with kids.  I feel like as a parent you’re supposed to be at all the school events, join the PTA, play youth baseball and dance.  It’s really hard finding time for everything and I don’t want my kids to miss out, but I’d rather spend the time one on one with them rather than watching them dance.  I’ve learned I can’t do it all.

Vee: If I ever do have children I hope that I am involved in their lives. I don’t think I’d ever have kids just to pawn them off on their dad, or my family members. If I have kids, I want to be my own version of Lorelei Gilmore.

Do you feel like there is a salary or amount of money you’ve expected to be making?

Josh: Yes and no.  I used to think I should make at least as much as my parents, but now, years later I don’t care.  My family was pretty middle class.  My Dad worked on the assembly line making cars at Ford and my mom was an Interior Designer.  I don’t know why I felt this way, it really doesn’t bother me anymore.  I want to give my kids a good life, but I feel like I can do that with less money or more, it’s just about how I spend and save it.

Vee: I have never had a fixed salary in my mind that I desired. I simply wanted to be able to support myself. I’m a very simple person in nature, so it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. I feel like so long as I can make enough to make myself happy and keep myself housed and fed and healthy, then I’ll have done well.

Do you feel shame or any unfair expectations? 

Josh: This is a tough question.  I think the world is full of shame and unfair expectations.  For me, I freak out about money.  It’s a big trigger for me.  I want to be able to feed my family, keep a roof over their heads and provide. I also want to take care of them emotionally and developmentally.  I want to support their dreams and leisure pursuits.  I know it’s all pretty deep, but when those expectations get derailed, I stress out and have to center myself.  When I was single I could have cared less about a lot of this stuff.  

I feel like I’m also comparing myself to my peers from High School and College.  And it’s not fair because everyone is different.  Every person has unique expectations put on them and self-inflicted.  I think it’s incredibly helpful to get past the shame and understand our triggers. 

Vee: I feel as though there are most definitely unfair expectations placed on all females in this world. You see it in the media every day – in the laws that are being created, or rewritten to give women less choice and in the lack of representation of females around virtually every executive table and so very many industries.

Furthermore, I feel there are unfair expectations put on millennials. Gen X wants us to follow in their footsteps, and if we don’t they get angry. Baby Boomers don’t understand that we have different values then they did when they were young. I don’t think they want to understand. Both generations see us as entitled, neither generation really tries to understand.


Want to read more about how Josh and I are both extremely similar and extremely different people at the same time? Check out the other half of our interview questions on Josh’s Blog. Visit Creative Words of Life >