They’re back.

From now until November 10th, if you would like to get your hands on a #MillennialLifeCrisis shirt, they can be purchased on my Teespring store.

#MillennialLifeCrisis Teespring Store >

In addition to the original logo design, there are two new designs this year.

The first new design is the Millennial Life Crisis is written in a small chest-plate logo that has been flipped upside down. It is a shirt that reflects a lot of what 2020 has been for me, and I’m sure for a lot of people.

The second new design is Millennial Life Crisis is written in red and orange. I just love the two colours together. I think it looks like sunshine on a shirt.

These shirts are available until November 10th, at which point I will be removing them from the Teespring store.

Teespring fast facts:

  • I do not own these shirts. They are not being shipped from myself and they are not in my possession.
  • Teespring is a print-on-demand business in which you upload your personal artwork to clothing and accessories and they print items as the item is purchased and take control over shipping them to the purchaser
  • Teepsring takes a “flat fee” for the price of the shirt + labour. After that, the direct profit any one person makes is a reflection of how high they price their goods at. This why you will find some people have Teespring shirts that are $20 and some people have them as high as $40 or $45. The people who price their items higher are making more of a profit.
  • With the exception of the full-zip hoodie, all prices are marked for roughly a $5 profit for me, on the store, if someone decides to purchase. The full-zip hoodie had a minimum purchase price I had to abide by.
  • There are slight differences in the price from shirt to shirt that is a reflection of the design artwork. This means for one shirt the profit might be $4.80 while another shirt the profit might be $5.15 or $5.20
  • Teespring takes the order, accepts payment and is in charge of shipping all items. Once an item has be processed, created and shipped out of their warehouse, they will make the profit from the sale available to the creator. This means shipping of all items will be from their warehouse in the USA or the UK.

If you’d like to know what these look like when printed, here’s two shirts with the original logo. All artwork is screen-printed onto the items. They hold up really well after being washed a few dozen times.

If you would like to buy one of these shirts, they can be purchased at the #MillennialLifeCrisis Teespring store. Shirts will be available until November 10th.

If you do purchase a shirt, thank you! Please take a picture of yourself wearing it because I would absolutely love to see it. And, if you cannot purchase a shirt, or do not wish to purchase a shirt, I’m still incredibly grateful that you’re here and have continued reading this blog.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay sane.

Happy Halloween!

Please be kind.

This photo has nothing to do with my post, it’s just a beautiful day around here today so I thought I’d share.

Please be kind. It’s a general rule for life, yes. But I find this time of year everyone seems to be stressed out and some people really don’t handle it well while in public. This is just a reminder that, instead of losing your cool on the poor cashier who didn’t cause the issue and can’t solve the issue, just be kind. Don’t yell at the Post Office Attendant because everyone in the world wants to mail something at the same time as you. Don’t walk out of the restaurant without tipping your waiter/waitress just because the kitchen was slow. That’s not your servers fault, everyone eats out this time of year. Also, please, please, please don’t harass, belittle or mistreat the gate attendants if you’re travelling. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are all trying to get somewhere for the holidays and they’re only trying to help. They cannot control plane maintenance, weather, where you’re sitting or where your bags end up. So please remember that when you embark on your travels.

Please be kind.

Practice patience. Be kind. Leave yourself a little extra time to get things done and the busy stores, restaurants and post offices won’t seem like as much of a hassle.

And, as a general rule of thumb, whenever you get the urge to be an asshole, stop yourself.

Throwing me a lifeline.

I’ve been going through a bit of an existential crisis lately. Turning 31, still struggling to find anything employment wise, fighting (literally physically fighting) with my family at what seems like every turn, and getting a lot of hate on this blog as of late has been causing me a lot of worry. My thin skin is shining through and it’s just crossed this barrier beyond stress to a point in which I’ve been genuinely struggling to make it through the day.

I’m really having a hard time. I’ve felt like I’ve been drowning. Slowly. Little by little. Day after day.

I’ve been living off my credit card. And, as that gets closer and closer to my limit, I get more and more afraid about what the next few months are going to entail. Last night, out of nowhere, like the Knight in Shining Armour that he is, Knight sent me money. Just because. I can’t even begin to say how much of a weight it lifted off my shoulders. It’s not that I needed the money, or that I’d ever ask him for it. It’s almost as if he just kind of… knew.

To me, it wasn’t the fact that he sent me money, it’s the fact that he knew. He knew I needed someone to extend a hand.

I’m trying to hold it together. I really am. I’m just having a harder time lately. People tell me it is because I’m coming up on a year of unemployment and I’m afraid to reach that date, though I shouldn’t be because it’s an arbitrary date… nothing more than a date on a Calendar.

I have thin skin, an anxious mind and a restless heart.

And honestly, it’s moments like last night that I remember he’s the one who’s been with me through it all. The one who’s supported me, the one who’s encouraged me, the one who’s made me feel like this awkward in-between stage of my life won’t last forever and that I will get through this. I’m so thankful for that.

I hope that everyone gets the opportunity to have a Knight in their life.

Adventures in job hunting: a clarification

I know that my adventures in job hunting series can, for the most part, come across as quite negative. Anyone who’s been unemployed for any length of time is aware that job hunting is quite stressful and can be filled with a lot of false leads, unfortunate events and people who just don’t seem willing to be honest and up front about what they’re looking for.

This is not to say there aren’t positives in this process. Because there are. But I like to talk about the negatives and rant about the employers who seem to be conducting their hiring processes all wrong because, quite frankly, I know I’m not alone. These types of things happen to everyone.

Through the past few months, being selected as one of the final two candidates several times, getting hired and then having my job offer rescinded (due to “corporate restructuring”) and so on and so forth, I’ve learned to be a little more mum about the things I’m excited about… the things I’m hopeful for. Why? Because when I get excited, it often ends in disappointment. Actually, since I’m still technically unemployed, I’m batting 0 for the year and, it always ends in disappointment. That doesn’t mean these weren’t good experiences though. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good HR people out there. That doesn’t mean that nothing good ever comes from job hunting.

For me, it’s hard to get my hopes up, to get excited about it and to really believe it’s going to happen only to have my dreams quashed when they ‘take a different route’. That’s not to say I have any negative feelings or ill-will towards that company, that’s just to say they didn’t want me.

There are good people working in HR. I’m sorry if it comes across as my bashing HR. I have had good experiences. There are good hiring managers in this world. I’m sorry if it comes across as my consistently bashing these workers. Because in spite of all the idiots and assholes I cross paths with, there are some really good ones in this world.

It’s just, when I’m dealing with the disappointment of making it all the way to being final two and then I don’t get selected, it’s tough to then turn around and tell stories of my consistently not being good enough. For that reason, ‘Adventures in Job Hunting’ tends to be a series more about the epic failures of companies that I cross paths with in this unemployment journey. Adventures in Job Hunting is all about the struggles that I, and all too many people go through to try and find a job. It is by no means a reflection of job hunting as a whole.

I just like to vent about the shitty stuff, the assholes and the liars. Because venting about it helps me get over it and move on faster.

Because… I’m onto the next. I’m not giving up. I can’t give up. Someone, somewhere out there is going to realize my value and what I could bring to their office. Someone is going to know they need to hire me. Until they do though, I’m sure there’ll be many more ‘Adventures in Job Hunting’ posts to come.

Sorry, not sorry. That’s life.

Adventures in job hunting: Misleading job descriptions.

I had a phone interview for a job scheduled for today at 11:00.

The job that I applied for was for a Marketing Coordinator for one of the most major beverage companies in the world.

I read the job description and it talked about creating and implementing a marketing plan, determining new markets and sectors for which to expand the brand, using communication platforms to deliver messages and promotions of the products and deciding events to sponsor. These are all typical marketing related tasks.

The ENTIRE job description mentioned that it was for this particular beverage brand. NOWHERE in the job description did it mention that it was for any other brand, or anything but this particular beverage brand.

Get three minutes into the phone interview and he lets me know that the job isn’t actually for this brand at all, it’s for one of their subsidiaries.

Fine.

Whatever.

Then, he asks me what makes me want to work for this brand – the subsidiary, not what I thought I was applying for.

I told him the position seemed like a challenge that I would be great for and I was excited at the prospect.

Then he said ‘No, not why you want this position, why do you want to work for this brand (the subsidiary)?

I again mentioned the position seemed like something that would excite me.

And again, he said ‘I know why you think the position is great, but why did you want to work for this brand (the subsidiary)?

Well, sir, I didn’t actually know I was applying for a job with this subsidiary until about a minute ago when you told me. There was no listing of the subsidiary anywhere in the job posting. At all.

Scuffles on the other end of the phone.

‘You’re not very quick at thinking on your feet, are you?’ he asks.

‘Guess not!’ I said and tried to laugh it off, knowing this was going to be held against me.

Then he goes on to say ‘Well, I’ll explain to you a little more about the position. As a member of our sales team..’

Hold up.

Nothing in the job description mentioned ANYTHING about sales. ‘Oh, the job description didn’t mention anything about sales?’ I calmly, casually suggested.

He says ‘Well Marketing Activation is, by definition, sales’.

I disagree with that statement on its face. But whatever.

He goes on to explain that this position is a sales role and commission based.

So I applied to a job that I believed was going to be branding, marketing and establishing this company into new avenues in Western Canada.

The job was actually for a sales position for a subsidiary company in which the job-holder is to drive around the prairie provinces asking different gas stations and arenas and venues if they’re willing to carry this product and what kind of deal I could arrange to sell them these products.

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

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 >