Grow through what you go through.

Growing up, there wasn’t a ton of money to go around my house. With a boatload of kids, living in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, my parents had every penny counted towards something two days prior to pay day arriving.

There were times when things got really bad. And yes, I know I am not the only one on earth who can say this. I was not alone in what I went through. And a lot of what I went through, kids are going through right now.

On more than one occasion, my brother’s and I went out on our bikes after dark to collect bottles from around the neighbourhood so that my mom could return them to the grocery store in hopes of getting $10 for gas money. That $10 would quite literally be the difference between my dad being able to drive to work and my dad hitchhiking to work. And since my parents always did everything within their power to make sure their children were looked after, as kids, we did everything in our power to make sure our parents were looked after.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my past. While I am a firm believer that our pasts don’t define us, I also believe that our past does teach us a lot if we’re willing to learn from it.

Me, I know A LOT about how to stretch a dollar. I’m exceptionally good with my money. And, though it does worry me at times (as I’m sure it does with everyone on earth unless you’re Bill Gates), I recognize that my upbringing taught me a lot about how to stay calm in times of financial struggle or monetary crisis.

Everyone on this earth has been through something difficult in their life. EVERYONE. What I’ve noticed though is some people seem doomed to make the same mistakes over and over. They’re not willing to learn from what they’ve been through.

I think that one of the best things you can do for your development and growth as a human is to learn from the circumstances that have made you. Grow through what you go through; learn from what you’ve been through. If you truly want to better yourself, to let your past make you better and your present make you stronger, then learn your lessons. Take the shittiest things that have ever happened to you and ask yourself how you can make sure that never happens again. Remember the hard times and ask yourself what you learned from them. I guarantee you, even if it’s not top of mind, you learned something from these times.

If you’ve been through hard times, if you’re going through hard times, ask yourself what you can take from the difficult and the struggle. Ask yourself how it’s going to make you better. Grow through what you go through. It sounds cliche but you’re braver than you think, stronger than you know and smarter than you believe.

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.

I’m trying.

Today, I’m trying to be positive. I’m trying to see the good things in my life. I’m trying to appreciate what is for what it is and to accept what isn’t for what it isn’t.

Today, I’m trying to smile… not because I have to, but because I’m appreciative. I’m trying to be appreciative. I’m trying to believe that something better is coming, that one day I’ll look back on this time and thank god that I didn’t give up. I’m trying to believe there’s more out there for me. I’m trying to believe that one day, hopefully soon, someone will see me for who I really am and believe that I an make their world, their life, their office, their inner-circle better.

I’m trying to be thankful – both for what I have and for what I’ve left behind. I’m trying to tell myself the bridges I burnt were done so that I don’t ever try to go back, because I’m trying to remind myself that there’s no point in reliving the past. The past is the past for a reason… it needs to stay there.

Today I’m trying to be hopeful. Hopeful for health, for happiness and for the ability to lead a life that leaves me fulfilled and content. Today, I’m also trying to be grateful for what I have, recognizing the positives and also, recognizing that I am who I am for a reason.

Don’t ever change yourself for someone else, that’s what they say. I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but I understand they’re very wise. So, it is because of them that I’m trying to be proud of who I am. I’m trying to believe in myself and diminish the voice of my insecurities.

Each day brings a new opportunity to make it better than the last, to be better, act smarter and to try. And today, I’m trying.

Oh boy, I am trying.

Feeling a little lost today.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time. The time we give, the time we take, the time we steal, the time we make, how much time we get, how much time we don’t… it’s crazy to me how two people can go through the same six months together and come out as completely separate people.

If you’d asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be this person today, I would have said ‘hell to the no’. Hell, if you’d asked me six months ago if I’d be here today, I’d have laughed you right out of my house. That’s the thing about time though… though we all expect it, you never really see it coming.

I’ve changed a lot… so much so that it scares me sometimes. So, I try to not think about it. My priorities have changed. My desires have changed. My outlook on life as a whole… has changed. Does anything ever stay the same?

As I navigate this new version of me, hoping to find happiness in a world that doesn’t seem to have a ton of it these days, I’m wondering if I even know what happiness is anymore. Would I know happiness if it were staring me in the face? I have so many questions and with next to no answers.

I lied in order to get a job interview and I don’t feel bad about it.

Anyone who’s applied for a job online in the past couple of years knows that, at the end of almost every job application form there’s a question along the lines of “Are you presently living in ________ (location)?”

Here’s the truth: that question in there because said company does not want to pay to relocate an employee. If you select ‘No’, your resume/application is automatically being submitted into the ‘do not consider’ pile. They would rather only consider professionals already living within their city then branch out. Even if it means they’re not getting the best candidate for the job.

If you select no, they won’t even review your application. You might as well not spend the time in sending it, because you’re only wasting your time.

Story time:

I wound up in this city that I am presently residing because I came here to help my mom through her cancer treatments. That being said, this is not where I want to, or plan to, stay. I’ve been applying for positions in Calgary. And, probably will continue to do so until I find the right one.

Last week, whilst on holiday, I got a call from a company in Calgary asking for a phone interview. I distinctly remember applying for the position with this company and checking ‘Yes’ where it asked if I presently resided in Calgary. A lie, yes. But, I knew that all I needed them to do was read my resume and I would stand out from the pack.

I did the phone interview and they loved me, naturally. I’m pretty fucking amazing (and I don’t say that to be cocky, I say that because I know what value I could bring to any office). During the interview I was upfront and said ‘Calgary is a city I would like to be living in by the end of 2019’. Shocked and confused, the woman conducting the interview asked where I was presently living. When I told her where I was she admitted ‘we really don’t interview candidates that don’t live in Calgary’. Somehow they’d read my resume and loved me based on content provided, but had ignored the address listed on my resume.

When I hung up the phone, I really didn’t think I’d hear from them again. Though I’d nailed the phone interview, I didn’t live in Calgary and that seemed like a deal-breaker for them.

To my surprise, I got an email later that afternoon asking if I could have a phone interview with the boss the next day.

Of course!

The next day when I was talking to the boss, I nailed it. He loved me. I could tell that he loved me by the way he was responding to what I was saying. I once again mentioned my wanting to move to Calgary and he said ‘Oh, you’re not in Calgary?’ I explained to him what I had said the day before and the woman I’d spoken to the day before let it slip that she liked me so much she didn’t tell him where I was living.

Nevertheless, he liked me so much that they’re coordinating a video-conference interview for me to do this week. And honestly, I’ll talk to them as many times as they’d like, because the bottom line is that I know I’m qualified, I know I’m willing and they need to know that discounting an application based on someone’s geographical location is stupif.

If you’re looking for work, please LET THIS SERVE AS A REMINDER: if you are not selected for a position, it is not because of lack of qualifications. It can very well be something as stupid as checking ‘Yes or No’ on a questionnaire.

I’m willing to relocate to Calgary on my own dime. And if a company would bother to talk to me, they’d learn that. So counting myself out because of location isn’t a fair step of the process.

Don’t ever let ‘the process’ keep you from your destiny. If you need to fudge the truth in order to be heard, do it. The process is an extremely convoluted and, at times not even fair, series of events. I don’t see anything wrong with taking control out of their hands and putting it into your own. If you’re a badass, count yourself in, check yes and let them see just what they could have if they opened their eyes beyond a narrow scope.

Great moments in literature.

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…

Jack Kerouac

I’m very particular about the people that I let into my life, those I’m friends with and those who I associate with. Why? Because I’m a firm believer that people should add to your life, not take from it.

When you really stop to think about it, you know who’s adding to your life and who’s chained to your leg like a dead weight you’ve been carrying around for years. As you weave your way through this crazy world, always remember that you can be open, honest and transparent with the world while still realizing that not everyone deserves a seat at the table that is your life.

All work is noble.

A woman slowly, carefully, collects her strength and steps her way out from behind the counter, purse in hand, hair net still on her head, and walks towards the door. It’s been 13 hours since she got to work this morning. Her feet are aching and have been for hours. And she just kept cooking. She always keeps cooking. Every day she wakes up hours before the rest of the world and she works hard, all day. Why? Because that’s her job.

Just down the road a man is working his second shift for the day. As he lifts up the trash can and dumps it into the compactor truck that he’s driving, his muscles strain just a little bit more. Some put their trash in bags, others don’t. Some put lids on their cans, others leave theirs to spill out over the street. And he collects it all, every time. No one acknowledges him. No one ever says thank you. They just expect him to do it and he does it. Why? Because that’s his job.

As a society we tend to decide one’s value in this world based on what their job is. And, the people in this world who work the jobs that society doesn’t necessarily value, those are the are the people I have the greatest admiration and appreciation for. Why? Because they keep our society going. They keep our world functioning. The work HARD. All of the fucking time. Whether their feet hurt, their back aches, their stomach grumbles, their arms quiver, they just keep working.

Cooks, garbage collectors, cashiers, waiter/waitresses, construction workers, plumbers, janitors, and so on and so forth (I really could go on forever), these people work hard, all of the time. They keep us going. They’re there for us when we need them and they ensure that our lives function properly. I don’t think people really understand how much they bring to our lives and how thankful we should be that they do what they do. Example: people don’t pay attention when the garbage collector comes, but they sure as hell crank when the garbage collector doesn’t come.

I think if there’s one thing I can teach the people in my life it’s that I want them to be thankful for those people who do the jobs we all take for granted. I want them to place value on all work, and not just their work. I don’t want my family member’s to think their kids have to end up with doctors or lawyers, I want them to think that all jobs are noble and they’d be lucky to have a son-in-law or daughter-in-law that is simply passionate about what they do, no matter their job.

Doctors and lawyers are very valuable to society. They absolutely are. But, I want the people in my life to understand that so is the cleaner who keeps your house tidy, so is the cashier who keeps their register open ten minutes late to ensure you can purchase your food even after the store closes.

All work is noble work. Remember that when you see someone walking with a slight limp because their feet or so sore after they’ve been on them all day. Remember that when your garbage is collected or your house or office is clean without your having to do it. Remember that when your brother or sister or son or daughter, or even you, are searching for love. All work is noble work. Everyone plays an integral role to pushing our society forward.