Sporadic AF Thoughts, Nov 3.

I had such a good time writing the last post like this that I’ve decided I might do it more often. Though I still don’t like ‘AF’, so I need to come up with a new title. We’ll call that a work in progress.

After a week of feeling as though I really just wasn’t going to survive (yes, I am extremely over-dramatic when I am sick), I am finally starting to feel somewhat/relatively human again. I’m not 100%, but I can feel myself getting better, and that’s what’s important.

The sweet and wonderful Hilary from SereneLuna Blog sent me the kindest early birthday card/present and it absolutely brightened my spirits this week. There’s something about a hand written letter/note that will just never go out of style in my heart. It’s timeless, it’s so thoughtful and it really makes you (in this case me) feel as though someone genuinely cares. I think that’s why I really appreciate thoughtful birthday cards. Does anyone else keep their birthday cards? I keep mine. Is that weird?

I’ve been on the hunt for a ‘natural’ deodorant for a couple years now. And yes, I fully understand the dichotomy that ‘natural’ deodorants present. I think the biggest struggle that I am having in this search is that the majority of deodorants marketed as ‘natural’ are ingredient based in essential oils. I happen to be wildly allergic to most essential oils and using these products often causes me to get blistery rashes. So how does one find a ‘natural’ deodorant without any essential oils in it?

There’s been a growing narrative in Canada about a divided country, as the ‘Wexit’ movement gets propagated in the media and is gaining steam. Meanwhile, more and more multi-million dollar corporations have collected their tax-cuts from the Alberta government and are fleeing. Jason Kenney is running the narrative that this is ‘Trudeau’s fault’, ignoring the very basic fact that trickle-down economics don’t work. Trickle-down economics have never worked. The rich stay rich by hoarding their riches. They don’t invest it into their employees and the economy through sponsorship and infrastructure, they lock it in bank accounts in far off lands that have limited laws with respect to banking.

Following in the footsteps of his idol, the holier than thou Trump of Donald Senior, Jason Kenney handed out a corporate tax cut earlier this year promising the public this was a smart move for a better Alberta and that this would benefit everyone. And, as the corporations have subsequently taken their money and run, the Wexit movement now has more than 40,000 members on their online platform. Interesting…

It didn’t work when Donald Trump did it. It hasn’t ever worked for any government before and we all knew that it wasn’t going to work for Jason Kenney, but he did it anyway. He sold the public on a bill of goods that was built on pillars of salt and sand, meanwhile silencing anyone who dared remind him that trickle-down economics don’t work.

Now, I know that politics can get rather boring for people to follow at times, so I relate this to pop culture. Remember this fact: the rich get rich by hoarding their riches.

Kylie Jenner has recently been named the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Kylie, along with the rest of the Kardashian family, has a slew of employees who work for her. In her home, in her office, in the factories making the cosmetics that she sells. It’s widely reported that each and every one of her employees make minimum wage. It’s also been claimed by the employees who make Kylie Cosmetics that they’re not even provided with the basic safety equipment and working environment to help them properly do their jobs. According to the employees they’re paid only minimum wage, the bare legal minimum that Kylie has to pay them, not provided health insurance, and can at times, work upwards of twelve hours or more on a single shift during peak ‘launches’ for the line. All while only wearing a hear net and safety goggles.

The laboratory that Jenner uses is the same lab that Colour Pop cosmetics uses. And, it’s worth noting that these claims have also been made about Colour Pop Cosmetics as an employer. (Please note these claims of the factory and working conditions have not been verified through what I would consider… “media sources” for lack of better terminology. They’re Indeed reviews, youtube videos of ‘Why I quit working for Kylie’ and so on)

Why does Kylie only pay her employees the bare minimum wage legally required of her in the state of California? Simply put, would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she given them raises? Would she be the youngest self made billionaire had she offered any form of health insurance, chosen to upgrade the factory which her cosmetics are produced, offered employees more safety equipment to do their jobs? Likely not. Rich people stay rich by hoarding their riches.

Now I’m not hating here. I’m simply stating the facts as they relate to politics and they relate popular culture. What the girl has done is created a relatively average product, found the bare minimum it could possibly cost her to produce it and used ‘her brand’ to price it at a markup so high that in just a few short years she’s become a billionaire. She actually sounds pretty intelligent to me. But, she also reminds me of the very important point that trickle-down economics don’t work. In politics, in business, in Alberta, in life in general, it’s human nature to hoard our riches. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter who is in charge, the Oil Industry is still dying and Alberta is still in denial. Okay, I’ve talked about this for farrrrrr too long.

It’s raining outside. Pouring, actually. Consequently the downpour outside my window mimics the downpour in my head. Too many thoughts, too little time. I am a shallow heart with a wandering mind who is presently second guessing anything and everything that I possibly can. I’ll be 31 soon. It’s time to get my life together. I wonder what that looks like.

Think Different.

There are talented people all across WordPress and every other bogging platform that exists. Talented people who have a lot to share with the world, who struggle to get anyone to read their words or see their content. Why? Because they struggle to position and market their blog among the other 75 million blogs that exist in this world.

If you’re writing for a hobby, writing to keep a diary online instead of in a journal, this likely won’t matter to you at all. But if you’re on WordPress because you want to make friends and meet like-minded people, share your talents and show your skills then you need to market your blog. You have to.

While the odd person may stumble upon your blog, resonate with what you have to share and stick around from then on, the ‘accidentally finding you’ tactic is certainly not going to garner the audience you desire.

Someone that always understood marketing far better than most people on this planet is Steve Jobs. If you’ve ever heard the man speak, you know. He gets it. He knows how to turn a brand into a necessity, to a lifestyle and a feeling of belonging.

Your blog is your brand and if you want to garner an audience using your brand, you need to turn it into a necessity, a lifestyle and a place for people to find their belonging.

One of my favourite speeches from Steve Jobs can be seen here:

In the video, Jobs explains that the core value of Apple is the belief that people can change the world and that those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones that do.

Using their slogan ‘Think Different’, Jobs explains that Apple’s desire was not to create a phone for you to make phone calls, Apple’s desire was to create a phone that makes your life better, easier, more organized. Apple’s desire was to create a computer that allowed your brain to think differently about how to do things, about what your computer can do for you and about how you can change the world from the stroke of a keyboard.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, one of the most brilliant of our time. In ‘thinking different’ he categorically used his ‘think different’ platform to catapult a run of the mill company to be a world, industry and technological leader. He did this because he knew he wasn’t marketing a computer. He knew that when he was marketing the life the computer could give you. He knew that he was marketing how much easier his phone would make your day.

How does this relate to blogging? Well, I’ll ask you this… in marketing your blog, do you market it as a blog, or, a community? Is it a place for you to write or a place for thoughts to change minds and learn new oulooks/perspctives? Is your blog a blog or is your blog a home for the lost, the found and the just won’t give up? Are you giving something to your readers, or merely just taking their time? Remember, Nike doesn’t sell shoes, Nike sells the idea of who you can become when you wear their shoes. If you’re selling your blog as a blog, you need to take Steve Jobs’ advice and think different. Thing bigger. Don’t market your blog as a blog. Market your blog as a home. As a place for people to come to remember they’re not alone in this world. Market your words as a means to help those who you’ve not yet met.

What does your blog bring to the table that no one else has? That no one else does? With millions of people hitting ‘Publish’ on their posts each and every day, what about your posts is should keep people coming around? What is your commodity? I don’t mean this in a condescending way, I mean this to get you thinking.

#MillennialLifeCrisis markets in honesty and understanding. The good, the bad, the ugly, the afraid to share with the world thoughts that you only keep to yourself honesty. You will find that here. People know that if they come to this community, they will hear my truths and they can feel safe to share their’s.

Some of my favourite blogs to read are those that market in travel. Not tourism, but travel (because there’s a very distinct difference). I love reading about those people who walk off the beaten path and really go to a country to learn and share the very core living culture within a place. Rebecca Goes Rendezvous does this really well.

Other blogs that I find myself gravitating towards are those who have no fear in telling their opinions with respect to real and important subject matter that a lot of people are often too afraid to talk about… too afraid to share opinions on, because they don’t want to start an argument. I like the people who aren’t afraid to share those thoughts, even if it might start an argument, because they know that they can turn it into a thoughtful and informative discussion. Filosofa’s Word does this really well.

These are both my own personal likes, though. And everyone likes something different, so please don’t take these two suggestions as the only subjects that matter.

If you really want to take your blog to the next level, and really want to have people pay attention to what you have to share, think different. Ask yourself where your blog should be positioned and make it happen. Position your blog and then market it.


90% of bloggers marketing:

“Hi my name is Sarah, please check out my blog!”

10% of bloggers effectively marketing their blog:

“Remember a time when you were moved to tears by a piece you read on someone else’s blog? Or were inspired to take action in a certain area of your life?

Well, that was art. The art of blogging.” (Quote from The Art of Blogging)

Which blog are you more likely to check out?

Because effective marketing is everything!

Who would miss you?

This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I read a post a few weeks back in which the blogger asked: if you quit blogging, who would miss you? It got me thinking about blogging, yes, but it also got me thinking about my life in general.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, this is not a cry for help. I’ve always just thought of myself as a person who would have no issues just… running away and never coming back. Kind of like how my grandfather moved away from his family, came to Canada on his own and made his own life here, never to return to his home country.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like… to just, relocate. Maybe find an exotic locale somewhere on the globe and build myself a soft spot to land.

Would anyone miss me? I’m not sure. I think my mom might, but I also think that she might get over it after a while.

I’m well aware that I’m incredibly blessed in being born Canadian and that I do live in one of the best, most evolved, most prosperous countries on earth. My reason for leaving would not be because I don’t like it here. Instead, my reason for leaving would be to start over.

There’s a book that I love, Into the Wild, in which the main character gives up everything he’s ever known in an effort to start over, in search of his true happiness.

One of the quotes from the book, it really resonates with me.

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

Sometimes I think about giving it all up. Chasing an endlessly changing horizon and hoping for a new and different sun.

If you’ve ever considered it, could you do it? Could you give up everything? Some can, some can’t! Some just don’t have the ability. But if you gave up everything for a chance to start over, in a new place, with an endlessly changing horizon, who would miss you?

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.

July 17, 2019 – As I ramble on.

Lately I’ve been realizing just how much the weather affects my mood. At what felt like the height of my struggles earlier this year, we went for a period of nearly a month in which temperatures outside were -30 degrees Celsius or below. It was difficult to go outside for more than a few seconds without feeling physical pain from the cold.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally trying. And, as I stare outside at the pouring rain, for the seventeenth day in a row, I know that this weather isn’t causing my issues, but it’s definitely contributing to my mood being so much worse. We’ve had an exceptionally cold, wet, rain-filled summer thus far… if you even want to call it a summer. It feels more like fall, to be totally honest.

Keeping with that theme of being totally honest, I’m scared about the future. More distinctly, I’m scared that I don’t have a future. I’m scared that I’ll never amount to anything, that this hamster wheel I’m spinning in will continue for the rest of my life.

Last time I went for lunch with Knight, his sister and his sister’s family, she explained how I’m feeling in a more accurate when then I’ve ever been able to put into words.

“It’s hard,” she said. “You want so badly to know that things are going to work out and that everything’s going to be okay, but the universe doesn’t tell you when that’s going to happen. It would be so nice if you could just know a day, a time to expect it. A time so that you wouldn’t have to worry so much and you could just focus on getting through to that day. But that’s not how the world works.”

In a nutshell, that’s really it. The worst part of being in this situation is not knowing how, or when everything’s going to work out. Or even if everything’s going to work out. I wan’t so badly to know, but I really don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

I’m taking it one day at a time. Or, at least I am trying. And I’m trying to stay positive… I really am. Today, it’s a positive that… yeah, I started writing this four hours ago and I’ve been thinking about it since then and I’m having a hard time. I’m thankful for the things that I have in my life, I really am. I’m thankful for the people I have in my life. Honestly, it saves my sanity that I get to talk to Knight every night before he goes to bed. I guess I’m just struggling to be positive right now. I think it’s important to note that you can be thankful and grateful for what you have while still having a hard time being happy.

I think that’s a huge misconception about mental illness. People who don’t understand it will say things like ‘But your life is so great’ or ‘You have so much’. I do have a lot and I am very grateful for what I have. Having good things in your life doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to feel down, sad or upset sometimes. I’m getting off topic.

Positives. Positives. Try to stay positive, self. You can do this. You can see the good in the world, even when it feels like things are crashing down around you.

I really need a little bit of sunshine in my life today. I feel so needy and lousy saying that. But my oh my… universe… if there’s a sign you can send, I’m ready for it.

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.

Should I be impulsive or should I be responsible?

Do I get on a plane, or do I stay home and not spend money when I don’t have a ton of it to go around? Do I accept the money from someone for the plane ticket, if I know I can’t pay it back, even though I know they’d never ask for me to pay it back? Do I follow my heart, or listen to my head?

I have a hard time accepting money, or anything, from people. I always have. Regardless of the person, regardless of the value of what they’re trying to give. It’s something I struggle with, greatly. There are people in my life that I know are genuine when they want to give me things, yet I refuse to allow them. I just feel as though if the no gifts rule has to apply to one, that rule has to apply to all. As much as I try to make exceptions and try to accept the love and generosity someone is trying to give me, old habits are hard to change.

It seems like such a simple answer. ‘Girl, go… get on a plane… do what makes you happiest, chase what you love most. Life is short. Helping someone through cancer treatments teaches you that like a slap to the face on a cold winter’s day.’ That’s my inner-voice speaking. But, if there’s one thing life has taught me this year, life doesn’t get to be so simple. I’ve been feeling the need to be cautious with my decisions lately. I want to set myself up for the future. I want a future, a good future, an important future. I’m capable of so much and truthfully, part of me worries I am one bad decision away from ruining that potential.

The Psychiatrist that I’ve been seeing says that I’m a chronic over-thinker with compulsive tendencies. Translation: I spend a long time thinking about things and then just do it anyway. While I won’t deny, that has allowed me some pretty incredible experiences in life, I don’t want to feel as though I’m sponging off those that I love for the rest of my life.

Okay, so, in all likelihood, I’m going to continue thinking about this all night long. There’s a very real possibility that I resort to online shopping in hopes to distract myself. Does anyone else put things in your online shopping cart for ten different websites at once and never actually buy anything? Or, is that just me? That’s likely just me.

My fitbit is beeping at me to go to bed. Really quick though, before I peel off my socks and curly up in bed, I’ve got something totally unrelated to this to say. I’ve been really disappointed with the news coming to light of all (in the past few weeks) of the trash Canada has shipped overseas under the misquoted manifest of ‘recyclables’. While we’re one of the most developed nations on earth, we’re only actually recycling as little as 9% of materials that are able to be recycled. And if it’s happening here, it’s happening in more than just Canada. We need to be better. As a human race, we need to be better. We need to make the effort. The very state of our planet depends on it. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Sweet dreams, beautiful world.