Turn your wounds into wisdom, your hurt into healing and your breakdown into a breakthrough.

Dear Self,

When life gets hard, it’s easy to crawl into bed, hide under the covers and wait for it to pass you by. It’s easy to think you’re not capable or you’re not good enough you just don’t deserve.

Things might really suck right now. It might feel like the darkest of the dark hours you can see. It may be the worst day, week or year of your life. And all you want to do in this world is just give up, to think that you’re worthless. Let me tell you, self, in these moments, you are wrong. You are completely and totally wrong in every sense.

You are good enough. You are smart enough. You are capable enough and you are more than qualified to conquer whatever the world throws at you. And I promise you that one day… one day you’re going to look back on this point in life and laugh. As a distant memory you’re going to be so grateful that you stuck it out and you kept going, even when every bone in your body was telling you to not.

So if you’re in need of some motivation, look no further.

It takes time to build success. It might be human nature to see someone find success and imagine it as this spontaneous emergence for them that came over night. Simply put, that’s not the case. It takes days, weeks, months, years even, of consistent work, of a desire to make small changes day after day.

Each day that you’re struggling, each day that you just don’t want to try any longer, you’re building your strength and resilience by putting one foot in front of the other. If you keep going despite any setbacks you might face, you’re going to turn into one powerful human being. You might not see it now, but it’s being built inside of you, like the Rocky Mountains that took thousands of years to seemingly reach the sky. Now you look at them and it’s as if you never saw a sight so beautiful. Don’t just conquer your mountains, make your own.

Only the weak quit. And they do quit all the time. So if you continue on and defeat that urge to quit, you’re going to reap the rewards of new opportunities left open by those weak minded souls that quit along the way. You’re not weak, so make sure that you’re ready to take advantages of those opportunities when they’re presented.

Even the biggest of blunders, even the worst of mistakes, even the most down of days, they beat the hell out of not ever trying. Because as long as you’re trying, you’re not allowing your fear to hold you back.

I can’t stress this enough, self, JUST KEEP GOING. Turn your wounds into wisdom, turn your hurt into healing and turn your breakdown into a breakthrough.

The upcoming Canadian Election

Photo from The National Post

I’m going to talk, at length, about Politics. I am hesitant to talk about Politics because I understand that it’s an extremely divisive topic, but there are some things I feel I need to say.

First and foremost, I am choosing to not name any individual politicians in this post because I do not wish for this post to come across as hate filled. I just want to have an open and honest discussion about how I feel about the present state of Canadian politics. There is no hate here, just cause for alarm.

I consider myself to be very Liberal in nature. It’s who I am and what I believe, it’s the party I most align with. I do not agree with everything the Liberal party of Canada does, but, I understand that in life, you’re not going to agree with everyone 100% of the time and I still very much believe in the platform and policies they present.

Presently, in Canada, the media is playing the upcoming election out to be a neck-and-neck race between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. (If you’re not Canadian, these two are basically the equivalent of Democratic and Republican)

The individual running for the Conservative Party is, in my personal opinion, a scary dude. I say that he’s scary because he’s someone who can look you square in the eye, lie directly to your face and laugh about it after the fact. I believe that he’s under the impression he’s got the country fooled and that this election is ‘in the bag’ for him. His campaign is filled with bullying rhetoric, he doesn’t seem to have any plans or policies… at least none that he’s going to allow the Canadian public to hear before the election. Furthermore, every time he opens his mouth, it’s not to say something productive, but rather, to say something he believes to be bad about our current Prime Minister.

Canadian’s are not immune to this. We understand in politics there are certain parties and people who run on bullying campaigns (Exhibit A: The current President of the United States). We understand how this world works and, for the most part, I hope that his negative/hatred spewed, filled with lies, rhetoric towards the Prime Minister is seen for exactly what it is. This particular man has done a lot of alarming things over the course of his career, not only just during this election period.

This man is vehemently against the LGBTQ2 community. He’s not willing to admit to this on the campaign trail, regardless of how many times reporters have asked him about this, but he has been on record in the past (on video) campaigning against giving Lesbian and Gay individuals the right to marry, comparing their relationships to ‘the tail of a dog’.

I want to know how someone thinks that he can stand up for all Canadians when there’s such a large population of our country who’s very indentities he refuses to acknowledge.

One of this man’s constituents, someone running in the riding of Airdrie, Alberta has recently posted some alarming videos to twitter to proclaim that, regardless of your Citizenship, if you’ve not lived in Canada for five or more, you don’t deserve the right to vote. He also says that if you don’t hold a valid Canadian government issued ID, you don’t deserve the right to vote.

This is alarming to me, for a lot of reasons. My brother, a Canadian citizen who lived in Canada up until he was 22 years old, has lived in Denmark since 2012. He’s still a Canadian citizen. He still cares about what happens in this country. He still spends his two week’s holiday here every year. He still donates to charities here. He still considers Canada his home. He still holds a Canadian passport. Why? Because he’s Canadian. He may be choosing to live in the country in which his child is being raised, but he is still Canadian. By this man’s opinion, because my brother has lived in Denmark since 2012, he doesn’t deserve the right to vote?

This could affect so very many people. There are people living and working in Hollywood who still consider Canada to be their home. They don’t deserve the right to vote? There are people who are teaching at Universities internationally, who’ve retired internationally as a means to make their money stretch farther, there a million reasons under the sun why someone might have not lived in Canada for five years. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about what happens in this country. So why should their right to vote be stripped, despite the fact that they are now, and will forever be Canadian citizens who hold Canadian passports?

To the second point of the video the man of the Airdrie riding made, that you shouldn’t be able to vote if you do not have a government issued ID, this just isn’t fair. There are so many people in this country who do not hold a valid ID. This is not to single out any particular portion of the population for any reason on than examples sake, but something I ran into a lot with my last job was that people who live on Reserves often don’t have ID. Why? Because they were born, raised and have lived in a two block radius their whole lives. They don’t get on planes, they don’t get on trains, they don’t own their homes (their homes are owned by the Band), and a lot of them don’t even get the adequate medical attention they deserve. They can go their whole lives without needing or having an ID that would be required by this man to vote. They’re still human. They’re still Canadian. They still care what happens in this country. This isn’t just a Canadian problem. This is something that happens all over the world. It’s something that John Oliver pointed out as a specific issue the United States had in the last election.

One could argue that, if these people without IDs want to vote, they should go out and get an ID. Well yes, I guess you could get them all an ID. But it’s not that simple of a process. If you don’t own a home, because it’s owned by the Band, then you don’t pay bills for that home. If you don’t pay bills, then the only thing that the government has for proof of residence is Band Records. Band records being something that the government has accepted for decades, because of the very reasons I’ve listed above. So if all of these people need to jump through legal hoops to get an ID, are you (Mr. Airdrie riding) going to help them do that in the next 30-some-odd days? That’s what I thought. You don’t want them to vote.

Another piece to this election I find alarming comes from one of the constituents running for the Conservative party in the Burnaby North Seymour. This individual posted a photo their Facebook page of Rick Mercer. The photo has a quote on it, that is attributed to Rick Mercer on the photo making it look as though he’s telling Canadians to ‘Vote Conservative’. Rick Mercer is a widely popular TV personality in Canada, an openly gay man and a man who is openly critical of the Conservative Party and what they stand for. Never in my life to I believe that he would be telling Canadian’s to ‘Vote Conservative’ like this photo suggested. He pointed out this fact on his twitter page when he vehemently rejected the photo on it’s face and stated he was reaching out to the Conservative party to ensure his photo and name are not used on their behalf ever again.

The thing is, Conservatives are banking on people being uninformed. They’re banking on people not knowing that a photo and quote like this are fake. Because uninformed people won’t take a second look, they won’t investigate. Conservatives are banking on people just believing what this photo says. It doesn’t matter if it was up for ten minutes, ten hours or forty days, the fact that it went up at all is widely deceptive and showcases a very alarming side to the Conservative party.

I really don’t know what is going to happen on October 21st. I sincerely hope that Canadians do not elect the Conservative party for federal government. I sincerely hope that we’re not about to send our Politics, way of life and position on the world stage backwards. I sincerely hope we’re not planning on making the wealthy wealthier and the middle class weaker. But, I don’t know. I see a lot of hate being spewed on places like my television, Instagram and Twitter accounts towards the Liberal party. And I get it, people are frustrated, but I just want Canadians to remember that not everything you see is always the truth.

I also want Canadians to remember that you don’t have to agree with 100% of what a party does to vote for them.

Whichever way that Canadians choose to vote, I respect that. I sincerely do. I just hope that they make an informed decision and don’t necessarily believe things being presented to them as true when they’re so blatantly not.

I respect the political positioning of everyone and I respect their right to vote for whomever they please. I respect differing opinions and I respect people who are willing to share their opinions in an open, respectful discussion. There is no room for hatred in Canada, in Canadian politics, nor on this blog. So if your opinion differs from mine, and you would like to share, feel free to do so, just keep it… kind.

The worst things about unemployment.

Photo from motherjones.com

Anyone who has found themself unemployed for any period of time can absolutely understand the struggle that it takes to just get through each day. It almost feels like you’re in a downward spiral staring down the choices of a lose-lose situation and there’s no possible way to dig yourself out.

There’s a lot of shitty things about being unemployed. The following being some of those things that I find to be the worst:

Family and friends who don’t know what really happened assume that it’s your fault. They believe that whatever lead to your unemployment was your own doing… that you’re the one who’s difficult to deal with, because if you weren’t, you would still have a job. Having signed an NDA means that only the people you trust most in this world get to really know what happened… and that, well that’s a very small pool of people. I can count those on less than five fingers.

Potential employers hold your lack of employment against you. There are A LOT, not all, but a lot of potential employers who form judgments about your unemployment and use that against you. Without ever asking why, they’ll simply breeze over your lack of employment and move on to the next candidate. Or, if they go so far as to ask, they won’t accept your reasoning as you’ve provided it and say something like ‘Yeah, but…’.

People think that you’re lazy and entitled if you cannot find work. With an Bachelor’s degree and nearly a decade of experience working in professional circles, when I take my resume to places like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, they ignore it. They presume that I’m just going to leave right away so I’m not a worthwhile investment in hiring. Because of this, I continue trying to apply for professional, career positions and continue making it to the last round of interviews to not be selected. People don’t see that, though. They don’t see the behind the scenes. All people see is that I’m not going to work each day and they judge me for it.

It wears you down. It’s extremely disheartening. Rejection after rejection after rejection is hard to take. The fact that you never actually get a legitimate reason for the rejection only makes it harder because you never actually get to know what you did wrong. I would really love to know what I’m doing wrong. If for nothing else but to improve my chances at the next round of interviews for the next job.

Everyone has a different opinion of what makes a good resume a good resume. As much as I love and appreciate help, everyone seems to say something different. With so many people having so many different opinions of what makes something good, how do I know what format I’m supposed to go with?

It becomes really easy to think that you’re the problem. Because, if I wasn’t the problem, I would have been hired by now, right?

I want to work. I want to contribute. I want to succeed. I know that bring a lot to the table. So I find myself feeling as though my talents are being wasted away with each passing day that I’m playing the ‘Will you please hire me?’ game.

The best things that never happened to me. (Story time)

Have you ever heard the saying ‘maybe the best things in our lives are those which never happen to us’? I think most often when people speak of this saying they’re talking about being thankful they didn’t get married, or they’re thankful they didn’t choose that career path.

For me, it’s got a much deeper meaning.


In 2006 my father and I were scheduled to get on a ferry and travel home from where he was working and had been covering a route for one of his coworkers who’d been burned on the job and was in hospital. This day, lives fondly in my memory, as it was one of the few times we actually had a reservation for the ferry. My family didn’t pay for ferry reservations, we just showed up and waited until we could get on. But this day, the company had booked the reservation for us.

The evening we were leaving I’d begun packing up the things in our hotel room – food, clothes, sleeping bags, valuables, etc… and taking them out to the truck. Stupidly, I somehow managed to lock the keys in the truck. Though we weren’t five minutes from the ferry dock, we were going to have to wait for the tow truck company to come unlock our door so we could get the keys back. (This was just when keyless entry was starting to become more popular in vehicles and, as my dad had an older vehicle, we needed a physical key to unlock the door)

Being in a small town, the tow truck company said that it would be 45 minutes. The ferry was in an hour. So we got everything ready and we waited. We waited and waited. The tow truck driver didn’t show up for a full hour. We missed the ferry and were close enough that we could see it sailing away without us.

I was so upset. I’d ruined our route home and it was going to take that much extra time because of me. I was beating myself up pretty bad. How could I not? At 16, I was pretty insecure and felt like I’d cost my parents this very expensive mistake.

That night, as the ferry was sailing, it failed to make course changes through a passage it’d travelled through thousands of times before and the boat sank. Yup, it sank. In a narrow passage through the islands of Northern British Columbia, the ferry sank.

And because I locked the keys in the truck, we missed the ferry and we weren’t on it when it sunk.


In 2009 I received a rather large scholarship while in the process of completing my marketing degree. These funds were deposited in my account and, because there were no specific rules as to what I spent them on, I could use them how I saw fit in the process of being a student.

When I went to pay my tuition for the January semester, my transaction was declined. This was baffling to me as I had nearly $20,000 in my bank account.

I called the bank and asked them ‘What the hell?’ and was told that I had a limit of spending $1,000 a day on my account and I couldn’t exceed that. When I told them I had to pay my $6,000 tuition for the semester they said ‘Oh, you’e going to have to schedule an appointment to get that adjusted for tuition purposes’.

The next appointment that I could get was for the next day. It was a Thursday. I scheduled the appointment for 2:30 in the afternoon (after class) so that I could go down and yell at them for their stupid rules that wouldn’t allow me to spend my own money and pay my tuition.

Shortly before noon on that Thursday, my boss called me during my Calculus class. Being in class, I ignored it. He then sent me a text message that read ‘SOS’. Thinking he might be in trouble, I left class to call him.

My boss told me that he was sick and that he was being admitted into the hospital because he was so sick. He asked if I could cover his shift that afternoon because he was not going to be able to get there and I was the only person he trusted enough to run the place on my own without him.

Reluctantly, I said yes.

So, instead of going to my appointment at the bank, I went to work from 2-8 pm. that day.

At 2:30 pm that day, right about the time I would have been waiting in the bank for my appointment, or walking into my appointment, a strung-out junkie with a gun wandered into the bank to rob the place, botched the robbery and wound up holding everyone in the bank hostage for nearly four hours before police could diffuse the situation.

I remember how dumbfounded I felt when I heard the news. I remember thinking ‘I could have been there. I was supposed to be there’. My boss got sick and because of that I escaped being present for a bank robbery.


In 2013 I was driving through a horrendous snowstorm to a work event. Honestly, I shouldn’t have been driving that day. Visibility was about ten feet and the further I got up the highway, the more cars I saw in the ditches a long the side of the road.

I was scared, but I told myself to keep going because it was important that I got there.

I was listening to the radio as they were providing traffic reports every 5-10 minutes because the weather was so poor. I wanted to ensure the highways I needed to drive to get to my event weren’t going to be closed.

As I was passing through Leduc I saw two vehicles in my rear view mirror collide on the highway right were people were trying to merge coming out of Leduc headed towards Edmonton.This scared me a great deal, but I thought ‘Girl, keep going you’ll get there’. Before these two cars were out of my visibility, I saw a car come down the merge lane and crash into them. Then I thought, ‘Damn you narrowly missed a three car accident by 200 feet’.

By the time that I’d made it to Edmonton, just 15 minutes down the highway, I was hearing reports on the radio of a massive car pileup at the merge lane where I’d witnessed the accident in my rear view mirror. I remember thinking ‘Holy crap, more people must’ve come up behind them and not been able to see them’.

As I continued travelling that day, reports kept telling me that more and more cars were being reported as being a part of that accident. Eventually, the highway ended up being shut down fully because there was no way to get past all of the vehicles.

The next morning when I woke up to get ready for my event, I turned on the tv to listen to the morning news as I was doing my makeup.

The report on the news was of a 90 care pileup in Leduc. More than 300 people were injured because of the pileup and the highway had been closed and was still closed.

When I drove home three days later, they were still towing cars out of the ditch in that area as I drove past.

I missed a 90 car pileup by 200 feet.


In 2017 I was taking a Yoga Class with my friend Michelle. There was a bank near my house that was nowhere near hers, so on Thursday evenings she’d go to the bank to do her banking and then I’d meet her at the bank, we’d hop in her car and go to Yoga.

One cold and snowy Thursday night I was walking up to the bank and the door didn’t open.

Confused, I tried to pull on it. It wouldn’t open.

Michelle phoned me, so I picked up the phone. She said ‘Are you the person standing outside right now?’ I said ‘Yeah’.

“GO GET IN MY CAR’ she yelled. ‘Get in my car and put your head down’.

I was like ‘What? Why?’

She just yelled again ‘Go get in my car!’

Confused, I walked across the parking lot and got in her cold car. I’d really wanted to go in the bank because it was nice and warm, but I was just being a whiner.

Once in her car, I saw a text message from Michelle that said ‘Is there anyone out there’? So I texted back and said ‘No, it’s really cold. I’m the only person in the lot’.

‘There’s no one out there? You’re certain?’ She texted back. I said ‘I’m the only person out here. There’s no one in the other cars. What is going on?’

‘The bank was just robbed’, she texted.

‘Guy had a gun,’ she texted. ‘We’re stuck in here until the police come.’

‘Did you see anyone when you walked up?’ She texted.

Yeah, I had seen there was a man who walked out in a grey jacket with his face covered. I just assumed his face was covered because it was -30 Celsius outside. Turns out his face was covered because he’d just robbed the bank at gunpoint.

There I’d narrowly missed a bank robbery. The second bank robbery that I should have been at but wasn’t.

As I sat and told the police about the man I saw leaving the bank and the car I saw him leave in, I couldn’t help but think how he was twenty feet away from me with a gun when he left.


In 2018 I was headed into the grocery store to grab an entree for an event I was headed to. I was talking to my boyfriend when I was headed in and, rather than head into the store and have him hear the awful background music and people in the background, I chose to wait outside the store to finish talking to him.

I stood there for a few minutes as we chatted, completely unaware of the world going on around me. I was focused on him.

All of the sudden I heard a lot of noise coming from the front door of the grocery store, about a hundred feet away from me. I looked over and saw a man running away from the door, in a hood, jumping over the bushes, trying to get away.

I went over to the front door and the store manager ran out and was screaming expletives at him about putting his employees and customers in danger.

Then the store manager turned to me and said ‘You saw him, right? You saw him. Stay here, the cops are coming’.

While I was standing outside of the grocery store talking to my boyfriend on the phone, the customer service desk at the front of the grocery store was being robbed by a man with a machete.

Because I was chatting on the phone with my boyfriend, I missed the store being robbed by a man with a machete.


Throughout my life I’ve had several experiences in which I’ve felt like I ‘dodged a bullet’ so to speak. (Both literally and figuratively) Like perhaps the universe is looking out for me. Like I’m being protected, for some reason.

It’s in moments when I am beating myself up that I try to remember these stories. Because these stories, they’re the best things that never happened to me. The universe is looking out for me. And if it’s picked me to look after, I might as well at least use that as motivation to do something in this world, to make a difference, to be the change.

I beat up on myself a lot. I do. Truthfully, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a lot to be grateful for having missed in my life. It wasn’t that I almost got married, or that I was glad I didn’t get ‘that degree’, it’s that these truly incredibly scary events have happened and these things I should have been a part of, I wasn’t.

It’s taught me a lot. And given me a lot of gratitude.

Here’s to the universe, it’s been good to me over the years. As much as I beat up on myself, I really ought to remember that more often.

Why I dislike ‘Influencers’.

This is a subject that I’m really passionate about. I dislike the term ‘Influencer’. I dislike promoting ‘Influencers’, but I will talk about a couple in this post, or examples sake. I just don’t think they deserve the publicity they get. I dislike the fact that they claim their fame willingly and are happy to reap the rewards of said fame, but hold very little accountability when it comes to the things they do.

  1. Influence is a powerful thing and something that should never be taken for granted, yet I find that so many influencers really don’t give a damn about that fact. They’re just out for money. And damn, if they have a large enough following it doesn’t even seem like they have to work for that money. It just seems to get handed to them. Vegans promoting meat, minimalists promoting stockpiling, devout Christians exclaiming their followers should save themselves for marriage whilst sitting there unmarried and pregnant. It’s a weird, weird world, the internet.
  2. They seem very entitled. “I don’t owe you guys anything” is a statement that really annoys me when I’m watching Youtube videos. You choose to put yourself online. You choose to sell yourself to the likes of coffee creamers and adult diapers for a dollar and then when someone asks you questions the answer is ‘I don’t owe you guys anything’? If you don’t want to owe anyone a response, don’t make the statement to start with.
  3. They seem so disingenuous. There is one particular ‘Influencer’ who I watched peddle a product on their Instagram in four separate photos talking about how amazing it was and how it blew competitors out of the water. Two months later, I saw them make a Youtube video in which they proclaimed they had never actually tried that product. Girl was getting so many sponsored Instagram posts that she couldn’t even remember what she was sponsored for long enough to not put her foot in her mouth. And, when she was called out on it, for her Instagram photos, she deleted the Instagram photos and then began blocking those users calling her out. She presently has 3.7 million subscibers on Youtube and when anyone calls out her ‘slip-ups’, she blocks them. And honestly, she’s not a one off. It happens all the time. On Youtube channels big and small.
  4. Influencers promote mass consumption/over consumption. Honestly, the makeup, the clothing, the ‘HAULS’ the excess of everything that they need to have and brag about having… it’s not necessary. None of it is necessary. But, if you put a smile on your face and slap a filter on it, there’s always someone (a naive soul) on this earth who will spend their money on it.
  5. None of them appear to be making original content anymore. Have you ever watched a Youtube video before and thought ‘Man, I’ve seen this 30 times already!’ Yeah, that seems to happen a lot these days. Favourites videos and fashion hauls, so on and so forth… it’s all the same no matter what Youtube channel you watch.
  6. I absolutely despise when they post ‘Hauls’ and leave the tags visibly on the products because you know they’ve only purchased the things to make a video and then they’re sending the products right back. This isn’t just with clothes, it’s with makeup and toys and home goods and luxury goods. They want to make it look like they’re spending a lot of money when in reality, you’re never going to see that item again because it’s going right back to the store it came from.
  7. “Full transparency, this video is not sponsored, I’m just going to go on and on for the next eight minutes about how much I love this one particular product for no reason.” Full transparency doesn’t mean much to me on the web. People lie. All the time. Especially in the world of Youtube, especially with ‘Influencers’ who live in countries in which there are no regulations stating they need to acknowledge when content is sponsored. If you’re ever in doubt, there’s a 95% chance their content is sponsored.
  8. I wholeheartedly believe they’re given so much stuff that they lose sight of what basic things cost because they just don’t have to buy them anymore. There’s a good chance when an ‘Influencer’ claims something is affordable, it might be… for them… because they don’t buy anything anymore. But for us regular folk, it’s definitely not affordable.
  9. So much drama. Seriously – The majority of James Charles’ audience is young teenagers and look at all the shit he’s pulled this year! Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau held a fake marriage in Las Vegas and charged people $49.99 to watch a livestream of it. Nikita Dragun paid a male model to be her boyfriend. Jaclyn Hill released defective lipsticks and started insulting people when they called her out on it. There’s a reason why Gossip Channels have skyrocketed in popularity this year… it’s because they seem to be the only channels wiling to be transparent and honest.
  10. “I make more than a doctor.” Girl, we get it. You make a lot of money. That totally natural photo of you leaning out the window of your hotel in France to promote a lipstick we’ll never see you wear ever again probably pays you a quarter of my 2018 salary. And those adult diapers you claim to make your 9 and 10 year old kids wear on roadtrips because you don’t like to stop, probably boosted your pay to half my salary last year. None of it seems natural though. None of it seems even remotely real. And I hope that I’m not alone in thinking this.

Personally, I cringe when I see #AD #SP #Sponored #Partner or any other remotely similar thing included in Youtube Videos or Instagram post. It immediately makes me think ‘well, I know what the company told them to say, so how about I go and find a video or post that was not sponsored to be able to see a real review. Because these ‘Influencers’ have cornered the market of the very real reality that is people use google for review of products before they buy.

Men, women across the world are making millions of dollars advertising products to people online that they’ve never seen nor used and they’re being less than transparent about it. And not just money they’re getting either. They’re getting free trips, tickets to Coachella, being given vehicles and so on and so forth. It’s just not real. They’re chasing this fancy, exorbitant lifestyle so hard that they’re willing to sell anything in the process.

Think it’s just adults doing this? ‘Ryan’s Toy Review’ is a multi-million dollar making seven year old that deceptively markets, through his Youtube channel (with help of his parents), a multitude of products to young school and preschool aged children in violation of rules from the FTC. It’s estimated that 90% of the content on the channel is sponsored, leaving just 10% to be organic genuine content. If adults have a hard enough time trying to determine what is and isn’t sponsored on Youtube, imagine how impossible that would be for a preschooler.

I guess the point of this rant is just to say, don’t believe everything that you read online. Odds are, if there’s money involved, there’s more to the story than what you’re being told.

Life with social anxiety.

Drawing by user: 12littlegiant21 on DeviantArt.

I once read somewhere that social anxiety is self consciousness on steroids. That’s actually a pretty perfect description of it.

I’m not very good with people. If you don’t start the conversation, it’s very likely that we won’t have one. Every day activities like ordering a coffee or purchasing groceries can be extremely difficult for me. I live with a fear that I’m being judged. That if I slip up, that if I am not perfect, people are going to remember that, that it’s what I’ll be known for… forever.

People who know me describe me as quiet. And most days, I’d describe myself that way too. I’m quiet to those who don’t know me. I’m quiet because I worry – about what they think of me, about being enough for them, about not being an embarrassment.

People who don’t know me often describe me as having permanent resting bitch face. They say that I come across as cold and… uninterested. I listen, I hear, I understand, I just… don’t know what to say back when they talk to me. I stare blankly into the abyss hoping for something to come to mind, but it never does.

Small talk is awful. I mean downright awful. Having a simple conversation with someone – a coworker, a bank teller, the bus driver, anyone really… it takes a great deal of effort for me. Effort that quite often comes across with people believing me to be a closed off shell of a human being.

Some days are better than others. But some days, it’s all I can do to not live in terror of my non-existent flaws. Because they’re there. You may not be able to see them but I can definitely feel them.

I overthink absolutely everything. Even the smallest of interactions can send me into a fiery spiral of anxious energy that I don’t know how to control. It’s something that can keep me hiding in my house for days at a time. And I wouldn’t tell you if that was the case. I’d simply either not answer your calls or, make up excuses to try and convince you (and myself) otherwise.

I can say that their words don’t matter to me, that they have no value and there is no stock in what they say, but they still hurt. As much as I don’t want them to, some words cut like a knife.

There are handful of people in this world I feel truly understand me. Those who love me, those who appreciate me, those who tell me things like ‘I’m robbing the world of the chance to know me’, because they know I don’t like meeting new people. They know I have a hard time with human interaction. They know I’m afraid of what people will think and they love me anyway. That, well that’s the kind of love they don’t write books about. That’s the kind of acceptance I think we all seek to find.

I believe that people sense I’m a good listener. I think they can tell that I’m hearing them when they speak… not just ignoring them and moving on but actually processing their words. I think it’s irony in a sense… being terrified of human interaction whilst people find you to be the best listener they know. And yes, I know I just misused the word irony.

The most frustrating part of social anxiety is that I know I’m being irrational. I know the decisions that I make and the actions that I choose are not those of a rational human being. I can’t help it though. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’ve had anxiety for longer than I knew what anxiety was.

Social anxiety is hard to explain. If you’ve never experienced it, you might not understand why I don’t want to go out in public without my headphones. You might not understand why I try to get into and out of public places as quickly as I can, why I try to avoid conversations with absolutely everyone at all costs. I’m an introvert, but it’s so much more than that.

I’m trying to remind myself that there will come a day when people see me for me. When I allow them into my world without fearing what they think. I’m trying to believe that there will come a day when I set the standard, when I am the rule and not the exception, when I can play ‘Words With Friends’ without worrying if they’re really my friend. I’m trying to convince myself that I can overcome this feeling, that the anxiety won’t always win.

Until then, please go easy on me. Because like I mentioned earlier, if you don’t start the conversation, it’s very likely that we won’t have one…

Is there such thing as privacy in 2019?

As adults, we make conscious decisions every day to be recorded, wherever we go. And as adults, we are able to make these informed decisions, no matter how much they make us cringe, because we are aware of the ramifications of our choices.

If we didn’t want to be recorded, we simply don’t have to go to that place. Of course that would mean that you likely wouldn’t go anywhere anymore. Nevertheless, I digress.

Where does that leave children?

I ask because I believe that it should be a parent’s choice whether or not they choose to share pictures of their children online. And I don’t believe that anyone should post a picture of someone under the age of eighteen without expressed written or verbal consent from that child’s parent.

A friend of mine works a relatively public job. He’s no Justin Bieber or anything, but let’s just say that he’s ‘google-able’. Because of the nature of his job, he’s aware that he’s in the public eye and that it could be harder for his kids to lead a normal life. He and his wife have a policy that they’re not going to share photos or videos of their children online. They want their kids to be able to make the decision if they want to lead public lives when they’re old enough to do so.

My friend has been to the school, to the baseball association, to the gymnastics studio, and so on and so forth to inform all of these places that he and his wife don’t want photos of their children appearing online. He does this to make sure that the places they’re taking their children are either: okay with this, or if they’re not okay with this they are informed so they can pick an alternative option for their kids.

Last week as my friend was dropping his son off for his first day of Kindergarten, two mom’s took pictures of him and his son in front of the classroom and posted them on facebook.

These weren’t innocent ‘caught in the background’ style photos. These women went out of their way to take photos of my friend and his son to post them to Facebook and brag about who’s child is in their child’s class.

My friend, simply trying to give his kids as normal of lives as he possibly can, was hit with snide remarks and a swift ‘not a chance in hell’ from the mom’s when he asked them to please remove the photos from their Facebook pages. One of the mom’s went so far as to say that if he doesn’t want photos taken of his children then he ought to home-school them.

As I mentioned earlier, I think that the only person who has a right to post a child’s photo is that child’s mother. Clearly, though, not everyone thinks the same way that I do. I can’t lie, I’m having a hard time seeing the other side of this argument. When he told me the responses he got from the women after asking to have the photos removed, I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Does privacy is exist in 2019? Do we forgo any privacy we might have, even for children, if we leave our houses? I don’t have kids, so I’m not seeing this from a parent’s perspective, but to me it’s a little creepy to purposefully take a photo of someone else and their child to post to Facebook and brag to your friends.

I don’t think that my friend was out of line in requesting the photo be taken down. But I’m curious where other’s opinions lie with respect to the subject.

*Please Note – I am all for parents sharing pictures of their children. If you want to share pictures of your own children – go for it! I love pictures and videos of cute kids. It brightens my day. I just don’t think anyone should have their decision to not post pictures taken away from them. Each parents decision should be respected.