Never underestimate the power to adapt

One thing that I hope continues after self-quarantine is over is birthday parades. Watching oodles of people parade down the street with balloons and stuffed animals and birthday signs all over their vehicles with a steady stream of honks and waves and strangers screaming ‘Happy Birthday’ just to put a smile on neighbours faces, to celebrate kids birthday’s who cannot have a party, to make loved ones smile, that is a true indication of the human spirit.

In a local town there’s actually a ‘Parade Group’ online. For people that have wanted birthday parades the past couple of months, if they posted on the local community webpage, not just the friends and family show up, but sometimes 20 or 30 extra cars of people show up with their cars decorated to the max. It’s just been a past time for some people to deck out their cars and take part in birthday parades. All you have to do is post the date, time and location of the parade and everyone shows up to make the parade that much longer and that much louder.

I love that.

Oh chocolate, how could you do this?

Yesterday I was cleaning out a desk that belonged to my brother before he moved to Denmark in 2009. This desk was filled with old homework from his university days, pictures of his friends, some random bits and bobs (including a pocket knife, some drill bits, etc) and a stash of chocolate.

I got scared when I found the chocolate.

I needed to clean out this desk so that my parents could sell it. I genuinely don’t believe anyone has touched it since my brother left for Denmark.

There was a stash of chocolate in the desk that included Kit Kat Bars. The wrappers of one of the Kit Kat Bars was open as though he’d taken a bite out of it and then never finished it. The wrapper said that the expiry for the Kit Kat was November 2010.

There was no a speck of mould on this chocolate bar. It wasn’t even dried out. I touched it thinking that it would be rock hard because of how long the package had been open. Nope. I held my fingers against it and it started to melt from the warmth of my fingers, but otherwise, it was pretty much just a regular chocolate bar, even though it had expired ten years ago.

Nothing was wrong with it.

It looked like a brand new, perfectly good chocolate bar.

I could have broken off a piece and given it to one of my family members and they could’ve easily believed I’d just gone to the store and bought it.

10 years expired and looks brand new. Think about that next time you eat chocolate.

P.s. I showed a piece of it on my Instagram story if you want to see it. lol

The master manipulator part three

Picture this: a beautiful August night in a deep amidst the skyscrapers of a major Canadian city. Myself and a few delegates from across the country had just wrapped up one of the ‘booziest’ business meetings I’d ever sat through and the plan was to head back to the hotel, change and meet at the hotel restaurant for a nice dinner in one hour’s time.

Sounds great, right?

The meeting was the equivalent of five city blocks from the hotel.

Five city blocks isn’t far. All of these men had been drinking, a lot. (Oh the joys of working for a company that’s sponsored by a major international alcohol distributor) They’re just going to walk. Right? Right?

Wrong.

The thing about arrogance is that it leads people to believe they’re invincible. It leads people to believe they can do no wrong and that no harm will ever come to them for the choices they make. Even if that choice includes being five drinks deep and asking the valet to bring your car.

I don’t know why the valet didn’t stop them that night.

I tried to stop them that night. And, after being physically shoved into the front door of the building with great force, one of the building’s workers came over to check if I was alright. The master manipulator looked at me and told me, with some serious snark to her tone, that I should mind my own damn business and that if they were going to drive, they were going to drive.

The man who worked at the meeting space was very kind. He sat me down, calmed me down and asked me if I’d like the police called due to the physical altercation that had just taken place with one of the other delegates.

You want to know the definition of being between a rock and a hard place? When people you have to work with decide they’re going to get behind the wheel while drunk and your boss leads you to believe that your job could be at risk if you dare try to stop them. That’s an impossible situation that no person should ever have to be put in.

The man who worked there and saw that they were getting into their vehicles drunk ended up calling the police. Not because I told him to but because he knew these four were drunk and he didn’t want them hurting anyone. He asked me what hotel everyone was staying at to tell the police where they were headed. And I, I set off on my way… walking.

I walked particularly slow back to the hotel… on purpose. I’ll admit to that. After what had just happened, I didn’t want to get there in a hurry. I was upset, I was angry and I really didn’t want to be at dinner with any of these people after I’d been physically shoved into a door for trying to stop them from driving drunk.

As I approached the hotel I could see there were police cars at the front of the hotel with their lights flashing. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on, but it had been more than 15 minutes since the man at the meeting space had told me he was going to call the police, so I presumed this was why.

Upon reaching the front door, I noticed that there was something amiss with the front of the hotel….

One of the vehicles I’d just watched the delegates leave in, it was parked under the covered area drop-off zone next to the front door and it was damaged. It had a giant dent in it. I’m talking GIANT dent. This was a rented Tahoe (basically the SUV equivalent of a tank) so seeing such major damage got me scared that these guys had hit someone, or something between the meeting space and our hotel. I ran closer to the door and I noticed there was a giant chunk missing out of the pillar at the edge of the covered drop-off area.

These fucking idiots had ran into the structural pillars that were holding up the covered car-port area at the front of the hotel. They’d hit it so hard that they wrecked the Tahoe and taken a giant chunk out of the pillar.

I walked into the building to see what was happening and they were lined up in the lobby talking to the police officers.

The master manipulator was there, of course. She always has a hand in everything.

I watched her blatantly outright lie to the police officers and tell them that no one had been drinking that afternoon. I watched her tell the police officers that it was an honest mistake, that none of them had ever driven a Tahoe before, or a vehicle quite so large, so they didn’t realize where the edge of the vehicle was. Then I watched her start to flirt with the police officers.

She actually tried to give two of the police officers her phone number. While they didn’t take it, you could tell that they were quite engaged with her and what she was ‘putting out’. Her fiancee wasn’t there at this point. I’m honestly not sure what he would have done had he been watching her manipulate these cops into not doing anything.

The cops asked the hotel manager if he wanted to press charges against them for destruction of property and almost instantaneously, the master manipulator turned around and started flirting with the hotel manager. Honestly, she was rubbing his back, patting him on the shoulder ensuring him this was just a big misunderstanding and that she’d write a cheque that would cover all of the damages. And the manager fell for it.

The manager told the cops that everything was fine. And the cops left. They fucking left. They left the scene of an incident where four individuals who’d been drinking drove two vehicles back to a hotel, one crashing into a pillar at the front door of the hotel. They’d been told by the man at the meeting space who called them that drinking was involved. And they left.

They left because the master manipulator is that fucking good at what she does.

She’s like a scorpion that poisons men with her manipulation tactics.

I skipped dinner that night. I didn’t feel like being around a bunch of wealthy men and the master manipulator after they’d talked their way out of any repercussions for drunk driving and destruction of hotel property. When I asked the master manipulator what she wanted to do about the rental, she said ‘That’s an issue for tomorrow. Just have the valet get it away from the front door’.

YEAH. They fucking wrecked a rental Tahoe and decided that it was a problem for tomorrow and they were going to go to the hotel restaurant and continue their drinking and laugh the night away over an expensive dinner being charged to the company.

I sat in my hotel room cooled down for about two hours and then I wrote a very thorough, poignant email to our CEO explaining what happened and how the master manipulator acted, as well as that there was a Tahoe seemingly parked under the hotel right now that was going to need to be explained to the rental company.

I wasn’t there the next day when the master manipulator had the Tahoe towed back to the rental place. I opted to go to the airport on an earlier shuttle. (Told her that I wanted to use the airport gym ahead of the flight) In reality, I just figured she was going to do something fucking stupid and I didn’t want to bear witness. And realistically, she did. If you wreck a fucking rental car, don’t tow it back and put it in the front of their business door. Phone them and tell them so that they don’t have a wrecked vehicle on display for the world to see that day.

Ugh.

Nevermind.

I took a shuttle to the airport early. We got on the same flight but thankfully wound up seated in completely separate rows. The other four idiots got back on flights to their home provinces.

So how did this all end?

Our company took the blame for the accident.

Our CEO wrote a cheque for $72,000 to the hotel to fix the pillar outside their front door.

Our CEO had to pay the deductible on the rental and the rental company told us they would no longer rent to our employees. They threatened legal action but the CEO did something that made them back off. (Discussions that I wasn’t privy too)

A police report was made because the police showed up to the scene so they were required to report what happened by law.

None of the four individuals in those vehicles drunk got any repercussions for what happened. Not our CEO nor the master manipulator sought any sort of financial compensation to help cover for the damages our company was now paying for.

They drove drunk and got off scott-free. And it was five blocks. Five fucking blocks that they couldn’t walk. Or call a cab. Or call an uber. Or let someone sober drive.

One day, a few weeks after this all went down, the master manipulator brought me with her into the CEO’s office. We had a sit down chat and I was told that I was never to bring up this incident again. I was told that the public was never to find out a police report was made because if they did it could mean serious ramifications for our company. I was also told that I was no longer invited to these meetings. And I was reprimanded for 1) Not being of assistance to the master manipulator when she was trying to deal with the police and 2) Not attending the dinner and making our organization look bad after everything happened.

She let them drive our rental whilst drunk. She told them it was fine. She never once said anything wrong was done on their part. Somehow I got in trouble at work for the situation. Apparently I’m a poor ‘team player’. Because if you really want to fit in at work what you’re supposed to do is let people drive drunk…

Le sigh.


This story is a part of an ongoing series about work-life and the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. Read parts one and two by clicking on either of the following links:

The master manipulator

The master manipulator part deux

Rainy days and Sundays

I’ve sat down to write this a few times this weekend. Each time I’m hit with a ‘you can’t talk about that’ frame of mind. So, I end up deleting it and closing my computer. Alas, here we are. I’m still not sure what I’m gong to say.

Things are changing swiftly around here. So swiftly that I am having a hard time keeping up. I genuinely was hoping that people would be more excited than they have been. But hey, I guess it’s my life, not their’s. So, what matters most is finding my own happiness. After all, we’re the only one’s responsible for our own lives.

To anyone who remembers my posting that I was going to give the website Medium a try, I have just over six in earnings so far. Not too bad, really. That’s six more dollars than I expected to make. Consider me pleasantly surprised.

I’ve noticed a distinct difference between Medium and WordPress. WordPress is the kind of place where I, and many others, dump out their thoughts. There are no rules, it’s more like the Wild West of writing platforms. Medium is very structured and very in-tune with rules. If you’re not going to follow the guidelines, you might as well not even hit publish.

That being said, I do believe that everyone is welcome on Medium. Don’t let the paywall intimidate you. If you want to write there, you’re welcome to write there.

In other news, I’ve been suffering from what I would consider to be extreme exhaustion as of late. I’m struggling to function, my headaches are such that it’s hard to be in a room with the lights on and my body aches. My body aches so badly.

The last time that I was dealing with these extreme of symptoms, I had some blood work done and that’s what started my journey towards discovering that I have celiac disease, a plethora of allergies to different foods and, extreme levels of malabsorption. I truly believe that I’m dealing with malabsorption right now and that it’s wreaking havoc on my body. Unfortunately, it sucks to deal with. That being said, it’s not exactly something pressing that needs to take up space at the doctor’s office. Doctor’s are inundated enough already with things that are far more pressing than mine.

Once things calm down and health care services are running normally again, that’s when I’ll seek out to see if I can get some blood work done. Until then, I’ll continue to take my supplements and eat the right foods in hopes that it gets better.

Speaking of getting better, British Columbia has started it’s ‘reopening’ process this weekend. Slowly but surely businesses that have been closed since late February are turning their lights back on, or will be soon.

I think it’ll be a while… at least a few weeks or more, before I venture into any place that I don’t deem absolutely necessary for me to be at. I’m still a little weary about being around people right now. B.C.’s provincial health officer is still urging people to proceed with caution. I’m really, really hoping that people will listen to her and won’t just crowd themselves into the closest bar, or restaurant or nail salon they can find. The last thing I want to see is a ‘wave two’ striking this province.

Tomorrow is Victoria Day here in Canada. If you’re celebrating the long weekend (silly suggestion, I know… every day is a long weekend right now) I hope that you’re doing it from six feet apart.

Stay sane, stay healthy and stay safe, please.

Thoughts and worries and such

As tree planting season begins in the north, it’s noticeably different this year.

See, one thing that BC is famous for is our forests. They’re everywhere. There is so much forest in BC that if every single person in this province was actually separated, we’d each get 32 square kilometres of forest to ourselves.

While summer is a beautiful season which is normally great time to celebrate in this part of the world, summer often puts our forests at risk. Hot weather mixed with lightning, careless humans, bonfires or lit cigarettes being discarded of in dry landscape makes for some extremely large forest fires just about every summer without fail.

This province relies on fire fighters and tree planters every summer.

The tree planting season has begun and it’s structure is distinctly abridged from previous years. People are questioning the effectiveness of what these tree planters will be able to accomplish this summer if they stick to strict social distancing guidelines to ensure each of them stay healthy.

And honestly, if that’s the case, when the fires start… we’re fucking screwed.

How are the fire fighters going to effectively fight forest fires if they’re either having to practice social distancing, or they’re falling ill due to COVID?

It’s something I’m genuinely worried about.

We haven’t had enough warm weather yet this year for fires to start. But I genuinely don’t think British Columbian’s understand what could be on the line if we don’t social distance enough to fight off COVID. Those fire fighters keep our homes from burning, or lives from being ruined and our province from turning to ash.

What happens if they can’t do what they do because we haven’t done the simple act of staying the fuck home to stop COVID from spreading?

Testing medium.com

Recently I’ve done some research about medium.com. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online publishing platform created by the founders of Twitter as a way for people to share their thoughts, outlooks, perspectives and views when they aren’t bound by 140 characters.

Medium has a partner program in which people can sign up, for free, and submit their writing to the website giving them the opportunity to earn money for their contribution.

Medium operates much like a subscription service. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the website to have access to the content of all of these individual creators submitting their written work. Each subscriber pays $5 a month to have access to unlimited content. If a paid subscriber reads an article that was submitted by one of the partner writers, the writer gets a portion of the subscriber’s monthly fee. From what I’ve read, this translates to different amounts depending on the how many articles a subscriber reads in a month.

For example: If a subscriber reads only two articles in a single month, $2.50 will go towards each article. If a subscriber reads 100 articles in a month then 5 cents will go towards each article written.

People are using Medium as a side-hustle to earn hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of extra dollars each month by sharing their writing with the platform.

If you’ve been around #MillennialLifeCrisis for any length of time, you know that I’m an advocate for the notion that if you write good content, people will find your content. So, when I started learning about Medium I thought that this sounded like the ultimate test. Can the simple act of writing great content be enough to make you money on Medium? Or, are you a small fish in a big pond of thousands of talented writers. I want to know.

I’ve told myself that I’m going to test out this website for two months. I published my first piece to Medium a little over 36 hours ago and it’s been met with mediocre stats so far. Definitely nothing to write home about (pun intended)! That being said, I’m committed to testing this for at least two months. I really want to contribute genuine effort to this and find out what are the possibilities with a little extra effort put towards it.

If anything happens along the way, I’ll be sure to update this blog. I know that many people who read my blog are, themselves, looking for ways to make money from home. So, if there are any interesting revelations, I will be sure to share. Otherwise, I’ll post an update as to how it went in two months time. I’m sharing this here as a measure to hold myself accountable to stick with it.

As of right now, all I that can report is that it’s EXTREMELY easy to sign up and that it seems to be an extremely organized and well thought out platform. Oh, that and that I really suck at editing my own work so posting to Medium will be good for me because I’m going to have to spend a lot more time editing.

Is there room for a girl like me over on Medium? I guess we’ll find out over the next two months.

Grocery store math

I had to buy razor blades. I’ve needed razor blades for a while but I have been putting it off because I find them to be so dang expensive that I hate buying them.

Anyone else think that razor blades cost way more than they should? Just me?

So, tonight I made a run for the grocery store just ten minutes before it was to close in hopes that would make for less people in the store. (Totally viable strategy by the way)

The hygiene aisle. Oh, the hygiene aisle is a bad place to be.

This is going to sound very whiny of me, but I’ll just put it out there… shit marketed towards women is ALWAYS more expensive than the counterpart marketing towards women. It just is. That’s actually another reason why I hate buying razor blades.

You can buy a totally bomb razor from the men’s side of the aisle for $10. Four refill cartridges cost between $10-15. You can buy an average razor on the women’s side of the aisle for anywhere from $16-22. If you want a good razor, it’s likely going to cost $25 or more. And cartridges for those… oh the cartridges…

I went to the grocery store to buy refill cartridges for my razor. I already have the razor. I don’t need a new razor. How many more times can I say razor in the same paragraph? Stop me, please… I’m in a sarcastic asshole kind of mood and I could probably go all night.

Four refill cartridges for my razor at the grocery store were priced at $25.99 (and that is on sale, they are regular $28.99… three dollars off… whoop-dee-do). Five refill cartridges plus the razor, the value pack, was priced at $22.99. (three dollars less… whoop-dee-do)

Wait a minute.

I can buy four cartridges for $25.99, or I can buy five cartridges and the razor for $22.99?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Buy the one with five cartridges. Five cartridges is three dollars less so the obvious move is to throw out my current razor and let it sit in the landfill for the next 400 years. Yeah, that’s overdramatic, I know. But it’s the truth.

Truth is men’s razors are often better anyway.

Truth: most products geared towards men are cheaper. It’s actually a practice that’s been coined in economics as the pink tax. Example:

Women’s 74g deodorant for $5.97 at Walmart
Men’s 85g deodorant for $5.27 at Walmart

The price difference is small. So small that people don’t often notice it. But the truth is, over a year… hell, even over a lifetime these differences add up.

These deodorants are priced at Walmart in the nearest town. They’re made by the same brand, likely in the same manufacturing plant (though that’s just speculation) and one is marketing towards Women and one is marketed towards men. The difference in prices varies more when you look at differing brands. As a whole, men’s deodorant is much cheaper.

Why does the women’s deodorant cost more? These products serve one purpose and it’s the same purpose for men and women.

I’m just ranting right now. The moral of this whole story is that razors are expensive and if you want to go to the store when it’s emptiest, pick ten minutes before closing.

Okay, bye.

Happy Mother’s Day

She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”

JD Salinger

Thank you to all of the moms, step moms, foster moms, guardian moms and grandmas and every other woman taking on a motherly role in someone’s life. You continue to hold the universe together for each and every one of us, and for that, infinite gratitude just never seems enough.

Your children are lucky to have you. The universe is lucky to have you. What would life have been like, if not for the tireless effort and endless hours you’ve invested? Sending love and lots of it.

Thank you. All of you.

The master manipulator part deux

The company that I worked for effectively had two branches – the for-profit business and the not-for-profit foundation. Each branch operated with very different business practices due to the fact that there are so many more stipulations required to be followed to maintain not-for-profit status with the Canadian government.

The master manipulator liked to spend money. She especially liked to spend money that wasn’t her own. And, knowing just how closely the fondation’s financials were tracked, the master manipulator had a plan to skirt the system so that she always had money to spend.

Each month she would invoice the foundation, on behalf of the for-profit branch for various ‘fees and expenses’. These fees and expenses were different each month, so the invoice would be for a different total dollar amount every time. The invoice would also be dated for different date each month. This way, if the totals were different and the dates were different, it would be less likely to look as though it was a recurring fee the foundation was paying that she would need an excuse for.

She even took it a step further as to deposit the funds into different company bank accounts each month to ensure that no department noticed regular funds incoming from the foundation.

Now, all not-for-profit foundation’s have expenses. It’s just a fact of life. Even if it’s as simple as banking fees, there are always expenses. That being said, what should not be happening with a foundation is excess expenses. The bulk of donations that a foundation is accepting should be being turned around to be distributed to those in need, right? Right.

Every month, the master manipulator was hiding an expense. Every month. And because she’d manipulated all of the men in the office into believing she could do no wrong, it was easy for her.

Here’s an example of how she did it:

Every July the company hosted a banquet to raise money for the foundation. Every rich friend or acquaintance of the company would be invited in hopes they would open their wallets and donate large sums of money to the foundation.

One July our guest speaker was a famous Canadian television actor. This actor’s agent let us know that his speaking fees was $7,500 for a regular event by a for-profit company, but if the event was to raise funds for the foundation (which ours was) he would speak at the event for $2,500. This was his way of helping to keep the foundation’s expenses as low as possible so that more money could be given to those in need.

The master manipulator signed contracts agreeing to pay the actor $2,500 for speaking at our event. Then, the master manipulator went to the CEO and told him that the fee for this actor to speak was $7,500. And, because she’d been manipulating the CEO for years and he believed everything she said, he didn’t even blink an eye.

Then she would invoice the foundation on behalf of the company for $7,500. Because foundation policy stated she was not allowed to sign-off on her own invoices, she would then use her management powers to force me into signing off on the $7,500 invoice, knowing that I well knew exactly what we were actually paying this actor.

$7,500 would be transferred out of the foundation’s bank account and into a company bank account under the guise that she was paying the actor $7,500. She would then e-transfer the actor’s agent $2,500 and put $5,000 onto her company credit card, thus increasing the balance of her company credit card by $5,000 for that month.

With an extra $5,000 on her company credit card, she could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Working lunch, every damn day? Sure. A penthouse suite at the hotel they were hosting the banquet at… rather than a regular hotel room? No problem. A new dress for the banquet because, as the hostess she needed to make the best impression? Get it girl.

If anyone ever noticed how much she was spending, or how she always seemed to be spending more than the limit provided to managers of the company, she would simply… buy them something too. I remember with respect to this particular banquet that this particular actor spoke at, another manager questioned her purchase of a $1,000 Alexander Wang dress ‘for the event’. Suddenly, that manager was invited to the banquet, and she’d bought him a new suit for the event because, as a representative of the company, he needed to make the best of impressions with her.

That’s how she worked. She manipulated everyone.

Some months it was a couple hundred dollars. Some months it was $10,000 plus dollars. Every month, though… every month she had a reason why money needed to be transferred out of the foundation and into company bank accounts where she knew it wasn’t subject to audit. Because, when the money wasn’t monitored with a fine tooth comb, when it wasn’t subject to annual audit, she could do what she wanted with it, and at worst, would be subject to coming up with a haphazard excuse to give to a CEO who already believed everything that she said.


This story is in follow up to ‘The master manipulator’. Click here to read >

Guest post: The monster that is anxiety

The following is a guest post written by Tiffany from the blog Ethereal Empathy.


When I was little I made friends with a monster.  She kept me company wherever I went, stayed with me as I grew, and often showed up when I needed a friend the most.  Even though she validated my feelings, was reliable, and was always there for me… it wasn’t healthy.  The truth of the matter was, this monster wanted to keep me for herself.  The only feelings she confirmed were those of fear, and her company never made me feel good about myself.

My monster friend kept me awake at night with her chatter, and convinced me to stay home when other friends invited me out.  She stripped me of my self-worth and confidence, and reminded me of how different I was from everyone else.  In that loneliness I accepted this monster, which we refer to as Anxiety.  After all, she appeared to know me so well. 

Perhaps I clung to Anxiety because she was familiar, or maybe it was because she wasn’t all bad, all the time.  This little monster helped me see potential threats and kept me aware.  The deep understanding of fear, that I had developed, helped me to relate with individuals who suffered similar stress. Still, I had become a prisoner of fear with no boundaries to keep my monster at bay.

“Without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

It was in my self-doubt that Anxiety held me captive.  I had trained my brain to jump to worse case scenarios and to see the prospective negatives of any given situation. Overwhelmed by uncertainty, and my lack of ability to concentrate, relax, or find calm, I struggled with each day.

My body had turned on me, with symptoms of illness, without ever having been truly sick.  Unexplainable pains and tension would come and go as they pleased.  There was no balance or predictability in the waves that rose and fell, and often times came upon me with no warning or explanation. 

Having a panic attack is much like swimming in deep waters during a storm.  It takes everything you are to keep your head above water, and sometime you get hit by the turbulent ocean which pulls you under.  It is a fight for air, for continued existence. 

I could not see what it looked like to thrive when my constant state of panic made basic survival a challenge.  The very thought of working as a productive member of society seemed impossible.  I looked into the dark chasm of the unknown, unable to find the light.  I saw consequence of failure instead of the potential growth that comes with experience.

Instead of trusting in my own capabilities I sought out healers and trusted individuals to fix me, but there was no cure for this.  No instant solution to repair the broken parts of myself.  Medication only numbed my soul, taking more away without giving enough of myself back.  Therapists were a constant reminder that to be whole I needed to dig deep to find answers within. 

How could I mend the fragmented pieces of me when I was incapable of believing in my own worth?  I couldn’t.  My monster never lied, exactly.  We all have a balance of light and dark inside of ourselves.  Where there is the potential for disaster there is also the potential for success.  What I hadn’t been able to see was the strength in both.

I would be naïve to believe that there are those out there without flaws. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time.  When dark times are upon us, and it feels as if they might destroy everything, we find that we are more resilient than we might think.  Living in the shadows of fear makes it hard to see.  Feeling as if we are alone is an illusion.     

Turns out the cost of not taking risks, and not believing in our own natural gifts, is much higher than the upward climb of facing the monster.  If the choice is to succumb to a life of worry and suffer a stagnant existence, or to battle a life gripped by fear for the chance of actually living…  I choose to face the unknown. 

Anxiety is not a true friend, but it is not my enemy either.  This alter ego, my anxious self, is debilitating but only has power if I give it.  I can use it as a crutch or I can learn her moods and motives, triggers and tastes, in order to respond appropriately.  What is so easy to forget is that we have the power to change the world, starting with our own being.

So I learned to consistently make course corrections along an unpredictable path.  Staying ahead of the waves when possible and bringing along a life preserve just in case the waters get the best of me.  Most importantly I discovered the importance of second guessing my own self-doubt. 

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

The path is hard.  There are times I slip and fall, get scraped up along the way, have setbacks and face detours… but I keep moving forward.  That steep cliff edge that I started on has gotten easier, the journey less rocky.  Somewhere along the way I learned to trust myself and accept that I am capable and deserving of so much more.

Anxiety is still with me, she is my twin who is just looking out for my well-being and here to protect me.  Although misguided her intentions are good.  I accept her for what she is even though she cannot see the error of her ways.  It is my job to not let her define me or keep me from the life I deserve.

It is through this understanding that the light began to seep through and point me in a direction of confidence.  I found my balance and overcame obstacles I never thought possible before.  Instead of struggling each day to survive I learned how to thrive, to have a life that is mine, and meet my fears wisely. 

Anxiety is a sheep in wolf’s clothing, an innocent wearing the mask of a monster.  Although frightening she doesn’t decide your fate.  Her power over you is limited and only exasperated by your own insecurity.  Believe in yourself, trust your own intuition, and the gray clouds looming over will clear. 

There is hope, I am proof of that. 

“On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”  – Unknown


Thank you to Tiffany from Ethereal Empathy for contributing such a thoughtful and honest post to #MillennialLifeCrisis. If you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend checking out Tiffany’s Blog. She is a ray of kindness and honesty in this crazy world and she brings a unique perspective to the blogging community that is the truest definition of one-of-a-kind.