Ideas vs. Actions

I love the idea of writing a book but I don’t love the work required to write a book.

I love the idea of running a marathon but I don’t really love the idea of all the training that would be required.

I love the idea of loving winter but I don’t really like the idea of being outside when it’s cold out.


There are so many ideas that I have in my brain. Honestly. (For people who do know me, I’m not always a space case – there are sometimes thoughts going on upstairs… not all the time… hahaha). Yet there are so few ideas that I truly translate into practice.

That’s a huge issue with my generation (people born in the 90’s). We have so many ideas and we’re so open to new experiences but we can’t always pinpoint just one that we want to focus on. Our bucket lists are forever running and yet, how many of those items will we actually accomplish? And will we be sad with the ones that we don’t? Probably not – they were just something that sounded cool but we didn’t bother actually doing the research. Time is fleeting, this I know, and yet it feels like it will always be there. It doesn’t feel like it’s been another year of my life and yet, I’m a week away from being 25.

My generation is going to be one with a long resume from all the job switches. My generation will likely be able to say they’ve lived in four different cities within ten years. My generation is not going to slow down gently. We want to have everything as soon as it crosses our mind. I’m curious to see what retirement looks like for my generation and whether we’ll have the physical strength and monetary support to live the way that we want. What is going to happen to debt and mortgages as my generation continues to age?

I sometimes try to be focused. I try to have specific goals that I work towards as the days go on. I try to have some meaning in the everyday rather than letting the days pass me by. On the last point, though, I will admit that I spend some time waiting for the next travel adventures that I’m about to go on. For example, I leave for Thailand tomorrow! Travel is something that has given my life that clarity that I was talking about – how sometimes it’s worth staying in so many days a week so I can go out on these grand adventures.

My latest accomplishment in enjoying the everyday is the fact that I have picked up more books in the last 6 months than I probably did within the 6 years of post-secondary education. I have rediscovered my love of reading and I’m so thrilled that it was one idea that I was able to put into practice. My library card is definitely getting its full use and my brain is happy for the influx of new ideas. I’m hoping that this new habit (along with this occasional habit of writing in this blog) will help assist me towards writing a book one day. That’s also why I’m trying to gather up new experiences – to give me clarity and new perspectives for writing a story one day.

Who knows that other ideas I might be able to work towards. I’m a work in progress but I still try.

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Unexpected Relief

I always like when there’s an unexpected positive result from something that seems inconvenient.

To clarify: I am very close to going over my data plan for the month. I have never come close but due to uploading pictures onto my Google Drive over data (rather than being patient and waiting until I got home), I have spent the last week in a continuing awareness of my data consumption on my phone. And because of this awareness and not wanting to pay a stupid amount of money for random overage charges, I have turned my data off for the majority of the time. And when I’m at home, I am connected to our wireless and therefore, not using any data.

The result? I am on my phone way less! And actually enjoying life a little bit more.

I’ve told a few key people (my real estate agent mostly) that they need to let me know if they are sending me an email. And whether it’s time sensitive or not. I still turned on my data today while on break at work so I could check an email about a potential house offer but then afterwards, I turned it right back off. And I turned on my data a few times during night shifts to play a couple rounds of Words with Friends and check a few posts of IG and FB but I’m not spending the whole time looking at Pinterest (something that I probably spend way too much time doing). I turn on my data, check my notifications and then move on with my day. I don’t spend a whole lot of time checking to see if I have notifications – because once I know that they’re there, they bother the corners of my mind like I’m making someone wait for a response. Why should I feel like that kind of pressure with social media? I don’t think I need to feel the burden of being available to people 24/7. Yet it’s a new cultural norm with this overly accessible technology.

My plan refreshes on Tuesday so I am not worried that I’m going to go over my data at all. And sure, would it have been nice to be able to snapchat this featured picture? Yeah for sure but it’s not like I need to show people a moment to moment glimpse of what I’m doing in my day. I was able to upload it to my IG and FB when it was more time appropriate and got to spend the time with my friend rather than trying to find the best filter and hashtags for the occasion.

I feel like I’m a lot more disconnected from social media and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I am no longer “up to date” with all the Instagram photos or Facebook posts from all of my friends. I feel like I’m more of a human being rather than just a drone watching a screen.

Overall, will I probably turn my data back on starting on Tuesday? Yes. But I’m hoping that these changes of not being on my phone while I am out and about will continue.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadians out here

🙂 xo

I write because…

I write because it’s a way to organize my thoughts. As people can possibly tell from reading my blog (or maybe it’s just my own criticisms of my own writing) but my writing seems to come out a little disorganized. I try my best to edit before I hit publish but even as I reread my own posts, I can see better ways to organize my thoughts. Nonetheless, writing gives me an opportunity to blurt out all of my thoughts at once. When I get really into it, I can figure out what’s going on in my subconscious mind. For some reason, this can be very difficult for me and so I find writing a very important part of my life.

I write in the hopes that one day I will be able to provide a thought-provoking blog post or short story or novel that will one day inspire another person. Even just one person. I think I would like to get into fiction writing (but instead I forever blog about my own personal life – my own flaw that I need to work on). It would just be so cool to me to have my own original idea and my own world that I’ve created on my own. And yet at the same time, I think that everyone’s reality is a little bit different just based on their own perspective.

Side note: do we see the disorganization in the above paragraph? Do I want to edit it? yes. But it would be counter productive as proof of why I need to edit and why I like to write.

I’ve always been a strong writer. I wrote a lot of short stories back when I was in elementary school. When I was in high school, I wrote poetry, songs and even plays. And then in university, I just went to academic writing. University seemed to kill my love for reading and writing because it turned it into something so professional and disciplined. It’s something that I eventually learned to love (another little tidbit about me – if someone would pay me my current salary to do my Masters of Arts and PhD, I would totally go for it – that’s how truly nerdy I am) but writing in the creative fashion is still something that I’m trying to get back. It’s a slow process. I have combined my love of academic reading and fiction reading and alternate reading these types of books. Doing this #everydayinspiration challenge with Word Press is my way of trying to get into writing again. I can admit right now – I will not be writing a post everyday. I am saving the emails and going to do them in order and likely be writing once or twice per week. That’s a lot better than writing a post every few weeks.

Maybe if I do more blogging (which to me is more like journal-ling but again, it’s a start), then it will lead to me do some fiction writing. Ideally some short stories. I just need to find some inspiration for characters and what message I want to send out to the universe.

I write because it makes me feel like a more well rounded person. I don’t know if that’s a great answer but it’s the answer that I’ve got tonight for my lovely readers.

Dear Future Me

I came across a blogger who was fulfilling a challenge of writing to yourself exactly 12 months from now. So here goes nothing.

So dear 25 year old me,

I wonder if you’ve been on anymore adventures. I wonder what you’ve learned over the last 365 days. I wonder what new questions you have uncovered that keep you up at night. Have you been playing the piano at all? Or been watching new documentaries and series that you randomly find on Netflix? How is the writing going? Where are you living? What car are you driving? Are you dating?

Did you celebrate International Women’s Day a few months ago? How about Earth Hour? Or International Day of Happiness? Is your hair longer? What are the latest additions to your wardrobe?

It feels odd to write to myself a year from now. In one way, it feels like such a short period of time. Like I should be able to say that you have written that novella (or novel if you’re feeling really inspired) or learned five new classical pieces on the piano. And by the same stretch, it’s barely anytime at all. I can think of how quickly the days, weeks and months can pass by. I can barely believe that in a week, it will be August.

I think that’s what scares me the most about time and feeling the tensions of the shortness and longevity of a year because then it might just be how my life slips away in front of me without being able to accomplish all my dreams.

Today started with a hike with my friend and her dog. We got in almost 10,000 steps (per my phone which might not be the most accurate) before noon. We also got a great picture of a waterfall that I never knew existed. Will this memory come up on my Facebook in a year and I’ll remember this day fondly? Would I remember it without the social media reminder?20160727_102459.jpg

Are you getting more excited or more anxious as you approach 26? Did you keep up with the Birthday Bucket List? What things have you achieved and which goals are you still striding towards? Do you still like going into work?

Overall, I’m doing just fine. Starting to approach more of the adult things in life like buying a home. Dating isn’t anything special but I don’t really stress out too often. My friends are still amazing and I’m glad I’ve been able to keep so many contacts current in my life.

Best of luck to myself over the next 365 days. Who knows what will happen but I am surely curious to see the end result.

-Rach

Novel Writing

So it’s been a little while since I blogged. Thankfully, I don’t have a zillion followers and even if I did, I doubt they would believe that a whole lot was missing from their life haha. Nonetheless, I am back!

I still marvel at the idea of writing a book one day. I recently thought about renting a cottage in the middle of nowhere for six months to a year and just spending time with my laptop, my desk and my ideas. I don’t know if it would be the most effective way to get a book finished but I think it would also be pretty cool to try (even if it’s just an extended vacation from work). I would like to write a fiction but I think non-fiction interests are more in my interest. I am still waiting for that “a-ha” moment or question that someone else asks me but I’m getting some ideas of characters.

One character that I want to flush out more is a classy, put together woman. This character would actually be inspired by my trainer from work. Michelle (name changed) is someone who very rarely gets stressed out and is just always put together.

I think one of the reasons that characters like this are rarely featured or focused on is because people can’t always relate to this character. Even Michelle for example, I wonder if she thinks of herself as a put together woman… as someone who is never jittery, never speaks without thinking and never has a piece of clothing or even a hair out of place. That’s how I see Michelle, though.

Obviously I need to flush this character out more because obviously a perfect character isn’t relatable but still has potential. She’s going to need some flaws and she’s going to need a deeper story (you can tune in next year when I finally figure that out) but I think the idea of a balanced character is somewhat more intriguing than someone who is still trying to get their shit together. Maybe that’s why I admire Michelle and so many of my co-workers so much is because they are actually full functioning adults (versus me, which I like to brand as a “pseudo adult” but more on that another day… or maybe never because I don’t think it’s the most interesting thing). I find this character inspiring because she’s someone I’m clearly not. Society thinks that it’s just something that is supposed to happen but I don’t know if society gives enough credit for everything that needs to be done in order to get to that point.

One of the other interesting things about this Michelle character is that she is a full functioning adult without children. This is so contrary to what society seems to tell us to do – we’re supposed to grow up, find a partner and reproduce. I remember Michelle once telling me that she couldn’t have kids. I didn’t ask any further questions, I thought it was best to keep my nose where it belonged. I believe it’s something biological with the phrasing but I could be wrong. Yet it’s a lifestyle that is not always chosen so I think that’s what’s more enchanting. It’s a life that I see as so fantastic. She’s married but as a couple, they have the options to travel the world, to host elegant parties and go out until 3am on a weekday. AKA all of their money doesn’t just go into their children, which sounds pretty cool.

Stay tuned as I further discuss and delve into the issues of this character. And I’m trying to keep this character separate from the inspiration – there are obviously going to be features and quirks I will add and change to not just make this a weird biography haha.

Another characters that I want to feature in my fiction is what I see as a problem to feminism. Karla (again, name changed) is inspired by another one of my former co-workers and she made me question how feminism should be practiced. Was she empowering women by leading with sex and trying to get people to do what she wanted because she was good looking? I would mostly say no but she felt and acted so powerful that it was a bit disorienting. Karla was a very problematic person to me because she wasn’t exactly fighting for equal rights but she was using the different powers between the genders to her advantage. She kind of reminds me of Samantha from Sex and the City.

So even though it’s great that I have two character ideas, I still don’t have a fiction novel setting or even a message. And I still struggle with whether it’s the characters or the plot line that really makes the novel.

I guess it’s just one thing at a time. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more punctual with my next post and maybe it will continue on from this point or maybe I’ll just leave this until another day when I’m feeling inspired.

The Independent Traveller

wanderer

So I recently got back from a solo trip to Iceland. I was there for 4 days. I stayed in a hotel, did excursions with groups and then went for dinner and whatnot on my own. It wasn’t my absolute first time travelling on my own – I went to Montreal for a few days over my birthday when I was 21. The trip to Iceland itself was incredible – the sights were breathtaking, the capital city is filled with cool shops. The place was amazing for my inner hipster.

But I’m probably still most surprised with the number of people who were surprised and proud of me for travelling on my own. I wish I had kept count of the number of people who praised me for travelling on my own. Some of my friends, my family, people that I met on the trip, they were all mildly shocked but encouraging of travelling on my own. A lot of people expressed that they wished they were that brave to do the same.

Not everyone was overly encouraging or even acknowledged someone travelling on their own. My one negative experience was trying to get my luggage after being in the Blue Lagoon. For an extra fee, you can have them store your luggage, which is incredibly useful if you’re coming or going from Iceland (the Blue Lagoon is an ideal adventure on either of these dates due to the close geographic range to the international airport). There was a family in front of me in line and after they had been given their luggage, I was clearly right in front of the teller but the man behind me must have mistaken me to be part of that family since he tried to give his ticket. Simple mistake, yes? Well, I happened to look back at him as I gave my ticket to the teller and there was no look or mention of remorse. He almost looked surprised that I was just on my own and this was where my expression became less than amused and turned into a glare of such.

Travelling on my own reminds me that I am able to be a leader but also able to make my own path. I don’t need to always follow the prescribed social agenda that is provided by society. There are changes that can be made and alterations that can be pushed. Not only did I do this by travelling on my own but also while on some of the excursions, I didn’t just look at the sights that were in front of me. For example, at Seljalandsfoss, one of the waterfall attractions in Iceland, I followed a path away from the main waterfall to find a hidden waterfall. I have super cool pictures and amazing memories of how I got back on the bus with my hair soaked (you literally get up and close with this waterfall) and everyone else was asking where I went. I showed them my pictures and they were all in awe. It just shows how sometimes it’s worth it to take a gander away.10665165_10154031324163792_7208869639227575773_n.jpg

Travelling on my own also made me more approachable to other travelers. I made friends with other travelers. Whether this was because they felt “sorry” for the girl standing on her own or because they needed that little break from their current travelling partners but it was a cool opportunity to learn about other people.

I think me travelling on my own reminded other people of taking the path that’s less traveled. Not experiencing something just because you’re the only one that wants to do it. Or willing to make time for it. It’s not apologizing for who you are. It’s being a “wild one”.

 

 

Trip Planning

A girl that I worked with at my previous job just got back from what looked like a magical solo vacation. I’m not 100% sure where she went but I see that there were beaches, great food and what looked to be like a great time.

I have done some solo vacationing… for my 22nd birthday, I went to Montreal on my own for 4 or 5 days. And while I was alone, I wasn’t lonely.

So my wonderful friend’s latest instagram posts have re-inspired me to look at doing some trip planning. I have full time hours at my job and a flexible schedule that includes a week off per month (but before you hate me, in exchange, I work weekends and night shifts haha). So I’m trying to plan a trip within a week. This has left some of my options somewhat limited but I think it can be done.

My latest destination in mind? Iceland. At the beginning of March.

There are a few reasons for choosing this country. One of them being that this country is incredibly safe which would mean that my mother would not be overly concerned with me being by myself. Another of them being that there seems to be enough to do within a 5 day period that I wouldn’t be stretching myself thin but will still be able to get a great experience out of those five days. As much as I would love to see other parts of Europe, I think I am going to try to save those for the summer or early fall when I would be able to enjoy the weather more. Iceland has a climate a lot like Canada so it wouldn’t be a total shock. Another reason for the timing would be in order to see the northern lights. For some reason, this is just something that I really want to see soon. Iceland is also a great country for hiking and beautiful landscape pictures, even though it’s cold. Even though it’s cold though, don’t be shocked if I go swimming in one of those thermal baths! How cool would it be to say you went swimming outside in March? I think it would be awesome!

I’ve been reading, pinning and Googling random and different phrases about Iceland to see what adventures I should choose to do and what the cost might be. I’ve used Tripomatic as a way to organize myself along with finding other peoples’ blogs about adventuring in Iceland. I found a great review about a Hostel which is a cheap(er) means of sleeping and showering and a way to meet other people. There also seems to be quite a few tours that will come pick up at the hotel in the capital city so I’m still debating about the necessity of renting a car. Flights look to be very reasonable but the rest of the shopping and food in the country is pricey but hopefully worth the experience. It’s amazing how the act of planning a trip can be as exciting as doing it.

Maybe it’s a combination of being restless and the wanting of a new years’ resolution but planning this trip has made me feel more grown up and looking forward to something. Between getting my new job in the middle of the year last year and getting used to shift work, I wasn’t able to travel anywhere last year. I’m hoping that 2016 and onward will let travelling be a possibility. And even if I don’t have as many friends in the same position, both monetarily and schedule wise, that’s not going to stop me from exploring different cultures and getting to know myself. My friend posted about the importance of travelling alone to get to know yourself and though she’s a year younger than me, her wisdom reminded me the importance of using my time and money for myself.

Any readers have any recommendations of things to do in Iceland in March?