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What 2014 Taught Me

This year has been the most significant year of my life. I didn’t go on a life-changing trip around the world or meet the love of my life or even make any life changes, really. What I did do is discover the beauty in learning. Despite having been a student for at least 18 years prior, this year I learned to truly be a student; I learned about life, about myself, and most importantly I learned to open my mind. Three major discoveries followed:

1. There is a difference between what makes you happy and what you think makes you happy. I have an ideal life laid out in my mind, and then a little further back is the true ideal. The one at the front is the most practical, the one I feel would satisfy the people in my life, and the one I’ve convinced myself of dreaming of. And then there is the life that, when I think about it, makes me warm and fuzzy and excited. I often find myself having to stop and wonder, “do I really want that or do I just want to want that?” Answering that question is the easy part; the hard part is remembering to ask it.

2. I am so lucky. This has been the most overwhelming discovery. This year I’ve learned a lot about privilege and with this I have come a long way in understanding how it’s just a matter of luck and that some people didn’t get so lucky. This has taught me compassion on a new level and has also brought about a big cry baby that I never knew existed inside of me, which is actually kind of awesome.

3. Nothing is what it is. I have seen so many new perspectives this year that I have learned not to set anything in stone. So many things I thought I knew were questioned, and often changed, that it lead me to understand how little I really know, and while that is a very scary realization, it also brings about a great deal of excitement.

I have never, ever looked forward to a semester like I am for this final semester of my degree, and that’s not because it’s the last – in fact, I’m kind of sad that it’s the end, although I’m insanely thankful for what I have been taught this year and how it has changed me as a person.


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Hi, old friend

I just read through my posts and realized that I need to spend some more time with you, good old blog. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you entirely, because my drafts folder knows that’s not the case. I just haven’t been giving you the full attention that you deserve. 

Tonight I had a sweet idea for a new series sort of deal, but that is contingent on some potential plans coming through. Luckily I will find out in a mere 13 hours if they will or won’t, so until tomorrow (fingers crossed), goodbye.


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First Day of the Rest of Your Life

You know how they say the day after high school graduation is “the first day of the rest of your life…”? I’m not sure how much I agree with that. Maybe that’s because I spent three months following graduation unemployed and lazy (and happy), but I really don’t think the real world starts until you know what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Some people know what they want to be from their early teens, but most of us don’t. For me, I  had NO idea what I wanted to be until after first year of post-secondary, and then got a better grasp after a year in my current program, although I have yet to figure out the exact career I want, I have a pretty good idea.

The day I figured out that I could combine my education in communications/media with my love for the world of sports was a pretty cool day. I’d dabbled in the idea of editing and public relations, which lead my to my current major, but the thought of that for me was just tolerable, not exciting, and not something that made me really want to work hard to succeed. Working in the world of sports, however, did it for me. As soon as I had a goal – something I really wanted to achieve in life, not just something I’d settle for – I had such a stronger desire to put in the work in school, be positive and constantly consider how my present actions would benefit my future.

While I’m not the most knowledgeable about all sports, they are something I’m passionate about; I’m not even exaggerating when I say this – I have cried over hockey more times than I’ve cried over boys. Hey, if your team made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and lost you’d probably cry too. Maybe not in a Tim Horton’s bathroom while your city is up in flames, but… okay, bad memories.

I know that in the grand scheme of things sports seem trivial and I should probably spend my time working towards being a humanitarian of some sort, but that’s not what gets my engine going. While there are aspects of sports that are significant (see above – the ability to make a city riot, that’s not minor), I really adore the passion that I find in sports. From the fans who dedicate their lives to their team, to the intensity in a players eyes while he’s listening to the pre-game anthem, to the unadulterated joy of a veteran who finally gets to lift Lord Stanley. These are the kind of experiences that I want to wake up in the morning and know I get to surround myself in, and that is what drives me to get where I want to be.


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Summer Lovin’

I was kind of dreading summer in all honesty; I just wanted to fast forward to September when I’ll have routine and can wear jeans, sweaters and boots.

Then this weekend happened. 

Friday night, I drove out to hang out with a girl I called my best friend from the time I was two years old until probably 16ish. We’d kept in brief contact but hadn’t spent any time together for the last five years, then decided to go out together on the Friday to catch up. It was crazy how her and her family still feel like my family even after all these years; I love all four of them  tons. The night was super fun, we just danced and laughed and had a crazy good time. 

Saturday, I woke up a bit um, under the weather, but a copious amount of water followed by a long drive home in the sunshine with the windows down and music blaring cured me pretty quickly. I got to spend the morning poolside with three of my best friends catching up on the weekend’s events and tie dying. My tie dye actually worked out well for once! Say it ain’t so. 

Mad had to go to work in the afternoon so Tay, Dar and I went to the beach with about 10 other people (who knew I had that many friends?) and it was way too much fun. I have this bizarre fear of open water so it was tough going further than a couple meters into the water, butttttt… I did it! It was so much fun and the water was crazy warm, like, warmer than the pool. 

The bliss of spending 24 hours with some of my favourite people on earth put a massive smile on my face alllllll day. Then my alarm went off at 5:30am this morning and that smile was nowhere to be found…


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City Girl Goes Country

Albeit under unfortunate circumstances, I got to spend Friday with my family up in the Kootenays. It’s sad that it takes a wedding or, in this case, a funeral to get a whole family together, but when it does happen it’s really something special. My Martin relatives are spread all across the Northwest and oohhh boy are they all somethin’ else. We spent the day down (up? I’m not sure) a mountain by the creek where my Uncle Jeff owned property and had a house in the works. It’s really something else down there; there is no cell phone service, there are no neighbours within a long long distance, and I was constantly thinking a bear was just going to wander up and join the party. This. Is. The. Country. Dad looked like a little kid when my cousins let him shoot their guns, and he still has a cut on his nose to show for that… pretty sure he doesn’t want it to go away just so he has a story to tell. I also was forced into shooting some sort of rifle, which wasn’t nearly as much fun as people make it seem. We had sausages barbecued up by my Uncle Joe and sat around sipping Kootenay beer and swapping stories. I even found a discoloured pair of flip flops and a pair of shorts that I’d left there last summer… safe to say I got made fun of for that. It was a really great day under really terrible circumstances, but it was a day I’ll remember for a long time. Currently thankful for this weekend and thankful for this family.


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“Reading” Break!

Ah the week that I had been counting down to since September – reading week! Let me tell you, very little academic reading was done, although I did get my fair share of trash-mag reading. The destination was supposed to be Montreal, somewhere that we (mom, dad and I) all would like to visit eventually… but unfortunately February is not the ideal time for us spoiled west-coasters to travel to Quebec – way too cold. So, somehow, we ended up in Los Angeles, and none of us know how we came to that decision, but I’m glad that we did.

Good times were had. We stayed in a boutique hotel in West Hollywood called Petit Ermitage and all three of us absolutely adored the hotel, its staff, the rooftop restaurant and definitely the jar of cookies at the entrance (I think this was dad’s favourite part.) Being in West Hollywood was SO nice. I had no say in choosing the hotel but my parents did an incredible job, especially with the location. “WeHo” was such a good spot… imagine Davie Street stretching out into an entire city and there you have West Hollywood (maybe mix in some sunshine.) So safe, and so close to Melrose Ave, Sunset Blvd, etc etc etc, where there’s such good shopping and… RESTAURANTS!

I willingly tried foods that you could not even have PAID me to try just a year or two ago. Example A: oysters and prawn. Example B: pig’s head (tasted just like pulled pork), ox tongue (braised beef but better), and beef heart! Why? I have no idea. I suppose I finally realized that the entire point of travelling is experiencing new things yadda yadda, so I sucked it up. And I’m sure glad I did, although I can feel myself becoming more of a “foodie,” which yes, is a word that drives me crazy but YES I just used it. That annoyance with the word is mostly due to the “#foodies” who post pictures of White Spot burgers and sushi but I digress.

I am absolutely dying to get back to LA one day… Disneyland, not so much – one day there is enough to tide me over until I have a ten-year-old. I really hope I can fit LA back in my plans sometime soon but until then I’ll settle for this rainy city I suppose.


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Resolutions

This year, as with most years, I have a few resolutions. Some I will follow through with, but it would be unrealistic to think that at least one won’t get lost in the dust. However, my big resolution this year is one that I fully plan on following through with, and that is simply to say “yes.”

Say yes to every opportunity that is thrown my way, whether it’s something I’m familiar with or something that is miles outside of my comfort zone. I started to do this last year after a girl in my public speaking class mentioned that it was her rule for herself, and for that I think owe the fact that I bungee jumped, participated in a segment for CTV, among many other things. In retrospect, these are things that I would probably just shied away from if not for the “yes” mindset.

So, here’s to 2013 being full of experiences that I would never ever in my wildest dreams see myself doing!