The Journey to Self-Discovery

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When I wrote Why getting to know yourself is so important in life I feel now looking back, that I was just putting my toes in this big ocean of knowledge that resides in me. Now a few months later, I realize how deep this ocean goes, and it’s mind-boggling. Its absolutely unreal what we are, and what we are capable of. I feel like a giddy school girl who has just discovered the big secret of life, and I want to tell everyone about it!

Three years ago I started this journey of self-discovery at first very unknowingly. I just all of a sudden started to care about my self more and became curious about everything relating to self, who was I, what was this reality I was experiencing, why was I here? Were all some of the questions I began to wonder. I have now been on this journey for a little over 3 years, and what an experience it has been. So much of an experience I have decided to write a book about it!!

This is a journey I truly believe everyone needs to go on in life. Its something you can start right here right now, just by simply saying “from here on out, I will make a greater effort in getting to know myself a little bit more each day.” Even if you only find out that you don’t like a certain color one day,  the process can seem very slow at times, and other times the process will feel like its only speeding up more and you can’t slow it down, and those times can be a bit crazy because you are realizing so much about yourself in a very short period of time, and you are changing a lot every day so it can be hard to keep up and quite overwhelming.

But its all part of the journey. Everyone’s journey will be different. For some, it will be quick, and others it will take longer, but it doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is you begin. Take the first step, tell yourself right now that you are going to make more of an effort from this day forward towards the discovery of yourself.

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It is the greatest journey you’ll ever go on, it’s truly an incredible ride that makes your life wonderfully beautiful and rich with meaning and fulfillment.  The journey of self-discovery will be the most important things you do here on Earth, we must realize in human form who we are, and what we are capable of. That light inside us wants us to realize its there, it’s waiting for us to remember it so he can guide us to live the life of our dreams.

All the richest of the world won’t bring you as much happiness, peace, and fulfillment as self-discovery will. Its something the rich can’t buy and the poor can’t lose. It stays with you forever if you take the time to do it, and its the best thing you will ever spend your time on, the payoff will be tremendous!

I am not sure now, if there will ever come a time when I come to the end of my journey, it’s not something that you can really see the finish line on, because even once you feel like you know everything there is to know about yourself, you’ll discover something else, and the journey continues. If you are in a hurry or want results instantly, you should instead start with learning the art patience, because self-discovery is a lifelong process, you don’t merely wake up one day and know who and what you are. If it were that simple, then everyone on planet earth would be living to their fullest potential, which we all know isn’t the case.

The world is a bit of a mess right now, but that doesn’t mean things are not happening. Behind the scenes, millions of people are on the journey of self-discovery already, and are remembering who they are. This is an extraordinary time in human history because humans are becoming more conscious, we are rising from the slumber we have been enduring for many ages, but those times are over and humanity is waking up. Humanity is going to accomplish great things in the next years, and if you don’t want to miss out, I suggest hopping on the self-discovery train as soon as possible!

Unfortunately, though, a lot of people won’t ever take the first step on the path of self discovery, and its very unfortunate that they dont, but they get caught up in their version of reality and dont ever take the time to do this. When I asked people I know how much time people put into self discovery, I was suprised to be met by blank stares, unsure of what I meant.

“You know… Like how much time do you take each day to get to know yourself? Self-reflection, reading, writing, learning about who you are, that type of thing?’

Still nothing. This surprised me greatly since I truly believe this is one of the best journeys one can and should ever go on in life. But I realize that I am only concerned over my own actions, and I can force someone else to do this. I can just share my own experience and hope that someone else might resonate with it, and use their own decision making process to determine that this is something they would like to do.

I truly believe that to change the world, it begins with ourselves. We must learn about who we are, and what we are capable of, and above all us, we must learn to love ourselves like nothing else.

Below I have an entry I wrote in my journal that I would like to share with you.



October 20th, 2017

I am so tired of this whole idea that we as humans have limits. We come to earth and in the human body, and we experience limitations from the very start. Mainly with our minds, which controls most everything else we do. We feel our minds are limited and we never bother to learn how they work, or how one could improve it. We actually poison it half the time with alcohol and drugs, not to mention some of the foods we eat. It’s absolutely insane how little credit or care we give to our brains/minds when they are the most incredible instrument in the universe that science has so far discovered. 

If you only knew what your brain was capable of, you would never even think of harming it again. When you start learning about the self, it will become your one and only desire, to learn more and more about yourself, how the mind works, and the power of thought. These subjects will become fascinating to you because your brain is now eager to learn all about what it can do, like an excited child in first grade ready to learn. When you shift your awareness onto your mind and improving it, the mind will flourish and wonderful things will begin to happen. 

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I was writing about the mind because I believe it is a big part of the self. If we can put our awareness on ourselves instead of on Facebook, or what someone else is doing, or on the television, your mind literally lights up like an excited child who wants to learn everything he can. Your brain will turn into a sponge, learning all the information it needs to achieve the goal you have given it, which is that you want to learn as much as you can regarding yourself.

You know deep inside that you are here for far greater things than what you have been programmed since childhood to believe. You are full of potential, and it breaks my heart when people think of themselves as just a useless human being not capable of anything, because I know how amazing human beings are, and now we are living in a very special time for the planet where we are becoming more and more conscious of who we are, which means that there will be tremendous changes in the next years, we have no idea what wonderful things will be created by people just like you who have realized who they are. Times are changing, and we have all the information we could ever dream of right at our fingertips, its time to remember who you are, and what you are here for.


Below are important tips I have found useful during my journey to self-discovery, remember to keep in mind that everyone’s journey is different, but we are all human beings, and we tend to all have very similar thoughts towards the unknown.

  1. Embrace change and the unknown. Life is many different cycles, some are big and some are small. Like the seasons changing, your life will also change and you need to be willing to embrace that change because forcing something to stay the same has never worked for very long. If you can understand that life is always changing, you will be better willing to accept that you are also changing. There is no rulebook stating that you need to remain the person you are right now reading this, you can and should strive to improve yourself.
  2. Stay in the present as much as you can because that is all there is. I know this one is very hard to grasp for most people. It was a process for myself to stop thinking about the past, and worrying about the future and I do sometimes have to catch myself and think just be right here in this moment. If you can learn to just trust the quiet voice inside to guide your life, you will be surprised by how well your life turns out without you even trying, or thinking about it. Your intuition knows what is best and wants to guide you to a wonderful life, but you need to listen to it. So be present in the moment, quiet your thoughts and listen to what it tells you. This will take time, meditation helps greatly, but just know that this won’t happen in a single day.
  3. Love yourself. I can’t stress this one enough because it is so profoundly important for you to do. I remember when I first started my journey, and I kept seeing that sentence everywhere I turned, “love yourself.” I remember not knowing why that would be such an important aspect, but now that I actually can honestly say I love myself, I feel like I have so much more belief in myself than ever before, which of course allows me to succeed at everything I want to achieve in life. If I didn’t love myself, there would be no way I could do some of the things I do now, simply because I wouldn’t believe in myself.

With that being said, there are so many different ideas you will come across along your journey, and this is just a few tips I have found that has helped me. Writing has definitely helped me to learn more about self, but do what works for you!

Thanks for reading, I hope you can take something away from this post and use it to improve your life 🙂

Here are a few other posts you might enjoy reading!

Why you need to believe in yourself

How to overcome and grow from adversity

All it takes is one moment to change your life

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Osana

My experience dealing with depression

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So I thought I would go back in time a little here, and talk about my experience dealing with depression because back in 2011-2014 I was very depressed, and I had no idea I was experiencing that at the time. I didn’t actually realize that I was depressed at all… I thought that this was just a normal feeling to have in life.

Sure I was experiencing suicidal thoughts, extreme uselessness, and complete unworthiness at the time, but doesn’t everyone feel that way? Isn’t that just normal?

But can you blame me for feeling this way?

Depression is a very common thing to suffer from nowadays, what with everything going on in the world, how can one not feel depressed after watching the news, reading the newspapers, or even listening to a concerned friend talk about something bad that happened, could lead one to feel quite fearful. Depression is when you are locked in the past, and you no longer see any sort of future for yourself. You have a hard time getting up each day because ‘Well, whats the point?’ Your life is slowly becoming exactly what you didn’t want, the exact opposite of the dreams you had as a child, and more often than not we have no idea how to make it better.

We come into the real world with hopes, and goals, and dreams. We are positive and excited to start a life for yourself. Well, that was me anyway, I graduated high school, and choose to take a year off because I wanted to travel and do all this fun and exciting stuff, I believed in real-world education and to be honest, I didn’t believe in the school system anyways. I would go back to school if the real world didn’t work out for me the way I expected…

I didn’t end up doing any traveling after all, and I did end up going back to school for one year to study psychology, but I ended up failing almost every class and racking up over $10000 of debt in a single year. From there I realized I would need to work a job full time to pay this off, and so that’s what I did. But it seemed that despite my best efforts I was going backward each month, and my life slowly started to spiral out of control. Then to top it all off, my mother passed away suddenly, and at the age of 20, I was planning my mothers funeral… Life was not turning out the way I had expected it too, it felt like it was completely out of my control, I couldn’t see the reason all these bad things were happening to me, and I started to slowly become depressed.

Life was not turning out the way I had expected it too, it felt like it was completely out of my control, I couldn’t see the reason all these bad things were happening to me, I felt angry, and hurt, and I ended up turning my back on God, universe, higher power, source energy (whatever you wanna name it) and from there I started to slowly become more and more hopeless and depressed.

We all come into the real world after we get educated, excited to make a life for ourselves and to see all our dreams come true, but then all of that gets crushed slowly over time. We sometimes don’t even realize it’s happening, and we just keep pressing forward on the path that we know isn’t leading us to our dream life, but we do it to keep the others happy, as it is after all, what we are told to do, so we better keep doing it no matter how soul-crushing it is.

I felt like this life I had dreamt of for myself, was being ripped away from me right under my nose, and there was nothing I could do to get it back together. My bills were piling up, I was behind on all my payments, my car was about to get repossessed, my credit score was going down despite my sincere efforts to keep it in good standing, I even considered filing for bankruptcy because my credit card was at like $2500 which I thought was really high at the time… The real world was completely fucking me, and there was nothing I could do.  I had absolutely no hope for the future, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even see the future as a possibility, I felt my life was over at the age of 22. I actually thought I was dying or I would die soon, or that the world would end in some catastrophic event… I was living in complete fear with no hope for the future, so what was the point of doing anything beneficial that would help my future self?

My days were long, sad and unproductive during that time. I became more and more nocturnal by the day, and I barely ever left the house. I worked only 1-2 times per week because that was all I could actually handle. I had no motivation to do anything, no self-esteem to communicate with others, and no confidence in myself at all. I was extremely shy, I didn’t like talking to people, and I felt people were constantly judging me all the time, and also I cared so much about what others thought of me.

So I went into hiding. It was easier than facing my self, and my problems. So I cut out all my friends and family from my life. Afterall, I was independent, I didn’t need anyone anyways, I was strong on my own.

My daily routine consisted of getting up around 4 or 5 in the afternoon,  it was the middle of winter too, so by 5pm it was already dark, I had missed any form of sunlight completely. I would get dressed and either go to the grocery store and spend at least $20 on food just for that day, or I would go to the Wendy’s/Tim Hortons by my place, buy a large ice cap as well as a full meal deal from Wendy’s.

Then I would go home and eat. That would be my only outing for the day. I would sit at home for the rest of the day, usually from 5 or 6pm onward never leaving the house again. I would eat and eat and eat because it was the only thing that made me feel temporarily content. I would normally just eat one big meal each day, and then snack the rest of the time. It was an extremely unhealthy way to live, but I didn’t really care.

It didn’t really matter the time of year it was either, I would justify coming home early each day in summer too by blaming the heat for bringing me inside on a nice summer night. I would race home usually from work or something at 5-6pm every single day just so I could play world of warcraft! It was fun and overall ended up being a good experience playing WOW because I did reach my end goal, I also gained a ton of people skills while playing it, as well as great leadership skills.

That was probably my one ray of hope while going through this depression, was playing the game. As crazy as that sounds, having a raid to look forward to at the end of your day was fun and exciting! I couldn’t wait to go home and play the game and hang out with my gaming friends… (Some of whom I actually ended up meeting on a couple trips I went on back in 2014 which was when I was finally winning the battle over my depression… )

But I also found snacking to be a pretty common thing to do while raiding. So I would always have a few snacks and drinks around me.

I gained about 30 pounds during this 2 year period, and since I didn’t own a scale it sorta just kept creeping up without me even realizing it.

I would just sit at my computer all night, while snacking and playing World of Warcraft, till the wee hours of the morning. I would go to sleep as late as possible, sometimes at 7am, I would finally be going to sleep. Then I would sleep all day, wake up and do it all over again. It’s like I was sleepwalking my life away.

My mind was so numb, I was like in a hypnotized state of being that I can hardly remember. Maybe I have suppressed those days from my memory because of how awful they were because I swear two years passed, and I can’t recall even a single good day I had.

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I will tell you though, I did end up snapping out of my depression, but I do believe it was due to divine intervention that caused it, and not my friends or family telling me to simply “snap out of it.”

At the time I was going through this depression, I had turned my back on God because, in my mind, I had created the story that he was single-handedly ruining my entire life, and I couldn’t see how what he had planned that one day this would all make sense, and how all this shit that was happening in my life was all in divine order”

I had been told so many other lies growing up in my youth, oh like how a fat man rides in a sleigh carried by reindeers to every single house on earth, one evening of the year with presents for all the children… Or how the Easter bunny and tooth fairy exist…

Maybe this whole God thing was also just a big fat lie we are told to keep the people behaving themselves and make us scared of doing bad things so we don’t go to hell.

So sure, I had turned my back on God because I was angry and hurt, and I lost all faith in life itself. Thus by doing so led me deeper and deeper into this dark tunnel of despair and depression.

I felt completely hopeless. My life felt over and it hadn’t even begun yet.

There was this one day though, I remember it very well because it was the day that lit that spark in my belly again, even though it was very faint at the time. I still felt it was there.

I went shopping that day because at that time in my life I was into material possessions, which would bring me a very brief moment of happiness. I decided to try on some new clothes, and after trying them all on, and taking pictures, I realized that they all looked so bad on me because I had gained so much weight… I realized that day, how much I hated myself, and who I was becoming…

Here is a picture I took that day that clearly opened my eyes to what I was becoming… I dunno why, but trying on all those clothes, and realizing how bad every outfit looked on me kinda opened my eyes. I didn’t want to be seen this way. I didn’t want to be this way anymore.

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The icing on the cake for me was when I saw these two pictures below, and that was it for me. I was done feeling and living this way any longer.

I have always been chubbier growing up, it is just who I am, and I’ve learned to love that part of me now, but this was the heaviest that I had ever been in my entire life and I knew that I needed to make a big change.

Shortly after this photo was taken, there was this one night that I went through, which I now call the dark night of my soul, but at the time I guess it was me hitting rock bottom. I remember I was lying on my floor crying desperately in my lonely basement living room, feeling utterly sorry for myself.

All of a sudden I heard a voice and it said:

“Alright Lindsay you are 22 now, you still have 3/4 of your life left. Are you going to die with your mom and do absolutely nothing with your life and be sad and depressed forever, or are you going to make a change and start working towards being that great version that you know you can be?”

Then I was immediately shown two visions. One was me at 40 years old continuing on this current self-degrading path I was on. I was extremely overweight, I lived alone with quite a few cats, (yes I was a crazy cat lady) it was clear that I barely ever left the house. You know that Simpson episode where homer wears the MooMoo? That’s the image I got, but it was me wearing the MooMoo sitting around my house eating junk food all day feeling depressed, lonely and sad.

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So then, I saw a vision of my life if I started working on myself, and my personal development, and boy was I ever in love! I saw this stunning version of me, that was beaming with happiness and love. She clearly was full of life and wonder, and had figured out the secrets to life. She was healthy, happy, and abundant.

I was hooked, I knew from that moment on, that no matter what, I had to work towards that wonderful version of myself. I couldn’t become that sad and depressed self. No, no, no…  I had hope again for the future, my eyes were seeing clearly again, and I could see the future, and boy was it ever looking wonderful!

I didn’t care how long it would take, I knew it would be a long journey, but I was willing to give it my all, and above everything, I was never going to give up on becoming this vision, because the alternative was just not acceptable to me.

So I started on the path to personal growth and development, and above all learning to love myself, which hasn’t always been easy, but I have never looked back, and I would never go back to the life I was living. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to that life I was living.

I had this awakening 4 years ago now, and I have now become that person I had envisioned long ago, it’s absolutely unbelievable! Words cannot even begin to describe the happiness I feel now on a daily basis. I realized how wonderfully extraordinary I am, and how I can actually do anything that I set my mind too. I love myself more than I ever thought was possible, and I have a very clear vision of the future.

I now have a new vision of myself and who I am becoming, but I won’t share with you now, because even I am a little awestruck by her, and again cant really put it into words at the present moment.  I don’t doubt, however, that one day I will become that version.

I am in fact creating my greatest version every single day.


I lost two full years of my life to depression, and while I am extremely grateful I was able to get out of it when I did and decide not to continue living my life that way, it really is something that so many people are struggling with, and may not even realize they are, I know I sure didn’t…

Depression seriously sucks… You feel like your life doesn’t matter and that if you were to die tomorrow, no one would even care, the world would just carry on like you didn’t matter, which must be why so many people commit suicide each year.

I read a stat the other day stating that 800 000 people commit suicide every year.

That number is mind-boggling to me…

That is higher than war and natural disasters combined kill each year! So why do so many people still think depression isn’t a real issue?

“oh it’s just a phase, they will snap out of it eventually,” They all say, not understanding the implications behind it.

Depression is a serious killer and we should be paying more attention to it. It is a mental illness and it shouldnt go unnoticed. Why are so many people depressed? What is going on that is causing this?

I know for my generation, which is the Millenials mostly, we do feel hopeless towards the future. We watch the news and see all the terror, wars, disease, starvation, pain and suffering, and we dont know what to do to help. We know we want to do something, we all want to change the world, to make an impact, to change someone’s life for the better, to simply be a good human being…

But where do we even begin?

And if our own self-limiting beliefs and thoughts weren’t sabotaging us enough, we have to endure the rest of society telling us what we can and cant do in life. We are brainwashed into believing we are stupid and unworthy, we are not pretty enough, not smart enough, not good enough to do the things we long for in life.

We live in fear, too scared to break out from the hold the rest of society has on us, and do the one thing that makes our hearts sing.

That one thing you would do no matter what, even if you didn’t get paid for it, you would still do because you love it, it makes you very happy… This is called your passion in life.. And every single one of us has passions, and talents, and gifts to share to the world. Even those of you who think “I don’t have anything to offer.” Trust me, I felt the exact same way, and I want you to know that you do have wonderful talents and gifts to offer the world, you simply haven’t discovered them yet, which is probably why you are feeling hopeless or depressed.

Well I am here to tell you that you are all of this and more. You are perfect, and you are capable of living a wonderful life. Dont let depression win. You have to make a stand for yourself, or else it will consume you, and your life. You must find hope again. Believe in yourself, and trust that everything has a funny way of working themselves out, but realize they always somehow manage to turn out good in the end.

I look back on my time that I was depressed with acceptance, knowing that it was a phase of my life that I needed to go through for reasons that are now a deep knowledge of understanding as to why in my heart. It was an experience that I needed to have to become the person I am now today. Although going through it is not easy, and it is most likely going to be one of the hardest things you may ever experience in life, but try to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it may be faint, but its there. Just knowing that it is there, there is hope for you, after all, could be the one thing that keeps you going when things are the darkest.

Remember that there is always a sunrise, even after the darkest of nights. Meaning that even if your life is dark now, it won’t always be this way, trust that the sun will shine again, and you will find happiness again. Don’t give up on yourself, you can find the light again.

Also please stop listening to and caring about what others think, and start to find your own truth for your life. You can and do create your own reality whether you realize this or not. Most of us simply don’t realize we are doing it, which is why our lives never turn out the way we hoped… I have now taken a much more conscious approach to the concept of creating my own reality, and I have now come to understand that I can have, be or do anything that I want… You have to realize what life means to you, who are you? Why are you here? What is your purpose for being here? Asking yourself these questions will help you design for yourself your ideal life…

You have to realize what life means to you… Who are you? Why are you here? What is your purpose for being here? Asking yourself these questions will help you design for yourself your ideal life… You must get to know yourself first before you do anything else. Afterall, you’re going to be with yourself for the next countless years, so you may as well get to know who you are…

I wrote a post on the importance of getting to know yourself, which I find to be one of the most important things we should do with our lives… Please give it a read if you are interested!

Meditation will help you do this, but you need to allow yourself the time to simply sit and be quiet so you can listen to your higher self speak. You won’t know what you want to accomplish in life without quieting the egoic mind and listening to that quiet voice that wants you to live the greatest life imaginable!  (Meditation is hard for most because when we sit and try to quiet our minds, our ego hates that because it wants to be seen and heard and acknowledged so it will try to throw a tantrum saying all the things we should be doing instead of meditation. Just knowing this and saying “this will only take 10 mins and then you can come back out”, to your ego, will usually help to help quiet the mind)

You must also learn to have grace with yourself, and forgive yourself if you make mistakes because we are human, we are no doubt going to make mistakes in life, so simply forgive yourself when you do and move along.

Depression is serious, but it can be defeated, think of it like an inner battle you are having, and have the courage to overcome it. You don’t need to ingest medications, although I did for two years and it did help at the time, now I am off them and I feel even better than before. Just know that you have everything already in you that you need to overcome this battle, just trust in yourself and know that you are powerful beyond measure.

~Namaste~

 



Other posts you might like to read:

How to overcome and grow from adversity

All it takes is one moment to change your life

Why you need to believe in yourself

Ps. this is a more recent photo of me so you can see the difference a few years can have! IMG_1980.JPG

 

My experience living in Revelstoke B.C

My experience living in Revelstoke B.C

Well, it’s now officially been one month since I returned home after yet another great adventure. It feels good to be home, to be honest, I feel happy, comfortable and safe here, which is a nice feeling to have especially right after the wild ride I just went on.

I feel like I am finally ready to talk about my experience in Revelstoke that I had this summer, because when I first arrived home from the adventure, I really didn’t want to do anything at all, and I normally need some time to reflect on the experience before I write about it…  Plus I felt a little depressed for the first couple of weeks upon returning home, but I am feeling much better now, and will be writing a life update about what I am up to nowadays very soon!

If you don’t already know, I moved to Revelstoke this past spring, which you can read more about here: Life Update: One month in Revelstoke! 

But basically what happened was, I moved to Revelstoke On May 23rd, 2017 as part of this job placement program called Mobilize jobs. They placed me working at the Dennys, which was located very conveniently for tourists right along the Trans-Canada highway, and it was by far the worst job I ever had…. No exaggeration.

They were the most dysfunctional restaurant I have ever worked in my entire life, and the management had no respect whatsoever for their staff, not in even the slightest way. They threw me on the morning, swing and graveyard shifts, all in the very same week, and then they didn’t understand why I was grumpy, tired and just downright exhausted. It’s like they had no clue a person can’t just re-adjust their sleep schedules in a single day like that.

Dennys is open 24 hours a day, which sucks a lot! But all my training was done on the morning shift, so I learned mainly the breakfast side of things. Once I actually was done training, I had a swing shift which is 5-11pm, and I had not been taught a single thing about alcohol, so that was not a very fun shift at all for me, I along with the one other person I was working with crashed very hard for a couple of hours to the point that I almost walked out on my shift.

Actually, I was tempted to walk out mid-shift more than once, there were several times when it would cross my mind. The only issue was I was living in staff accommodation so by walking out or quitting I would need to pack up my things and leave within 24 hours. I would have to say though that this was the one and only reason I stayed working there for so long. I hated it so very much, and I found myself constantly saying how ‘I hated my life” quite frequently while I was there.

They scheduled me for graveyard shifts too because the job placement program I came with, allowed the Dennys to basically schedule me whenever they wanted…. So I had no say in my availability. The manager one day actually told me that I had no rights… I didn’t like hearing that at all, it pissed me off royally.

So I get these shitty graveyard shifts 11pm-7am for 3 weeks in total during my two months in Revelstoke, and I absolutely HATED MY LIFE during those few weeks. The only plus side to working the graveyard shifts is that they are very slack, I could have gotten away with anything I wanted to on those shifts, but at the same time so could the customers, and there were quite a few times that I was either really mad that I was serving drunken idiots or young punk kids, or legit scared that a table was going to do something bad, like start a fight….  I also got to enjoy the nice days if I wasn’t busy sleeping, so that was also pretty nice! But for the most part, I dreaded work every single day, although my roommates were all in the shit hole with me working at Denny’s, so we helped each other through it, which made it OKAY. Plus they would come visit me on my graveyard shifts, which made it much more enjoyable…

These photos were all taken on the graveyard shifts,
I had to make some use of my time :p 

 

In the month of June though, I watched as people started to quit left, right and center, I think we saw at least 10 people quit in the month of June for one reason or another, right at the same time we were heading right into the busy season of summer. This was not a good sign at all. Being understaffed is the worst because you end up working twice, if not three times as hard, and make no extra money for it., as a server you end up making less money because you are running around like a chicken with your head cut-off giving poor service to your tables because you are just too busy, so then they don’t leave a tip.

Plus because this Revelstoke Dennys was so tourist focused, so quite a lot of tables don’t actually tip anyways because they know they’ll never see you again. What people don’t actually realize, is that when you don’t tip your server for whatever reason you have, the server ends up PAYING out of their own money to serve you. Yes, we still have to tip out on a percentage of your bill to the kitchen staff regardless of whether or not you tipped. So I had quite a few of those, not because of bad service but more likely because they were just passing through and just didn’t feel like tipping, although sometimes I did probably give poor service because I was so damn busy, it really did suck when that happened. One lady literally told me she wasn’t going to tip because they had an expensive vacation so far and couldn’t afford the couple bucks to leave a tip. It wasn’t even my table and I was mad.

When you walk into a restaurant and see the place full, and staff running around the place frantically, why on earth would you think “Ohh, this will be a nice, quick stop!” ??? It baffled me how many complaints we as the servers would get regarding food wait times like I personally was back there in the kitchen making the food for them, or I had some special way to put the ticket in front of the 20 other tickets to make it come out quicker.

Man, I am STILL bitter about this damn Dennys. Even though it has been almost two months since I worked there!

On the plus side my roommates and I were given free rent to work at this Dennys (we still got paid minimum wage plus tips on top of that) so we weren’t broke necessarily, but we were living in a 3 bedroom apartment in what is nicknamed by the town of Revelstoke as the “crack gardens”.

It was this low-income type housing that apparently was some sort of drug/ party hotspot for the locals of Revelstoke. So that was really nice, especially for someone such as myself that is going down the personal development & spirituality path. So the association wasn’t exactly the kind of people I wanted to be around. So I definitely distanced myself away from most of the Dennys people, knowing I didn’t really care much to get to know them.

SO I realized that I needed to leave this job as soon as possible because I definitely didn’t see myself doing it for the rest of summer like I was supposed too…  So I started making arrangments to get out. I waited first until I had at least $1000 saved up so that I wouldn’t have to worry too much about what I was going to do next. Once I had enough money,
I handed in my two weeks notice one morning after a long and grueling graveyard shift and instantly felt relief. I cannot explain how bad this place was to work because you really do have to experience it for yourself, but never in my life have I hated a job so much. The only saving grace was honestly working alongside my roommates, and the other staff was all really great! We were just basically slaves there, run off our feet every single shift.

I cannot explain how bad this place was to work because you really do have to experience it for yourself, but never in my life have I hated a job so much. We were just basically slaves there, run off our feet every single shift, wanting to cry half the time.


On a positive note, it was nice working alongside my two roommates, because we would come home every day from work, and spend half the night bitching to each other about how shitty our day was and sharing stories about the ridiculous customers we had, or something the management did or said… It made it all, okay, knowing that I had them to come home and bitch to at the end of my shift.

I honestly never thought that I would enjoy having roommates that much going into the experience, actually going in I was terrified that I would not like living with roommates and that I wouldn’t get along with them, but I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to them at the end. Although we have kept in touch since it is still sad because that adventure is over now. However, I did get to enjoy every minute of it, and I have some incredible memories to always remember!

 

On our days off we would go hiking or spend the day at the beach, or just kick around the house playing with our little Kiwi (the bunny we acquired during our time there)  We did have lots of fun, and went on quite a few adventures, we even managed to go on a road trip to Jasper at one point,  so all in all,  it made the shitty Dennys job somewhat manageable in the long run… I wouldn’t have stayed the first night had it not been for Tamika, my first roommate because she was the only reason I stayed at the beginning.

Here are two posts from when I was actually IN Revelstoke, at the very beginning!
Life Update: My first few days in Revelstoke B.C
Life Update: One month in Revelstoke!

Revelstoke B.C

I didn’t finish my last two weeks at Denny’s unfortunately and decided to just call it quits right after Canada day long weekend. I was bad, and just quit showing up, but honestly, screw that, I wasn’t giving up any more of my precious time for a job I actually couldn’t stand. I had too much anxiety going to work, and it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. So from there, I stayed in the staff accommodation until they basically kicked me out, and I spent a couple of days soaking up the sun, enjoying BC as much as I could because I knew eventually I would come back home to good old Calgary.

My last few days in Revelstoke were quite sad, I didn’t actually want it to end yet, but knew that it had to. I spent as much time outside as I could the last week, just trying to explore as much as I could. To be fair I did expect to have more time to explore, but then after I quite Dennys, it became clear that my time was coming to an end so I had to do as much as possible during those last few days.

All in all, my experience in Revelstoke was one of the most incredible experiences of my life despite the job itself. I made some of the most incredible memories and went on some pretty great adventures with my friends. I am sad it is over but so grateful- that I was able to have that experience. If I could turn back the clock, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, even the graveyard shifts now make for a funny story to tell people.

Revelstoke will always hold a place in my heart, and whenever I drive through I will be sure to stop at one of my favorite restaurants for a meal, and maybe go on the pipe coaster again!


After I left Revelstoke, my one roommate also quit Dennys around the same time as me, and so we decided to go on a road trip together through B.C before she headed home to Regina, and I back to Calgary, we agreed to go to Kelowna for a couple of days cause we had both never been, and of course I fell in love with and wanted to move there right away, but knew that wouldn’t be feasible, so hopefully one day I will get to live there!

We spent a lot of time at the beach getting a nice tan going, and then spent an entire day at her families poolside enjoying the sun and a few drinks, knowing that it was our last full day together it was a bittersweet day. We had become really good friends during our time together, and saying goodbye to her the next day as she left on a greyhound wasn’t easy at all. However, we do have plans to go on more adventures once we get our finances in order again, so I look forward to that!

She actually was the reason I decided to eat a plant-based diet, which you can read more about here: My thoughts on Veganism

 

From there I embarked on my own solo road trip, which was about 4 days in which I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and went camping all alone for the first time in Naskusp, which was such an unbelievably beautiful town. Then I drove to Nelson B.C and stayed in a hostel for a couple days while I explored this quaint town famous for their coffee shops (which were btw really awesome) and Nelson is also a very spiritual town, so I especially enjoyed it. I met some pretty interesting people as well, who were traveling through Canada, one from Mexico, and a girl from Russia. The girl was my roommate, and we stayed up chatting both nights together. At that point, however, the forest fires were getting pretty terrible, and it was very smokey outside, so I decided to start making the journey home to Calgary.

Here are some pictures from my wonderful road trip through B.C:

Kelowna B.C

 

Nakusp B.C

 

Nelson B.C

 

 

 

My experience solo camping!

My experience solo camping for the first time

Back in the summer of 2017, I got to have an experience that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever do, and that, of course, was to camp all by myself! It turned out to be a great experience, despite feeling very nervous towards the idea. I never thought I would be able to do this, and yet I continue to surprise myself by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and having new experiences all the time.

During this trip, I kept a journal to keep track of my experiences, and I did happen to write about it during the night I was camping which I will share with you below!



July 20th, 2017

I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be doing what I am doing right now. It wasn’t even a thought in my mind because I never expected to be able to do this. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be brave enough to camp all by myself, yet here I am!

I am sure that it’s really not even that big of a deal for some people. Some people do this all the time without a second thought. But if you saw me a few years ago you’d understand why this is such a big deal for me.

Back then I was scared of most everything, including but not limited to picking up the phone to order delivery, (oh who am I kidding I am still scared to do that)

However, looking back on my growth, I am amazed at how far I have truly come. It’s actually making me realize more and more every day that I can do have or be absolutely anything I want. Anything at all.

So back to the point, I am currently solo camping for the very first time. I know! It’s such an incredible accomplishment for me!!! Granted it’s still the daytime, and I haven’t yet officially made it through the night, but heck I’ll be damned if I don’t. I know I can do this!

It’s about 7pm as I write this sitting outside in serene beauty overlooking beautiful picturesque mountains, I hear water flowing in the background and am half considering going down to the water later for a midnight swim to cool off. It’s been a very very hot day. Naturally, though, I felt pretty tired earlier from lack of sleep the night before due to eagerness and nervousness for this new adventure to start: my solo road trip throughout BC Canada. I always have trouble sleeping the night before an adventure, I am usually just too excited and full of anxiety which prevents me from sleeping.

I started my adventure in Revelstoke which is where I have been living for the past two months, and I made my way south to the ferry on my way to Nakusp where I set up camp for the night in the small towns campsite. The people who run the camp were incredibly nice and understanding and even allowed me to choose whichever site I wanted to set up my tent at. I picked one that was away from other people because I am somewhat of a lone wolf and like my privacy, especially since this is the first time in the past two months I have really been alone since I was living with roommates in Revelstoke.

Read about My experience living in Revelstoke B.C here

Tomorrow, I plan to head to Nelson for a day or two, then across BC to Osoyoos and then up to Kelowna for a day or two where I want to go on a wine tour and explore that area. Then up to Kamloops for a night, then back to Revelstoke. That’s my plan anyway, but the plan never plays out how I expect…

I decided to go on this road trip after quitting my job and not being clear on what I wanted to do next. I am sorta hoping it will open the next door to what I want to do next and show me a great path, but at the moment I feel slightly lost. My idea for this solo trip is to spend some time alone, reflecting and learning about myself, I have been around people consistently for 2 months straight now, and it is a nice but weird feeling to be completely alone again. Although it’s only day 1, I am already missing the company, but I know it’ll be fine eventually, I am a person that enjoys solitude after all.

I didn’t really plan accommodations for this trip either, I thought at first I could just sleep in my car, but due to it being in the high 30 degrees Celsius, and not cooling down much at night, I decided that would be a bad idea. So instead I decided on camping, which would probably be better anyways than sleeping in my car, so I found a campground and set up camp…

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I decided to try to nap this afternoon because well what else have I got to do? But that proved to be a dismal failure as I lay there dying of heat in my tent. I woke up covered in sweat, it wasn’t very nice.

I got up and made some dinner, some dip veggies, and a sandwich because I have yet to purchase a stove and there is a fire ban in effect for B.C right now due to all the forest fires going on… After dinner, I went for a nice walk into town which was conveniently close. I got some snacks and went to the water and sat there watching the sunset. It was absolutely beautiful… As nature always is. Nothing is ever imperfect in nature…

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When I got back to the campsite later that night, I wrote in my journal for awhile and enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages… To be fair, I think I would have had a lot more trouble with this whole solo camping thing without the alcohol, it has really helped put me at ease with this whole experience.

I didn’t have the greatest sleep in the world, which is expected when sleeping in a tent, but I woke up this morning feeling pretty darn good about myself! I had accomplished a goal of mine, and now I can cross it off both my main bucket list and my summer bucket list! Two birds one stone!

With that being said, now I am heading to Nelson, which is a town I have been dying to visit for a long time now because I hear it is a spiritual town! Exactly the stuff I am into! I have to go pack up my stuff, check out, and I will once again be on my merry way driving solo through the gorgeous mountains!

If you want to do something in life, just do it! Don’t wait for your friends to get the funds saved up, or the time off work to be able to join you, just go! Heck, I would still be waiting for my friends if that were the case, but a while ago I decided that I needed to start doing things on my own again, thus leading me to my very first solo trip!

It has been a process for sure, but now I feel confident to do pretty much everything on my own, I can eat at a restaurant, go on an airplane, go to the theater, and now I proved to myself that I can even camp by myself! It’s certainly an incredible experience to be able to push yourself out of that comfort zone and start doing the things you want to in life!

The more I do continue to push myself, the more I am beginning to realize how much I am capable of here in this life time. I am 26 right now, and with my whole life ahead of me, I am excited to see the person I become and what I am able to accomplish here on Earth. I continue each day to learn and grow, constantly striving to become better than the person I was yesterday, I am very grateful that I am able to have these experiences, and enjoy a full and rewarding life!

You cannot grow when you remain in your comfort zone, so I encourage you to step out and push yourself to do something you have always wanted to but never had the courage to do. The simple act alone of stepping out of safety with the courage to know you will be alright is a tremendous step in the right direction that will lead you down a path to your greatest version!

 



Other posts you might enjoy!

My experience living in Revelstoke B.C

My experience the first time I solo traveled

The Journey to Self-Discovery

My experience living in Vancouver

 The Decision to Move

Back in June 2015, I made the decision on quite the whim to move myself to Vancouver Canada.

Before I made the ultimatly quick, and slightly irrational decision to move here, I actually went to Vancouver for my very first solo trip. At the time, I was scared of everything, however, I knew that I wanted to travel the world one day, even if that meant going alone. So I figured I would start with somewhere easy… Like Vancouver.

Read about that experience here:
My experience the first time I solo traveled

But I will explain it quickly here:

Back in that time of my life (spring 2015), I had pretty extreme anxiety. I didn’t sleep most nights, which was taking a big toll on my ability to accomplish anything awesome. So instead of sleeping, I would lie in bed in this trance-like state and my mind would go completely wild, just being scared of the things that MIGHT happen. Anxieties filled my mind all the time, I always thought about what could and would go wrong in anything I did or tried to do, I would think of worst case scenario type events too, like my house burning down, or the world ending….You know, just normal terrible events.

It was not a very good time for me at all. However, I didn’t think that anything was wrong with me at the time. I basically just put up with it the best that I could. Countless of sleepless nights, and scared that the world would end soon. (However, looking back I wish I would have asked for help a lot sooner, my life has been so much better once I asked for help. )

So what was even more strange is that while I was on this trip in Vancouver, I decided that this was just the perfect place for me to move and that I needed to go home to Calgary and pack up everything I thought I would need, and get rid of the rest, and move to Vancouver as soon as possible. So I gave myself 1 month to do everything I needed to do back in my hometown of Calgary, and then I was going to move to this gorgeous city.

This would be such an amazing time! I told myself. I wasn’t even scared like I was for my solo trip. Nothing anyone would say would have deterred me from my decision to move there either, although they tried. Saying it rained a lot was their main argument. But my counter argument was yeah, that’s fine, I’d take rain over -30 blizzards any day of the week!

So I donated, sold, or threw out about 90% of my stuff, making me realize how much crap I had bought over the years. I donated 8 full garbage bags of clothes, which literally blew my mind… How the hell did I acquire so much stuff!? What killed me the most was when I found clothes that still had the tags on them, never once worn brand new clothing I spent $40 or more on. I made an agreement that I wouldn’t buy any more new stuff for a very long time after this eye opening experience.

The Big Move

Less than one month after I arrived home from my solo trip to Vancouver, I was saying goodbye to my family and friends in Calgary, my car was all packed up with all the stuff I thought I would need, and off I went into what would be quite the adventure of a lifetime… Little did I know what was ahead of me.

The drive from Calgary to Vancouver is about 14 hours give or take. I decided to take my sweet time getting there, so I took a full 2 days to drive there, spending a night in Kamloops.

The drive was beautiful and scenic, all through the mountains. When I got closer to Vancouver, it started turning into farmlands, and fruit fields galore, but it wasn’t like Alberta prairie farmlands, these ones were surrounded by gorgeous mountains. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven, I couldn’t believe the extraordinary beauty of this place.

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Saw a forest fire

It was funny because while I was on this adventure to my new home in Vancouver, I kept thinking, man one day this is going to be a great story to tell one day, no matter how it turns out… I didn’t know what would happen at the time I thought this since it was the beginning chapter of this new story I was now creating, but I just somehow knew I would one day share this experience with others. I felt like I was going on an epic adventure, and I was the star of my story. This would one day become one of the greatest stories I ever told.

 Settling in…

When I finally arrived in Vancouver, this was the site I was greeted with… Traffic! Welcome home I thought.

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I was faced with a couple minor hurdles, I needed to A. Navigate my way through downtown Vancouver in rush hour traffic B. I needed to find my new place (I was renting a room off Kijiji) C. I would need to unload my car in a timely fashion into my new place and D. I would then need to go find somewhere to park my car (which would end up costing me $300/ Month)

I had saved up about $3000 before I moved, which I felt pretty comfortable with, and wasn’t too worried about making more money since I figured I would have no trouble getting a job. However, due to the unexpected crazy expenses, I didn’t really think about, my money started to go pretty quick.

I settled into my new place comfortably, I liked the view, and it was in a great location about 10 minutes away from the ocean. I stayed in this place for 1 month, until I found out our lease was ending (which they failed to mention in the ad) and I would have to find another room to rent eventually.

I think it was my second or third night into this first new place, I was staying with 3 or 4 other roommates in this really crappy apartment building in the west end of Vancouver and there always seemed to be a party going on somewhere in the building. Never my own apartment, Thank God. Except on my second night, I swear I heard a gunshot outside, and then not too long after it seriously sounded like someone was trying to break into my front door. I lay in bed frozen, not sure what to do, this had never happened in Calgary… I was extremely scared, I thought I was about to be shot or something!

Turns out the person “breaking in” was just my drunk roommate coming home at 2 am from a bar, which in hindsight I should have suspected that, but my anxiety-riddled mind came up with much crazier scenarios than that…

The honeymoon phase

For the first two weeks, I was in the honeymoon phase, everything was new and exciting, and I wanted to just soak it all in, I didn’t look for a job right away. I wanted to enjoy being unemployed for awhile and have a super awesome time in Vancouver. So I went out exploring almost every day instead. Vancouver was so freaking amazing, so much cool stuff to see and do! From simply looking at how awesome the buildings are around downtown and all the amazing condo buildings I would love to live in, to walking along the sea wall in Stanley park, to taking a ride on a seaplane. There is seriously so much to do in Vancouver, and I cannot wait to go back one day with money!

I also had never been so close to a cruise ship before, and I imagined myself one-day boarding one to go on an epic cruise experience. This was something I would never see back home in Calgary, but here in Vancouver, it was just normal life for them!

I spent my first week in Vancouver happily exploring this new city. I would walk about 20000 steps daily, I barely used my car at all since it was kinda pointless. So off I went every day to see the sites. There was one day that I spent an entire day at Stanley park, walking around the entire seawall in the morning, and then hanging out at the beach with a lunch I packed, soaking in the sun. I haven’t swum in the ocean in my entire life, even to this day writing this I haven’t, but I wanted to go out into the water that day. So I just slowly started wading out, I got to just above my knees when I decided to turn back to shore.

I ended my day with a stop at the Safeway tp pick up something for dinner, where I realized I had a huge sunburn since I apparently don’t know how to use sunscreen…Sunburn and all still was an amazing day!

 

My new friend! 

Now, remember the Airbnb host that I went exploring with on my My first solo trip? John? Well he and I started hanging out pretty often, not in the sexual relationship type way, we both actually had the same (views towards men haha?) So we would meet up and go out for dinner, and then go bar hopping enjoying fancy beverages along the way. I seriously went in the nicest bars I’ve ever been in while I lived in Vancouver. I got to know where was good to go in the famous Gastown area, and I had some of the best meals and drinks of my life while I was there.  I miss that actually, just having someone who was always down to go for dinner and drinks. He was great to hang out with, and I hope I can go visit again soon…. (ah wanderlust is starting to grow stronger) 

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Fancy drink 🙂
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Me taking a selfie in the fancy bathroom cause I am cool like that 😀
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A cool bar we would often hang out at!

 

 Meeting Raj

During my first week, I decided to take my car and go up drive along the coast up to Whistler again. I had a lovely drive up, reminiscing about the last time I drove this way with John on my first trip to Vancouver, I had a nice day by myself, as I usually don’t have a problem doing things alone, although I was starting to feel lonely, I really wanted someone to share this experience with…I wanted a companion. Which is when I decided to get online dating again, which is where I would eventually meet Raj.

Raj and I sorta dated while I was living in Vancouver, but it wasn’t official or anything, and we had no clear plans of making it permanent in the future. He was just kind of my FWB while I was there. Sure we went out, actually on our first date I had a great time with him, we went for dinner and drinks at this cool little Mexican place (pic below), and then we went for a long walk and he showed me where he works, and then we walked up along the coastline on Kitsilano beach. From there we sat on a log and watched the stars and listened to the waves crashing on the beach. I remember thinking, this would be the perfect spot for him to kiss me. Which he didn’t. 😦
but he told me later he wished he had.

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He took this picture of me on our first date, and I still laugh every time I see it. Like what was I doing???? I am still unsure why he wanted to see me again.. 😛 

So we started casually dating after that first night, and often our dates always included drinking alcoholic beverages in one way or another. Usually, we would just drink at his place and order in takeout and watch shows, or we would go to the neighborhood bar, but one time he actually invited me out clubbing with him and some of his friends! So being an experience I wanted to have, I forced myself out of the safety of my room to go to this club, even though I actually hate those environments, but I also wanted to have the experience of clubbing. Thankfully, I was not let down once I arrived. I had some drinks, danced provocatively with Raj, we kissed, and we went home together, talking comfortably the entire way, and stopping for fast food. It was all in all good clubbing night. After that night, he went on vacation for like one week, and then I went house boating, and it was just not the same when he came back, something changed between us and we didn’t hang out nearly as much as we used to.

Raj and I came to an official end when I told him I was going back to Calgary. I remember he seemed sort of sad, but I do know I asked him if we would have ever actually had a relationship. But before he could answer, I changed my mind and said I didn’t want to know. I’ve heard from him a couple of times since then, just to see how I was doing.

Money and finding work

Okay, so back to the whole money situation. Eventually, I needed to start thinking about getting a job, as my money was going much faster than I expect it too. So after about a week or two of exploring I set out to find a job. I work as a server currently in the restaurant industry and have been doing so for 4 years at the time. So thinking this would be an easy task being in Vancouver and all, I wasn’t too worried finding one, so it took me a fair bit of time just to work up the courage to go into a restaurant and give them my resume. Yes… this was a big problem for me. I remember at the time I could only go into 1-2 restaurants a day before feeling rejected and having to go home to regenerate my worthiness to go continue applying. I had a massive self-image and self-confidence issue going on inside.

So after a few days of doing this, and no one seemed like they were hiring at all, is when I started to panic. It was almost July after all, all the restaurants do seem to get their summer hiring out of the way much earlier than this, why couldn’t I have come earlier! So I started to worry that I wasn’t going to find a job. Well, not a “good job” anyways. I sure I can get something, even if that means earning minimum wage again… No, I couldn’t do that, I needed to serve.

I ended up thankfully getting a job at ‘the white spot’, where I was literally worked off my ass and paid absolute shit, not a cent more than minimum wage. But I was utterly desperate to make this move work, and that meant I needed to make money, no matter what I did.

The worst part is Whitespot wouldn’t even let me serve right away. They told me 3 weeks of hosting before I could move up to serving, which is absolutely the worst thing you can tell someone who has served for 3 years already, that she has to be a “glorified bus girl” working for $50 tips every 2 weeks, when she’s used to making $100 tips a shift.

But it was the only job I had, so I went with it, hoping I could be super awesome and they will put me on as s server right away…. Well, that didn’t happen. I was a damn bus girl at a super busy, kid and tourist filled restaurant in downtown Vancouver. It sucked… ALOT.

The first day they actually let me serve a section and make tips, was on the infamous “pirate pack day.” It was literally the worst work day I think I had ever had in my life. I worked for 13hrs straight, without a single break, With a 4 table section (hardly enough to be ever busy or make very good tips) When I did my cashout at the end of the day, I had made $150 in tips in 13 hours. That was shit. I used to make $150 in 6 hours at my previous job, less than half of this shift. And I remember, my coworkers were all like “wow! You made soooooo much money!”

… What?

So if this was what sooooo much money looked like to people in Vancouver, then this was not looking good for me at all….

…What if I had to move home because I go broke? What are my friends gonna say if I came home not even 2 months after I made this big deal about me leaving, I bet they will laugh at me, and I will feel like a failure. No, my ego couldn’t handle that, I needed to make this work somehow.


  The month of problems

After the initial honeymoon phase of a new place, person or thing starts to wear off, you begin to sink back into your normal routine of doing things, and life starts getting problems again. 

I think it takes me about 2-3 weeks of having something new in my life, such as a new car, or a new place to live, or I’m visiting a new place before the novelty of it begins to wear off, and you start to go back towards the mundane life.

So things eventually started to get boring in Vancouver, the honeymoon phase was wearing off, I had seen as much as I could with my limited budget, I had to quit going out for dinner and drinks as often, and just sit at home as often as I could since it’s free, and find entertainment there. So I started to write again, and at the time I was set on writing a novel about my life, even though I knew damn well I would never publish it. So every night I wrote. I think I got up to 10000 words on my longest story (this isn’t the first time I wanted to write about my life) but I knew when I was writing it that I would never be happy enough to publish it, so eventually, I just scrapped that idea. I gave up on it once again, on something I know my higher self-wants to do…. And I always come back to it.

Also, remember how I had massive anxiety at the time? With a lot of trouble sleeping? Yes, it was getting worse by the day when I lived in Vancouver. At the beginning it was fine, I kept it calm and under control, but it wasn’t before long that I started having troubles sleeping at night, and so I started to go to bed later and later, with no one to really care how long I slept in each day. So I became depressed in the sense that I felt like nobody needed or cared about me in Vancouver. Whereas I had a lot of connections and people in Calgary that I cared for, here I just felt so empty and profoundly lonely. Sure I had people here in Vancouver, but none of them actually cared one bit about me.

I was also running out of money very quickly, and this was causing me a lot of stress. There was no denying this anymore, I was going broke. Working at the white spot wasn’t gonna cut it, and  I would need to fix this problem quickly or I wouldn’t afford rent this month… So when my friends had a houseboat trip planned, I decided I would go (even though I couldn’t afford it) and then after the trip, I would drive my car back to Calgary in a grand attempt to sell it so I could pay this month’s rent. I don’t even know how to sell a car, but this was my solution.

The houseboat trip

So that is what I did, I decided fairly last minute to go on this houseboat trip my good friend had been planning for months. I realized on the day I left for the houseboat that it was drizzling rain outside and that this was the first drop of rain I had seen in Vancouver so far even when so many people warned me about it rained all the time. Then what seemed like the second I left Vancouver downtown, it started to rain, and it rained for most of the drive from Vancouver to the houseboat on the Shuswap lake, which is about 6-hour drive,  and my windshield wipers broke at some point, so I had to pull over every few minutes to keep fixing them. I should have turned around, and gone back to Vancouver, but I didn’t. I felt safe, and I knew I would reach my destination, and that it would be beautiful and sunny out when I had arrived.

And it was absolutely gorgeous out when I arrived. The sun was out again, and I was just so happy to be back with my friends again, I felt that feeling of loneliness vanish during that trip. For something, I didn’t really want to go to it ended up being a blast! And on one particular night on the houseboat, we got some magic mushrooms and did those. For me my experience was pretty good, I laughed the hardest I’ve ever laughed in my life that night, and later I had a pretty profound experience by myself later that night. Basically, the vision was trying to get me to understand how much potential I had. I dunno it was weird… I wish I could remember more of this experience.
(Insert post about houseboat when complete)

houseboating 030.JPGSelling my car

When the houseboat trip was over a few days later, I did what I said, and drove my car back to Calgary, and then proceeded to sell it. I ended up selling it to my ex’s new girlfriend which we all became great friends later on. Buy saying goodbye to my favorite car ever was sad. She brought me to Vancouver and back safely, and she was the faster car I’ve ever had, which was fun. I actually only had her for about 4 months before I sold her, making her my shortest time with a car. We so far had the best adventure though!

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I took this picture on the day that I sold her to my friend (who still has it btw) 

Back home to Vancouver I go

Then after a couple of days in Calgary, I was begging someone for a ride to the airport so I could leave Calgary, to fly back to Vancouver, now carless… I haven’t been without a car since I was 16, and now I had to go to this big city where I already felt trapped, and hope that I am okay without a car? Yeah in my dreams, I thought. My anxiety was in full swing once again, becoming stronger and stronger every day.

White spot didn’t help the matter, I was overworked and underpaid by a lot more than I had ever experienced in Calgary. On one day at work, our pop machine broke, so they had me mop up the spraying water going all over the floor, for about 2 full hours. Just continuous mopping. It was just awful. Then on another day, I had two older people tell me that they were traveling to Vancouver to see it before it burned down, two separate people on the same day! The fear of the end of the world was growing stronger, and now I felt completely trapped in this big city that is surrounded by water, with only 2 or 3 bridges that leave downtown, that would back up for 45 minutes in just normal rush hour traffic….

I was becoming scared. After the houseboat and that “mushroom fun,” I began having visions. Where I could vividly see myself in a disaster target zone if I were to stay living in Vancouver. I saw myself trapped up in this apartment building, with no way to leave. The only way I could escape would be to swim across the ocean to Vancouver Island, Which was pretty far btw. But my mind became a hotspot for thinking up all the disaster like stories… So that really didn’t help my situation one bit.

I remember becoming an alcoholic though while I lived in Vancouver, (probably due to the people I was hanging out with as well as this fear of a disaster striking.) So every night I would get drunk. Like by myself most the time, but when I could afford it, or John was buying, I would get drunk in downtown Vancouver and then stumble home late at night. Usually in a taxi, but this one time I remember walking for like 2 kilometers at 2 am to my place back in west Vancouver, but I was in the heart of downtown and I walked! I thought that party scene was a cool experience for sure, but looking back it kinda scares me about how reckless I was being while I lived in Vancouver.

There was this one night, and this is a night I can vividly remember to a certain point…

The dark night

I decided after work to get drunk (nothing unusual this had now become the norm) So I stopped and bought my usual bottle of wine at the liquor store, I was living right by Stanley park at the time and I could see the ocean from my balcony. It was a lovely view actually, and I fondly remember looking out there that night as the sunset and wondering what else is out there on this beautiful earth?

This is actually my bedroom and living area that was all mine, I spent many hours staring out this window. I wish I had a better picture of the view… 

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So anyways, back to the night. I had drunk the bottle of wine already, and at this point, I noticed the hard liquor on the floor that I had brought with me from Calgary. “I may as well start to drink these now,” I thought as the night was still young, only 10 pm at the time. So I continued drinking, watching family guy and drawing on myself, yes I was weird and drew fake tattoos all over my body. I still don’t know what I was doing really. I wanted to be badass looking I guess? Not really sure…

I remember, it was 1.45 (this is how aware I was in this memory) I was laying on top of my bed, drunker than I’d been in all my nights out, and my life was completely falling apart.
“My life was going well back home, why did I have to go fuck it all up by moving to Vancouver? I’m broker than a joke, I won’t be able to pay next months rent, I sold my car like a dumbass, you work the shittiest job you have ever had in your life, and you’re hundreds of miles away from your friends.”

“What the fuck am I doing with my life???” I said out loud.

So at about 2 am drunk me got the bright idea to for a walk down to the beach.

So I got ready, put my headphones in, and went for a nice leisurely stroll to the ocean, at 2 o’clock in the morning. What the fuck was I thinking!!! I was very keenly aware though, I remember that I found like I was aware of any present dangers that could harm me, but I felt safe knowing that. It was strange because normally I would never do something so daring and bold, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I guess if it was meant to happen.

When I arrived at the beach, which was English bay, a very famous beach in west end Vancouver. In the day it is packed with people, but at night not a soul to be found. I just sat there playing in the sand like a little kid for I dunno how long. Just thinking about my life, reflecting back on my childhood and pondering my place in this world. Why was I here? What led me to this moment in time? I felt like I was better than the person I was currently being, and I knew I needed to make a change.

At one point I got brave and decided to go wade out in the ocean. And I felt my body pull me further and further out until the waves were up to my waist before I turned back towards the shore. Weird thoughts you have when you drink alone and go down to the ocean at night. I felt incredibly small sitting beside the giant mysterious ocean, and yet I felt just as powerful as it. Why did I come to Vancouver, what was the point of this? I questioned myself. I laid in the sand, and asked myself again “what the fuck am I doing here…” I was starting to connect the dots, which I do very often in my life. Everything was starting to make sense to me, why things needed to happen, and why I need to move to Vancouver, and it was in this moment, that I decided that I needed to go home to Calgary, I realized I missed my friends and family too much, and it was where I needed to be.

Anything at all could have happened to me that night. I could have died, or drown out in the ocean, I did feel compelled to go further out than I had ever gone before! But I remember feeling extremely safe the entire evening like nothing could harm me, and if something did I would instinctively know what I needed to do. At the time of this experience, I thought that is just my drunken “invincible” state, but I realized now that this was my inner self/ guidance system, directing me so effortlessly.

And then I remember getting up from the beach and walking home, and I remember walking through the neighborhood, and I was about half way home when I completely blacked out, not remembering anything else past that one section.

That night I had some pretty profound realizations, one being that my soul purpose was not in Vancouver and it’s been fun being here for this long, and I think I got this “Party girl Lindsay” out of my system for awhile, but I evidently needed to go back home.

I woke up the next morning in the same clothes I was wearing the night before, absolutely covered in Sand….

And it seemed like I had hit rock bottom.
So I can only go up from here…
Right?

.

.

.



 Rock bottom

On the night of the great drunken 2 am ocean escapade, 3 things happened:

  • I hit rock bottom
  • I made a self-realization of who I really wanted to be in life
  • and I had a crystal clear vision of what I needed to do next in my life became clear to me all of a sudden, which was that I needed to move back to Calgary.

I awoke the next morning hungover and I was covered in the sand!! It was all over me, and the sheets, and the floor, and some in the bathroom. My roommate was probably pissed. But I didn’t even care because I would be gone from his life soon enough anyways. I decided to get started right away to make plans on how to go back to Calgary.

I had done everything I needed to accomplish in Vancouver, and I had a great experience but it wasn’t where I needed to be anymore, so I needed to figure out a way home. Due to me stupidly selling my car thus not allowing me to simply hop in my car and drive home, I felt somewhat trapped in Vancouver, and that if I didn’t get out as soon as possible I could be trapped for life… Which was utterly terrifying for someone like me, I hate feeling trapped, in jobs, relationships, location… I needed to be a free bird!

The same day that I decided I would move back to Calgary, I decided to tell some of my closest friends back in Calgary, the ones I knew who would be excited that I was coming home. Later that day I dunno what happened, but I absolutely freaked out on my way to work for some reason, and had the most massive panic attack of my life when I arrived at the white spot.

I thought I was dying, it was terrifying. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing extremely fast, and I couldn’t stop crying. After being forced to stay there for an hour, they finally let me go home. I remember walking down the streets to my apartment which was about 10 minutes away, and I just couldn’t handle it. I fought to hold back the tears, and when I finally got to my apartment, I just cried. I am not sure what happened, but I don’t remember crying so much in my life, as I did that night.

I think I blacked out after that cause I don’t remember much of that night other than crying.

Oops nope, this was rock bottom.


Climbing out of the hole

The very next day, I started making arrangements to get me out of this hell I had created of Vancouver as soon as I possibly could. I got my old job at the cafe back right away, I eventually quit my job at white spot at the end of the most awful shift ever on pirate pak day, I told my landlord I was going back to Calgary (which he was happy about because he wanted to come home and I was renting his room) and most importantly I started packing as few things as I possibly could.

**In part 1 I talked about how I was only allowed to bring 10% of my original belongings from Calgary when I moved to Vancouver, but now moving back I had to take that original 10% of what I thought I needed and turn it into 2% to bring back to Calgary.

I got rid of almost all of my stuff, except mostly the things that give me memories always seems to make the grade. Old journals, Photo albums, absolutely favorite clothing, favorite books, little nick knacks and memorabilia from long ago… I got rid of stuff that was expensive, like my computer monitor to make room for the cheap but valuable memory items.

Since then, I don’t buy nearly as much stuff as I used to. I actually started selling and donating a bunch of stuff in the last two months which seems to have built up again over the past 2 years again. It’s quite crazy how many clothes I acquired again… I have donated another couple of bags to the charity.

So anyways, I ended up putting 2 big bins and a duffle bag full of stuff onto a greyhound bus to have them ship it to Calgary for me, costing about $80 which for the expensive stuff I did take back with me, wasn’t much at all. I think I would have taken more if I had known it would be that cheap. I stuffed the remainder of what I needed to bring in my suitcase and waited that day for 7 pm to roll around which is when my bus was scheduled to leave on my final day in Vancouver. During the afternoon I went out and walked the seawall in Stanley park one last time. I explored the forest tree filled area and loved it just as much as the beach, but I hadn’t explored this part of Stanley park at all yet. Maybe it was showing me that there is beauty everywhere I looked, even in a place called Calgary.

Hiking with DB 056

During the early afternoon, I went down for a final trip to the beach. I was going to make a couple keepsakes while I was there to always remember my time spent in Vancouver. I chose the exact beach and general area that I had that profound 2 am experience several days prior.

Hiking with DB 049

After the beach, I went home to eat something and to pack the remainder of what I needed to bring in my suitcase and I put it by the door to wait for 10 pm to roll around which is around the time I needed to leave, my bus left at 12 midnight that night. During the evening, I went out for a final walk all along the seawall in Stanley park one last time. I thought, one day I will return here with my family and show them all my favorite spots. For the first time, I decided to go further into the park and explore the more isolated forest tree area, and I actually loved the peace and serenity it had! So much less crowded, but just as much beautiful as the beach… Was I falling in love again with the trees?

Hiking with DB 070 (2)

Maybe it was showing me that there is beauty everywhere I look, even in a place,
I called home. I just never could see it before this trip. 

So anyway, after my walk, when it was finally time to call the taxi to come pick me up and take me to the bus depot, I felt a little sad. I wasn’t scared anymore to call the taxi, now I was scared of what was after that. I was leaving this chapter and about to start a new one, and it is always sad saying bye to everyone and everything. You know you’ll likely never see them again, but you hope you will.

I said bye to John the night prior, and I said I would be back next summer no matter what! And he just smiled and said he hoped so, but you could tell he kinda knew you wouldn’t see each other again. And I haven’t been back like I said I would, not that I don’t want to, stuff just keeps getting in the way, and it’s really frustrating.

So you just say your goodbyes to the life you just lived, have a lot of “this is the last time ill ever…” moments, and hop in the taxi there to take you on your next adventure, but this time you aren’t looking down at your phone, but you’re staring out the window because you don’t want to miss a moment of this. You become extremely aware of the present moment so much more when you know this is an ending.


The End…

The ending of a chapter is always a challenge, you don’t know what is going to happen next, your options are absolutely unlimited, you can have, do or be anything you want!

I find the end of a life chapter exciting beyond measure.

You have no idea what is going to happen next.

Racing into the unknown.

A New Story Begins!

My Experience playing World of Warcraft

Go ahead, laugh all you want… It isn’t the sexiest thing to spend over 5 years doing, but believe it or not, it was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life, and I would do it all over again if given the chance. Even things that at the time seem to be a big waste of time, such as a computer game, can turn out to be one of the greatest learning experiences a person can have. I don’t regret playing it for as long as I did, as I know I played it for as long as I needed to.

But enough of that here is my story…

From the age of about 19- 24, I was playing this computer game called “World of Warcraft”. Let’s refer to it as Wow. I am sure many of you have heard about it. Well if not, it’s this very addicting video game, that takes up many hours of your time in order to get good at it. I started playing with no real expectations; however, it slowly became apparent that I wanted to get good at this game, like really good.

I started playing in 2010 because my boyfriend at the time was big into the game, and it was something fun we could do together. He asked me to play with him, and since I didn’t have my own computer he decided to buy the parts and help me build my own, which I remember being such an amazing experience. Some of my fondest memories with him were actually spent playing the game.

When we first started, we leveled our characters up together, and he taught me everything he knew, which was a lot. We were living together at the time, so we spent 95% of our time at home, playing the game, snacking late into the night, and gaining weight… It was not a very good time period for me in that respect.

I leveled a night elf druid because I originally wanted to be a cat. Her name was Adanessa, and she became weirdly important to me. Like I had this emotional bond with her, and I swear if anyone ever had deleted her, I would not have been okay. I felt like I was living my life through her, and every quest was a new adventure to go on, I even spent many hours exploring all the different continents of WoW, just to get the explorer title, I guess wanderlust was in me way back then too. At level 50, I decided to change from cat to boomkin and I remained that until the day I quit.

Eventually, we decided to start a guild together, and we started finding new people to play with; we were building up a raiding team up, and making new friends along the way. When we finally reached the max level, which was level 80 at the time, we started to raid. Now raiding was scary for me, because at that time in my life, I was socially awkward and really shy… But raiding required you to talk on Skype to complete strangers a lot of the time.

 

After awhile of doing the casual raiding scene, we decided that we wanted to actually work on becoming better and getting a solid team. Ultimately raiding started to take up more and more time, I basically put most of my time and effort into learning the fights, learning about my class and figuring out how to improve my gameplay. I started getting better and better, to the point where one would say that I was actually very good at the game. We had at this point now built a pretty decent raid team, and we set a goal that we wanted to really become a good raiding guild and reach server first, which meant you were the best raiding guild on your server, which is a pretty big achievement to aim for, especially if you are on a server with lots of people.

So we started recruiting more and more, doing interviews, helping coach people on becoming better, managing the players we had. It was like our own small business essentially, which taught me a lot of leadership skills as well, since I was second in command. I felt like the boss of my own business, which was an empowering feeling.

We were only raiding Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at this point, but during the weeks we spent analyzing encounters, coaching guild mates, and trying to recruit better players. We had a goal in mind, and we wanted more than anything to succeed.

After years of hard work, and about 1 year of total play time, as well as sacrificing many things such as parties that a normal 20-year-oldd girl should be going to, we had a pretty darn solid guild going, and we could have made it. As a matter of fact, we almost did make it.

Until one day, our guild completely fell apart out of nowhere…. I was actually devastated, and I remember I cried a lot that night, I felt like my whole world was falling apart. All our years of hard work was just stripped away from us in a matter of a few hours. I easily could have just quit the game then. Like what was the point to continue now?

But instead I decided to keep at it, since I still hadn’t reached my goal of server first achievement (which meant you reach the end boss faster than any other guild on your server). It’s a big one to strive for, but I wanted it bad, and I wouldn’t quit until I got my goal.

So I decided to apply to the best guild at the time on the Stormrage server.
Which was Blood runs cold.

They were shocked to see my application come in, as they knew who I was and I already had a few friends in the guild, I passed the interview process and was invited on to their main raid team. I was pretty bitter about my old guild just abandoning us, but I was grateful that this new guild was willing to take me in. I started raiding with them, and they were much more hard core than the guild I was used to. For example, I went from raiding 2-3 nights per week, to raiding nearly 7 nights. (Every so often they gave us a night off)

We worked our butts off every single night, spending about 7 hours a night working on these boss encounters. I learned a lot during those days about team work, dedication and staying focused. I knew these days wouldn’t last forever, but at the time I felt like this was my life, and eventually I was getting pretty bored of the routine I was in. Which was work during the day, take a short nap, play wow until late at night, sleep, repeat.

Eventually my hard work finally paid off, on November 13 2013 we got server first Heroic Garrosh (mythic now). What a memory! I was so proud of myself for my persistence and determination, and I felt like I could do anything if I set my mind to it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life (lol)

Here is my very own video of the boss kill!

I also became very good friends with these people that I spent several nights a week with, and still to this day we all are friends. We even went on a couple trips together, (one was to New York, and the other was to Anaheim California) which now that I think about it, is absolutely CRAZY!!!

But holy crow, what an experience playing wow was for me. I learned so much about work ethic, patience, working with a team, being persistent and not giving up. Having to talk to random people all the time also helped me become less shy and I actually became such a friendly, social person because of wow. Before the game I was quieter than a mouse, and speaking to people scared me more than anything. Now I can talk to anyone. The social skills I developed were enough to make the 5 years I spent playing that game worth it over and over again.

I quit the game about 2 years ago, and it’s funny because I would always asked guild mates, “What do people do with their time if they don’t play a video game?” I still don’t really know what the answer for most people is, because I picked up a new habit right away, which was working out (a much healthier habit than playing WoW)

My total /played time was about 400 DAYS spread among all my characters! Over an entire year I spent playing that game. So crazy!

I encourage people to have that experience, you don’t need to necessarily play for as long as I did (which was about 5 years…) but it helped me grow so much, and I don’t think I would have learned those skills anywhere else.

Now and then I really miss those days, not that I could ever go back to playing it like I used to, but I still have some wonderful memories from the game, which I don’t think will ever fade away!

Here is a link to my character on wow armory if you are interested! Unfortunately, I switched to horde sometime along the way, so my cute night elf druid isn’t around anymore, and she has been replaced with a stupid horde character…

I wish I had screenshots of the game, but somewhere I must have lost all of them unfortunately, so no pictures for you 😦

My experience losing someone close

My life is a roller coaster of crazy events, I have probably experienced more than the average person has, and I am not even 30 yet. I think I have gone through enough tragedy now to last a lifetime, but I am sure I will experience more. I also spend a lot of time alone, now and when I was younger, so I self-reflect a lot… Doing so has taught me a lot about myself, who I am and where I am going. I also think a lot about the past, and what I have learned through my experiences, why they happened, and who I became because of it. I know now that with every up, and every down I experience, I learn a lot of valuable lessons. I look towards bad stuff happening to me with open arms knowing that I will learn greatly from the experience.

From my experience, I don’t think that many people view the world the same way as I do. When bad things happen, they seem to go into this deep pit of despair and it becomes hard for them to get out. It seems like more and more people are starting to realize that stuff happens for a reason, and its how you handle the tough times that makes you who you are. For me however, when bad things happen I try to see it in a positive light and see how I could grow from the experience.

Growing up I felt like I was an old person, stuck in a kids body. I loved to talk and get to know the seniors, even though most adults would try to avoid them. I on the other hand latched on to them hoping they would pass down their wisdom and experiences with me. I knew that I could learn valuable lessons from them. I felt wise beyond my years, but it also didn’t make sense, because I was only about 7 years old. I guess the term for that now is called an old soul, but heck if I understood that when I was a child, I just thought I was really weird, which also made it very difficult for me to make friends growing up.

I am going to take you back now to when I was a child, and I will let you into one of the worst experiences I had growing up, what I learnt from it, and what I could hopefully pass along to others. To me this was one of the most defining moments of my life, and while I have moved on from the events of this day, it still sticks with me and always will.

I should be open though and say, I am not writing this post to make you feel sorry for me. I am far beyond wanting sympathy for this. I simply feel the need to share my story, and hope that this might help someone out.

~~~

When I was growing up, my mom was raising me as a single parent. So she sent me to stay with my grandparents quite often. The first 5 years of my life I probably spent more time at their place than I did with my own mother, which was fine because grandma and grandpa loved to spoil me. They also taught me a lot of life lessons, I knew how to cook pretty well before I turned the age of 6, and my grandpa always had a new skill to teach me.

Growing up I remember I just wanted to learn as much as I possibly could, I never wanted to become the “best” at something, but rather, I just wanted to become good at many many things, I knew early on that life was a wonderful experience, full of ups and downs as well as trials that one needs to overcome in life.  I also knew the importance of building strong relationships with people, which is why I think I worked a lot on this.

My grandma and I were two peas in a pod, we did everything together. I think she saw something special in me, which I wouldn’t realize or understand for years after ( I am still trying to understand it actually), but she saw it and wanted to take my hand and help me the best she knew how. My grandma and I did everything together, she took me to church (which was a Catholic church) where I would usually sit, extremely bored, not understanding anything that was said, but I also think its important for a child to be bored as I think it helps them use their imagination… Which I had a very active imagination, still do actually, guess the system didn’t work on me…

Anyways you get the point, my grandma was my best friend, as I really had not made many friends in school yet and the closest family member to my age was 5 years older than me.

Here are a few pictures of my grandma and I hanging out 🙂

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The day that my whole world flipped upside down, was December 5th, 1998, I was 7 years old the day it happened, the day that would define the rest of my life… I remember everything about that day, even though it took place almost 20 years ago.

It started out like any other weekend for me. I was sent to stay at my grandparent’s house like usual when my mom worked. This day, in particular, we were putting up the Christmas tree and all the decorations as it was into December now. Christmas had always been my favorite time of year as a young child, but all that was about to change.

My grandma wasn’t feeling herself that day, I could sense it right away when she opted out of a shopping trip because she felt tired. Grandma never missed a chance to get out of the house! But nobody seemed to raise any vocal concern, so we ignored the signs.

She decided to sit down on the couch and take a short nap, before making dinner for my grandpa and I. The TV was set to the channel 2, which back then was like a news network that wrote out the news on a blue screen so you could read it, but they also played music, which at this time of year was Christmas music.

It was just shortly after 4 when I realized she wasn’t breathing or moving at all. I could tell time as my grandpa had taught me that skill. I knew instantly what was happening, and I couldn’t endure even the thought of it, I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore like I was about to pass out. My chest had constricted in such a way, I had never felt before. So I quickly went to hide in my room, feeling my emotions getting the best of me, wanting to cry and scream so bad it hurt, but I can’t right now.

I felt paralyzed, and I was absolutely terrified to go tell my grandpa, praying that I had just imagined the whole thing. I cried silently in my room worried grandpa would hear me, before coming to the conclusion that this couldn’t be happening, maybe I was imagining this, maybe this is just a dream, and somehow I got the strength and courage that I needed to go back out there and deal with this head-on.

I went back out to the living room which was filled with Christmas decorations lying everywhere. I continued silently helping grandpa put ornaments on the tree. I didn’t say a single word, as I don’t think I could have in that moment. I am still shocked that he didn’t sense something was wrong with me, but I guess he was lost in his own world. Little did he know what was about to snap him back to reality.

After what seemed like hours, he finally decided to go wake her up so she could start making dinner since it was now nearing 5 o’clock. Realize though, that for about 45 minutes, I was stuck knowing what I knew, with no one to talk to, and I struggled very hard not to show my emotions. I was trying still to remain positive though, hoping beyond hope that I was wrong, and she was fine. After all, I was only 7, what did I know anyway?

So he called her name, and when she didn’t stir, he went over and gave her a little nudge, still nothing. I am standing there watching this unfold, praying that she would wake. He gave her a final shake before he realized she wasn’t going to wake up, he said, ‘I have to call 9-11’ and that is when my world fell apart.

-> When you lose someone, it feels like this part of you is being ripped out of you. It’s like this heart-wrenching feeling that takes the wind right out of you. You realize in that moment, that things will never be the same, and you feel no longer yourself, it’s almost like your sense of self-diminishes and it isn’t all about you anymore.
Time completely stands still, and you become extremely aware of the present moment cause that is all there is. All of your prior worries and concern seem to vanish as well, and anything you may have been thinking about is now gone. Nothing else matters but this moment right now.

I became quite hysterical at this point, for lack of a better way to describe it. I had been holding it back for so long, and now it seemed like I was accurate in my previous foresight despite praying that I was wrong. So I started just howling, and I mean that. Howling so loud that the 9-11 operator had to ask what that sound in the background was. My grandpa explained that it was his granddaughter who is crying very loudly, which normally would have embarrassed me, but this time I could care less. Like I said, nothing mattered in this moment.

My grandpa was a great man, but he lacked sympathy. When he got off the phone instead of trying to comfort me, he said, ‘we need to clean up before the paramedics arrive’. Like the mess really mattered in this moment. I tried to help him for a couple minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore and went to my room to be alone. I stayed in there and looked out the window and cried, and cried, and cried. the snow was falling, and before I knew it the fire trucks were outside my window. Through my tear-filled eyes, I just remember red lights of blur and snow coming down.

Even though I was only 7, I was extremely aware of what had happened. I knew exactly what was going on, My grandma has died and I would never see her again. It was plain and simple, but devastating like nothing else I had experienced so far in my 7-year journey.

I knew that this really sucked right now, but one day it would get better, I knew it would be hard for awhile, but eventually, I would smile again, one day I would be happy again. I would never see my grandma again in the physical world, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t remember her in my heart, and I also had a deep knowing that I would, in fact, meet her again one day.

It was a strange realization to go through, but once I did that everything was okay. I don’t know why, but living through that experience was the most life-changing event for me. I felt like, something was there helping me get through it. A calm and sturdy voice, that was gently guiding me through this traumatic night.

The voice said very clearly to me, ‘yes this is very hard right now, but one day it will be all be okay again, it will all make sense, and you will be stronger because of it.’

It sorta felt like I had my own guardian angel that was looking out for me, and teaching me about what I needed to learn from this life experience. We all have that inside of us, now I call it my intuition, but back then I just considered it my imaginary friend, and that night it helped me rise up to the occasion, maybe because I had let my mind go numb, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I didn’t want to think anymore, which is when it began speaking very clearly giving me instructions.


 

When the family started arriving one after another, it was very hard for me to watch in a way. I already went through that heart-wrenching experience, but to watch my loved ones go through it tore me apart even more. By this point, though I had cried all that I could, and there were no more tears left. So it became my duty now to help comfort the others. I felt it was my purpose that night to serve and help the others, it wasn’t just all about me anymore. I became more altruistic after this event, going on to winning awards for being a good samaritan!

My mom and I had talked briefly on the phone prior to her arrival, as she was at work quite a far distance away, and I didn’t want to worry her, so all I said was ‘There is something wrong with grandma and you should come over” I knew she had a long drive ahead and it was snowing heavily, so I chose my words carefully.

I remember my mom arriving finally, she walked into the house, saw her mother lying on the floor at this point, turning blue, and she turned around and walked outside onto the porch, and it became my sole mission to go outside and comfort her. At one point my mom joked through her tears and said, ‘it should be me comforting you, not the other way around.

But to me that didn’t matter, I hated attention anyway so I wasn’t looking for any, even in my darkest hour I just wanted to help.

There are many reasons I believe that God took her on that specific day with me being there and all, and I understand why it had to happen that way. I am not sure if I would have grown into the person I needed to become without going through that traumatic experience at such a young age.

The biggest lesson I have learned I guess from it would be not to take others for granted, their time here is temporary and we never know when they can be taken from us forever. To this day, it makes me really sad when I see someone not visiting an elder because they are “too busy.” Like I literally wish I could go and visit all the old people, but I just can’t do that… I wish we would just realize how limited our time is with them, and that there might not always be a tomorrow.

I learned that no matter how a person passes away, (my grandma died from a heart attack in case you were wondering) we will always find ways to blame ourselves, which I saw over and over that day. People saying “Oh I wish I had done this with them like we had talked about” Or “I wish I had visited more often” Or the worst one I heard “I wish I never got into that fight with her”

Some of this guilt is still with them almost 20 years later… Unfortunately, if you can’t learn to forgive yourself, it will loom over your head forever.

My grandma was my first but not last experience with death, and while I learned many life lessons on that frightful December day, I will never forget the impact this wonderful woman had in my life. I cherish the times we spent together, even though I only got 7 short years with her, only 3-4 of which I was even old enough to remember. I think about her all the time, and will never forget the impact she had on me.

 

Please do yourself a favor, and take this as an opportunity, to call your parents and tell them you love them, and go visit any older relatives you may have. You will regret not spending time with them once it is too late. Seriously do this though, right now! Don’t say you’ll do it tomorrow, it might be too late…

In loving memory of
Marge Heap 1926- 1998

Spring 2014 207.JPG

 

Here are some other posts:

The Journey to Self-Discovery

Why getting to know yourself is so important in life

How to avoid regrets on your deathbed