Inspire

We’ll Take a Cup O’Kindness Yet

Snow winter wonderland

I want to let you in on a little secret: I have never made a New Year’s resolution. Not ever. Before this year, I haven’t really seen the point. I mean, it’s just a day. January 1st doesn’t automatically bring new beginnings. You, as an individual, are the agent of change in your own life. And I hate to break it to you, but midnight has only been known to transform fairytale characters and as far as I know, I’m not living in a fairytale. At least, that is what I used to think. I now realize that this is a rather cynical view to have on the whole holiday, so I resolve to change that. Change is hard. It’s as simple as that. So maybe when the whole world wakes up with the resolve to change something in their life, it gives people the push they need to do the same to their own life. The New Year stands for an act of solidarity among strangers, as a beacon of hope that you too can change, that you too can be happy. It is a fresh start, a new year of making memories and mistakes, of learning and living and being happy. So I resolve to let the spirit of the New Year take me over. There. I did it.  My very first resolution!

May you be happy this coming year. Genuinley, intensely, consistently happy.

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Life’s Too Short For Burnt Toast

photo (4)I’ve recently moved in with some relatives of mine while I complete my final teaching practicum. Before moving to my new home I was quite nervous because I was facing the unknown. I had only met these relatives once before when I was very young, so I had no idea what my life would be like in this new home. I am pleased to say I feel more at home than I could have ever imagined. What I find most important about my time here is that I am surrounded by people who live with such a positive perspective. You can feel the positive energy as soon as you cross the threshold of this home. They are teaching me appreciation of the little things in life. This morning for example I burned my toast and was quite upset about ruining my breakfast. I could have let it ruin my entire day, but then my aunt walked into the kitchen and said frankly “life’s too short for burnt toast.” In that moment I realized something, that life really is too short. Life is too short for wearing uncomfortable shoes, for always being in a rush, and holding grudges. Life’s too short to complain about the weather and to have regrets. Life’s too short for worrying about the future and for not saying I love you. And life certainly is too short for burnt toast.

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Truly Meaningful Things

rutherford

Why is it so hard to write things that mean something? I always struggle with this. I think that we all are trying to find something that makes our lives meaningful. I always wanted to be an artist of some sort. You know, someone who has a creative mind. A songwriter. A photographer. A painter. I’m not saying that I am not any of those, it’s just that I’ve never thought my abilities in those areas were good enough to share with the world. So then I ask, is it important that I share those with the world? Is sharing your work what gives meaning? And I think the answer to that is no. I can do those things for myself, but there is something to be said to be someone who creates things that mean something to other people. When I look at my life, the thing that I think that I have the best shot at when it comes to making something that I truly want to share with the world is writing. I am in awe of the written language everyday and I want to contribute to that. I guess what I’m saying is that all I want is to create truly meaningful things. I think we all should.

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To Letters Unsigned And Unsent Out Of Fear

tea and letter

Lately I’ve been thinking about the relationships I have in my life. In the past four years I’ve lived in three different places and soon I’ll be moving again. One part of me, the adventurous side, loves the movement. There’s something so refreshing about picking up your pieces and starting somewhere new. The other part of me, however, is getting tired of spreading myself so thin. It’s hard to make meaningful relationships with other people when you only know them for a short period of time. So I find myself trapped in this limbo of wanting to make new relationships while at the same time feeling like I’ve already exhausted that capacity. When I feel torn like that, I tend to shut down and I no longer try to foster relationships past or present. And I realize that is a really negative way to think about my life. Instead of feeling spread across different places, I should feel lucky that I have had the chance to meet so many beautiful people in so many different places. I am grateful for the people in my life. I really am. And the most important thing for me to do is to tell these people that I love them. That they are special. And that they have changed me. So that is what I am going to do. I am going to sit down and write one letter a day to every person that has made a difference in my life. Because I might not get that chance again.

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Straight To My Heart

Straight To My Heart

“Some say I’m too sensitive but the truth is I just feel too much. Every action, and every energy goes straight to my heart”

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But That Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Try

But That Doesn't Mean I Can't Try

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel a fair bit in my life for such a young age. The thing that I love about travelling is that you get to meet so many different places. I find it fascinating to experience the different personalities of cities around the world. Each place I’ve been to has left a certain mark on me, a memory. Travelling is exotic. And I think a longing for travelling is natural feeling for many people. So it’s quite easy to fall in love with a city far away. The more difficult task really is falling in love with your own city. Sometimes we feel stuck in a monotonous life and we no longer notice the nuances of the place we live. On these days I always dream of travelling to somewhere new and exciting, an escape from my ordinary life. But that is no way to live. We should not feel the need to travel to take a break from our lives. Every moment is a part of your life whether it’s in the heart of New York or on an acreage in the rural suburbs. One should not be more exciting, more real, than the other. So it is with this mindset that I look upon the city that I am living in now. Though it is a transitional stepping stone in the path of my life, I want to look upon this place with new eyes. I want to find the quirks of this city, because every place has its quirks. Is every day going to be an adventure? Hell no. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try.

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I Hope When the Morning Comes You’ll Say: I Did It All

I’ve always had contradicting feelings when it comes to the New Year. Sometimes I feel really cynical about the New Year because I feel the holiday gets too much hype. People say “this will be my year” as if the clock turning to midnight this night will be different than any other night. Why do we need a holiday to make a change in our lives? It all just seems a little too cliche for me at times.

But sometimes I think maybe there is something special about the New Year that makes it easier to make a change. Maybe it is easier to change something in your life if you know the whole world will wake up the next morning and do the same.

Either way, the New Year is a time for reflecting on the past year, and this past year has been a big one for me.

In 2013…

~ I found that my passion lies in history and sociology

~ I said goodbye to my friends and professors after two amazing years at university

~ I worked one last summer in my home town and after five years working at the public library I said goodbye to my colleagues who have become my friends

~ I spent the summer blogging, taking pictures, and drinking tea lattes

~ I went on my annual August long road trip with my best friend

~ I made jam for the first time with my mother

~ I moved to the city into my first apartment, with a stranger for a roommate I might add, and we’ve become great friends

~ I started at a new university where I transferred into a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in early childhood. Even though that meant saying goodbye to a lot of people I loved and to put a hold on my formal studies of history and sociology

~ I survived my first practicum of teaching grade 2’s for five weeks (and by survived I mean had the most amazing experience of my life and became way too emotionally attached to my class of 7 year olds)

~ I had my first Christmas away from my family because I spent the holidays on an unforgettable adventure in Europe with my cousin

When it comes down to it, there is something magical about the New Year. It’s a time for reflection and new beginnings. So here’s to a new beginning for us all, bring it 2014!

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I think this picture sums up my year: sweet tea, taking pictures with my best friend, and my not so photogenic face! x.

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Motivational Mondays

Motivational Mondays

Inspiration is something I am always in search of in my daily life. I find if I have inspiration I have a focus, I have meaning. When I’m inspired by something I see things in a new light, with a different lens. The problem is, inspiration can be hard to come by.

In an ideal situation, we would all have enough time to explore everything we wanted. We would all be able to travel, to journal, to go for long walks on crisp fall days, read every book on our reading lists, spend all day in coffee shops in oversized sweaters. We would have all the time in the world. But we don’t. Life is busy. It’s fast paced. And sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day happenings that We forget to live.

Lately, I’ve been forgetting to take a breath and just be in the moment. It’s stating to get me down, so I’ve found a way to combat this: Motivational Mondays. My goal is to set aside an hour every Monday do something I love. Yes it’s actually written into my calendar. This way I have to take time out of my week to let myself breathe.

This Monday I went for a beautiful fall walk. It is my favorite time of year and I really wanted to spend some time outside in the crisp fall air. I made the perfect playlist and just walked. It was absolutely beautiful and it gave me the clarity I needed to start this week.

I encourage everyone to try and take an hour a week to do something that inspires them, even if you have to pencil it in to your calendar, trust me it will be the best part of your week.

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Strangers Helping Each Other Along This Emotional Roller Coaster That Is Life

 

I wanted to share one of my favorite websites with everyone on my blog: emotionalbaggagecheck.com. Basically this website is a place to dump all of your emotions out into the cyber world for someone to respond to. So you “check” your baggage in and then someone will “pick up” your baggage by responding with kind words and a song. Seriously isn’t that the greatest thing!?

This site is absolutely wonderful for so many reasons:

It’s completely anonymous. You only need to use your email to receive your message, but the person who “picks up” your baggage has no way of seeing your email or contacting you in any way other than the one message of kind words.

It’s a place of harmony. Most people who use this website are there for the same reasons you are, to find a little hope in their day. And it’s such a beautiful thing to connect with complete strangers even if it is for a fleeting moment in time.

It’s secretly a music site. My favorite part of this site is that on top of sending kind words to each other, you send a link to a song that you think will be meaningful to their situation. Music speaks on so many levels and sometimes all you need is a song and a few kind words to get through the day.

On a more personal note, emotional baggage check has helped me through some really tough situations. I discovered this website in my first year of university which was an extremely difficult time in my life. At a time in my life where I felt so completely alone, emotional baggage check was a place where I could find a little hope. It made me feel a little less alone. I’ve saved every message anyone has ever sent me on this site and sometimes I return to these words when I’m having a rough day. It is amazing how a few simple kind words from a complete stranger can have such a huge impact on your life. So if you’re feeling down, or you feel like lending a helping hand, visit this website and join the community of strangers helping each other along this emotional roller coaster that is life.

suitcasesn

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It’s Time To Stop

It's Time To Stop

I’ve recently became aware of the “words hurt” campaign which raises awareness on our everyday language and how the words we are using may be hurting others. We’ve become so numb to the words we use and this campaign is a great way to bring this issue to light. “That’s so gay” “That test raped me” “This class is retarded” are just some of the many slurs people use without thinking. The fact is, using these terms in a negative context, even if we don’t mean for them to be negative, is still hurtful to others and it’s time to stop. Join me, and the many others, in eliminating the negative slurs from our everyday language. Be a catalyst for change and stand up to words that hurt.

~The beauty of standing up for your rights is that others will see you standing and stand up as well~

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