Life Update: 02/18/19

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It’s been a while since I have been able to write something of substance. So much has changed within the last few weeks, but it is definitely a welcomed change that has impacted me positively, for the most part. So lets begin..

Yesterday I had attended a Sarcoma Cancer fundraiser in memory of a young neighbour of mine who fought against this diseases for years. Unfortunately, her battled ended in 2018 but her memory lives on through her family, friends, and community that have come together to raise awareness for sarcoma cancer. It is nights such as these that remind me of the power of community and how when we come together, great things are possible.

In a separate area of my life, which is that of fitness and weight-loss, I am proud to say that I am now down 45 pounds. To be honest, the past few days have been a struggle. With going out often, to valentines day, to just craving junk food, I haven’t been keeping up my routine as best as I can. So with that in mind, I’m taking today as a fresh start and going back to my regular regimen with an open mind and good intentions.

The school component of my life has been very chaotic. This term definitely maintains a heavier course load compared to my first term. There is constantly stuff to do- presentations to prepare for, papers to outline, statistics exams to study for- and it’s quite exhausting. This weekend was the only weekend I have had off since the start and yet even when there is no school scheduled…theres still assignments to do. Fortunately for me, I have a fantastic support system that encourages me on a daily basis. I have to give a shoutout to Chantal here because without her constant encouragement and kindness, I would probably be very overwhelmed and unable to focus without freaking out. I just recently found out I finished a course with an A-, and although its not my finest work, I will take the grade because that class was a pain in my… well… you get it.

Emotionally and mentally, I do feel rather drained lately, but when I say emotionally I don’t mean romantically. It’s actually rather hard to explain. I am the type of person who invites my friends to come speak to me whenever they are going through something difficult or just need someone to vent to, speak to, or seek friendly advice from, but not professional advice. Within the past 2 weeks, a large amount of my friends have actually come to me, and while I typically feel honoured and willing to help as best as I can, a lot of their stories hit home for me. As a result, I feel almost tired all the time and I think it’s because I have been shouldering everyones concerns, which normally does not impact me at all. But with school taking its own toll on me, this second source is also impacting me as well. I think it’s time for me to engage in some type of self-care for a little while and take a step back from offering my help until I feel recharged and ready to help others without draining myself.

I went out on a second date with the lovely guy I had mentioned in a previous post. Although I am still not dropping names, I can reveal that the second date was just as good as the first. We went to my favourite restaurant, which he says he loved, and then ventured to play some games at Dave and Busters. And again, it just felt right. We can poke fun at each other, and laugh at one another and just be ourselves, which I think is very rare these days. But he is also very sweet, kind, and warm, which makes me that much more comfortable with him. I will be seeing him again, I think a few times, this coming week and we already have various plans in March. I’m excited to see where this goes.

I’ll have to cut this post a bit short for now, as I have a school group call for 2 presentations that I need to take in 5 minutes. I hope everyone has a blessed week ahead of them!

Valentine’s Day 2K19

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Last year, Valentine’s day was absolutely shitty because my then boyfriend didn’t acknowledge the day at all. I put too much hope in someone who just disappointed me when all I wanted was “Happy Valentine’s Day”. But I also noticed that I only looked at Valentine’s day as being solely focused on romantic relationships. This year things were different. Things were better.

First and foremost, for me valentine’s day isn’t just a day to acknowledge romantic relationships anymore, but instead it’s an opportunity to remind everyone that holds significance in my life (friends, family, and special people) that I care about them.

Funny, right?

Family – my mom was super cute this year and got me and my brothers cookies. She always does something small and that’s a tradition that I hope to carry on when the time comes. She also got a huge chocolate chip cookie that said “Happy Valentine’s Day” on it, but naturally I can’t find a picture of it at the moment. I know what you’re probably thinking, was it any good?! The answer: hell yes. delicious. 10 out of 10 would recommend!

Friends – From previous posts, you can tell that my friends are my absolute world. They keep me sane on a daily basis and are one of my main sources of happiness. This year, a few of them sent me super cute messages that ultimately made me smile and just think I love these people with my entire life. Needless to say, I have more than one valentine this year and I blame my friends for that

Someone special – The answer is no, I currently do not have a boyfriend. But I can say is that there is someone that makes my days that much better. I don’t need an extravagant VDay, all I ever really wanted is a form of acknowledgement. And guess what? He acknowledged me first thing this morning. Something as simple as “Happy Valentines day ❤️” made me the happiest person. To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting him to say that to me, to really say anything at all, but he did. And it made my entire day. We are going out again soon. I’m taking him to my favourite restaurant and I seriously can’t wait. Here comes a feeling I thought I had forgotten…happiness.

Overall, Valentines Day 2019 was a pretty good one for me. I hope that all of you were reminded that there are people that love you unconditionally. But more so, I hope you all recognize that we don’t need one single day throughout the whole year to remind those closest to us that we love and care for them. May you all have a fantastic rest of your valentines day!

These Three Words

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3 words. 3 syllables. Different contexts. Different places. Different people.

The phrase “I love you” is spoken every single day. It might be something we say out loud, or it might be something we say internally. It can be spoken to a parent, a sibling, a romantic partner, or another loved one we may have. I tell my mom I love her on a daily basis. I tell my little brother the same thing. Its a phrase that I exchange between my father some days, but barely to my older brother (for no specific reason). I’ve said it romantically. I tell my friends I love them all the time, as I do with my grandparents. But how often do I tell myself that? How often do we look at ourselves, and just say “Despite it all– despite your flaws, mistakes, and your shortcomings- I love you”? The answer is probably close to never.

We set goals for ourselves while listening to what society says we have to be.. and we allow that to dictate our worth. We create an image of ourselves, an image that we seek to become. We present a false illusion to others in hopes of gaining their validation and acceptance. To be recognized as socially relevant. But when we look at ourselves- in a mirror, a moment of mental reflection, comparing ourselves to others- its a never ending cycle of I’m not good enough. I’ll be good enough when… and then when I do this.. and this..

I can’t speak for the male population, but I know for girls, social media is ruining our perception of ourselves. Not all, but most girls are constantly engaging in physical comparison. We look at other girls on Instagram, for example, and think why can’t I be like her? Maybe if I change my hair, or wear more makeup, I’ll feel pretty. And when I feel pretty, then I’ll actually love who I am and be proud of that. And thats so toxic, because it is so hard to break that cycle. I know of people that will walk by girls at the mall and compare themselves to those around them. They see how they fair. What they can do to look just like them. I know I’ve done that before. And it hurts.

Insecurity is a real thing that comes in so many different forms. It is so difficult to not feel pressured to be a certain type of person. To get that amazing job or to constantly be motivated. I know I’m guilty of that. I’ve exerted pressure on people before too. But from a young age, thats what we’re told to do. We are told to be a specific type of person, and if we don’t become that… then we’ve failed.

Allowing ourselves to reflect inward can be really hard. It means that we have to face the good, the bad, and all things in between. We have to come to terms with who we are, where our lives are at that moment, the things we have done or the lack thereof. Sometimes not everyone can do that, and thats okay. But whats not okay is having expectations time and time again without giving yourself a break. It’s okay to have “wants”, but its not okay to let those “wants” dictate your life. We get so caught up in the moment that we don’t see how far we have come, how much we have developed, and thats exactly what we need to do, or rather, what I need to do. I need to take a step back and just recognize that yeah sure, I might not look like that person. Hey I might not even be as educated, or well versed, or in-tune with myself like that person is, but thats OKAY. And it’s okay because everyone is different and does things at their own pace. No one is the same, and in that, we all bring different things to the table. We all have our pros, and we all have our cons. We are all so unique, so gifted, and so talented in our own way.

So today is the day I take a step back and recognize who I am. Today is the day that I truly acknowledge the things I have accomplished and the things that I have failed at. But in looking at my failures, I will shed light on all the times I got back up and tried again. Today is the day I separate the thoughts of who I think I should be from the truth of who I am. Today I am proud of the women I have become in the last 23 years. I will acknowledge what I want from life, not what I’m told I need, and set my goals to achieve just that.

Today is the day that I tell myself that despite it all, I love you.

February 4, 2019

Personal

To be completely honest, I thought I was done with dating for a while. But life has a funny way of presenting people at just the right moments.

With me being a nervous mess, I didn’t know how our first date would go. I thought I would mess something up for sure. But to my surprise it exceeded all of my expectations. He is sweet and sincere. He is funny and realistic. His optimistic personality is refreshing and he is very cute.

It’s interesting how 4 hours with a new person was already better than any relationship I had been in. I have never felt this comfortable with a person. I guess this is what happens when you are actually able to be yourself around someone.

I have a really good feeling about this

Shocker: I Made Another Tattoo Appointment

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I got my first tattoo last year on April 20th, 2018 at Seven Crowns Tattoo. I remember being terrified because I didn’t know what to expect. What was it going to feel like? Will it hurt? Will I possibly cry? My tattoo took MAYBE 10 minutes, if that. But all it took was 2 seconds for me to already think about my next piece. And the piece after that. And the piece after that. And so on. I’m in love with the process of finding a piece that not only looks nice, but has genuine meaning to my life. I choose each piece very carefully because essentially I want my body to tell a story. Needless to say, I reached out to my tattoo artists today and asked if she can book me in on April 12th. Although she has to double check her availability, she thinks it should work out. This means that I will have gotten 3 tattoos in a year. Do I have more ideas? Oh yes. This is just the beginning. Lets dive in…

My two little roses are so simple and quaint, but I really wouldn’t have them any other way. I’ve been asked why a rose and the answer is a long one. Located on my right leg, this tattoo represents my family and my roots, as my last name as the word “rose” in it. Essentially, when the time comes, I do want to get married which means that I’ll probably be changing my last name to that of my future hasbands. However my last name has been with me for 23 years. It has followed me through tough times, but it has also been around for my achievements. It’s on eery piece of documentation I have and it’s essentially my identity. It holds great history in my family and is a product of my lineage. I want to look down on it and be reminded about how brave my Italian grandaprents were when they came to Canada years ago, with almost nothing in their pockets, and started a new life. Its a symbol of bravery, grattitude, and perserverance. I want to constantly be reminded of where I come from, the people I have support from, and how fortunate I am.

My second tattoo is more private, so I’m going to give very little detail about the actual piece itself. I got this tattoo on October 10, 2018 and for some reason I was nervous about the possible pain that could arise from it due to a new location. I really wanted Ryan to come with me, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it SO my friend Monica came with me instead. The piece is located on my ribs/bra line and the only three people to actually see it and really look at it are Ryan, Felicia, and Monica. It is a homage to someone I lost and think of constantly. I look at it everyday and just reflect. I never would have expected a tattoo to mean so much to me. I love you forever and always, F.

SO APRIL. I will be getting a tattoo that my two other cousins will also have. The idea is that of a triangle, in which the three of us make up the three sides. In my cousins words, “Natalie is the base of the triangle because she gives us a solid foundation. Her logic keeps both of us grounded especially when we get into those deep discussions when we are having our own problems. Me and C, are the two sides that lean into each other. We are so similar. So much so that we lean on each other all the time. We’re the two crazy cousins, but Natalie’s sanity (base) keeps us in place and upright. We are literally a triangle. Does that make sense?”. I understood her rough logic and said yes right away. BUT I wanted to do something a bit different, so we decided that we can all get different pieces, as long as the triangle is the main focus. So naturally, I have a few ideas. My first thought, is three triangles that are interconnected, much like these ideas. My second though thought is a little more… complex.

Not my tattoo

Of course those aren’t the only tattoos I have planned. When I graduate from my Masters program, Me and Felicia plan on getting the psychology symbol. I think we have also decided to get a second matching tattoo, but that will remain under raps for now. And after that I want to get a hip piece… and after that… and then after that…

I have been lucky enough to have all of my tattoos done at Seven Crowns Tattoo. I cannot express how fantastic it has been collaborating with Robyn on the pieces that I have already done and my future tattoos. If you are in the Toronto area, I highly suggest you check out this shop!