What a Weekend

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My weekend was absolutely packed, yet I don’t feel exhausted.

Friday

I always count Friday as a weekend day because Friday nights are typically very different from Monday-Thursday nights. ANYWAYS, I had been counting down to April 12 for months. Why? Because I was getting two tattoos that hold an insane amount of significance in my life. I don’t want to give too much away just yet, but both of them are reflective of my family. One of my mom and something she helped me live through, and another about my cousins. Seven Crowns Tattoo in Toronto is my favourite place to be simply because my tattoo artist, Robyn, is the absolute best. Her line work is phenomenal, her attention to detail is unparalleled, and she’s so down to earth and relaxed that I don’t feel nervous every time I walk in there. From my other tattoos, typically I didn’t feel any type of pain, but this time, my second tattoo was killing me. I found that it actually felt like my skin was burning at some points but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t tolerate. Right now it feels a little bit sore from time to time, but its also so fresh that this isn’t unnatural. I also asked about a potential appointment for October…to be continued

Saturday

Saturday was dedicated to completing an assignment… surprise. But this Saturday was also really special considering me and my boyfriend were celebrating an anniversary. I really had no idea if gifts were going to be exchanged, but I got something for him just incase. I usually tell guys that I date not to get me anything, and typically they follow that, but everyone knows that typically if a girl is saying ” don’t get me anything”, it translates to “I would appreciate anything because it came from you”. Surprisingly, this time around I never really got the chance to say that, but I figured because he was taking me for dinner and offered to pay for it, that the dinner itself would be like a gift from him. Well I was wrong. I got into his car and he gave me this bag. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know what to think at first. But when I opened this little brown bag and saw the contents inside, I was so happy. He bought me sage smudge sticks, palo santo, and diffuser oil. All small things that I seriously love. It proved to me that not only does he know me so well, but he also knows that I don’t need huge things to make me happy. After dinner we ended up meeting up with his friends. This was a big deal because I had only ever met his best friend prior to this. Honestly it was a fun time. His friends, or at least the ones I met, were all welcoming. They were nice and funny and I could tell he was worried because he kept turning to me asking “everything okay? You good?” with this look of concern on his face. I would just laugh it off and say yes and tell him to stop worrying but he would always respond with “I just care!”. It was a really good day. OH and he invited me over to meet his parents this weekend and he even invited me over to his house for Easter to meet his moms side of the family. I’m intimidated lol.

Sunday

Sunday was a bit more relaxing. It was 1 of 2 Easter weekends for my family. Palm Sunday is the day we typically spend celebrating an early Easter with my dads side of the family. Funny enough, this year it also landed on my cousins birthday. Now, on special occasions my nonna (grandmother in Italian) always cooks enough food to feed a village. So you can only imagine not only how much dinner I ate, but also dessert. Think red velvet birthday cake, plus fresh bakery donuts, Italian Easter bread, chocolate chip cookies… oh myyyyyyy. Sunday was good, Sunday was blessed.

Anyways, I’m beyond grateful that I had this weekend off of school. I’m even more grateful to have this coming weekend off as well. I am so happy with how everything played out.

April 10, 2019

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Life has been CRAZY over the last few weeks, so I must start this post with a huge apology for not posting too much. To be honest, even though so much is going on, I’ve never been happier. Although my life is basically centred around grad school, I also work 30 hours a week. And through the inevitable chaos that arises from that, so many good things should also be acknowledged. 

School

Yes, I’m starting with school, shocker! Aside from obtaining a placement, one of my favourite professors said yes to supervising my thesis. After presenting to my class for a separate assignment, this same professor made a point to come up to me and compliment my presentation style. This prof, who is literally one of the nicest, most accomplished, and inspirational persons I have ever encountered came up to ME and said all these positive and nice things to me and about me. I didn’t see her do that to any other student. Considering she is who I aspire to be, I was internally screaming all while saying “thank you so much” oh so calmly. 

Family

I can’t remember if I posted about this, but we recently celebrated my grandfathers 90thbirthday. This is such a huge blessing. My grandfather is the funniest little old man and I can’t imagine a world without him. I also just recently celebrated my younger brothers’ birthday. Its strange to see how I’ve grown to become so protective of him, because I never thought I’d be this way. I actually find myself wanting to spend more time with him, even if its just going into his room and bothering him for a few minutes.But I’ve also come to recognize that my family isn’t just restricted to relatives.  My classmates have truly become my family as well. While I am privileged to know them all, there’s a handful that mean a bit more to me. Specifically, there’s a group of us and we all just click in ways that reflect a familial dynamic.  I have their back in the same way that I know they have mine, I’ve seen it unfold already. It’s a beautiful 

Relationships/Friends

I can’t even think about my boyfriend without getting all smiley and blushy and goofy. He makes me so unconditionally happy, it’s a foreign feeling. I’ve never introduced a guy to my parents before because I didn’t know if it was worth it, but he is. He’s worth it to me. So I’m trying to figure out a day where he can come over and he also just invited me to his house for Easter to meet his parents and extended family. I was previously friends with his sister before me and him knew each other, so its really nice to know a member of his family already. We also have an anniversary coming up in a few days…exciting! 

Speaking of friendships, I have to shout out specific friendships that have kept me sane throughout the chaos that was the last few weeks. Chantal is a literal saviour, we already know this. She is the first person to offer support when I’m freaking out about literally anything. Alessia, who also happens to be my boyfriend’s sister, is a literal angel. We clicked right away when we first met, but now our friendship is so much more solid. She is so encouraging, honest, and real, its hard to find people like that these days.  One of my closest friends is officially moving to the U.S. in May. We might not see each other allll the time, but it’s still hard. This is a girl that has played a significant role in my life, but I’m so happy that she’s starting a new chapter in her own adventure and going after what she loves. Surprise goodbye party? I think so. 

Random Things 

Well, I’m getting two tattoos on Friday. My mom wasn’t too happy about that, but my dad still has no idea. I also got premiere tickets to see Avengers: Endgame!! So Thursday April 25, I will be gluing myself to a seat in the movie theatre (not literally), and my eyes will be blessed for 3 hours. I’m seeing Cher this month with my dad, yes I’m actually very excited for that…don’t judge me. 

I feel like there’s more I want to share, but I can’t think of it right now. Anyways, I hope you all have a great rest of your week!  

One Step Closer

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I have been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, but have neglected it until everything was certain… I have a clinical placement starting in April!

At my school, masters students need to obtain a clinical placement(s) that will grant them 900 hours in order to graduate. Seems simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Getting a placement is extremely competitive. The interview process is actually very intimidating. Not only are you being interviewed by professionals that are so well established and inspirational, but you are going up against students from every university, at both the masters and PhD level. And in this, PhD students are typically favoured in clinics because they have a higher education and more practical experience.

But I am so happy to say that I have received all my paperwork back from the clinic and have been offered an April start date. My class isn’t supposed to start placement until September, so I had to get permission to even start early, and it was approved.

Although I will not disclose which clinic I will be at, I will be working on an individual basis with adolescence and adults. I will be learning and implementing CBT/Cognitive therapy, alongside trauma and attachment modalities. I will be initially focusing on assessments, such as intelligence tests, personality tests, structured interviews, neuropsychology assessments, and more. As the months go by, I will be implementing treatment when my supervisors see fit. I am so excited to start making a positive impact on peoples lives.

It was so nice to have my parents support and acknowledgement when I told them the news. Honestly, my mom started crying saying she was so happy that I was growing up and reaching the goals that I’ve had for years. Even my boyfriend and my friends were happy for me. And although school work is starting to stress me out, this is everything I could possibly want. This is everything that I’ve dedicated my life to reach and I am so happy that its falling into place.

Here’s to hard work, dedication, and just having the courage to try.

KISS – March 20, 2019

Concerts

My boyfriend really loves rock, rock concerts, and just old school bands in general. He bought tickets to see Kiss, one of his favourites, before we even knew each other. While we were casually going on dates back in February, he had asked me to go to the concert with him and of course I said yes. After all, it is Kiss.

Now, I never really listen to them except for their very popular songs like I Was Made for Lovin You, Detroit Rock City, and Rock And Roll All Nite. I had no idea what to expect. All I really knew was that he was beyond excited and this concert meant the world to him.

I could tell he was extremely hyped as soon as we got to our seats because of how close we were to the stage. Honestly, pictures don’t do it justice. His eyes were wide and he kept smiling. It was actually really nice to see someone so happy over music, because I resonated with that. Music is a powerful thing.

The lights went dark, the phones went up, and the crowd got loud and rowdy, just like at any other concert. Admittedly, there was something different about this crowd. They actually seemed much more into the show in comparison to any other concert I’ve been to before, and I’ve been to a lot. No one was pushing each other and shoving each other, but instead there was a mutual respect among the people. Everyone just wanted to see legends do their thing and vibe to their music. There were so many people dawning face paint and even some with full on costumes. Dedication? I think so.

Kiss was actually phenomenal. Raw talent at its finest. When I’m not into a concert, it’s hard for me to pay attention, but they held my fascination all night. It was hard not move to the music and clap and sing along (to the few songs I knew). Everything they did was captivating. What I appreciated most was that they let each individual member have their own moment, wether it’d be through a guitar solo, drum solo, base solo, everyone got the spotlight at least once. It brought forward the notion that they each contribute to the success that is Kiss and no one member is better than the next, but rather they’re all equals. Oh and another thing! Fire. Fireworks. Lots and lots of pyro. I could feel the heat from the fire from my seats, so really I have no idea how they handled that on stage. Props to them!

Overall, I seriously had a great time and I really believe that everyone needs to see Kiss live at least once in their lifetime. I cannot thank my boyfriend enough for bringing me with him to experience such a once in a lifetime show. Seeing him smile, grab my hand and dance with me, and shoutout lyrics at the top of his lungs, made it all worthwhile.


Raptors

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Tonight, I took my boyfriend to watch a Toronto Raptors game. I never really cared for basketball games to be fair, but I told him I’d either get tickets to see the Raps or the Leafs. Good luck getting hockey tickets in Toronto.

Anyways, I had a lot of fun with him. We joked around, cheered, and even danced when the music came on. I just had such a good time with him. It was as though I forgot how much fun going to a game could be.

I found myself looking at him often while thinking about how lucky I was. I decided that his smile is my new favourite sight. I know, super cheesy. But he just makes me happy in ways that no one ever really has.

He even made the subway ride home fun with his jokes and little side comments. Yeah sure he mocks me sometimes, and I mock him too, but nothing beats the feeling of having his arm around me with my head on his shoulder. Getting kisses on my forehead and the top of my head when our hands are intertwined is probably my favourite. He makes me feel safe. He makes me feel wanted.

Although he has now dropped me off at home, we won’t be seeing each other tomorrow. But we are going to a concert Wednesday night, as he invited me to go see one of his favourite bands with him. Two music lovers at a concert? This should be interesting!

Passenger

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I’ve been a passenger in his car for 5 dates now, and each one has been better than the last. I haven’t felt this comfortable with someone in a very long time.

There’s something about being on a late night drive with him, something so refreshing and soothing. The feeling of my hand intertwined with his, the smile that crosses my face when he lifts my hand to his lips and kisses it. The way he holds my hand against his cheek and just smiles. Kissing him at red lights and stop signs. Hearing “I’m so happy I found you” just makes me feel warm and fuzzy because quite frankly, I feel the same way.

Something was different about our 5th date. I’ve known for a few weeks that I have feelings for him, that was very obvious. But there was a moment where things felt more…real? Sitting in his car, Leave Right Now by Thomas Rhett came on and I just looked at him and thought “damn. I’m so lucky“. So naturally I’ve been listening to that song all damn day. Even better? We have floor seats to see Thomas Rhett in July, so here’s to hoping he plays that song live. I actually just texted him talking about that song and how it reminds me of him when I listen to it. He just responded saying “well it’s our song now”, so there you go folks. We have a song. And now I’m smiling.

Even though we’re not official as of yet, I don’t even care. We have discussed it here and there. He wants to take his time and I couldn’t agree more, why rush it when it’s going so well as it is? I feel like this is something so good already. The fact is that he makes me so undeniably happy. He knows exactly what to say to make me feel calm and at ease. Also, my best friend has met him and absolutely loves him. I met his best friend and he apparently said all good things, which is really important to me.

I really like him.

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!

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.