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.

I Promise this Promise

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Ever since I was a little kid, promises were something that I took very seriously. In my eyes, promises were binding agreements that put forward someones true and real intentions. If you didn’t have true intentions, you don’t make the promise. No false hope. True colours. Simple.

Not my photo

The problem with this is simply that because I recognize my promises to be truthful and timeless, I assumed that other people did too. And that is my own fault. I believed every promise I was ever told. I believed it, no matter its context. I believed the friendship promises, the reward promises, and the relationship ones too. And each broken promise hurt differently. Someone once said to me a version of “I was once made the same promises I made you and those were broken. So why do I have to keep mine with you?”. I wasn’t being regarded as my own person. Instead I was disposable because of a broken promise that once hurt him. This made me raise my guard. Some broken promises even made me question if I could ever really be loved and be someone’s wife someday.

A lady at work once told me that my heart was a naive one. When I looked at her, puzzled and in shock that she said that, she just looked at me totally calm and collected and said “not everyone has a pure heart like yours. People will make false promises in order to get what they want. People can be greedy. You, Natalie, are just too genuine. You fight to see the good in people even after they’ve wronged you. Your level of forgiveness and compassion is rare, but it’s your biggest weakness. Don’t play the fool in your own story”

She told me that back in August 2018. For months I didn’t believe her. How could my heart be naive? Yet time and time again, I would think about our conversation. Something kept drawing me back to it. Maybe she was right. The fact is that i’ll never know if people really stand behind the promises they make with me. But what I do know, is that my promises are real and I keep them.

So, I promise this promise…

For those that have wronged me in the past, I promise to try to forgive you at my own pace. If I can’t forgive you, I promise that I tried but couldn’t see past the events that unfolded and the emotions elicited.

For those that I call my best friends, I promise to look out for your best interests and be present at any moment you need me. I promise to be a shoulder for you to cry on when you need someone there. I promise to bring you laughter when you’re feeling down. I promise to answer your phone calls at 3 a.m. I promise to just be there for you as best as I can be.

To my family, I promise to make you proud. I promise to be more involved in everyones lives. I promise to love each and everyone of you so unconditionally and whole heartedly.

To my future self, I promise to never stop fighting for you. I promise that you will reach your goals. I promise that you will end up right where you’re destined to be.

Where I’m at Right Now

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This week was my last week off from work and school, so naturally I wanted to take advantage of it. When work and school take over, I barely have time to do anything, so this was the perfect opportunity to adopt one mind set…go enjoy yourself.

I started off my week by going out to dinner with a close friend of mind. We decided to divulge a bit, and go to a nice steakhouse because why not? Let me tell you, the way to my heart is through food. However, another way to my heart is through pure intentions and genuine commitment, which brings me to me to separate occurrence. As we were eating dinner, I had received a notification from an Instagram account that had followed me a few hours prior. Not thinking much of it, I ignored the message until I had arrived home until after dinner.

The message itself was rather lengthy, and had me questioning if I really wanted to read this thing. Regardless, I started reading the first paragraph which pulled me in right away. This was a newly formed clothing brand that had one goal in mind- eliminating hate and negativity by conducting kindness. As I kept reading, it became apparent that the person messaging me was not only the founder of the brand, but a guy that had attended the same high school as me. He asked me if I wanted to be a brand ambassador for the line. Even though I was already sold on the idea, what stood out to me the most was when he told me that 10% of monthly sales are donated to different shelters, events, and charities. Considering that this is a mission that I believe in and stand behind, I accepted the offer! I couldn’t imagine a better way for me to start off 2019. And best of all? When I officially become an ambassador, I can share a code that will give you guys 20% off your purchases. I think that this is a brand with such pure and genuine intentions, and because of that I really believe that everyone can get behind this company. As more information becomes available, I will definitely keep you guys updated about the brand, including its name, merchandise, costs, codes, and everything in between! And yes, they do ship internationally!

I haven’t gone shopping in months because I’ve been so busy, so of course that was on my to-do list. I picked up so many different things that I do plan on sharing with you guys!

Sephora– my love for Sephora is real and it’s undying and I promise to keep this section as minimal as possible. I admittedly spend too much money in this store, but in my defence its only on necessities. Walking into Sephora can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t go in there with a game plan. I decided to buy a new foundation and a new product as well! I ended up with a Tarte Cosmetics foundation, and a product that I had heard very good things about. I hate removing makeup, especially eye makeup, because it can be very difficult to take some products off. Ladies and gentleman, this isn’t a problem anymore. I bought the Farmacy Green Clean makeup meltaway cleansing balm and OH MY GOD. AMAZING! I would highly recommend this product to anyone who struggles with taking every ounce of makeup off. A little goes a long way, and thats why I bought the mini.


Apple– I have been so disconnected with my phone lately. I hate having it on me and I find myself constantly looking at the screen and on social media… its irritating. But because I’ve been trying to distance myself from it, I also miss texts, calls, and even leave people hanging for hours, sometimes days, on end waiting for a reply. For that I am so sorry to any of you that have tried to contact me within the last month. BUT fear no more, I have purchased an Apple Watch. This has given me access to my phone, while also giving me a visual representation of my physical activity during the day, my heart rate, exercise, and so many other functions. Not to mention, the walkie talkie function is probably my favourite thing to exist. It makes it so easy to talk to people for that brief moment without having to call or text and drag a conversation on just to get one answer!

Lush– for those of you who don’t know, Lush is a store that prides itself on its all natural, handmade, products. I have been trying to stop putting chemicals in my hair (for now) because I dye it so frequently and have some big plans for the next few months. In order to do what I want, I have to treat my hair properly now, so that it’ll grow and be strong for what I want to do. They have these things called shampoo bars. WHAT?! These are essentially bars that wash your hair with no added chemicals. They typically last up to about 30 days and cost about $10.99 Canadian. I bought the one called “Honey I washed my hair” and it smells soooo good! I also ended up buying one of their natural hair treatments as well. The name is escaping me right now, but again, it smells unreal. Im hoping to use both of these products tomorrow, so I’ll let you guys know how it goes! I

I bought other things at other stores, but these were my main shopping goals.

Back on December 23, 2018, I said goodbye to one of my Beta fish. Jersey, the oldest of two Betas who had been with me for just over a year, had passed away. For a little while I debated just keeping the tank empty and just keeping the one Beta I had left. I know it may seem silly, but he meant something to me. Here’s the thing, me and my friend Jess tend to go to pet stores often. Jess has tropical fish that she needs to maintain on a daily basis, and I have my Beta plus my dog. So, we just happened to go to a pet store that had a wall full of Beta fish. I decided to take a peak. I went in with the thought of I’m not going to buy one just to buy one. It has to grab my attention. WELL. Naturally, I saw something that I have never seen before- a white beta male with a light blue tail. The guy that helped me out said he’s still a baby and has some growing to do, but I didn’t really care. He was cool, at least to me. So of course I bought him. For the longest time I didn’t know what to call him, but I ended up settling on the name Atlantis.

My time off gave me opportunities to see and talk to friends that I haven’t seen in weeks. I got to spend time with family members that I rarely see anymore because of school. I also got to make new friendships as well, which is always cool.

I’m off to prepare for a 4 day intensive course at school starting tomorrow! Have a good rest of your weekend everyone!