Slow Living + Minimalism

Lately I’ve been feeling a heaviness in my chest and a lightness in my head. It kind of feels like all my commitments are catching up with me while simultaneously it feels like I’m not doing enough.

I’ve been struggling a lot with feeling like I’m living in the moment. I spend so much time on social media and the internet, pretty much doing nothing, and I’ve really wanted to take a step back from that. I’ve always had a really addictive personality and I’m definitely addicted to social media. I deleted snap chat this past week because it was the app I felt added the least to my life. I like the idea of deleting everything but 1 app but it feels kind of impossible right now. I know I should be able to cut down without just deleting everything but sometimes it takes cutting something completely out to stop feeling like you need it.

Anyways, I’ve been trying to find ways to feel more connected with everything, with life. I started reading up on “slow living” and the idea really stuck to me. If anyone wants to read a summary of what it’s about, click here. I’ve been trying to get back into hobbies, get more involved in things at school or in the community. My biggest problem still lies in motivating myself to do more in ~the real world~ and spend less time in cyber space. I’m working on it.

On the topic of “working on it” – last week I did a massive purge of my closet and I’ve genuinely never felt better. Minimalism is something I’ve been working on for years and I don’t necessarily think I’ll ever feel like I truly accomplished it, but I definitely feel closer. I’ve spent the last couple years selling my “unnecessary” items on kijiji, which while wonderful I still never felt like it really made a difference and I still owned way too much junk. Moving into an apartment with roommates where I only had one room to myself definitely helped. I got rid of a lot of the non-necessities. This past week as I mentioned I feel like I took a big step and finally got rid of so much clothes I never wear. Getting dressed in the morning was becoming dreadful because I spent so much time picking stuff out and not even being happy with it. So I finally got rid of all the items that no longer fit, that are out of style, that I don’t feel happy wearing, etc. I 10/10 recommend this to anyone. Less is definitely more.

On top of this random emotional baggage I feel like I’ve been randomly really grappling with my past lately. I don’t know what it is, but things like “Facebook memories” just never let you move on from things. I’ve been trying to make amends with the parts of my past I’m unhappy with, or the things that are out of my control. It’s hard, but I’m trying. If anyone has any tips to just like – stop caring? – that would be wonderful.

Anyways, this is a lot of emotional word vomit. I hope that with the holidays coming up soon that everything will fall into place. Soon I’ll be submitting my application for Midwifery and that will be one less (very big) thing to worry about.

I’m just here trying to remember to ~breathe~.

Hello, October

Sometimes I get really anxious. It’s never about anything in particular, it just – happens. It feels like a combination of little things that would be fine on their own but added together becomes too much. I’m a self diagnosed hypochondriac (haha) and with cold season and the decline of warm weather has come an onset of symptoms to freak out about. Winter months are dreary for me and usually when I feel my worst, I’ve always thought I may have seasonal depression. Spring makes my soul feel like it’s in bloom and although the beautiful colours of the fall foliage got me feeling some-kind-of-way, it also feels ominous. Every autumn I try to prepare myself mentally for winter but it never seems to be enough. I hope this winter is different, I always hope each winter will be different.

I have been trying to confront my anxieties and some have been harder than others. Being surrounded by people at school countless hours a week is exhausting and spending so much time on social media outside of school has also been exhausting. I find it so hard to cut down without feeling like I’m missing out on new content, while simultaneously feeling like I’m missing out from real-world content. It’s something I struggle with a lot.

I know all my problems are currently within my own head, which I think can sometimes be the hardest part. To fight your own illogical need to feel anxious, with your own sense of rationality. I think sometimes it’s important to just take deep breaths, and to not pick on yourself for loses. This week I missed two classes because I needed the mental health break and I knew I wouldn’t suffer too badly by not going. And I think that’s ok. I didn’t get nearly as much work done, or do as many readings, but I did get some stuff done, I did finish group projects, answer e-mails, book appointments and sometimes that’s enough.

Sometimes I find it hard not to be my own biggest critic. I always tell myself I’m not working hard enough, that I’m not doing my best in school, that other people are doing more, are doing better, are happier, prettier, have more money, are doing cooler things. And in those moments I just stop myself. I focus on everything I’m currently proud of. I think of all the good things currently bringing happiness to my life. I think of my prospects and how everything I’m working on currently will pay off in the end. I take some deep breaths, grab a cup of water and give myself a mental hug.

It’s hard to give yourself a break sometimes, to tell yourself “you’re doing enough, you are enough”, so incase you weren’t able to say it today – you are more than enough. Now take a deep breath and go enjoy a nap – you deserve it.

Dear First Years: It’s Going To Be Better Than Okay

Dear Freshers,

You are leaving home for possibly the first time, settling into dorm rooms in new cities and getting started in your first week of classes. I’ve been there, and I know it’s an overwhelming mix of excitement and nerves. I want to tell you a few things that may calm you down a little bit (hopefully).

Firstly, university (depending on your course) is easier than high school. You attend each class likely once a week, your assignments are few and far between and you have LOADS of on-campus resources to help you if you feel your marks aren’t where you’d like them to be. A majority of profs are super understanding (especially to first years) and if you need an extension because you have a lot due around the same time, or because you just need an extra day to hand in something of substance – just ask for it. Seriously, you don’t need a big excuse about how a family member is ill or some far off thing, you just need to ask. It’s insane how many profs will say yes without doctor’s notes or any questions asked. And if they say no, then they say no, that’s that.

Secondly, all the fear mongering your high school teachers did about university was (again mainly) false. You aren’t going to fail an assignment if you hand in something late. Yes, some profs are more strict than others, but I’m in my fourth year of schooling and most my profs have a 2-5% off for every day your assignment is late. Again, it varies, but make sure to read your syllabus’s carefully because the penalties may not be as bad as you think!

Thirdly, you’re going to have SO much fun! The friends I made in first year are still my best friends to this day. Today I said goodbye to my best friend Chloe, whom I met in res, as she’s off to London, England for her masters. It’s so important to get out of your comfort zone, attend events you maybe wouldn’t, and put yourself out there, you may end up meeting some of the most important people of your life.

And lastly. Everyone wants you to succeed. I know there will be days when you’ll be up late in your dorm, the weight of the world may be on your shoulders, you have more readings to do than you can keep up with, you feel like you’re missing time with your friends or haven’t called your parents recently enough. But I promise everyone around you understands or has been there themselves. Your profs want you to succeed, the departments on campus want you to succeed, your friends and family want you to succeed. You have so many people rooting for you so when you feel like you can no longer root for yourself, remember the little army of people you have behind you.

Wait, one more thing. I want you to know that it’s ok to mess up and that it’s ok to change your mind. My path through education has been a bumpy one, and although I’ve spent more time on it than maybe I would have liked, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I started in uni, switched and finished a program in college, and now I’m back at uni finishing my last year and I’m applying for more schooling this winter haha. It’s been a twisted path but it’s my path and it took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do, but that’s ok, and it’s ok for you too. You may do badly, or even fail a course, but you can re-do it. If you switch your major, take a year off, go to college instead, anything – it’s all ok. Just remember that everyone will have a different path and to focus on you and only you.

So just remember: have fun, study hard, take advantage of all the opportunities your high school or home town may have not been able to offer you, keep in touch with your old friends but enjoy making new ones, don’t forget to call your mum every once in a while, and don’t worry about stupid things like the freshman 15, enjoy your time as a fresher because you only really get to do it once.

Love always,
Kate

Live List: Drive-in Theatre

Hello Folks,

I’ve been trying to catch up on my live list posts so I thought I’d share some snippets from our experience at the drive-in theatre! The theatre we went to was in Gatineau, you can visit their website here. It was about 15-20 minutes from Ottawa and super affordable! It’s only $12 for two movies!

I thought I’d share a few tips that we gathered from our experience there:

First: reviews said to bring screens for the windows and frankly we had no idea why you’d need them because normally drive-in’s get their sound from a radio station. Well, I was right about the radio station thing, but the screens were to keep out mosquitos so you could have your windows rolled down. Boy did we wish we had screens! We were boiling so we’d periodically turn the AC on, but we ended up screwing the car battery and had to get our car jump started before we left haha (oops!)

Second: bring your own snacks! Ben and I brought popcorn, cherries, coke and water from home so we didn’t have to buy snacks. Like most movie theatres, drive-in’s tend to be over priced too. But it’s always nice to support independent things like drive-ins, so we did end up buying a second popcorn later on haha.

Third: get there early so you can pick a good spot to watch! Lucky for us we ended up being there about 30 minutes early and the english screenings seemed to be far less popular than the french one so we had quite the pick of where to park, but I was so glad because I would have hated having a crummy view haha.

Anyways, it was loads of fun and a definite summer must-do! I mayyy have nodded off in the second flick, but overall, I’d love to go back. Here are a few photos.

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Love always,
Kate

Visiting Home, Summer 2017

Hello Folks,

So I’ve been playing “catch up” with my blog lately because of how dormant I’ve been the last couple months. I really should have been updating while things were happening, but we’re not all perfect haha. So I mentioned a few posts back that I visited my hometown at the beginning of the summer. I initially went home for my little sister’s high school graduation but a couple months prior we found out our family friends were coming from Louisiana to surprise my mum and to attend the grad. It was a fun week of getting caught up with old friends and celebrating my little sister graduating (with honours I may add, yay Bernece).

After our family friends left to go back to the states I had one weekend left before heading back to Ottawa. My boyfriend Ben did the lovely 6 hour drive north from Ottawa to spend the long weekend at my cottage and meeting my family. We tried to hit up all the tourist destinations in New Liskeard, safe to say they’re few and far between haha. All in all, I think Ben had a fun weekend in my small northern home town.

Here are some photos from my week at home, enjoy!

 

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My little’s graduation

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Three generations of strong women

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Friends from down South celebrating with friends from up North

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Being a tourist having Thornloe Cheese Factory Poutine with Ben

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Ben at my family’s favourite brunch place

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Ben and I out for dinner with my momma at my sister’s work

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Ben and I at the top of the Temagami Tower

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Ben not so secretly freaking out about the height (haha)

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Ben making his way down after I told him the tower has only fallen over ~once~ (it’s never fallen over)

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Ben and I soaking up the sun at my family’s cottage

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The little and I 

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What’s a family vacation if not to make your sibling take photos of you?

Love always,
Kate

Live List: Picnic + Pond

Hello Folks,

I have been a little more active on here the last couple days. I did a few updates that hopefully made navigating a bit easier, and will help you to find the type of posts you want to read less frustrating.

One of the changes I made to my blog was a “page” called The Live List, and it’s a bucket list of sorts that my boyfriend and I created together to make the most out of this life we were given together (cheesy I know) but it’s been loads of fun! The idea was inspired by Kelly Jensen, and you can read a bit more about it here.

We have so much fun adding new items and even more fun completing them. The other day we completed our “picnic” and “swimming in a pond” ones! Here are some (crappy iPhone) photos from those days!

Take out food from Green Door
 Ok so our picnic may have been on a bench but it had the best view!


My wonderful Benny


The view


The swimming pond


I look like a lump but it’s the only photo of me from the pond haha


Benny at the pond 

Love always,
Kate

(Not So) Little Life Update: It’s Been a Minute

Hello Folks!

It has been a MINUTE… well actually it’s been three months, but here I am! I have quite the update to do!

Home
So the last time I was on here I believe I was looking for somewhere new to live. I am happy to report that I have moved (I know, for like the fourth time since moving to Ottawa)! I now live in this cute area of Ottawa, closer to my school and work, and I have two roommates. They’re old friends of mine from my McDonald days. I’m finally all settled in and although my last apartment gave me total heart eyes, this place has quickly become a cozy little home.

School
I have not skipped a beat on school since returning to Carleton this past winter. In hopes of completing my General Bachelor of Art’s as soon as possible, I’ve been taking three summer courses throughout the duration of the summer. Summer classes are exhilarated so it’s been a lot of work, but it means I’ll be finished a semester sooner, so yay! (more…)