happiness

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

Little Life Update: Being Someone Who is Sad – Not a Sad Person

Hello Folks,

Sometimes I hate my intro, but I think I’ve grown too accustomed to starting all posts like that so I feel obligated to. It does help me from having to think of a creative way to dive into a post. If I didn’t have it I think all my posts would start with some nonsensical rambling like this. Sigh. Anyways.

I think my years worth of posts have made it quite evident that depression is something I have experienced, in waves, throughout my life time. I’ve never been able to pin-point what brings it on, or when it started and I’ve spent a lot of my adult life trying to come closer to a conclusion.

I know that a staggering amount of women experience depression and suicidal thoughts as a result of the birth control pill, and having started the pill when I was about 15, similarly around the time I started feeling these bouts of depression, I thought that maybe that could have been it. I discontinued the use of my birth control in the summer, and instantly I noticed my mood swings go away. I thought my depression had gone away too, until recently.

Sometimes I think it may be from an overbearing amount of emotional stimulation. I tend to feel everything arguably too deeply. Having recently gone through a break up from my boyfriend of almost 4 years, it was safe to say I was really sad. We lived together, technically still live together, and seeing each other so often can obviously be hard. It’s difficult to be sad about something ending, happy you’re still friends, but confused on what seeing them every day means.

I think my whole life I’ve always analyzed everything, every interaction, every thought, every possible outcome of a situation and obviously this can become very draining. On top of the emotional rollercoaster I consider myself to be on, I think it’s just become too much.

It’s just scary to think because I wanted to blame birth control. I didn’t want to be a sad person, I just wanted to be a person who had sad thoughts because they were on this pill that had those results as a side effect. It’s a little over whelming in itself to come to that conclusion. That something inside of your brain is wired in a way that just makes you feel sad. That makes you want to push the people you love away from you. It’s like turning over in bed at night and wishing so badly the other person would grab you back, even though you were the one to turn over in the first place.

I try to remind myself everything that is going really well. I repeat to myself the things that are making me happy. The changes in my life that I’m amidst of. The things I’m doing right now that will pay off in the future. But it can be so friggen difficult. It’s hard to know if you’re ever doing the right thing, if being in school again is even worth it. What if I fail my classes? What if I’m not smart enough? What if I don’t get into midwifery? I can’t go back to working full-time at a brain-numbing job. I can’t. So I push forward into so much unknown it nearly makes me sick.

I wish I was excited by the unknown. I wish I could jump head first into it and be excited by it’s mystery. But I’m not. I like a solid ground to walk upon, I like to know what to expect next. Being rational isn’t exactly as sexy as being spontaneous, unfortunately.

I’ve tried to shift my perspective. That my bouts of depression aren’t a character flaw, but more so something that I occasionally have to go through. It just sucks because I can feel my self projecting my emotions onto those around me and I always worry that they don’t see it this way. They don’t see it as an opportunity to get closer to me by comforting me, but instead as a nuisance in their life, by being a dark cloud on their otherwise sunny day. I just don’t want to be the sad girl in anyones life. I don’t want to be the sad girl in my own life.

Kate

Little Life Update: Milestones & The Women’s March

Hello Folks,

I just wanted to write a quick little thing. Today I hit 50 followers on my blog! I know this doesn’t seem like a lot and I really don’t focus on things like my following because I truly only write to vent and for nothing more, but I still thought it was pretty neat to think 50 people have been following me along on this journey.

On another note, I’ve been enjoying all the posts, tweets, articles, etc. about the Women’s March’s across the world today. Although there are always the oppressors and the trolls, I think it’s safe to say there are so many more allies. So proud of all the Women (however you identify) and allies who marched today. Here are a few of my favourite signs I’ve seen:

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Shared by @Sarcasticluther on Twitter

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Shared by @Emilygbrown on Twitter

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Shared by @ddale8 on Twitter

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Shared by @iElanaojeda1 on Twitter

I hope you’re all enjoying your Saturday and had the opportunity to participate in a women’s march in your area or the conversation that is happening online world wide. We may be taking baby steps, but at least we’re moving forward.

Love always,
Kate

Little Life Updates: I’m Ok, Really

Hello Folks,

I’ve spent the last year thinking about dying. Thinking about why I think about dying. It’s confusing and painful and some times the thoughts feel so intrusive, like they aren’t thoughts of mine but ones that someone else is implanting in my mind for me.

In my last post I mentioned feeling suicidal and I’m thankful for the people who reached out to me (and my mother) after it was posted, but it got me thinking. I have some clarification I need to do. I was wrong, I’m not suicidal, because that may imply that 1) I want to end my life and 2) I have tried to end my life. Neither are true. I have come to the conclusion that my “suicidal thoughts” are not exactly that, but a desire to no longer exist, to no longer have to live my specific life.

I know it’s selfish to say, or even think. When it comes down to it, I’m very thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given and I know that I live a very privileged life. My biggest struggles come from money and my own sanity, but as far as food, water, shelter and material goods, I’m extremely grateful.

Most of my resentment towards my own life lies with my mental state, which if you’ve been following me for a while, you know wavers constantly. Just today I was looking through old posts in an attempt to recategorized and organize them, and it was funny to see the back and forth between feeling like things were finally looking up, and feeling extremely dreary.

I just wanted to let anyone who’s been wondering know that I’m ok. Sometimes I get mad at my brain because it feels like it’s natural state is sadness. Normal people get to start each day with a blank state of emotions, with sadness, happiness, anger, etc. being added as they experience situations throughout the day. I feel like I’m broken in the way that my day starts with an off set of sadness, and I have to actively seek things that cause me happiness, and draw it out of the smallest situations, instead of that emotion coming to me naturally.

That might not make any sense, but it’s the best way I can find to describe it. What I’m trying to say, is that yes, I may be sad, but I’m ok, because the way I feel isn’t in direct correlation to something that has happened to me, but just how my mind chooses to start each day. I’m learning to live with my rain cloud, one day at a time, and I hope soon that instead of getting soaked, I can feel as though I’m dancing in the rain.

Love always,
Kate

Not Giving Up (Yet)

Hello Folks,

So it’s been approximately five months and five days since I graduated from the Event Management program and approximately three months and six days since I returned to McDonald’s.

I want to make something clear: I want to get a job in the event field… or at least that’s what I keep telling myself to justify going to school and spending the rest of my savings for. The more I think about the jobs I can apply for, the less I want to do any of it though. Yes, some of it is nerves related to the idea of getting my first real job and all the possibilities I have to mess it up, but mainly it’s just that I don’t see myself occupying any of the positions.

Not to mention, applying for jobs is a job in itself. For starters, you have to find entry level positions, which by “entry” they mean have 3-5 years experience in a field you just graduated from (haha, not kidding). Then you also have to be bilingual because for some reason I chose to stay in Ontario (big mistake). The list of qualifications and restrictions goes on and on. It’s completely exhausting to tell you the truth.

I know that it’s just a matter of time and obviously the more you apply the more chances you have to finally getting a call back but the more I revised my resume, or the more cover letters I wrote, the less I wanted to do any of the jobs I was applying for. I’d stumble across a position that I’d be completely unqualified for and think “wow I’d really like to do that”, and wonder why I even took Event Management in the first place. I guess it’s the typical “the grass is always greener on the other side” state of mind, but I still can’t help thinking it.

I still think that I’d excel in an event based job but right now my biggest motivators for getting a new job is 1) not waking up at 5am, 2) not having to shower every day when I get home 3) not having to wear a smelly uniform 4) not having to tell people I work in the fast food industry and 5) finally getting a use out of my certificate. Those don’t exactly seem like the greatest reasons to want to work at a job for the rest of your life, do they?

It’s funny because I thought I’d just graduate and find a job shortly after I returned from traveling and then just botta-bing-botta-boom I’d turn into some sort of working adult. Instead, it’s been 5 months, I work at the same fast food restaurant I did while I was gaining my degree and I still feel like some lost teenager who has no clue what they’re doing. I guess I was searching for stability and I never quite found it.

I’m not giving up though. I’m trying to find new positions that my degree still applies to, and hoping to god that eventually one of my cover letters will catch someones eye and they’ll take a chance and interview me and I won’t blow that interview.

Mainly I wanted to write this because I feel this pressure all the time to finally get a “real” job (an expression in itself that is deconstructive), and I think it’s a pressure I make up in my head because I don’t think any of my family, or friends or whomever really give a shit if I work at McDonald’s or if I’m working at the best event company in Ottawa. I just hate the idea of becoming a statistic… one more graduate that doesn’t get a job and their certificate/degree/whatever just goes to waste. I guess it just feels like right now I’m going down a check list to growing up and I’m stuck between x) graduate from college and x) get your first real job.

I don’t know how many more metaphor’s I can come up with for feeling stuck but that’s it. I’m stuck. I’m stuck in a cycle of working all day and having no desire to apply for jobs in my free time, then going to work and wishing I’d finally get a new job despite putting in no effort to actually do so. It’s a vicious cycle and every once in a while I break out of it and apply for a few new jobs, but never enough to actually give me a solid chance of landing anything. Even my posts are becoming a cycle of being pessimistic and then optimistic haha.

Maybe if I stopped complaining on my blog and actually spent the time applying for jobs I’d have one by now 😉 haha

Love always,
Kate