Uncategorized

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye…

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I finally figured out why I’ve changed the format, layout, and logo of this blog so many times in the last year. I finally understand why looking at a blank post fills me with anxiety. I finally understand why this has to be my last blog post on My Pen, My Voice (for real this time).

I have outgrown my blog and the brand I created. 

I started blogging in 2010, as a shy twenty-one-year old searching desperately for her voice. My Pen, My Voice became a place to share my stories, document my life, and hone in on my writing style. As the years went on, my confidence as a writer grew ten-fold and the sentiment behind My Pen, My Voice no longer reigned true. Try as I might, there was no change great enough to turn this blog into something that represented me while still staying true to the brand I created.

Although I am proud of this blog and cherish every person it allowed me to meet and every door it has swung open for me, I feel ready to move on and leave it behind for good. It will remain an active website so that I can always look back, but that is all. My Pen, My Voice is all about the clumsy, crazy, scary things that come with trying to find yourself, trying to become who you are. Now that I am who I am, it is time for us to part ways.

Why now? I am ready to leave this younger version of myself behind and focus on my career. I hope to find more challenging forums and outlets to submit my work to. I hope to write more risky and opinionated pieces that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about on here. I hope to finally sit down and write the novel that’s been in my head for years. No, I will do all these things and more.

Why now? Because sometimes decisions are already made in the subconscious of your heart and it takes a little time for you realize it. This decision involves an intense amount of growth and change. This decision allows me to stop hiding behind my blog and try something new.

So it is time to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to a new adventure; thanks for following along.

Xoxo,

Vanessa 

 

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Lifestyle/Personal, Uncategorized

They keep tellin’ me I’m doing it wrong…

The title of this blog post comes from a song written by one of my friends.  It’s about being confident in your choices, being proud of the life you’re living, and not caring about what ANYONE thinks about you.

Only two weeks into 2016 and I’m already learning loads about what I want from life. I’m learning about what makes me happy and who I love spending my time with. I’m understanding the importance of personal growth and change. I’m accepting that trust is earned, judgement is unnecessary, and happiness is a state of mind.

I’m fine with being on a different wavelength and I’m okay with letting go of situations I have no control over.

“I’m not scared of being a little bit different. I’m feeling good just the way I am.”

-The Simple Things by Out of the Blue

Xoxo,
Vanessa 

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Conversations for Two [Book Review]

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These are pieces of my story. We carve out our world in sections of memory. Some things take root.

I finished reading Conversations for Two by Jacqueline Markowitz almost a week ago and it’s still haunting me (in the best kind of way).  When someone close to you passes there is a period of time where you are flooded with memories you shared with them. A period where you try to understand who they were, what they loved, and what they could have become.

When one woman comes across her brother’s writing twenty-five years after his death, she is transported through fragments of memories that piece together who he really was and what he loved most. As someone who diligently keeps a notebook at arms length, who writes down everything, I was completely enthralled by this concept. What would people learn about me from those notebooks? What kinds of emotions would it evoke?

Conversations for Two is filled with unanswered questions, quaint memories, and heartwarming poems. Written with sincerity and literary tenacity, this novel is reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje’s work. It is a dark, deep, and transcendent read. I warn you that this novel demands your attention. It requires your focus and your heart. It’s the perfect novel for those few days between Christmas and New Year’s when your heart is filled with joy and magic is around every corner.

Xoxo, 

Vanessa 

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of Conversations for Two in exchange for an honest review.

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal, Uncategorized

Turn Up the Good – Weekend Bliss

 
Instead of writing non-stop this weekend, I walked. I explored, drove, ate, and laughed. I went to Toronto and to Hamilton. I bustled around a Christmas Market and nearly peed myself at a comedy show (Jim Jefferies is one gifted storyteller). I took selfies and talked about politics. I visited my old bosses and reminisced my heart out. 

I felt blissfully light and optimistic while I dreamed about the future. I’ve been trying to picture, as well as, plan my next step. A tiny piece of me wants to go back to school – I miss learning and expanding my brain creatively.  Some days being twenty-six makes me feel old and stuck, other days  I feel young and my gut knows that change is imminent.

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”  – Leo Buscaglia

  
  
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Xoxo,

Vanessa

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Everything I Never told You [Book Review]

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This weekend I read Everything I Never told You by Celeste Ng and subsequently had my heart broken in a million different pieces. Although my family is the type who says what they feel, I’m fairly certain that we’ve all held on tight to our own thoughts and feelings at least once. I often kept my thoughts to myself, letting emotions build until I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

The Lee family does that over and over again without realizing it. The unravelling of their relationships begins slowly and intensifies as time goes on. Dreams and pressures are transferred from mother and father straight to their children, depositing unrealistic goals and expectations. It is not until Lydia’s body is found that the Lee’s are forced to take a look at the state of their fragile family.

Going back and forth through time, the reader is transported into the mind of each character. Reading their innermost thoughts leaves you with a guilty knot in your stomach, as if you’ve stumbled on pages of their dairy. You find yourself aching to shake them while screaming “SAY SOMETHING, SAY ANYTHING!” But I guess that’s kind of the point…

“Before that she hadn’t realized how fragile happiness was, how if you were careless, you could knock it over and shatter it.”

― Celeste NgEverything I Never Told You

Everything I Never told You will delight, sadden, and entertain its readers. It will force them to remember all of those things they wish they said to someone. It begs its reader to not only be true to themselves but to be honest to those that love them.

 

Xoxo,

Vanessa 

Disclosure: I requested this novel from Penguin Random House Canada and was sent a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Uncategorized

Without Writing I am…

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Whether you’ve noticed or not, it’s been 10 days since I’ve posted anything new on my blog. It’s not that I haven’t been writing (because without writing I am not myself) it’s that I haven’t felt like sharing. Every blogger I knew goes through this, moments of self-doubt or fear that they’re sharing too much. Moments where they feel as though they’d rather be doing something else. Moments where they contemplate the point of their blog’s existence.

Recently I’ve been having trouble relating to my blog and the person who created it. I’ve wondered whether or not my last post really should have been on December 31st, 2014, but then I realized that my lack of blog posts has nothing to do with who I am as a person or writer, and everything to do with the fact that I have more going on in my life now than I once did. I’m currently learning loads in my new role as Customer Service Coordinator at Serrano Imports, I’m taking a social media marketing course at George Brown, I’m trying to stay fit and healthy, and…this past weekend I got engaged!!

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So if my posts come few and far between for the next little while, you know why.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

Uncategorized

Live your Best Life

Thinking a lot about taking risks and making the most out of life. Enjoyed all the best parts of life this weekend: food, books, friends, love, flowers, and family. Looking forward to changing weather, a new job, a few goodbyes, and moving forward. Hoping for the best, working hard, and staying positive. Also hoping for deeper thoughts and a few pages filled with magical wondrous words.

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To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.
Mandy Hale

Love Always,
Vanessa Xo

*Posted from my Moto X