how to feel less (a)lone(ly)

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

Don’t you just love how to posts? Especially ones that ensure that if you follow all 5/10/25 steps you’ll be happier/smarter/techier/the best blogger ever/hired? I love them too, they’re one of my guilty pleasures because even just thinking about doing those things makes me feel that much better/happier/whatever-er. It is rare that I put those thoughts into action but I’m going to try to make an effort to do so, even if some lists are lame.

Based on recent experience I wanted to share my own how to list. As in HOW TO FEEL LESS (a)LONE(ly). This is easier said than done and there are many exceptions to every how to list but alas, here it is:

1. GO OUT AND TALK TO PEOPLE. PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE/ISLANDS ARE BORING. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE THROUGH CONVERSATION (FACE-TO-FACE NOT VIA EMAIL). IF SEEING IS BELIEVING THEN YOU SHOULD PROBABLY SEE YOUR FRIENDS INSTEAD OF JUST BELIEVING THAT THEY ARE STILL IN YOUR LIFE.

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2. DON’T FEAR SOLITUDE. DON’T FEAR BEING ALONE. JUST FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO AND DO IT. FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS. YOU’LL FEEL FULFILLED, CREATIVE, AND ALIVE. LEARN HOW TO LOVE LOVE AND ALL THAT IT REPRESENTS.

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3. IF THAT DOESN’T WORK, SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BOOKS. ENTER A NEW WORLD AND MEET “NEW PEOPLE”. THIS IS JUST A BACK UP THOUGH. TRY NUMBER ONE AND TWO OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU FEEL LIKE A HUMAN BEING AGAIN.

photo 2This process may not work for you. I know that we all go through phases where we just want to be alone, where we don’t want to talk to anyone, where we just want to disconnect and run away from the world. Constant attachment to our phones and social media require us to have a tech-detox every once in a while but that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to stop connecting with people. Maybe you’re not sick of people, maybe you’re just sick of the way you connect with them. It’s so easy to feel lonely when the only form of communication you have with your bestie/boyfriend/sister is through text message, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s too easy to lose focus on your life, to envy the lives of other people when you soak up all of their social media posts. There’s no need for that. There is no need to hide from the world just because you think others are living a better life than you — Instagram ain’t the whole story.

Wait? Am I rambling. Yes. Okay… what was I saying? Oh yeah. Stop pushing people away, stop “liking” photos and start making memories. Tell someone in person how much you loved their photos from their trip (or better yet ask them to coffee and see the photos in person, maybe even hear about all of the moments that  they can’t share in a photo).

Feeling lonely? Stop hiding. Start living. 

“being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.”
― Charles BukowskiWomen

“The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.”
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven – Meniti Bianglala

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Bursting the Bubble [Week 7]

Bursting the Bubble

Every person I’ve met in publishing has an interesting story to tell. A story that often starts with a lot of work and no pay, a lot of learning, a lot of growing, and a lot of MAKING a place for themselves in whichever publishing house they come across. This week I went to CanBPA’s Mentor Mash at Cadillac Lounge. CanPBA is The Canadian Book Professionals’ Association: providing professional development and building community within the Canadian book industryThis particular event was like speed-dating for interns/publishing students, where publishing veterans went from table to table to tell their story, to answer questions, and to give us an inside scoop to the publishing industry.

The mentors were:

Production: Valentina Capuani (Random House of Canada)

Sales: Sarah Labrie (Scholastic Canada)

Agent: Ali McDonald (The Rights Factory)

Publicity: Evan Munday (Coach House Books)

Design: Ingrid Paulson (Ingrid Paulson Design)

Digital Marketing: Lindsey Reeder (Random House of Canada) — Yay Lindsey!!

Editorial: Alana Wilcox (Coach House Books)

The event was a great eye opener and the perfect way to learn more about each sector of publishing. I found Ingrid Paulson’s story and talk particularly interesting. You don’t often think about how important a book cover is, or how it has to convey the novel’s entire message and a world of emotions. You don’t realize that authors write in colour, in shades, in night versus day. You don’t think about a book cover as an emotional experience for the author either, but it’s the first time they really realize that their book is being published.

Mostly what I gathered from the Mentor Mash is that publishing is full of hard work and pretty long hours. It’s important as a student or intern or someone who wants to get into publishing to make yourself an asset, to use whatever creativity you have to help the company, to get a book sold. It really helps if you’re passionate about books and reading.

jennie-rooney-port_2516546bAlso this week, I met Jennie Rooney, the author of Red Joan. I was lucky enough to tag along while she and my colleague, Dan, went to sign stock. I find it extraordinary to meet authors — particularly if I’ve read their book. I hope I’ll be in their shoes someday and I find it interesting to meet the person behind the story. I had a great afternoon accompanying Jennie, she a wonderful person with quick wit and she has great taste in music. Jennie is an inspiring novelist (from what I can tell by Red Joan) and I am thoroughly interested in picking up her other books.

This week was a great one for me and I’m feeling really positive. I had the chance to ingest and digest a lot of information, to interact with many different people in the industry, and I even took the time to ask questions. I’m understanding how important it is to put yourself out there as an intern, how important it is to ask questions. Thanks to all of this information, I’m finally starting see where I want to be in the world of publishing. When I started this internship I wasn’t all that sure about Publicity, I wasn’t sure if I had the personality for it, but now I’m almost certain I could do it. I would also love to try my hand at Online/Digital Marketing — I love the combination of interacting with people online AND in person. I love the idea of spreading the word about a great book.

I love that this internship is opening my eyes to a world of possibilities that I didn’t know existed.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Share your Dreams and Win! [Giveaway]

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

dogeared-logo-card-3-80

My crush on Dogeared Jewels and Gifts occurred suddenly a few months back when I was scouring the Chapters website  for something to purchase. I stumbled on these wonderful necklaces and thought Mama needs one of those! I headed over to the Dogeared website and poked around a bit, looking for something to add to my birthday wish-list. Which I found — but I’ll get to that in a second.

Dogeared is a family owned business (a husband and wife team, Marcia and Merlin Clarke) with its headquarters in Culver City, California. Their charms are custom-made in the design studio and made-to-order. What I love most about their product is the message that comes with each necklace. This simple card makes each piece much more personal. It says this necklace was made for you, to inspire you, right now

My favourite Dogeared collections include Make A WishWhispers, 3 Wishes, and Love. I found my favourite piece in the Make A Wish collection: lovely charms, pretty chains, and lots of positive energy. These necklaces remind you to wish without limits!

My necklace of choice: free bird.

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As a Writer I’ve always had an obsession with quills, they’ve always represented “WRITER” to me. That’s one reason I fell for this feather — the other reason is the meaning behind the charm. I want to wear this necklace as a reminder to be curious, to open my heart to all different possibilities, to be free to take chances. I want to wear it as a reminder that I am a Writer and I must follow my dreams.

I got in touch with the wonderful people at Dogeared and they have agreed to run a giveaway for this beautiful necklace on my blog — so that YOU can wear it as a reminder to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. Get this, they also sent ME my very own free bird necklace!!!!

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This necklace has quickly become my favourite everyday piece. It’s sweet, subtle, dainty, and goes with any outfit. It’s the perfect length too, not too long and not too short. It’s always visible with what I’m wearing and I’ve gotten tonnes of compliments on it.

Here’s how to win:

Step One: LIKE Dogeared Jewelry on Facebook

Step Two: Using the Hashtag #DogearedDreams, post a picture on Twitter or Instagram that represents YOUR passion/dreams.

Be creative!

Please be sure to include myself @VanessaGrillone and @DogearedJewelry in your tweet/Instagram pic.

GOOD LUCK and may all of your DogearedDreams come true! 

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo 

The contest runs from today (MARCH 28th) until midnight on APRIL 4th, 2013 (my birthday). I will announce the winner on April 5th!

I have something else for you, for the duration of the giveaway week, Dogeared Jewelry has offered my wonderful readers 10% off of their first/next purchase, just use promo code DEDREAMS10 and you’re good to go!

** OPEN TO CANADIAN and U.S. RESIDENTS **

“…the relentless pursuit of riches doesn’t lead to a meaningful life.”

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I just finished reading minimalism: live a meaningful life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus and I must say that I’m a little overwhelmed. I took to highlighting my favourite parts, writing down my favourite quotes, and making notes in the margins of the book – it seems that I’m well on my way to growth and change.

 

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At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life’s most important aspects. And they never looked back.

Although I grew up with a different lifestyle than the minimalists and have consciously been working towards my passion for years, I got a lot out of this book. It helped me realize that there are many areas in my life that I need to work on. It made me realize that I need to focus on the more important things (health, passion, relationships, growth, and contribution) while letting go of all the crap that doesn’t add any REAL VALUE to my life, things that get in the way of living a meaningful life. 

This book brought to light simple values, ideas, and truths about the human condition, “Conformity is the drug with which many people self-medicate…We try to keep up…placing immense pressure on ourselves to be something– or someone– we’re not,” (Foreword). Don’t conform, don’t put pressure on yourself to live someone else’s life. Live your life and make it meaningful!

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I would definitely read this book again (in fact they recommend that you do). I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to figure out if they’re really happy, anyone who wants to live a life that is full of value – full meaning.

Hope you all had a wonderful Friday!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo 

Check out: The Minimalists Blog

 

"…the relentless pursuit of riches doesn't lead to a meaningful life."

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I just finished reading minimalism: live a meaningful life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus and I must say that I’m a little overwhelmed. I took to highlighting my favourite parts, writing down my favourite quotes, and making notes in the margins of the book – it seems that I’m well on my way to growth and change.

 

lml_3d_small

 

At age 30, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on life’s most important aspects. And they never looked back.

Although I grew up with a different lifestyle than the minimalists and have consciously been working towards my passion for years, I got a lot out of this book. It helped me realize that there are many areas in my life that I need to work on. It made me realize that I need to focus on the more important things (health, passion, relationships, growth, and contribution) while letting go of all the crap that doesn’t add any REAL VALUE to my life, things that get in the way of living a meaningful life. 

This book brought to light simple values, ideas, and truths about the human condition, “Conformity is the drug with which many people self-medicate…We try to keep up…placing immense pressure on ourselves to be something– or someone– we’re not,” (Foreword). Don’t conform, don’t put pressure on yourself to live someone else’s life. Live your life and make it meaningful!

tumblr_melxcsDLku1qitvdso1_400_large

I would definitely read this book again (in fact they recommend that you do). I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to figure out if they’re really happy, anyone who wants to live a life that is full of value – full meaning.

Hope you all had a wonderful Friday!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo 

Check out: The Minimalists Blog

 

Just Thinking Out Loud…

Lifestyle/Personal, Uncategorized

I’m no one important. I’m not famous. I’m not old or wise – in fact my 23rd birthday is a week away and I feel that I’m too young to say that I’ve lived. I work at a pizza place, I go to school, and I write – all of which I do part-time, the first of which is the only one I get paid for.

But I think that everyone has the ability to impact and influence the life of another human being in a positive way. If I could choose to influence one group of people, it would be teens. Sure they’re scary but I think I’m close enough the their age to remember what it felt like – being young and free (or as free as your parents let you be).

If I could speak to an auditorium full of high school students I would start by saying, “I’ve been there – not decades ago, but recently”.

I’ve been made fun of for being smart, fat, and ugly – which lead me to become shy and always conscious of my weight. I’ve smoked and I’ve drank – neither of which I enjoyed. I’ve lied to my parents and to my friends to get out of doing things, or to do things I shouldn’t be.

I’ve been scared to speak up.

I’ve gotten good grades and nearly failed a few assignments too. I’ve done things worth regretting and I’ve regretted not doing things. I’ve gotten myself into bad situations and I’ve learnt my lesson each time. 

I’ve been there. Everything that happens in high school is temporary. 

  • don’t be afraid to be the best or the worst at something
  • try everything that scares you BUT keep your moral compass in tact
  • pay attention in class but have fun
  • don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  • don’t make fun of people because you really don’t know anything about them 
  • talk to your parents sometimes
  • learn how to fix relationships and friendships, work on them – don’t just throw them away

 Explore and discover your passions. 

Pain is as temporary as high school – make the most of it. 

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo