NO BOYS ALLOWED

Lifestyle/Personal

Girls weekend

Headed up to a cottage tonight for the entire weekend to celebrate my bestie’s stagette. I cannot wait for some tanning on the dock, girl-talk, a few drinks, and some intense relaxation! I’m using this weekend to unplug from my thoughts (and hopefully my phone) and simply enjoy everything that cottaging has to offer. I’m looking forward sleeping in, lounging in my sweats, reading, and not having to think so much about a schedule or which jobs I should be applying for next. Wait, that sounds a lot like what I’ve been doing since leaving the pizza place and freelancing a bit… oh well, might as well enjoy it while I can!

ENJOY LIFE AND KICK ASS, 
VANESSA XX

patience is a necessary nuisance

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

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My last day at work was a tough one. Tears were not shed but a piece of me will always be in that place, second homes are not easily forgotten no matter how imperfect or stressful or dramatic they are. I worked with such amazing kids (I say kids because they’re closer to 14 than I am), I served fantastic customers who would give me advice or make me laugh when I was having a bad day, and I worked for two people who were more than my bosses, sometimes they were my friends, sometimes they were my grandparents, sometimes they were my therapists. I’m happy and relived that I left on good terms, that their door is always open and that I can return as a customer and a friend. I’m ecstatic that they believe in me and that they wish for me to be successful. I hope I can make them proud. *If you’re ever in town (Bolton) give them a visit, I swear their lattes are the best kept secret in Bolton — the pizza is pretty rad too*

I can be impatient and a little stubborn sometimes, so now that I’m on full-out-job-hunting-mode I’m a little hyper. I want things to happen so I’m going out and getting it — or trying to. I’m feeling the pressure and in spite of those who think me a little crazy, I feel like something awesome is just on the horizon. Dreams, they drive your soul and guide you in the right direction. I might not have a plan but I know that I’m on the right path.

Hope your long weekend is filled with love and light!

Vanessa Xo

i saw the sign

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

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Sometimes things happen that you can’t explain. Moments occur that leave you curious, shocked, and with a perpetual look of confusion on your face. At work the other day I said something to a customer (an older George Clooney kind of man) about how women usually listen to their friend’s orders and follow their lead, not men. He replied with big eyes and lifted brows, “It’s 2014 — don’t get stuck thinking like that. This is Bolton, those people patterns don’t stick anywhere else. You need to get to the city, then maybe to London, see other places. Don’t get stuck in this kind of thinking — it’s just Bolton.”

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Am I THAT transparent? I served this man his pizza feeling utterly naked, completely stripped to the core with nowhere to run or hide. I have never felt so naive or narrow-minded in my life. Maybe I’m reading too much into this but when a first-time customer drops a mind-blowing bomb like that, you can’t help but take notice. Could this be a sign? A BIG RED STOP SIGN APPEARING OUT OF THIN AIR (OR AIR THAT SMELLS LIKE A COOKED PIZZA)? I THINK IT IS!

“You are doing all right. You are a good little soldier. You are feeling sad now because it is wartime. You are engaged in the greatest battle of them all: the battle to be yourself. It is the ugliest battle.”

— THE GIRL WHO WAS SATURDAY NIGHT

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

how I combat depression…

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

…when five important members of my support system are on vacation and I’m having a rough week.

1. Forget about negative comments and unhappy people. Although you’re realistic, you don’t need to keep hearing how hard it is to find a job or how much it sucks to get older or anything along those lines. Remember that you’re young enough to live the life you want to live. Have the courage to ignore the haters and keep on dreaming. 

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2. Facetime your family whenever you can. Just seeing the face of your niece or hearing the voice of your sister might make you forget about work related problems.

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3. Spend time with the family you have here. Make dinner with your brother and his girlfriend. Go to Burger’s Priest with your Uncle and boyfriend and yap until the rain forces you to go home. Invite your cousin over and make her some pasta with broccoli — then watch Catching Fire and have an open debate about who is hotter (TEAM PEETA!).

4. Invite your besties over and make them dinner. No, you don’t normally cook but you can totally lose yourself in a recipe and still feel in control — it’s getting everything ready at the same time that’s the tough part BUT you’ve got it covered. In fact, dinner comes out perfectly and your besties nearly lick their plates clean. After dinner, make a cake. Forget about your diet and eat the damn cake. Sing songs from your favourite boy bands, gossip your hearts out, discuss the important stuff, and give them the biggest of hugs when they leave, you’ll sleep easier at night.

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5. Head up to the cottage for a few days and let the fresh air clear your head. Eat all of those delicious things that are bad for you, drink loads of coffee (with cream), have a glass or two of vino, and treat yourself to good conversations with great people. Try something new, like driving a huge pickup truck or using a screwdriver. Don’t look at the clock, especially when holding hands with the love of your life, while sitting on the dock in the early morning light. Breathe it all in, let it all out. There are so many wonderful things in this world to be happy about.

6. Message your Buddy, she has the best advice, ALWAYS.

“I know buddy but I have accepted that my job doesn’t define me. I need money. So I’ll work and make money. And not worry about what work it is. I won’t give up on finding something great but it is Everything else I do in life is for me.”

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Let yourself feel giddy and happy over the littlest of things.

Write your heart out, even if no one reads it.

And that is how I combat depression, my friends.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

it's all about perspective

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

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You know what will put life into perspective? How about serving pizza to a man with a leg-and-a-half. I don’t mean for that to sound rude or insensitive — I’m simply stating facts. He limped on a wooden prosthetic leg, pain seemed to overcome his right leg as if all the pressure might cause an eruption. He was an older young man, with dark grey hair, crows feet around his eyes, and a boyish smile. He was polite and kind and my heart couldn’t bear  the pain in his eyes. I didn’t know his story and I dare not ask because something in his face, in his haunched shoulders, told me that his story isn’t an easy one. Perhaps one without a silver lining.

And there I was, dwelling on things that now seem so insignificant. It is astounding how narrow or self-centred our minds can become when we let our lives become the only life in existence that matters. When our tiny setbacks are nothing compared to someone else’s troubles. When we let a dark cloud come over us, weigh us down, and think negatively of our lives.

when really, it isn’t that bad at all.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

i need a Staycation from this midlife frustration….

Bursting the Bubble, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

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Heading up to Blue Mountain’s Scandinave Spa today with my sister and sister-in-law for a staycation of sorts. I’ve never been there before and literally couldn’t turn down their invite. I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation, to really focus on myself and what my next step will be. A cousin of mine called me out on my shit on Sunday. He said that I’m scared for the next step and I’ve stopped trying to do something different. I wanted to say that he is wrong but you can only hide from the truth for so long. So my goal for the next two days is to sit down and try to picture what I want from my life, from my career, and when I get back, apply like a crazy person.

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Good things come to those who work — but first a little pampering and gaining perspective. I’m bringing along Diane Keaton’s latest Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty and James Franco’s Directing Herbert White for a little bath-side inspiration. See you in a few days!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

 

Thrive [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Lifestyle/Personal

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Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and editor-in-cheif of the Huffington Post Media Group. I’m sure we can all imagine what kind of life she must lead, being one of the most efficient media outlets doesn’t come without its consequences. Thrive begins with the moment that Arianna Huffington realized she was completely and utterly burnt out. Brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep Huffington fell, hitting her eye and breaking her cheekbone. Is this what success really looks like? she wondered. There has to be more to success than just money and power, she thought. And so she is redefining success by adding a third metric to the equation: Well-being, Wonder, and Wisdom.

I’m at an impasse in my life; an infuriating and stressful impasse. As such, I sought out a book that could help me get out of my funk — Thrive was the perfect choice. Weaving her personal stories with statistics and facts, Huffington shines a light on the issues facing the modern generation. She helps you answer questions like what kind of life do I want to have? and re-invents what it means to be successful. Thrive opens your eyes with an in-depth look at lack of sleep, technology and the affect that being connected 24/7 has on a person.

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Famous quotes are scattered throughout the book adding an extra emphasis on certain points (my favourite is above). The quotes add a certain wonder and wisdom to the book (two important elements of her third metric). Filled with pointers on meditation, ideas and websites to visit for volunteering, personal stories and anecdotes, Thrive has something for every business woman and man out there. It’s also great for millennials like myself, to make us aware of the kind of world we’re walking into and how WE can make a change.

Thrive comes out March 25th — I urge you to pre-order a copy!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I chose Thrive from a list of Random House Canada titles and received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes I just can't do it

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

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I love my blog. I do. I love the way it looks, I love the way it feels, and I love that I’ve stuck to my guns as far as content is concerned. But sometimes I just can do it, I don’t FEEL like doing it. I’ll sit at my desk and think: WHAT’S THE POINT?! I’m not making a difference in anyone’s life, am I? This blog isn’t for the GREATER GOOD, it’s for the LESSER ME!

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I’ll go through weeks where everything I’ve written is complete crap, I’ll go through days and days of not wanting to share anything on my blog, I’ll stare at a blank screen and let my eyes well up with tears. Today, yesterday and the yesterday before that is one of those days.

I find comfort in knowing that even my favourite blogger goes through this kind of thing too. I find that it happens when I haven’t experienced anything new in a while, when I dream of going on vacation, or when I can’t do something that I really want to do. It happens when I feel uninspired. It happens when I feel forced to write. It happens when I get mad at my blog from distracting me from starting a new novel.

I guess the point is that it DOES happen and the only thing to do is let is pass.

Until then, is there anything you would like to see on My Pen, My Voice?

LMK in the comments!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Photo 1 from: April and May

"And when you want something…"

Bursting the Bubble, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Toronto Adventures

40ca7b9edbdeef4cceeb01913a2c1c82A while back I tweeted that I would go to an interview in February, that I would KILL it, and that I would start my career. I guess positive thinking really does have positive results because all of that came true! I’m not going to say too much other than that in about two weeks I’ll be starting a new job. It’s something I’ve never done before and I am completely totally freaking out! My best friend said that anything new will cause some kind of anxiety but you have to channel that into excitement. Apparently our bodies go through the same motions when we’re excited and when we’re nervous (anxious) — it’s how we perceive the situation that makes all the difference.

So, I’ve decided that I’m excited to start something new. The only thing I can do is work hard and try my very best! If it works out AWESOME — if not, it’s just another experience to add to the list.

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So, if my posts are few and far between, I want you all to know that I’m not gone for good! I’ll write as often as I can and will try to stay in the loop, I just want to give this job 150% of my effort.

Thanks for following along, here’s to a new experience to add to the books blog.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

 

25 things to do before you turn 25 (in 66 days)

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

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Near the beginning of February I start looking forward to my birthday (April 4th is only, like, 2 months away). I start to reflect and think about where I’ve been and what I want to do (okay so it’s just like every other day but stay with me for a second). This year I’m turning 25, TWENTY-FIVE, so obviously I’ve read all of the 25 things to do before you turn 25 lists. Although, I think they vary for each person, I must admit that most of the things I would want to do, I haven’t yet done.

15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.

 

25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.

ALL of these lists seem to have one very important rule in common – STOP BEING A BABY AND GROW THE EFF UP. As I dream of moving out and think of all of the responsibilities and loneliness that might come from that, I’m realizing that I really need to grow up. I need to take the initiative to make my life what I want it to be. And that is number 1 on my List of things to do in life, ASAP.

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Vanessa Xo

Photo 1 Credit: Pinterest 

Photo 2 Credit: Pinterest