Category Archives: Random Musings

Friday Wrap Up (and help I need San Francisco reco’s)

Guess what! Next week I’m going to California! I’ve never been and I’m super excited about it. Several months ago my good friend Dawn told me she was attending a conference in San Francisco and asked if I wanted to join her for a Danny Tanner adventure once her obligations were over. Pretty tempting… I’ve always wanted to go to SF and what better time to do it? Okay, well, it’s not exactly the most ideal time to visit the US considering everything that’s going on, but I bought my ticket before this shirtshow really got underway and it’s non-refundable so…I’m goin’.

Which leads me to my request, people of San Francisco, or just frequent visitors, WHERE SHOULD WE EAT?! Any must-eat places you can recommend?

You know? I still have regrets about not eating enough in Nashville. We’re looking for at least one nicer dinner, cheaper lunches, cool drink spots, etc. Well, you know what I like. We’re staying in the North Beach area but we’ll be all over the place so we’re easy. I don’t even know what SF is known for food-wise, so I need some help.

I’m also visiting my long time blog friend Cely for a few days while I’m out there, which I am SO excited about. We’ve been internet friends for about 5-6 years now but have never actually met in person, so that’s going to be a time! I can’t believe it’s finally happening. When I told her I was coming out there she immediately offered to host me for a romantic Valentine’s weekend. We’re starting off our adventure in Lake Tahoe, and this is one of the pictures Cely took when she was there a couple weeks ago…

I die. That picture takes my breath away. I can’t even imagine in person. Ah, I’m getting overwhelmed thinking about all the shenanigans.

Other things that are going on…

Tilly is still loving the crap out of her cat tree.

It’s the best $100 I’ve ever spent. She seriously lives in it.

Tilly and Bonnie are still not friends. We still have Bonnie in the guest room with the screen separating them and do an hour or two of supervised visits every day. Tilly is just OBSESSED with Bonnie and wants to harass her all the time, but Bonnie would prefer to be left alone. Every encounter is just soooo dramatic. Tilly will get closer and closer until she’s all up in Bonnie’s face like the below photo, and then one of them will start swatting in the other’s direction and I’ll have to intervene with a feather toy to distract them.

I am seeing improvements though, so I still have hope they’ll be coexisting in a couple of weeks.

The other day I was looking through my Netflix and saw the OA was recommended to me…

Because I watched the cracking fireplace. I’m not sure what my show choices say about the kind of person I am… Anyone watch the OA? Because based on that recommendation it sounds just riveting.

And is anyone watching Riverdale yet?

I was freaking obsessed with Archie comics when I was younger, my bestie and I would spend our summer days reading those on the dock and we still buy them for each other for holidays now. So I was SO EXCITED when I heard they were making it into a show. I don’t know how it hasn’t happened sooner.

Normally I don’t like it when things are changed up too much from what I’m used to and love — Riverdale is a lot darker than the original Archies and the characters are VERY loosely based and I’m not sure what to think of this weird, creepy Jughead (or Luke Perry as Mr. Andrews, or Miss Grundy?!) — but I actually loved the first episode. The second one I didn’t like quite as much, but I’m still hoping it’s gonna be good.

Speaking of Netflix, since I’m technically not working right now I’ve enforced a no Netflix before 4pm rule around here so I can try to be productive during the day. Otherwise it’s a slippery slope and I feel like I’ll just be on my couch in my pajamas all day watching all the things. I mean, I do still spend a lot of time on my couch in my pajamas, I’m currently writing this from my couch in my pajamas, BUT I’m trying to focus on productive things like writing. Though, that’s not to say I don’t spend a lot of time messing around on the internet, which is also a slippery slope…

And speaking of writing, I’m covering an event tonight celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year for a freelance article I’m working on for a travel website, and the event is an EIGHT COURSE DINNER. I feel a little nervous about it, mostly because I won’t know anyone there, but oh man I’m so excited for all that food!!! I’ll report back.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Here I go again on my own

Back at the end of 2015 I posted about starting a new job in communications at Girl Guides. I don’t think I mentioned this at the time but that was a one year contract which ended in November 2016, and my last day was the day before we left for Florida (we planned our trip so it would work out like that). When I was originally hired there was the possibility of my role being extended but long story short, that role wasn’t a great fit. Also, we got a new CEO, the program that I was hired to work on changed direction, there was some restructuring, and here I am, unemployed (though I like to say FUNemployed). I’m basically in the same place as when I left my previous job in the summer of 2015 because I was unhappy there (more about that here).

I enjoyed my time at Girl Guides but early on I knew the role wasn’t for me. Actually, going into it before I even accepted the offer I knew it wasn’t for me. But I didn’t admit it to myself at the time. If I had a different role there I think it could have been different because it is an amazing organization and I truly believe it is making a difference in the lives of girls and women. I don’t regret working there. Again I made some lifelong (I hope) friends, had some inspiring experiences, I made some money, and the graphic designer was overloaded with work so I got to do a lot of graphic stuff that I really enjoy and is great for my portfolio.

But in the end it’s  a role that I took for an entire year, where I knew the entire time it wasn’t going to work out, knew going into it that it probably wasn’t going to work out, but I did it anyway. I left my previous job to work on my own writing and get my freelance writing and design business up and running, and I completely abandoned it for this role. And I have been wondering why I did that.

I went out for lunch with a friend last week who I met at my old job at the recruitment firm (the one I left in the summer of 2015). She is still in recruiting – though for a different company now – so we got talking about career stuff and I explained the above to her and she asked me “Why would you take that job if you knew it wasn’t right for you?”

Well, aside from the fact that it’s a great organization and I was being optimistic about my role there, I think there are two main reasons:

I felt like I needed a job. Though I was actually doing well freelancing I was feeling antsy and like I needed a steady 9-5. Our society really puts emphasis on having a “job”. We value going somewhere every day for 8 hours and working and getting a steady paycheque. I felt the pressure to have that, and whether that was actual pressure or just imagined pressure that I was putting on myself I don’t know. Every time someone asked me what I was doing I felt embarrassed to not have a “job”, which I know is ridiculous!

And that same friend pointed this reason out to me and everything sort of clicked – I took that position because it was safe. It was the easy way out. It was a role that I knew I could do, that I had experience in, and I knew that while I was there I was in a safe space. It wasn’t anything new and I wasn’t branching out. I wasn’t putting myself out there. Doing your own thing is A LOT harder than showing up somewhere every day and doing what you’re told. So I put my own thing on hold and I did the safe, easy thing.

The problem is I didn’t give myself enough time to try out what I really want to be doing, which is working for myself. I don’t know if I would have failed or succeeded because I only gave it a halfhearted try. I wanted to start a podcast, I wanted to start a web comic, I have a lot of ongoing blog goals, and I wanted to finish my book with stories and cartoons about growing up in the middle of nowhere by March of last year. None of those things happened, because I was being safe and working. Oh sure, I told myself that I would work during the day and focus on those things at night and on weekends, but I did not do that enough.

One afternoon at Girl Guides, the social committee (which I was on) planned a tree tour through the cemetery with the arborist who worked there. His passion for his work was so evident and I remember feeling really envious about his enthusiasm. That the job he went into every day was what he truly loved. There was nothing else he’d rather be doing. His job was his passion and he was living his dream. (I’m sure he still had his moments, everyone does.)

I don’t think that everyone’s job can be their passion. Sometimes I do think you need to work a “job”, to support yourself, your family, whatever. I was talking to another friend about this and she admitted her job is not her passion but she likes it well enough, it pays well, has some flexibility, has amazing benefits and such an amazing pension that she could never picture herself leaving. So maybe she works her job but does things she is passionate about on the side. I totally get that.

But could my job be my passion? I always thought it would be. I can still hear my boss at OFSAA saying to me when my position there was discontinued (I’m sensing a theme here), “Lindsey, you need to write and you need to be creative. You can do more than this role.” He is not wrong, and I knew it about my role there, too, but again it was the safe one! Why did I graduate from journalism and then go into communications? Safe route. I wonder if I will ever be as successful working somewhere else as I will be for myself if I REALLY write and be creative FOR ME and give it a REALLY GOOD TRY.

And I’m not talking about being a professional blogger. I do make some money from my blog, but it’s basically just enough to cover my hosting fees. It’s certainly not enough to live on, and though I could definitely take it up a notch if I stepped up the effort, let’s be honest – this is a hobby blog. Recapping my days is something I do for me, not something I expect to make a living on. But even with my blog I take the safe way out. I started this blog as a healthy living blog when what I really wanted to do was draw comics and tell stories because it was easier to get into it. I need to stop taking the easy way out and really push myself. I do recaps of my regular days because they’re safe and easy instead of doing my stories and drawing comics, and instead of starting a podcast (sometimes I do love recapping my activities but I’m saying I need to branch out more).

And every time my blog has gotten a lot of attention (for example with the guy who didn’t exist and with the piggyback fail) I’ve gotten scared that I’ve attracted too many people and I immediately pulled back and took a break, thus losing that momentum.

So, all this to say, I am currently unemployed but I have some plans (and I signed up for a Ladies Learning Code course that I’m excited about) and honestly it’s a pretty good time to not be working a “job.” Aside from the fact that Evan and I are getting married in four months (OMG!!!) and planning that takes time, I feel like I have a unique opportunity YET AGAIN to figure my shit out. And this time I’m going to. If the right opportunity does come up (’cause I am still hunting!) then yes, I will work a “job”, and maybe that’s what’s in the cards for me and I just haven’t found the right one yet. Maybe that job can even be my passion. But I need to give my own stuff a good try to figure that out. Whatever happens, in a year I will not be in the same place as I am right now.

And WHEW, sorry for the wall of text but it felt so good to write all that!

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Friday Wrap Up

On Saturday I received a comment on my blog that said someone had stolen one of my photos and was using it for their business. They linked to here:

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I mean, it is a great photo. But it was taken in Ontario, CANADA. Nowhere near Florida. I’m pretty sure there are coniferous trees in the background! And you can’t use proper grammar and spelling on your business page? I guess I’m not really surprised if you have to resort to stealing photos.

Thank you so much to the anonymous person who commented and alerted me – I have no idea how you even found this and recognized my friends and I, within 24 hours of it being posted. If you are a stalker please know I appreciate you. I commented on the photo (on both Facebook and Instagram) and said it was my photo, not taken in Florida, we certainly did not have a bachelorette there (that was just a regular girls boat trip, it wasn’t even a bachelorette), and to please take the photo down immediately. Do you know what those sneaky photo stealers did? Deleted my comment and left the photo up!

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So I commented again, and then my friends started commenting as well, and eventually they removed the photo. But watch out for Naples Land and Sea Rentals. I had never heard of them but I have a sneaking suspicion they’re not very legit if they can’t find actual customers to take pictures of. SNEAKY.

I went back to the CNE on Tuesday with Sherrie, her boyfriend Will, her friend Yamina from Switzerland and her mom…

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We ate all the things and went on all the rides and it was a really good time until the CNE shut down at 9:3o due to a brawl. It was youth day and I have never seen it so busy. It was like walking through a mosh pit in there. There were reports of gunshots (CNE says that’s false, but honestly I don’t know…) so once the word spread about that people started absolutely panicking and literally stampeding towards the exit. It happened when we were on a ride, but Will was off holding our purses so he saw it all go down and alerted us to the problem immediately when we got off. He knew that panic would ensue once word spread so he quickly (but calmly) ushered us towards an exit, so we weren’t in the way of the people running. But it was terrifying. I have never in my life seen that kind of panic – it looked like the zombie apocalypse! People just did not give a shit and were screaming and running for their lives and trampling over people. It was crazy. We got out safely and I wouldn’t be afraid to go back to the CNE, but it was just a reminder that unfortunately our world is not safe anymore. Not anywhere. And that is sad.

There is a silver lining in everything though because before that happened I found the deep fried Reese’s peanut butter cups…

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And oh my sweet baby cheeses were those good.

Evan scored a cold brew coffee maker at Winners a little while ago and I have been meaning to talk about how much I love it.

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It works like a coffee press, so you put the grounds in the jug with water, leave it overnight and then in the morning you press the grounds to the bottom and are left with deliciously cold coffee. It has been the best thing ever this summer.

I got my hurrrrr cut yesterday at a beauty school (Fiorio Beauty Academy at Yonge and Davisville) and it was such a great experience!

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I think the best haircutting experience I’ve ever had. The student who cut my hair was wonderful and did such a great job. $27 for shampoo, haircut and blowout – totally worth it! Definitely going back there. I usually go to Great Clips or First Choice Haircutters because my hair is so easy (super straight, all the time) and I usually just get a trim so it’s hard to mess it up. I have had really cheap haircuts and expensive haircuts and after about a week it looks the same anyway so I figure why bother. I preferred the beauty school to cheaper places though because my hairdresser actually took time to talk to me about my hair (and life, we were pretty chatty), how I style it (I don’t), what products I use (none), and just generally put a lot of effort into my hair. I could tell it was her passion. And an instructor comes along to check it at the end, in case there are any mistakes or anything. I can’t recommend it enough!

I’m leaving for a trip out west on Saturday!!! My friend Sherrie and her Swiss friend Yamina and I are flying out to Calgary to meet my bestie Lisa for an epic road trip. We’re going to Kelowna to spend a couple days with my brother Eric, Kenya, Dixon and my mom, and we’re camping in Revelstoke, BC and Jasper, Alberta. In Jasper we’re staying in this sweet yurt!

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And then the following weekend we’re meeting a bunch of our friends in Banff for my bachelorette party! It is going to be a time and a half. I could not be more excited. GIMME ALL THE MOUNTAINS!!

I won’t be posting next week except to check in next Friday for Evan’s birthday (’cause you know he’s the best ever), but I’ll be spamming the crap out of Instagram and Snapchat (happyorhungry on both) so if check that out if you want to follow our adventures. ‘Cause there are going to be adventures, I tell you!

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And finally, I bought a new piece of luggage in the winter that I was thinking of using for this trip (I ended up not being able to use it, it’s carry-on sized so too small) and when I first got it I reset the built-in lock.

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Unfortunately I forgot what I set it to. I looked up on the Heys website how to reset the lock if you forgot the code, and apparently it’s impossible. They recommended busting out the bolt cutters to get it open, but I was not ready to do that. I figured with three numbers there are only a possible 999 combinations, so I got a glass of wine, put on Bachelor in Paradise and got to work. I thought the first number was probably small so I wouldn’t have to go too far. Nope. Do you know when it finally opened? 910. The code was 910. I spent at least a half an hour going from 001 all the way up to 910. So I have a piece of advice for you, if you have a three digit lock and you suspect you might forget the code one day, don’t be a dummy like me and make your first number start with 9 so you have to go all the way up to the 900s trying every combo.

And that is the advice I leave you with. Have a great long weekend!!!

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We Be Calorie Countin’

For most of my adult life I have been around the same weight/size, though it has had its moments of fluctuation. About five years ago, I started my blog (my blog just had its 5th birthday, that’s a long time!) and if you’ve been reading since the beginning you know I started this as sort of a ‘healthy living blog’. Everyone else seemed to be doing it, so I thought why not. I basically logged what I ate and my workouts every day, and due to this I dropped…I don’t know how much weight, I wasn’t really weighing myself, but I would say at least 10 pounds, maybe 15. I was noticeably more svelte, and all around more fit.

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When I look back at pictures of myself from 2011 and 2012 I can definitely notice a difference in how my body looked to how it is now. Somehow I can still fit into the same clothes, and my pants still fit (except for one pair of pants that I could wear at my thinnest, and which I am keeping in case that time should happen to come again), but they are tighter or don’t exactly fit properly, and it doesn’t feel great. Having your muffin top trying to bust out of your pants just isn’t a confident feeling.

I managed to keep up with the healthy living stuff for a while even when I stopped blogging about it as much. Because blogging about that got old for me pretty fast. I can only talk about my oatmeal so many times before I am embarrassed for myself. Around the time I started dating Evan though, the weight just seemed to pile on. It makes sense. Before, I was in an unhealthy relationship, so I didn’t mind spending time after work at the gym, and then I was single, so again, I didn’t mind spending time at the gym. And then I started dating Evan and I just wanted to hang out with him and eat everything possible because I was so excited he liked food as much as I do. And then I went to Jamaica, and then we went to Florida, and I ate all the things, and I seemed to get into this rut that I haven’t been able to get out of. Although I’m probably back to how I was before the svelteness that happened in 2011, I’m not at the level that I know is possible for me.

Anyway, so I gained probably 10 pounds (I’m estimating, I’m not sure how much) almost immediately, and although my weight fluctuates and I can gain almost that much after a big meal, this 10 pounds stuck. I never really made an effort to try to get back into that healthy living phase again. Oh sure, I had surges. The Whole3o last January, the awesome training I did with Gillian, my spurts of going to the gym and running again. There’s been moments, but nothing has been consistent. And of course we all know that consistency is what makes the difference.

Evan is actually in the same boat as me on this. It seems like we just like to eat and be lazy together. So, since the beginning of January, we have been calorie counting. And again, we have gone through phases like this before, but this time it’s been almost a month and a half and I feel like it might be sticking. I don’t intend to count my calories forever, but to get myself back on track with my portion sizes and really take a look at how I eat, I know from my blogging back in the day that holding myself accountable is helpful.

I’m aiming for about 1500-1800 calories a day, and most days I find this really easy to stay within. Here’s what a typical workday looks like for me:

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon and either a banana or berries

Lunch

  • Either leftovers from dinner, soup (I’ve been on a big soup-making kick lately and I usually make some sort of giant soup for the week on Sundays), or a salad

Dinner

  • Usually chicken, pork or fish, a vegetable/salad, and rice or a sweet potato or something carb-y. Sometimes spaghetti squash or a stirfry or casserole. Basically we try to focus on lean proteins and vegetables.

For snacks I’ll usually have a yogurt, cheese, popcorn, and a Girl Guide cookie or two (room for that in every diet). And a glass of wine with dinner (room for that as well!). I’m just eating a bit more strategically than I do when I’m not paying attention to how many calories I’m consuming.

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It’s nice that Evan is doing this with me so we can commiserate (also, can I just say that I really love that Evan still has read receipts on his phone?).

By the way, we’re using MyFitnessPal to track our calories. It’s the best.

On days that I eat out, or I’m out of my routine, of course my calories are way over. If I go out for dinner I can easily eat 1,000 calories in that one meal. Last weekend I went to a baby shower — and the best part of showers are eating. I snacked my way around that food table like nobody’s business.

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It’s difficult to track everything I ate. Here’s my try:

  • Four triscuit thin crisps
  • Five pieces of cheddar cheese
  • Four pieces of kolbassa
  • A pickle
  • Half a cup (?) of nacho dip
  • A handful of Tostitos
  • 7-10 dill pickle chips
  • Several pieces of pita bread (how can I possibly remember how many…)
  • Several spoonfuls of two types of hummus dips
  • Several spoonfuls of bean dip with mango
  • Many, many apple slices with this amazing vanilla Skor dip
  • A few raw cucumbers and celery (but they don’t count anyway, do they?)
  • Some type of delicious lemon cake tart
  • A vanilla cake pop
  • A big piece of vanilla cake with buttercream icing
  • A two bite brownie with a tablespoon (give or take) of buttercream icing on top
  • One mimosa
  • A glass of punch

And when this happens I’m surprised at how quickly those calories add up!

But I’m doing what I can. I’m trying to be consistent, and reminding myself again that consistency is what counts. All or nothing is just not going to work for me. I need to feel free to stalk food tables (and I did this in my sveltest stage, so I know it can work).

I am also trying to get 70,000 steps per week, as per my fitbit.

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I may not be able to get 10,000 steps per day. Some days that just wouldn’t be possible. But I can make up for that step deficit on the days where I can’t be as active as I would like. 70,000 steps per week is an achievable goal for me. I have been walking every day at lunch for at least half an hour, which has been great (and has also been helpful keeping the winter blues away I think). I have also been running on the treadmill for at least half an hour two to three days a week. I just signed up for a 10k in June (the Toronto Waterfront 10k) so I better keep up with the running — that’s the furthest distance I’ve ever run!

I do feel like these changes are making a difference. I have lost about 5 pounds since early January, and as I said my weight does fluctuate that much if I eat a big meal, but I feel like it’s legit.

So, I’m hoping to keep it up. It just sucks that it’s something I have to think about and put effort into all the time. Why can’t my default setting just be healthy and active?!

And although I don’t want to turn this back into a healthy living blog (I would rather blog about my adventures, unfortunately I haven’t had many lately), maybe you will understand if I talk about it a little bit. My goal is really just to feel comfortable in my clothes and not like my muffin top is trying to push my pants away from my body. That is all.

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Snow White and the Poison Bisquick

Not too much going on this weekend so it was pretty low key. I am, like everyone I’m sure, devastated by what happened in Paris (and Beirut, Lebanon, let’s not forget) and I spent most of the weekend avoiding the social media comments on any news article about it because the ignorance found there enrages me. This also makes me ragey, and I am ashamed and embarrassed of my city. This is not the inclusive and accepting Canada that I know. Please educate yourselves before directing your anger at the wrong people. We are all on this big rock floating through space together. Let’s have some empathy. (I don’t mean to come across as preachy but that attack on a Muslim woman in Toronto was the first thing I read when I woke up this morning and I was very upset)

Anyway. On Friday night Evan and I ate the world (India!) but more on that later. When we got home we basically just read in bed and I think we were asleep by 11. Party animals.

On Saturday I had plans to go to my friend Renee’s baby shower, so I was super excited to see everyone and eat all the shower food (because you know showers are good for that), but unfortunately my plans were thwarted. Evan tried to poison us. When we woke up Evan decided he was going to make us banana pancakes using a Bisquick mix, which I was very excited about. I felt like I was in a Jack Johnson song. The pancakes were pretty good and all was going well…but midway through breakfast Evan abruptly got up from the table and ran to the bathroom. I assumed he just had to pee really badly or something so I just slapped a third pancake on my plate and continued eating. And then I abruptly got up from the table and ran to the other bathroom.

That was abnormal activity, so we checked out the expiry date of the Bisquick mix and it had expired almost exactly one year ago. Great. I was not feeling wonderful after that and things were a little precarious so I decided it would not be the best idea to spend an hour driving in the car while my stomach was unsettled. It ended up being the right decision. Lesson learned, don’t eat expired Bisquick. We were both fine a few hours later but it was not fun in the meantime. I forgave Evan though. His heart was in the right place.

I used the extra time to watch the Entourage movie. I watched the entire series back when it was on so I’ve been wanting to see it. It would have been great if it was an episode, but as a movie I thought it fell flat. I’ve missed those characters though, so I enjoyed it.

On Sunday we were headed to my Dad and Mona’s in Oshawa as we were all celebrating Mona’s birthday. It was a ridiculously gorgeous day though, so Evan and I stopped at the Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby to take advantage of the fall sunshine.

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I have never been before but it’s a very popular trail, especially for bird watching. There are a TON of birds.

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We also saw a deer!

I noticed that everyone we passed had seed or nuts or something in their hands and were feeding the birds. They would hold their arms outstretched and the birds would land on them and literally eat right out of the palms of their hands. I had no idea this was a thing so we didn’t have any bird feed with us. I wanted to try this though, so Evan found me some popcorn.

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I heard that if you stand still long enough, the birds will come, so that’s what I did. And the birds came!

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It worked! I felt like Snow White! Their little talons were sharp on my hand so it was quite surprising.

It was a pretty great impromptu walk. I’m glad we went.

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And then it was to my dad’s for (his famous) spaghetti dinner and birthday cake!

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Good times.

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A Career Update

I started a new job this week! I have been meaning to talk about career stuff for pretty much the entire summer but I kept putting it off, so now it has become quite the update. First, some back story.

Around this time last year I was becoming very unhappy in my job. A lot of factors were contributing to this, but rather than going into them all I’ll say the biggest one was that I was no longer doing what I wanted to be doing. My communications/marketing role (so website, social media, PR, graphic design, internal comm, etc.) had turned into running this beast of a program and event management. Still communications as I was the only one in the communications/marketing department, but a lot of the time was VERY heavy on event planning and program management and all the admin work that goes along with that (I am really not an administrator, my strengths are more on the creative side of things).

I can’t blame the company because it was small and they needed someone in that role, but it was becoming very high stress and when I was thinking about my ultimate career goals, my current role was not really in line with them and I felt like I had somehow gotten off my track. It’s funny, because what started me thinking this was an exercise my CEO had us do around Christmas last year, where we had to list 20 loves (which I posted about), our 3-year career plan, and complete a detailed personality profile (DISC profile). My 20 loves were real, and my DISC profile nailed me, but I felt like I was faking my career plan. I had no idea. But after looking at my list of loves, and the strengths and weaknesses in my profile, nothing I was doing integrated with them in any way.

The experience I gained in that role was invaluable. I made lifelong friends and amazing contacts, and I learned a lot about myself. But it was time to move on. To what though, I didn’t know.

I officially put in my 30 days notice in March, but I ended up staying until June until they could find a replacement for me. So around mid June I was done.

I did not move from that job to another full time job. A couple of years ago I would not have been able to do that, but this ended up being the ideal time of my life to figure my stuff out. Evan was extremely supportive of my decision surrounding this. I believe his exact words were “If you’re not happy in your job you should leave. So we won’t save as much money as we wanted to this year, it’s more important that you’re happy.”He is the best ever (as you know), but I would have said the same to him if he were in my situation. We don’t have a lot of expenses right now and we don’t have kids or anything, so it seemed like if I was going to make a change, now was the time to do it. I decided to try consulting and freelancing for a bit to see how that went. I told myself that I would try it for the summer, see how it was going, and then reevaluate.

I was incredibly lucky to score a major client almost immediately. They hired me to do communications/social media consulting for at least 20 hours a week (usually more), and I was so thankful that happened because it gave me time to try to do my own thing on the side while having a steady gig and money. Their office isn’t too far from our condo, so even though I was an independent contractor they invited me in and treated me like I was a part of their team.

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It was a very fun place to work, and I had a really good time being a part of their team. Some of the people there are the best I have worked with in my life. Being a consultant was great, and I did have more free time this summer, which was also awesome.

But I was starting to get antsy. My career has always been important to me and I just want to love what I’m doing. I also missed the steady hours and paycheque of having a regular 9-5 gig. My schedule was kind of all over the place and it was getting to me. I like routine. One day I would like to somehow take my income online and do consulting and writing and make enough money to support myself solely through that (so I can move to the middle of nowhere and live on a lake), but now is probably not that time.

I started thinking about when I was at my best career-wise, and I think it was when I was working for OFSAA, a non-profit organization that runs sports championships for high school students in Ontario. I worked there for nearly 5 years and I loved it every day. What I loved about it the most was feeling like my role was important and what I was doing was actually making a difference in someone’s life. And also working with the many volunteers who were so passionate about the mission of the organization. The non-profit sector is just so different from the private, and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to steer my career back in that direction.

An opportunity happened to come up with Girl Guides of Canada, an organization that I am pretty familiar with as I was once a Brownie…

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And a Girl Guide…

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And long story short, but I am now a Communications Coordinator with them!

I just started on Monday and the first week in a new job is always the worst, you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t know anyone, but so far so good! Their office is also in my old neighbourhood, which means I am back in my old stomping grounds and can take lunchtime walks in my favourite cemetery (that I once got trapped in).

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And I’m sure you’re wondering (because I was), so yes, sometimes there are free cookies. That is obviously a plus.

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I thought about trying to get that added into my employment contract but it wasn’t even necessary. In my interview they asked me my biggest weakness and I said “Girl Guide cookies,” (which is true, the vanilla ones though, not the mint ones) and they seemed to really enjoy that answer.

So I am feeling pretty excited and like I am back on track.

Also, I just want to say, if you are unhappy in your job, leave. Life is too short to not enjoy what you’re doing. For me the stress was seeping into other aspects of my life and really starting to affect me. And if you feel stuck because of financial reasons, at least make a plan to get out. It was very scary to leave my job with nothing concrete lined up. It was a risk for sure. I’m not rich, I need to work. But it was the best decision I could have made and I have zero regrets.

So now you’re all caught up!

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