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Twenty-Something

Pros/Cons List

The other day in class my teacher mentioned to us that a friend of his was having relationship troubles and subsequently started making a pros/cons list about her partner. The whole class oohed over it.
“What? Is that a bad thing?”
“It usually spells the end,” a girl said.
“Why?” my teacher asked.
“Because in a good relationship, you don’t make pros and cons lists,” said a friend of mine who is from Italy; she and her boyfriend live here on Visas and have been together for seven years.
I wasn’t paying my full attention to the conversation, and when my teacher asked if anyone in the class had ever made a pros/cons list, I raised my hand without thinking. I was the only one.
“Oh, okay, so you found that useful?” my teacher asked. He was genuinely intrigued.
I shrugged.
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for six and a half years,” I said by way of explanation. My friend from Italy looked at me with a shocked expression; just the other day she had been talking to me about my future engagement ring.
“It really depends on when it was in the relationship, though,” she said. “How long ago was this?”
I shrugged again, feeling a little judged. My cheeks began to burn.
“About a year.”
“A year?!”
My friend raised her eyebrows at me. Okay, definitely feeling judged now, I was thinking to myself. She turned away from me and the class carried on.
But here’s the thing: Yes, my relationship has gone through many a rough patch. Yes, there have been times when I’ve considered other options. My boyfriend and I have been together for over SIX YEARS for God’s sake. If those six years had been perfect, then my friend should have worried. My and Ryan’s six years together have been bumpy and hard but definitely worth fighting for. What I find interesting is that my friend was looking at my all judgementally but never once asked what the pros/cons list looked like when I was finished with it. And here’s what it was: a huge list of pros, a few cons that could be dealt with in time. The biggest pro? That I love him and he loves me. The cons weren’t huge things like abuse or infidelity, therefore our love for each other trumped them. Now, a year later, we’re still dealing with those cons but in positive ways. Just last week we decided on a new course of action called “New Beginnings” that has resulted in some really positive outcomes so far, and I’m looking forward to where it takes us. So yeah, God forbid my relationship isn’t end-proof, but I’ll fight for it tooth and nail every day of my life.

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Tips and Tricks for a Better Sleep

When the clock struck midnight on December 31st, I wasn’t sad to see 2016 go. For me, 2017 is all about new beginnings: creating new opportunities, saying yes to positive experiences, and improving my life in beneficial and positive ways. I also want to create a better and more empowered sense of self, but rather than focusing on the gym or healthy eating—two things that are in the back of my mind 99% of the time regardless what year it is—I decided to look at how I can incorporate that mindset in other areas of my life.

As a young twenty-something student still living with my parents, my bedroom is my safe haven and, with a bedroom not much larger than Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs (I kid you not), my bed is where most of my hanging-out happens. Now, if you’re worried about the studies that have shown that doing things other than sleeping on your bed can mess with your brain and make you get a less-than-ideal sleep, don’t worry. The following list of activities will actually help you to rest easier while also making sure your 2017 is all about sunshine-y things.

  1. Pinterest and Chill

Pinterest is all about dreams. After a hard day at work or school (or both), I like to take five minutes before falling asleep to scroll through Pinterest for inspirational pins. New travel destinations, words of wisdom, and wedding gown ideas all get saved to my boards right before I fall asleep. What better way to inspire good dreams than through visual daydreaming?

  1. Reading (Obvi)

My generation seems to be all about limiting our screen time, and while I do like my cell phone just as much as my books, I try to emphasize reading in bed before I go to sleep over checking Facebook. Right now I’m really into Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can and historical fiction such as Outlander. Personally, I find fiction of any kind the best to read before sleep to inspire interesting dreams.

  1. Keep a Massage Bar by the Bed

I’m kind of Lush obsessed (as you all well know) and I like to keep one of their massage bars beside my bed at all times, just in case I’m feeling stressed or my skin is feeling dry. Right now I’m using the Earl Grey massage bar; I find that I have best results if I rub it on right after I shower when my skin is still somewhat damp.

  1. Making my Bed into the Ideal Zen Space

Having relaxing before-bed activities is all well and good, but if you don’t have a comfortable sleeping space then it is all for naught. Luckily I work in a high-end bedding store, and just recently got my holiday pay. I treated myself to a duvet and duvet cover that I’ve had my eye on for months and now my bed looks super inviting. It makes the fact that my mattress isn’t super-comfy a little less of an issue. I’ve got my eye on one of Leesa’s foam mattresses (the company’s give-back policy helps, too), but will need a few more holiday pays before I can give it a go.

Looking to know more about me?

Hello readers,

I have been very inactive on here lately, but you will soon know why! I have mentioned previously that I am a graduate student in publishing. Well, I am also now an official freelance editor and writer. You can find my new, professional website here, where you can also find links to my published works.

Please feel free to contact me via the contact form on the site, or comment on any of my posts. I will be keeping that one up-to-date fairly regularly, as it is my professional site, but I will still post little tidbits here that are more just random thoughts or things like that.

Happy Holidays, and thanks for reading!

Hello again!

Hello readers,

I haven’t updated this blog in a very long time. Why? Like a freelance writer I was talking with today said, I only have so much creative energy. The past few months I was completing my first semester of publishing school, writing an article a week and contributing to the On the Danforth magazine on top of that. My metaphorical candle of creativity quickly burned out.

But I have been itching to get back to you, dear blog and readers, for a little while now. I have no idea what to write about or what you’re interested in. But I’m just going to write.

I just purchased and played the Sims 4 expac City Living. I have to say, it’s not as expansive as I’d hoped; the city is a lot smaller than it has been in past renditions, and there’s not as much to do (aside from karaoke). I had imagined bigger things when they announced this latest expac. Luckily I got it at 25% off…

It’s Christmastime! If you’re not religious or whatever, no worries here—to me, Christmas simply means a time to spend with family. Being an agnostic, I don’t attach all the other stuff to it, so if I blog about it at all this upcoming month, I won’t be hitting you with any religious propaganda.

I’m still working at the same job I was before, but luckily nobody’s made me cry since that one time (see this post). I did, however, have a lady send me into an anxiety attack last week, which was a crazy, weird experience. I’ve never had an anxiety attack from socialization before—and I’m not even sure what triggered it. Plus, I’m on meds now, so I haven’t even had an ANXIETY attack in, like, ages. So that was an ultra-uncomfortable experience for me, and one that I won’t soon forget. It’s going to take some reflection for me to figure out where in that interaction things went south.

I’ve also made a friend! For those who don’t know me personally, this is a very big deal. Being generally introverted, shy, and pretty anti-social, I’m not someone with many friends and I have trouble making them. BUT I feel like I’ve made a very good friend at school this year named Alisha and I’m excited to see how our friendship develops over time. I could definitely see her being a best friend. The whole thing is kind of funny to me, too, because I treated the beginning of our friendship very much like I would a new romantic relationship in that I was super careful not to make her think I was weird or scare her off. And now I’m at the point where I want to know if she feels the same way re: me being a best friend without seeming needy or weird, so I’m carefully tip-toeing around the subject to try to know how she feels. It is too funny.

That’s all I can think of to share with you for now. Perhaps, in future, to make it easier on myself, I will post in a similar format just so I’m actually sharing with you guys and updating. Before I close off, I just want everyone to remember to look on the bright side, and that arguments or fights with people don’t have to be a be-all or end-all situation, nor do they have to be dramatic blow-ups every time. This is something I’ve recently been trying to teach myself as my boyfriend’s stressful school year comes to a close.

Lots of love,

Vicky

Silver Anniversary

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to my mom and dad.

 

Honestly, I feel weird typing that out. My parents’ marriage is probably one of the most imperfect ones I’ve ever seen NOT ending in divorce. I remember times as a kid where I actually asked my mom to divorce my dad just to end the fighting and get it all over with; they threatened to divorce each other all the time anyways. But I don’t know, despite all that, they’re still together and they’re happy to be celebrating this anniversary. They’ve never separated, never gone to counseling, fought like cats and dogs, and yet here we are. As their eldest daughter I’ve witnessed so much turmoil but I’ve also seen the changes in recent years. They’ve started dating again, for one. I guess it’s because us kids are older now, so my parents don’t have to drag us along.

It was a hard time picking out a card for them, because the ones that talked about pure happiness and that sort of thing were wrong. My parents never experienced pure happiness. Their marriage was not a never-ending good time. Cards that talked about faithful, eternal love made me laugh because there are so many times past that I doubted if they loved each other at all. But here we are.

I think that phrase sums it all up. Despite everything, here we are. If anything, my parents give me hope that no matter what happens, no matter what life throws at you, if you want to be together badly enough, you will be.

Identity Crisis

I don’t quite know who I am right now. The at-home version of me feels very different from the at-school version of me; the at-school version, starting her professional career, feels foreign and strange. I can’t easily reconcile the two individuals. It makes me unsure of my overall feelings. I really love the program but I don’t like this separation I’m feeling. I look at familiar things with an unfamiliar gaze. I look around my bedroom and wonder which version of me I am here: which version of me left her clothes on the floor, which one slept in this bed last night? I feel like an invader in my own body, too. I don’t know who I am anymore.

Foodventures #4

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Date night at the Symposium Cafe. Amazing atmosphere. My favourite restaurant in Ajax. Had a cafe mocha and veggie pad thai. Wonderful night.

 

Cookie Dough Flavoured Tea

tea

Yesterday I stumbled upon a heavenly miracle. In mixing my tea, I somehow made it taste like cookie dough. Because I’m probably not the only one in love with this, I thought I’d share my recipe here.

Now, the tea I was using is called Scottish Caramel and I only know of one place in the world where you can get it, but my knowledge is obviously limited. Hopefully you can get your hands on it, or something like!

Recipe:

Boil water in kettle.

Add two tablespoons Scottish Caramel tea leaves to tea pot.

Add boiling water and let steep for 5-8 minutes.

Pour tea into mug or thermos, leaving about a quarter of space from the top.

Add soy milk or regular milk until tea comes to the top of thermos/mug.

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I love sweet things: add four-6 teaspoons of white sugar.

And this is key: add one tablespoon of liquid natural honey.

Make sure to stir well after each addition.

 

And that’s it! For some reason this combo created cookie dough tasting tea and it was wonderful. Enjoy !

Artwork found here.

Commuting

Last week was the first week into my regular commute home in rush-hour traffic from school and it was hard. I was angry, annoyed at the stupid drivers on the highway, and just completely done.

“I don’t care what we have to do,” I said to Ryan. “When we get full-time jobs, I am NOT doing this commute again.”

We agreed that a half-hour commute was reasonable, in comparison to my current one-hour one.

In order to make it more bearable, though, Ryan suggested I make a playlist to listen to. That way there would be no commercial breaks and I would be able to switch it up as I pleased. I thought I’d share these playlists with you in case you’re in need of a commuter pick-me-up on your drive home tonight.

usual

 

new

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