Keeping Warm

Host srping 2014-6

I headed back to Nelson as a “home base” to figure out my next steps in my journey. As usual I went to Cottonwood Falls to see who was there… see if there was any familiar faces. I stumbled across a few friends and decided to hang out with them for a while. As the day went on the weather started to take a turn and it started to rain. I was going to hitchhike in the rain for sympathy points to get picked up sooner, but that would have been at the cost of wet clothes… needless to say I decided to spend another night in Nelson.

Host srping 2014-3

Some new faces showed up in town and as always everyone welcomed them in and we all started to do some song singing and there’s always a guitar or two strummin’ away. One of the new people who arrived happened to be a guy I had picked up hitchhiking a few months prior and we actually had the same destination (Motion Notion)! I convinced him to wait out another day until the rain stopped and we could travel together. I had yet to travel with a partner during this trip… long distances anyway and I figured it would be nice to have some company, other than myself and my harmonica I ended up finding after returning from StarBelly.

Host srping 2014-14

The next day a bunch of us went to the Salvation Army to get some breakfast, locals were always first of course. The breakfast was pretty good it was french toast with some scrambled eggs… my french toast is waaaay yummier but it was free so I’m very thankful :).

After breakfast we did some brainstorming on routes and where to go, I really wanted to hit up the hot springs… it was a must for my trip this summer. We ended up choosing to head to St. Leone’s Hot Springs in Nakusp and headed out just before noon… we wanted to make it before sun down. We packed up and off we went, I was a little drained and my co-hiker seemed to be filled with energy and nabbed a van for us right on the highway barely any wait time! Next we were at a cross roads for a little while, but it gave me time to practice my harmonica. My goal was to have Piano Man down by the end of my trip. After about an hour we snagged another ride up to some obscure town but it was pretty straight forward to Nakusp from there.

Host srping 2014-10

The town we were sitting in… wasn’t really a town it was more of a gas station and some shops attached to the highway. I had two-way radio’s and passed one off to buddy while I explored the organic shops… I wasn’t even in there for 5 minutes when I got the call ‘Hey man I already got us a ride!’. I ran out and got picked up by a super awesome dude from Nakusp, an ex special forces who has just discovered the joys of nature and how to appreciate the special things. It was a great ride to say the least. He actually suggested we change our destination to Halfway Hot Springs, which we decided we would take the locals advice. We were dropped off at a gas station about 3-5 km away from the entrance (Mind you I did start the trip walking 12 Km but I was way too tired for that).

Host srping 2014-9

After waiting a few hours in the hot sun with no luck my buddy and I decided to split up and see if going by singles was easier. I got picked up by a guy and his girlfriend that told me they had seen us standing there for a while, and if they came back and we were still there they’d bring us up… I guess they knew we were going to the awesome hot springs. He was kind enough to grab both of us but had advised us his tired was little low and wasn’t sure he could make it up with all of us. By the time we got to the entrance (bottom of an 11.5 km hill) he decided that he wasn’t going to make us walk up because it was treacherous… no exaggeration.

Host srping 2014-13

After getting to the top of the hill 45 minutes later… yeah that’s how crazy bad the road it 11 km took 45 mins. We set up camp and headed down to explore the hot springs. There was a storm coming so I hurriedly put my swim trunks on and jump into the spring hot tub. As I settled in you could hear thunder and then massive raindrops poured down. The hot and cold contrast while a storm exploding above was such an amazing feeling <3. There were many pools to explore ranging from cold to super hot. There was so much decomposition in the forest around the hot springs that everything was soft and mooshie, which was great for ground (walking around bare feet).

Host srping 2014Host srping 2014-2

I was supposed to leave Halfway on the Thursday to make it to MoNo by the afternoon at the latest but it was raining. I decided that if I was going to be wet I might as well be warm and wet… so I spent the day at the hot springs. Road trip buddy decided to head out to Motion Notion that day which was fine with me. The couple I was staying with decided they wanted to hunt for some more springs so I tagged along after a yummy breakfast. I took a good 20 minute walk down some rocky river bed and found a small pool that could barely fit two people. We began excavating and made a nice secondary pool nothing too special. We carried on down the river until we hit a gully that wasn’t passable since the river was rushing down it… and it was freezing cold. We didn’t end up empty-handed… we actually found one of the best springs around with 3 attached pools up against the rock face. There was the Steaming hot one, the freezing one next to the river (would have been great for a hot day) and there was the just right one. the Three of us spent the next couple of hours making it even better and spent most of the day relaxing. Our day ended with “Gourmet” camping pasta and some fun with a laser pointer and a big warm bonfire.

Host srping 2014-7 Host srping 2014-8 Host srping 2014-4Host srping 2014-5

The Friday morning I had headed off to MoNo ready to hike down the big hill in which we saw a cougar a two days prior… pretty majestic :). I had walked about 2 kilometers before I gave up, the roads were crap and it was hot out and my bag was super heavy. I waited around for about 30 minutes when some cute Quebec girls came and picked me up in their Honda Civic. It was funny because their car looked like it was going to fall apart… at one point the window dropped halfway and spun around. There was laughter and then they expressed that… it wasn’t actually uncommon and that they barely paid anything for it, yet it had gotten them quite far despite it’s “rugged” looks.

Host srping 2014-12

After exchanging some info I was dropped off at the highway and we parted ways. I waited a good hour and half before someone came by in a pickup, I threw my bags in the back where there was probably 10 cases of empties. The guy who picked me up was a little strange but very kind, he expressed that he didn’t expect anyone to pick me up to go to the ferry as I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. He was nice enough to bring me all the way despite not actually needing to go to the ferry… Even if someone is weird it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great heart; Thank you stranger!

You’ll have to hear the rest of the story next post… until next time!

Host srping 2014-11

Normal is boring… Just be YOU!

Journeys Continue

Hitchhiking 2014-11

I was really split as to what to do once we got down from the mountain. There was a free vegan lunch at the park for the community and I really wanted to go; at the same time I had already skipped almost 2 days of a festival I had already paid for. I hung out at Cottonwood Falls mulling it over with great people around as usual and in the end I left before the free lunch.

The decision to leave felt right… most of my trip I went with what seemed right in the sense of I should do it and by letting go of my comfort zone in the process. I started off with the long walk to the orange bridge that was seemingly so far but only took my about 30 minutes to make it there. It’s amazing what determination can do for you… keep in mind there was still an overly large pack on my back.

Hitchhiking 2014-11

The Orange Bridge

I waited about 45 minutes to an hour before I was picked up but it all worked out as the guy drove me right to the ferry. I found some great sweaters at the dock that I’ve always wanted and I managed to strike up a deal with the women and got one for cheaper than I expected. Just before I took off I saw she had some wire wrapped crystals and I offered up some of my nice quartz I found up at the crystal caves for her generosity she offered me. I’d given more away hitchhiking despite having had less than before, but no matter what happened I seemed to be provided for; generosity is undervalued today and even just a smile can perpetuate wonderful things.

10487297_10154412951900022_8447022449774210129_n

This sweater

The ferry was nice to ride with mountains and water surrounding you, being the one of maybe two people who boarded on foot was kind of neat sensation too. I arrived on the other side of the water in Crawford Bay where there was two kids playing harmonica together… the skill and synergy they had, blew me away. I walked up to the little hut on the hill and picked up some yummy ice-cream after being in the hot sun for a while (first time I really paid for anything since my trip started). I was taking a moment to appreciate everything that had already happened and great experiences to be had, when someone began to strike up conversation with me about my Starbelly sign… next thing I knew I had a ride to the festival!

IMG_1655

IMG_1658

I paid my camping fee… even though I could have easily snuck in without a car. I made camp in the back of the field for some nice peace and quiet, got ready for a jammin’ evening and off I went. Once inside the gates it was such a cozy small festival, very family oriented which made it feel so peaceful and lovely. I began to peruse the vendors and found some really neat things, unfortunately I had a pretty tight budget but did manage to get some great scores. I had been looking for a waist pouch (many pockets not a fanny pack :P) for a while but could never find any masculine ones that I liked… and fit me, but I found one that works just perfect! What an amazing start to a festival season! I later found a ring that snagged my interest… and I’ve maybe worn one or two other rings ever so it’s a big deal :P. The evening music and later on into the night was fantastic. I got to meet many great people unfortunately I didn’t get much info from anyone there but it was fun and those memories are now locked away :).

IMG_1667

Sunday night I headed in a little bit early so I could get a bright start in the morning hitching back to Nelson. Unfortunately there was a group of younger kids/ adults that were blaring their “obnoxious” music and towards the back of the large field… it was a huge field but the music went all the way. I was getting very angry and just wanted to sleep, and normally I can sleep through anything. At one point I was about to yell out at them to turn off their music very aggressively  but instead I decided to go and ask politely. One of the guys walked over and apologized right away and turned it down… from there I pretty much passed out when I got back to my tent. What did I learn here? You don’t have to choose the aggressive or rude route to solve things even if you think it’s the only way such people will react; The outcome turned out peacefully and how I would have liked it dealt with if I were in their situation. That night I went to bed with a peaceful mind and a sense of accomplishment.

IMG_1662

***All photo’s are in raw form as I had to reformat my computer and didn’t re-install my editing software, enjoy the originals ;) 

Unfortunately this writing has taken longer than I expected and I will be back with more fun stories from my Adventures! What’s next? To Nelson then to Nakusp Hot Springs…

“Be grateful, and never be afraid to ask for help… The Universe is working in your favour.”

In Time

First off yes I made it back from Hitchhiking, it’s  been such a crazy adventure one after another even after I arrived back home. I’m going to attempt to post up as many stories in this post as I can especially since that’s the reason I’ve procrastinated so much in the first place. There’s been so many things to write about… now there’s just even more… so hang on and join me and I may dedicate a post to photo’s another day as well.Hitchhiking 2014-2

My Hitchhiking began nice and early and I figured I would catch the bus from Vernon to Kelowna since it’s pretty cheap, when I arrived at the bus station I checked the times and I would have had to wait three to four hours which I wasn’t willing to wait. I headed off towards Kelowna and walked for about two hours before I stopped to stick my thumb out. There was an RV at one point that stopped about 500 meters away from me, just as I got about 20 meters away they took off… not sure if they were being rude or just trying to sort something out. I made it just outside of Kelowna around 3:30 pm and I was super lucky that my friend was in Kelowna… Big shout out to Maria W. for being awesome and picking me up then driving me a good distance. After Maria left I noticed I had dropped my water bottle so I was kind of stranded without water luckily I had hydrated a lot during my trip. I was blessed to be picked up by a great guy heading to just outside of Nelson which was my destination, he was nice enough to even drive me into town and show me where some stuff was before dropping me off at CottonWood Park/ Falls (‘Where all the Hippies hang out’).Hitchhiking 2014-4Hitchhiking 2014-3

Getting into Nelson around nine PM meant it was already dark out and I wasn’t very sure as to where I was going to sleep for the night… I had an idea but wasn’t sure. I started talking to some people in the park and ran into a group of people from Quebec who were nice enough to invite me back to their camp (Thanks Julie, Chris, Cedric, Lucas and Sam). The initial plan was to arrive in Nelson then head to StarBelly Jam but the Friday started with going to a food bank getting some free breakfast followed by hanging out at the Falls most of the day getting to know people. Listening to the Quebecers at first I couldn’t really understand them… it had been quite a while since I had spoken french and the speed at which they spoke didn’t really help either. We all ended up getting along so well that we stuck together for a few more days.Hitchhiking 2014-1

Hitchhiking 2014-9 Hitchhiking 2014-10On the Saturday we decided to go try to find the “Crystal Cave” near Nelson. Later in the afternoon we took off… but we weren’t entirely sure where we were going, just a general direction. I had purchased a road map before my travels to mark key point of my trip and it somewhat aided us in finding our route to the mountain base. We started to climb with our heavy bags (at this point I had really realised how way too heavy my pack was… lesson learned!) it had been an hour and a half and the sun was started to go down so we decided to make a travel pack and ditch the bags. I tied off some ribbon 50 feet from our packs hiding spot so we could find them again. Our hike went on for another 2 hour or so when we finally decided to make camp near a creek on top of the mountain. That night we laid out our tarps and blankets with our tents gathered around and got to really know each other… and where I started understanding their french easily and even begin to speak it fairly fluently.Hitchhiking 2014-6Hitchhiking 2014-7Hitchhiking 2014-5

The following morning we decided we were going to find the caves but most people we had received directions from were hear-say as the other’s had never made it before either.  After another few hours of searching we descended the mountain and just before going back to town Sam and I decided to ascend the mountain to give it another go and use my walkie talkies to communicate with the other if we found it. Off we went and after climbing and following a river we made it to the caves. The others were radioed and we all spent the day there exploring stories of things left in a treasure memory box. We ate lunch by a large water fall and collected some nice crystals :). Most of us ended up taking a nap or two! It was a rather blissful and exciting day before I headed off to Starbelly the following day. After making it back down the mountain with all of our stuff, we headed to the beach where some of us bathed after having been a few days in the bush, while others went and got food supplies.Hitchhiking 2014-11 Hitchhiking 2014-12Hitchhiking 2014-13

The next chapter of my story began that afternoon when I headed off to Starbelly Jam!

Thanks for reading everyone more to come soon!

No one needs anybody to feel like someone; but when you find that somebody you’ll feel like you can love everybody.

Coexistence

A lot has happened in the recent month and a bit, I’ve done a lot of firsts which I plan to continue pursuing!

Blog-1Blog-1-2

The summer is finally here I attended a Solstice party with some friends around a fire, tried out paddleboarding which was an absolute blast and would suggest it to anyone. There has been many beach visits, backyard fires and it’s only the beginning of the summer <3.

Blog-3

I had the opportunity to use my Photoshop and photography skills lately which was rather exciting, in the sense that I was compensated for my efforts :). I did two posters for a friend that works at a youth centre and some photography for my buddy that’s an arborist. It’s nice to be able to use the talents you’ve “trained” in or made efforts to really learn; it’s a little bummy sometimes having to work a job that is really only a mean to make an end. I do really enjoy landscaping don’t get me wrong, I get to be outside in the nature take care of tree’s and properties and enjoy the sun and mountains, but there’s a point where your efforts deserve a little more recognition.

Dayton logo

I had a great conversation with my friend Sara and Dayton the other night about women equality in the workforce and how there is still a gap but that it’s closing. I made a point that I felt equality was evening out but in the sense that it’s my generation that’s evening it out… unfortunately we do not make up the majority of the work for at this point only having an age range from 18-28 for example vs. 28-60 . Maybe I’ve become complacent to the idea, but in all honesty I try to see it as there shouldn’t be a difference in the first place; we’re all human beings, we all breathe air and have thoughts and a conscience. By not having equal rights or working ability we are only stunting ourselves as a species… why cut our brain power 30/70 or what ever numbers you want to pull… it just doesn’t make sense. Pretty much what I’m getting at is don’t ever look at someone’s gender… you know what the only thing we should be doing is listening to everyone “Blindly” (in the sense it doesn’t matter what they look, hear or sound like) hearing what they have to say and analyse it all; it doesn’t matter if you’re female, male, gay, straight, black or blue, Buddhist or Muslim we all have a place on this planet and we should all be respected equally… We are all one and interconnected.

Brent and Ryan-1

Festival season is upon us and I’m counting down the days until I go on my festival journey… Actually I’m not counting the days I’m just going with the flow to hold down the over excitement. I have to say festival’s are what make my year… they are what reminds me that we are an amazing group of creatures on this planet and how we can really join together as one and just share so much love and fantastic company from strangers and friends alike. I can de-stress and flow free at festivals and enjoy nothing but great music, people, and just all around atmosphere. I’ve decided I will be hitchhiking this year to my festivals as to save money on gas, it should be a wonderful experience… will be sure to let you know how it went.

IMG_20140628_134055

Art work by Dayton Andrews Blue Kyanite

Like I said there’s been so much going on that I can’t even keep track anymore but I’ll be sure to try to keep you up on the summer wonders here in the Okanagan! Since I don’t have much to “share” here’s a bunch of photo’s.

IMG_20140620_075423

My Cascadian home

Blog-4

Panda!

Blog-2

Side walk art in front of our home

IMG_20140628_133743

Smile you all have a beautiful soul

IMG_20140608_182841

“Love yourself because that’s who you spend all your time with <3″

Everything is important

I’ve been watching a lot of Cosmo’s (one of my favourite shows) as I love our Universe and space and everything within our own planet as well. I feel very strongly about climate change and I feel that everyone should educate themselves… not just on climate change but the Universe itself. It doesn’t pay to play ignorance.

Climate Change-1

Hail Storm/ Flooded streets

I was going to post this on Facebook but it got a little lengthy and since I haven’t posted lately I figured I’d share here :).

Personally I think that this century will be one of the most important in human history; the deciding factor of whether or not we can save our species.

Studies show that if the earths surface reaches approximately 2 degrees Celsius we could be set up for an irreversible Greenhouse Gas effect. At the current rate if nothing changes to how we are living, by the end of this century the earths surface is looking at a  temperature of 4 degree! Double of a projected irreversible state.

Educate yourself and make a difference, not only for you but the future generations to come. Today’s day and age “Legacy’s” have seem to lost importance and selfishness has been replacing it. Be wise and look out for the future of your family and our Home… Earth.

Rainbow after the hail storm

Rainbow after the hail storm

A friend expressed this to me the other day and it made so much sense. We’re trying to get into space and learn to inhabit other planets; it’s great but what good will that do if we can’t even sustain our current habitat?

Climate Change-3

Let’s start caring for each other, living more green; be respectful to one another and all living things on this planet… we’ve only been able to survive on this planet and we are all one. Pollution does not recognise fences, border and continents it only know our globe.

PaleBlueDot

Earth “The Pale Blue Dot” (3.7 BILLION miles away)

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” 
― Carl SaganPale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Progress Not Perfection

 Progress Not Perfection 

By: Jenn Donovan

 My name is Jenn, I am twenty-four years old and I am an Alcoholic.

Now lets just soak that into everyone’s brain for a second. I have a disease called alcoholism which is defined as the following: a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease of stop drinking. If you have alcoholism, you can’t consistently predict how much you’ll drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking. 

image[1]

Everyone has this preconception that an alcoholic is someone who needs to drink everyday, every hour and every second of the day. Wrong. And I was never like that. I rarely ever drank. Mostly on the weekends.. some nights during the week (especially during college, but that’s what we believe is the norm). The problem was when I drink it starts this sensation of craving. What this means is that I just cannot have one drink. I cannot just have two drinks…. there is no stopping me once I start drinking. And that’s where my problems start…. I have no filter, no off switch. I drink to complete oblivion. I black out every single time that I drink. I have given myself alcohol poisoning more than once.. and more than twice. And after those wonderful binges I would get the bright idea to switch what I was drinking, or change the order of how I drank or try to stop after a couple of drinks and I just can’t. No crazy method or philosophy worked. It never does. No matter how sick I got from the previous time and how many times I swore I wouldn’t drink anymore I still did it.. And the same things still happened. Growing up for me was interesting to say the least. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. My mother worked long hours to care for my brother and I and she raised us all on her own (thanks Mom you are a wonderful woman and I don’t tell you that enough). My father was a truck driver and he was always gone. He had us every other weekend and tried to be the best dad he could be. At the age of twelve I stopped seeing my father on a regular basis. He had married this “delightful” woman who tended to make my life hell and she in turn made my father’s life hell also… Aka my father was an alcoholic. Most of my memories growing up my dad was a very happy man, always smiling, funny. I was totally and completely a Daddy’s girl… but alcohol got in the way of our relationship. During the next few years I saw him on and off but it was only for quick visits when he had time. [Side note: I just want to make it clear that just because my Father was an alcoholic doesn’t mean that it was his fault, or the way I was raised or anything to contribute to why I am an alcoholic myself.] The first drink that I ever had was the night of my grade eight graduation. I had some coolers and some peach schnapps that my friends mom had bought me and I was ready to go to the after party with my friends. Since the moment that tasty sugary drink touched my lips I was hooked. I drank all my coolers and half of the mickey of schnapps and I don’t remember much after that. I was hooked. Progress Not Perfection 

Then came high school, which consisted of beer tours, bush parties and weekends at the cottage. And I loved a good beer tour! Country living was good to me and beer was awesome! High school I always had a hard time fitting in completely with everyone. I played sports and people were nice to me and I could get along with anyone. But I was the girl who was the art kid, wore a lot of black, dark makeup, listened to heavy metal, had crazy amounts of piercings (and eventually tattoos), and I always didn’t seem that approachable. I wouldn’t always go to parties and such but when I did I don’t remember a lot of the nights and I don’t really remember getting home. This happened to me frequently throughout my drinking career. After high school came college (took a year of Art)… aka a lot more beer! I drank on weekends and sometimes during the week depending on what was going on with my friends. I was never felt super comfortable just being me. I was always worried that people wouldn’t like me or that I wasn’t doing well enough, or pleasing the right people. As soon as I got a drink or two into my system I felt so confident, and I could get a long with anyone. And everyone thought I was awesome!

My second year of college I switched to Interior Design. Right before that semester started.. August 31, 2010 to be exact I was at home and was woken up by the police at 3AM at my mother’s house. My father had died. He took his own life. After that my life went on a downward spiral… I was dealing with a lot of grief, unanswered questions, resentments etc. I drank a lot over the next year (same binge drinking as usual). I was also in a relationship at a time and I really let myself go… I was overweight and really miserable and the relationship wasn’t the best either because I felt like I wasn’t getting the emotional support that I needed. My brother also went out of control because of the loss of our father and our relationship hasn’t been the same since.

image

I had bought a new car, I was working two jobs and things were going okay. But then I didn’t have my priorities straight, I wouldn’t ask for help and I definitely wouldn’t listen to anyone who thought that they could give me advice. Within a few years I was in a lot of debt, falling behind on my payments and just struggling to be happy. My relationship with my boyfriend at the time ended and by the fall I had given up my car and moved back to they city to live with my Uncle (who I am so grateful for them taking me in when I really needed it.. otherwise I would have nowhere to go). In October of 2013 something happened. I was waiting at a bus stop to go to work and a man got off the bus on the other side of the street. He crossed the street and walked into this gym behind me. He then approached me with a business card and offered me some personal training. A free session to start and then see if I was into it and go from there. I was supposed to meet him at the gym the next morning. So I did. We ended up talking about my goals and what I wanted from life etc (I have and still want to get into the military but I was not in any shape to do it well). Then we ended up talking about life and why I seemed so angry all the time and I ended up spilling my guts to this complete stranger. He then hands me this little booklet from AA and gets me to go through this checklist basically in order to see if you can prove yourself to be alcoholic. I was eight things on this list… more than three you are considered to be an alcoholic. This man Progress Not Perfection 

image[1]

brought me to my first meeting that following Friday. I walked into the room not knowing what to expect. It was a birthday meeting, which means that they were celebrating someone’s sobriety for an increment of years that they were sober. The man who spoke at this meeting was only a few years older than I but he had been sober for five years. I don’t remember much about the meeting but I just remembered bawling my eyes out, relating so much to what he said and how he felt, and just feeling like he understood… that everyone understood what happens to me when I drink.

image[3]

Since then I was going to two meetings a week.. I met a lot of younger people in the program too. I got a sponsor and I started doing the steps and praying every morning and every night (this is not a religious program.. a lot of people believe in a God of their understanding.. just to clarify). Once I started working the steps, and starting working on myself I started to feel better about myself… I became more humble, more understanding, patient and kind. I do not get angry or frustrated as easily and I really try just to be nice to people and make sure that I am not harming others. Around the time that I got into AA I also started hitting the gym hard. I always made excuses before about not working out or being too tired, it’s too hard to eat well etc. And you know what.. that was all BULLSHIT. There are 24 hours in a day and you can find time to go to the gym. I currently work two jobs, I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, I attend meetings, get together with my sponsor, I am upgrading courses so I can apply to University in the fall and I eat really well 98% of the time. This is ultimately why I chose to write this excerpt for Justin. But first you needed to know my journey and how I got to be where I am now.

image[2]When I first started out I started posting a status whenever I was at the gym, whenever I made a really healthy meal, or I was just posting a gym meme about something gym related. And then stuff starting happening. People started to notice. I am not saying this to be naive or vein… but my friends noticed that I was living this positive, healthy lifestyle. I had people saying to me that I inspired them to go back to the gym, to get healthy, and I motivated them to push harder. How fucking cool is that?!?!?! And even cooler than me motivating someone else they have motivated others too! It’s like this crazy chain reaction that I thought I was just doing all these posts for myself and it’s just Facebook nobody really cares about that shit anyways but, I was totally wrong! So many people guys and gals have thanked me for being such a positive and great inspiration and role model. And you know what… That now keeps ME going! How could I just stop now when I have motivated so many people to live a better life!? To not practice what I have consistently preached for the last 6 months?! And yes… I have only been doing this for six months.. that’s as long as I have been sober and hitting the gym. And honestly I have never been happier! I surround myself with positive people, I look for the good in others and I just try to give out more than I receive. And you know what it works! Me being so positive and happy reflects on other people (unless they are just downright miserable but that’s their business). People react to me Progress Not Perfection 

image

differently now and they engage me in conversation and they want to talk to me and they like talking to me. Whatever it is, positivity is totally my key to happiness. Working out and being sober, eating well and just being happy with who I am is the key to my positive outlook on life. Everyday isn’t perfect and I certainly am not one to say that I am perfect either. Just waking up every morning and being proud of who I see in the mirror is enough for me to love my life. One year in a birthday card my father actually wrote me a handwritten note in regards to not being around all the time and wishing he had more time with me. At the end of that note he wrote these very words: “Wake up every morning and be proud of who you see in the mirror”. And for a long time I wasn’t proud and I wasn’t happy. But I can happily say that since I have changed my life for the better, I am 100% happy with living my life one day at a time, seizing the moment and remembering that in life there is progress, not perfection.

image[4]

In life there is progress, not perfection

Just Keep Going

It’s been 2 years and a day since I opened my blog so that I could fundraise to go to Haiti, so what better time to post a blog!

 

So much has changed since May 2012, I now live in BC and comparably as happy as I was in Haiti. I live with great people there are mountains outside my front door in any direction and green everywhere!IMG_1251

There’s been a lot of new development in the past few weeks as well. I’m moving into a bigger place on the same property mind you on the 1st of June… I’m excited to be able to take showers… instead of baths (What were you thinking I didn’t baths? silly people). I’m still in the process of getting my car to pass BC safety standards, the sad thing is my car is better than most on the streets here. I got a new windshield today because there was two chips in it, but now it feels like I’m driving a new car.

IMG_1279

While my car was in the shop getting fixed I decided to longboard since it’s super warm out… T-shirt and shorts weather. It’s nice to get out and “exercise”, I’m going to need it as I start a new job soon doing landscaping. I’m leaving The Mobile Shop because I can’t bear to be cooped up inside a grocery store selling phones anymore, especially not in the beautiful weather that is here and it going to continue to shine in the summer. Another reason I’ve decided to leave my current employment is the fact I’m surrounded by something that I’m so against… such consumerism and plastic everywhere; I know you can’t eliminate all the plastic, but every new holiday there is shelves upon shelves of crap from gimmicky plastic cups to ornaments and one time use decorations that we are littering our earth with but I digress.  I’ve been doing customer service long enough; I do really enjoy helping people but I’d rather be doing it some other way like therapy, life coaching, or just giving someone a smile.

There's snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

There’s snow up on the Mountains but none in town ^_^

The yard is really coming along, Dayton and I did a walk around the property climbed a tree or two and just talked about life and plants and the earth. Our fire pit is set up and we are already having movie nights again. Our first official fire was about 3 weeks ago and random people kept showing up but it was great, guitars and music were playing.

I’ve begun to record things going on at “The Hostel” to make a keepsake video for everyone. I have some Jam sessions, some fire nights and gardening… maybe we’ll even make a music video.

I wanted to throw an update out there as I’ve really slacked off huge on updates so here one is! It’s super nice out so I’m going to cut this one short, hope everyone is having a great week if not, take a step outside look at the sky smile at the clouds, sun, rain, or even stars we live on a tiny marble, let your worries go for a bit and enjoy the moment.

IMG_1258

Namaste <3

“Change is the only constant” ~illogic