Thursday, September 30, 2010

All the Leaves are Brown, and the Sky is Gray...

Well, I've given up. I've finally let go of summer and have started to embrace the new season: Fall. It was tough, but it's tough every year - tough to let go of the sandals, beach bags and sundresses. I wouldn't say I've FULLY embraced Fall yet (it gets dark so EARLY now, waaah!) but I'm getting there.

When it comes right down to it, I love Fall. And maybe the more love I give to Fall, the longer it will stick around this year...maybe?? (pssh fat chance)

Oh well. I'm still going to show my love to Fall anyway with the following list:

10 Reasons Why I'm Glad It's Fall
1. Pumpkins (I could list 10 things just for this one (e.g. pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkins muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin tea, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!!)
2. Being able to wear enough layers to be comfy - sweaters, tights, boots, scarves - but not so many that you are sweating and stuffy
3. The Colours - I love the look of the trees when the leaves change to vibrant oranges, reds and yellows. My street is lined on either side with huge, old trees covered in leaves, so it's especially scenic this time of year
4. The slightly chilled, crispy scent and feeling in the air
5. Starting new routines, or getting back into old ones (some I'm attempting to develop are walking to work regularly, going to a class at my gym twice a week, writing/submitting an article every Sunday, trying a new recipe once a month, etc)
6. School/Office supplies!! (see: 'You've Got Mail', 'bouquets of sharpened pencils'
7. Trips to the Annapolis Valley to pick apples and see the Pumpkin people (this weekend, baby!)
8. Thanksgiving! A good excuse to stuff myself silly with high calorie/carb-laden comfort foods (not sure what my excuse is the other 364 days a year). Plus, it's a 3 day weekend, which is always awesome.
9. Halloween - my favourite holiday next to Christmas (which indicates how sacreligious I am). What's not to like about dressing up like a freak and stuffing yourself with mini-chocolate bars?!
10. As of Thanksgiving (Oct 11th - that would be CANADIAN Thanksgiving, people) it will only be 2 months until my birthday!! Yay!! Wait...I'll be 26...ugh, not so "yay".

What are you looking forward to this Fall?

This post was brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. And the Letter "F". For Fall. (and the fact that I'm a dork). Thank you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good Hair

Here's hoping you look a helluva lot better than this on Glee tonight!
I really want to shave my head.


Ok, well only partially seriously. I'm so fed up with this mop right now that even though I would never actually do it (I have a big, white head) part of me wants to grab the razor and just get rid of it all! My hair has gotten quite long and since I'm still enjoying a layover in Broketown, I have put off getting a haircut for a couple of months.

My hair is quite manageable - it's completely straight and quite smooth so I don't really have to style it much for it to look at least somewhat nice. However, when it grows long, it gets BULKY. My hair is strange - the strands are fine but I have a TON of them. I have ALOT of hair and the longer it gets, the more there is (duh) and therefore, the more annoying it gets.

But no matter how annoying it gets, no matter how much I want to reach for the razor, I can't quit my hair. It's like that toxic boyfriend you keep going back to even though you know he's no good. You want to leave but something keeps pulling you back, keeps you tethered with an invisible leash.

Ladies, do you feel me? Or am I just a wierdo? I say 'ladies' because it seems that women in particular suffer from what I would call HOD, or Hair Obsessive Disorder, which is characterized by a rather ridiculous attachment to the follicles erupting from one's scalp.

My name is Kim and I'm a Hairaholic. I admit it (after all, that's the first step).

But why do we suffer from such a silly, narcissistic disorder in the first place? I mean, it's just HAIR! Does it really need to look perfect all the time? Do we really need to agonize over it's colour, shape and mood every minute of every day? Do we really need to spend half a month's rent to emulate the style of our favourite celebrity?

Do you know what hair is? According to, it's basically protein (about 90%). PROTEIN! When I think of protein I think of meat. And murky, powdery shakes. When you think of hair in terms of a red, raw steak or one of those giant containers of muscle powder, it doesn't seem so appealing does it?

Also, do you know that when you cut hair off it grows right back? That when your stylist cuts a little too close to the ear, it's ok because it will be back to it's previous state within a couple of weeks? Yes, it's amazing but true. The point is nothing is permanent - much like the weather here in Nova Scotia, if you don't like what you see, wait a while and it will change.

I guess that's one of the great things about hair - that you can change it whenever you like! You can sport any shape or colour you can think of! You could carve Mt Rushmore in there if you really wanted to (but I wouldn't recommend going to First Choice Haircutters for that shiz). Hair, like fashion, can be used as a tool to express your personality, mood and style, as well as enhance or detract from your best and not-so-nice features. Plus, the products! Oh the products!

Ok, I am reminded why we are addicted. And I'm not ready to be cured.

So, I'm going to take advantage of the fact that hair can be changed easily and do just that - make a change. Not a drastic change, mind you (one step at a time people! I still have to do crazy things like to the OFFICE and, ya know, look like a human) but something - enough to give my look some more polish and shape, not to mention boost my mood and confidence. Something like this (just the cut, not the colour):

I wonder if they could do a face transplant while they're at it?! I've already got the J-Lo bootay!
Fingers crossed that this new style will alleviate my HOD symptoms, at least for a little while. Getting 'er done as soon as I can find someone who can get George Washington's face juuuuuust right. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Happy Monday! Wow, that's quite the oxymoron, isn't it? I don't think I know anyone who is happy about Mondays, except, what am I saying there's no one who is happy about Mondays.

Ah well, they have to be done though, don't they?

I figured to make this Monday a little more bearable, I would do a quick, happy fun post about my weekend.

Friday (I know Fri isn't technically the weekend, but as far as I'm concerned, the weekend really starts at 4:30pm Fri) consisted of stopping quickly at home after work (which was the first time ever coming home to there and not being greeted by my kitty :( that was definitely sad and wierd...but meh, can't dwell on that!) to quickly grab some clothes, then head to my mom's in Dartmouth. She was away for work Friday and Saturday, which means I had to house/cat/sister-sit for her, and which also meant that I had the use of her car those two days (woohoo!). I decided to give my sister a bit of a treat and take her to Swiss Chalet for supper (I'm sooo boring I always order the Club Wrap, but it's just sooo yummy! They have the best fries).

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before on the blog, but my sister has Down's Syndrome. She's five years older than me but because of her condition, she's more like a younger sister. I'm not going to lie, she pisses me off and she can be very difficult to deal with sometimes (she can be very cranky, shy and quiet - sometimes taking forever to answer a questions or not answering you at all - and not very sociable) but she means well and when she is in a good mood she makes me laugh. Deep down, I love her lots and am fiercely protective of her. Like, if you say or do anything mean to her you'd better watch out for me!! Ok, I'm like the least intimidating person ever (I'm only 5 feet tall!) but I can still bring it if provoked! Just remember, I'm right at crotch and knee level.


She loves Swiss Chalet and going out for dinner in general so this is a big deal to her. Then I took her home and went for coffee with a friend of mine to catch up. It was a quick visit, but still nice!

Saturday I had a slow morning reading the paper, catching up on blogs, and working on some writing planning. I really want to get more serious about sending pitches and articles to publications and websites and start building up a larger, more consistent portfolio of writing. But I've realized I won't stick with it unless I have a plan, so I've decided to kick myself in the butt and actually start making a list of places I want to approach, subjects for articles, etc. Writing projects aren't just going to fall in my lap! I have to go out and get them. I also started an "Inspiration and Ideas" folder on my computer to save articles and web posts that speak to me and provide good advice that I want to keep in mind. I read all these things on a regular basis and come across so many things that make me think "wow, that's a great idea", or "I'm definitely going to use these tips" but had no place to keep track of them, which seemed silly. It felt good to get some of these things done; I feel much more organized on the writing front now!

Once my sister got up and ready to go, we headed out to run some errands and just get out of the house (my sister isn't 100% independent and that combined with her inconsistent social skills means that she only really gets "out" if my mom or me take her somewhere. Since I don't live at home anymore and don't get to spend time with her very often, I really wanted to take advantage of my time at mom's to take her out this past weekend). We went to the duck pond for a walk and to feed the ducks, but of course it started raining before we had the chance to do either, so we went to Starbucks instead! (is that not the best place to be on a rainy day?). Then we just ran a couple of errands and headed home!

Saturday evening I ended up at a friend's boyfriend's house for a giant games night! I was sort of on the fence about going at all, but I'm so glad I did because I've never laughed so much in my life! We played Loaded Questions, which involves one person in the group reading a question off the card, and everyone else writing an answer down. The answer you write can be as ridiculous as possible and not even have anything to do with the question. Then the "asker" has to listen to each answer and guess who wrote what. Some of the things that people wrote were quite hilarious. I ended up tying to win with my friend Michelle (we each got 5 right)! It's funny that I guessed 5 people's answers because I had never met over half the group before that night, and I think I guessed more of their answers than those of the people I actually knew! Wierd.

After LQ, we played What Mine's Like, which turned out to be one of the funniest games ever. It involves a card being passed around the group with a word or thing on it that is kept secret from one person in the circle. Then each person has to try and allude to what the word/thing is by describing what "their's is like", e.g. saying "Mine is green" or "I have used mine many times today", etc. You can imagine how much hilarity could ensue, both from the confusion of the "guesser" and the fact that the clues people give can be completely taken out of context, if you know what I mean. Literally, my jaw and ribs were sore from laughing by the time we left! I ended up having a 30 minute heart-to-heart relationship chat with one friend when I dropped her off at home. She was worried about some issues with the guy she's dating and needed some advice. She's actually a friend of a friend and we've never had any deep conversations one on one before, so it was nice that she felt comfortable talking to me about her issues!

Mom came home from her trip late Saturday night and Sunday we were slow going, didn't get out until 2pm or so but ended up getting a ton of shopping done. My lovely mother bought me a whole load of kitchen stuff I've been meaning to get, as well as a cute black sweater-cape from Walmart (yes, WM! Say what you will about Wally World but they have cute clothes!). This was such a huge help as I'm still horribly broke at the moment. I finally got my 1st paycheque from the temp job on Tuesday but once I paid a couple of (already late) bills, and had my cat put down on Thursday (which costs almost $150 by the way!! Shocking...), I was basically down to zero again. It's sooooo frustrating living hand to mouth right now, I can't even tell you. I know it will get better, but I have to dig myself out of the hole and get back on level ground 1st, and it's a very frustrating place to be in. Thank god for my mom's generosity and close proximity - she has helped me so much during this tough time and I can't thank her enough.

We went out for supper, and the little boy in the booth next to us was celebrating his bday (he was probably around 8 years old I'd guess). When the servers came around and sang to him, they made him stand up on the booth and as they sang he did this booty-shakin' dance in his spot - it was so funny! Hey, if you're being stared at by an entire restaurant and made to look silly, you might as well go with it, right?

When I got home I did a whole bunch of tidying and putting things away, and I also gathered all the cat's stuff up in a pile to get rid of. It's just too hard sitting there looking at her things sitting around like she's still there, so I wanted to get them cleaned out before the new week started. Clean slate. I'm going to donate as much of it as possible to a local shelter, which will help them out but also make me feel better. It was definitely strange spending the evening at home for the first time since she was put down; I kept expecting her to come into the room or to go into the bedroom and find her snoozing or something. I miss her and I'm not used to the change yet, but I feel very content about it in any case. I'm just happy that it's over with and she's in a better place.

After I tidied I got my Halloween decorations out! I LOVE Halloween! It's definitely one of my favourite holidays, and so I always like to have a few fun things around the apartment (I don't go crazy or anything; we're talkin' orange tablecloth and towels, candy bowl, skull candle holders). I've pretty much decided on my costume, just need to figure out where and when I'm going to where it. There are some murmurings of possible goings-on but nothing set in stone yet. I just have so much fun putting a costume together and wearing it that I definitely want to do something - not just sit around. Gotta burn off all the mini chocolate bars I plan on consuming.

Remainder of the weekend was spent laying on the couch with green tea and watching the Amazing Race! God I love that show; me and my mom are going to do it if they ever start a Canadian version (ummm, by the way Canadian Cable Companies, could you get on that, like soon?!). Is it sad that there are already teams annoying the f#$% out of me? Also, I have to say I'm rather worried for one particular team and whether or not they will be able to get through this thing...

So, that was it in a...well, a very long nutshell. I think it's going to be a good week! I'm definitely going into this one feeling more positive, motivated and organized than last. I also have been thinking a lot about this blog and what changes I want to make to it. I've decided that I want to personalize it a bit more, and so you can probably expect to see more posts such as this one that are more light-hearted and highlight a bit about me and how I spend my time. I'm hoping to create more of a connection with more readers this way. There's no way you will EVER see me writing about ME all the time, or going into every single detail about my existence on this blog, because when it comes right down to it, I'm a private person and I don't want this to be a narcisistic forum. However, I do think that people will enjoy reading more (and I'll enjoy writing more) if I have more of a fun, personal focus to my posts. I guess we'll see!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting? Thinking about making any changes lately?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ball of Confusion

I've been taking a little break from the blog and other social media (aside from a couple of facebook and twitter updates) because I've had a lot going on in my personal life and, to be honest, was not feeling very inspired or motivated to write.

On top of adjusting to this new temp job, while also continuing to look for permanent work and dealing with being completely broke, my cat became sick this past weekend. She's been having "litter box" issues for a few months now, but I had her urine tested (and no infection found) and the incidences have been very sporadic and her other habits have remained normal so I didn't think anything of it.

Until last Saturday. I won't go into every detail as it's a long story but suffice to say I had to take her to the vet, and long story short the xray and blood tests they did discovered a "mass" (most likely a tumour) in her belly, as well as an infection in her bowel. To treat this tumour and get her healthy again would require major surgery, with no guarantee it would even work. Not to mention it would be traumatizing to her mind and body, especially considering she's somewhere between 15 and 17 years old. To put her through this would be cruel, not to mention exhorbinantly expensive at a time when I can barely afford a bus pass.

So, considering what the future most likely held, the medical opinions I received and discussions I had with family members, I decided that the best thing to do would be to put her down. I was very upset and tense over the weekend, but I knew it had to be done. I feel lucky that she was well enough to bring home for a few days so that I could spend time with her, and that's just what I did from Sunday to Thursday when the deed was actually done. Being in the room and holding her while they injected her and even leaving her in the room when it was all over was extremely painful, but in the end I felt relief; relief that she was no longer going to suffer and that we caught her illness in time that she was able to go in a quiet, comfortable, unrushed way.

I couldn't help but think if I had gone out of town last Saturday morning as I originally planned, or I hadn't been home when she showed the signs of serious illness that appeared that day, that I might have continued on oblivious to her condition for what could have been weeks or months while she slowly deteriorated inside only to come home one day to find her half dead (or fully dead) on the floor and have to put her down very abruptly without having time to come to terms with it. That is such a blessing. And it was also a huge blessing that my mom was around and happened to have the money to pay for her tests last weekend, otherwise I would have had to walk out of that clinic without finding anything out about her condition.

Life is funny sometimes. It's also strange because only the day before (last Friday), I had lunch with a friend and we had a chat about how we'd both love to take off and move somewhere but have all these reasons why we can't. The main reason I discussed was...well, the cat. When it came right down to it she presented various complicated obstacles to my mobility and freedom, as crass as it sounds. I would OF COURSE never wish for something like this to happen as I loved that cat with all my heart and will miss her terribly, but I can't help but think "hmmmm...interesting". The timing is amazingly coincidental since I'm currently in a kind of "limbo" where I'm thinking alot about my future and re-evaluating what direction I want to go in next. Going away to work and school has been one of the ideas at the forefront of my mind (well, has been for a while now) and I can't help but think the combination of trouble finding work in my field, and the unfortunate loss of Nutty is somehow a sign that this is the time for me to make a change. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but sometime in the near future.

I don't know, I'm sort of rambling here - I'm a reflective person by nature, but this time in my life has forced me to be even more reflective than usual - but I guess all I'm trying to get at is that this is all for the best and everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that about life.

Anyway, I am still not feeling the most motivated and inspired, but I do feel better than I did. For the most part, I'm done with moping around and worrying and wishing. I'm going to start being proactive! I have various projects on the brain that I want to research and explore, and I feel this is the perfect time to do this. I know if I just stay positive and make a plan for myself and just GO FOR IT instead of worrying that I'll be fine. I'll get my inspiration and motivation back. This time is a test for me - a test of my resolve and how resourceful and perserverant I can be. This is another thing I truly believe about life - that we get bad things thrown at us as a kind of "test" of our character, and that we don't get anything thrown at us that we can't, deep-down inside, handle.

I can't say when I'll get back to my regular blogging, social media, writing schedule but I know it will be soon. You haven't seen the end of me yet! Au contrare, it's only the beginning!

As some smart gal I know always says, I just gotta keep on rollin'.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

So, officially have two days down at the new (temp) job, and honestly it's not going the best so far. The gals in the office are nice, walking to work has been awesome, and I finally have at least a little bit of money coming in.

However, my brain is also ready to explode from all the information it has taken in, I'm feeling very stupid and frustrated because I can't answer any questions and I don't know where the bleep anything is.

Overall the best way to describe the way I'm feeling is this: lost.

I'm feeling lost right now.

I realize I just started the new job and this feeling will pass with time - lord knows I've been the "new" person enough times to know this - but that's cold comfort when you're in the "newbie" state of mind (not New York, New-Bie).

And to tell you the truth, I'm not just feeling lost in this job, I'm feeling lost in life. Period. I've been keeping my eye out on marketing/communications jobs listings in my area and making note of ones that sound interesting, since as of now I'm not planning on staying where I am forever. But nothing has really caught my eye. No jobs have jumped out at me from the screen and made me think, "wow! That sounds perfect for me!" or "that sounds really fun/rewarding/interesting, etc". There has been a few that have made me think, "that sounds...ok/pretty good/not bad, etc", but no "wow's".

Now, I'm a realist. I realize it's hard to find a "wow/perfect" job, and most people never find it. I know I should be content with having any job. I also realize I'm only 25 and have "lots" of time to figure this out (or at least that's what other people tell me all the time). But the fact is I'm not content with "just having a job" anymore. And sure, right now I'm only 25, but this is the time in my life when I should be cultivating a career and laying the groundwork for future success. And that's just not happening.

And the more I think about it, the more jobs I peruse, and the more people I talk to, the more I realize that the issue is not the jobs.

The issue is not that there are no good jobs out there right now for me, or no good jobs period. The issue is I HAVE NO SWEET CLUE WHAT JOB I REALLY WANT OR WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE.

This is nothing new; I've never claimed to have my life all figured out or to have a plan for what dreams to follow. I have NEVER really known what I want to do. But by the time I finished my Public Relations degree, I thought it was a field I could see myself in. I thought I could make a career out of it, and that maybe (just maybe) I had found my niche (or at least close enough to it that I could be satisfied). But now I'm not so sure. Now I'm faced with feeling lukewarm about any job in this field that I stumble upon, being close to 26 years old and not really having any concrete experience in the field, and therefore being denied access to opportunities that could potentially give me more experience...because I don't have enough experience.


Anyway, the point is I JUST DON'T KNOW. In a way, I'm glad I am doing temp work right now because I'm thinking this is maybe a good time for me to reexamine my professional life. Maybe it's time for a change. I've been focusing on a field because that's what my degree is in (basically) and it's not working; so perhaps it's a sign that it's not right for me.

The trouble is I have no clue what IS right for me. I know what I like - I like to write, I like blogging and connecting with people through social media, I like mobility and freedom, I like helping people and feeling valuable/dependable, I like challenges, I like to try new things, I like to be creative and to use new, unique methods for completing tasks. I also know what I don't like - I don't like monotony, I don't like people looking over my shoulder while I work, I don't like close-mindedness or rigidness, I don't like manipulation or secrecy, and I don't like bureaucracy or hierarchy.

It's pretty much impossible to find a job that allows all of the above. And even if it were possible, I would have no idea what the actual job would look like, what it would be called or where it would be. The more I think about it, the more I think I should and could go into business for myself. I'm very attracted to the freedom of this option, being my own boss and being able to control what work I do and when, and being able to have a more personal connection to my clients or whomever I "serve".

However, working for yourself also means saying "bye bye" to financial stability and probably having a lot of doors slammed in your face before any are opened widely. The fear of failure is terrifying. Besides, aside from the fears, if you are going to start a business or start a new career period, you have to know WHAT kind of business or new career you want to start. Knowing what you like and don't like, and what your strengths and weaknesses are isn't enough. You have to know what shape and title should be attached to your personal set of strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. You have to know how to combine your desires and your qualities into a particular vocation. And (I hate to sound like a broken record, but) I JUST DON'T KNOW.

I don't mean to complain or whine about how hard my life is and WAH WAH WAH. I have a very good life and for the most part I am happy that I have ANY job. But I just can't shake the feeling that I'm not doing what I'm "supposed" to be doing. That there are opportunities out there for me if I only knew where to look and what to look for. When it comes right down to it, I don't just want a JOB. I want a CAREER. I want a PASSIONATE PROFESSIONAL LIFE. I know it's silly and completely counterintuitive to the inate unfairness of life, but I just want to feel like I'm doing something important with my time and that I'm making enough money to be comfortable, but that I'm doing it for some valuable reason.

I'm basically just venting here; sending my worries and thoughts into the "void", but I would also love some feedback. Any advice, thoughts, suggestions you might have about how to get out of this funk, things I can try to get a better idea of what jobs I might be good at or what skills I can cultivate further and eventually develop into a career...anything really! Please share. I need direction. If nothing else, it's helpful to hear I'm not alone and hopeless.

THIS is why I have a sore throat. And in case you didn't know, there are no paid sick days with temp work.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canada Is Cooler Than You

Just a quick note that I'm guest-posting today over at My Quarterlife Crisis. When Allison asked if I wanted to contribute to her series "Canada is Cooler Than You", I jumped at the opportunity. First because I love her blog, and second because I love Canada and love talking about why I love it! I'm writing from the perspective of the East Coast and I hope you'll read it and enjoy - Canadians and nons (nobody's perfect) alike!

*On another, completely unrelated note, tomorrow is Monday and that sucks!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer Lovin (had me a blast)

As a "conscientious" person (I don't like the word "over-achiever as it has a negative connotation, conjuring images of this and I'm NOTHING like that...I don't think), I often feel like I haven't done enough, haven't seen enough, haven't used my time in an effective enough manner.

This, combined with the fact that I have a terrible memory, means that my knee-jerk reaction at the end of a season is to look back and think, "I didn't really do anything exciting this ! I didn't do anything cool like backpack through Europe or start a new business like !". So, when I first reflected upon my summer and what I did with it, my mind immediately went here. However, once I thought longer and harder about it (and reviewed my photos), I realized I had a pretty full season!

Here are some of the highlights:
* Visited a maple syrup farm with friends (and discovered the wonder of maple syrup poured in snow and wrapped on a stick - mmmmm).
* Fundraised and participated in the Nova Scotia SPCA Alley Cat Bowl with two of my co-workers. We realized we suck at bowling, but we had tons of fun anyway!
* Attended a Workplace Wellness Conference in New Brunswick with another co-worker, where I met some great people from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of NB, and learned some interesting ways to promote teamwork and job satisfaction in our office. I also had supper with an ex-boyfriend and realized just how different we've both become (surreal experience).
* Planned and attended four training sessions as a representative from my office (go me! And trust me, it was not always fun - oh, and along with this also took a plane to Cape Breton, which was sort of silly yet fun in equal measure...those of you that don't live in Nova Scotia won't get this, but just trust me).
* Hiked Victoria Park in Truro with some old and new friends - crossed a place off my list that I'd always wanted to visit and got a fun road trip out of it too.
* Hiked Cape Split (we did it up and back + a 20 minute break in just under 4 hours!) with my two best friends (crossed another "alwayswantedtodo" off my list and got a great workout).
* FINALLY watched my best friend and her fiance get married, and from my very special position as Maid of Honour. Also got to plan her Bridal Shower and Bachelorette party, both of which were successful!
* Attended the Halifax Greek Fest for the first time (another thing to check off the list!).
* Had a bonfire on the beach...well, attempted to have one until we were caught by a "forest ranger" (in a bulletproof vest!) and told to put it out. It was an amazing fire while it lasted though, and a fun adventure (blatantly breaking the law - just a regular Saturday night for us).
* Participated in my 5th NS International Tattoo as a member of the adult choir, and probably had my funnest year yet. New group of ladies to hang out with, seemingly more cute guys in uniform than ever (though honestly I probably just noticed them more in my horny free and single state ), root beer popsicles and ice cream sandwiches, funny hats, Parisian fire-fighters...sigh, is it June 2011 yet??
* Was hit on randomly in the street for the first time in...well, a LOOOONG time. Perhaps for the first time ever. Sad, I know, but this was a great ego boost in any case (and he wasn't ugly or smelly! Win!).
* Visited the Halifax Jazz Fest (also for the first time - another check!) and saw an amazing concert by locals Gypsophilia and Israeli group Boom Pam. Sooooo much fun - it was so freeing to dance up a sweat in front of the stage with a crowd with only the music and the summer air floating around....awesome.
* Got to see my friend's baby for the first time when they visited from Edmonton.
* Visited with my brother and his wife from BC for two whole weeks - I hadn't seen my sister-in-law in 6 years and my brother in 2 so it was about time we got together. Yummy seafood dinners, walking the waterfront shopping and taking in Natal Day festivities, lots of beer and wine...
* Participated in the Dog Days of Summer bloggers challenge, where I donated a trunk-full of pet supplies to my local shelter. This was so rewarding and my 1st blogging challenge (1st of many I hope!). You can read about it here.
* Had a lovely vacation in Prince Edward Island with my family (as per usual).
* Participated in my 2nd blogging challenge! Big Day Downtown.
* Took in the Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle contest (another first and a PERFECT beach day).
* Went Tidal Bore rafting - soooo much fun and soooo sore for the next four days (however, another check off my list! Huzzah!).
* Left my job, which I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from, and jumped back into the world of temping while I keep trying to find my niche (still have no idea what that is).

I also made some new friends, dated a couple of guys, saw a bunch of great movies, ate a bunch of great food, got a lot of sun, and became more active online by blogging on a regular twice-weekly schedule, Tweeting more, and talking to people more on various online forums (had my first online interview re. the blog!). I really feel I'm connecting with some amazing people and organizations through these activities and I hope it only continues to grow.

Generally, this year I've been trying to get out and DO things. You know those things that we all say "I'd love to do that sometime" and never seem to get to? I've been trying my best to actually GET to them. As you can see above, I crossed a whole bunch of things off this list in my head this summer, and I'm really proud of that. I've generally learned to be more adventurous, and more laid back and patient. I'm still working on this obviously, but got a good start!

I had some bad times too, but who wants to dwell on those?!

So, see I did a lot of great stuff! My initial thoughts of unproductivity were obviously baseless. I'm still attached to summer (thank goodness we're still having summer weather here...mostly) but I must say I'm starting to look forward to Fall, to the sweaters and tights and pumpkin goodies.

I hope to have a Fall re-cap in a couple of months that is just as full, varied, and positive as the one above.

Happy Fall, y'all!

(By the by: I'm still not happy with my blog design and so expect continued changes in that department while I try and find a look I DO like. Thanks!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop #4: Single White Female

It's been a while since I've participated in Mama Kat's writing challenge, but I really liked her prompts for this week.

The prompt that most spoke to me was:
2.) A list of things you no longer have in common with your married/child bearing friends…and why you love them anyways.

Oooooh boy, I could write a novel about this (but I won't). It's very interesting - there was a shift about a year or two ago and all of a sudden everyone I know was either living with a significant other, engaged or pregnant. As someone who was not even contemplating any of these things, this "shift" was completely baffling to me.

I mean I was (and still am) very happy for these friends, of course, and excited for them to be entering a new stage in life. But on the other hand, it made me think to myself: "We're only 23/24?! We're not adults yet!! When did this happen?!". Now I'm very mature for my age and always have been, so being afraid of "growing up" shouldn't really be an issue for me (I grew up a long time ago in actuality), but for some reason things like moving in, getting married and having kids were very "adult" things in my mind and so it was hard to reconcile that my friends, who were younger than me and still (like me) figuring out who they were, were all of a sudden being "adults".

When this shift happened, I felt like there was something wrong with me, like if everyone else is doing these things than I should be too and WHY aren't I?! It can be very lonely when everyone you are close to has a companion to go take trips with and a date for Christmas parties. I'm one of the only ones in my core group of friends who is single and also lives alone, so there's no way avoiding at least occasionally feeling like a 3rd or 5th wheel. That's not fun.

But for the most part, I love my single life. I love having complete freedom and independence, and to be able to go where I want, when I want and not have to answer to or consult anyone. I could take off for another country tomorrow if I wanted to and I wouldn't have to worry about cutting attached strings, and that's a wonderful thing.
However, it's very frustrating not being able to relate to my friends like I used to. Not only are most of them attached, but they all want to get married and start having kids before 30 (if they haven't done this already); they want to settle down and buy a house in the suburbs and have a regular 9-5 existence. They want to stay in and have games nights instead of going out dancing or to concerts. Sure, they can remember what it's like to deal with "single issues", but they have enough distance from them that they don't really understand those issues. It's hard to talk to someone about being single when they can't really relate to what that means.
This is fine, by the way - everyone's personality and life goals are different and there is nothing wrong with that - it's just tough to talk to them about the future when our visions of it are completely different (and talking about the future is nice to do with friends). I'm not saying I never want to get married or have kids, but I'm undecided; I want to be 100% sure about those things before doing them and I'm just not there yet, and I don't see myself being sure by the time I'm 30. Who knows, perhaps I'll change my mind in a few years, but overall I feel that I just have different priorities for my life - I want to establish a fun, rewarding career that gives me freedom and mobility, I want to travel, I want to live in other places, etc, etc. There are things I want to do and see and the fact is it's much harder to accomplish this once you are saddled with kids and a mortgage so I'm in no rush to procure either of these.
I feel that some people are meant to contribute to the world by building families, and others are not, and I just don't think I'm a part of the former group. I'm just not sure I'm meant to settle down in the traditional sense.
In any case, even though my friends have different lifestyles and goals than I do, they are still really sweet, fun, intelligent people and I plan on having many more good times with them. Life changes; people change. That's the only guarantee in life (aside from death and taxes), and that's ok. You keep the good friends you have, go out and make new friends that fit your current lifestyle and outlook, and you move on. We sure would be a boring species if we never evolved our characters and way of life! Who knows who (or what) I will become by the time I reach my 30's (and when it comes right down to it, as long as I'm not working at McDonald's or have giant fake boobs, I'll be pretty happy).

What about you? Are you single or married? Do you have kids? Do you want to do these things? Do your friends have similar lifestyles to you or no? Have you noticed changes in how you relate to one another over time?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who Are You? (I Really Wanna Know)

I applied for a job yesterday that recommended I list my "Myers Briggs Type" in my application, since it is a position that requires writing/editing/research skills. I was intrigued, both because I had never been asked to submit such a thing for a job application, and also because I have always wondered what my type is and this would be a good excuse to find out!

Here is my result: I am INFJ - Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

I am sometimes skeptical of these "personality tests"; you have to wonder how accurate they really are and more to that what the point is. Googling my Type yielded various definitions, with different titles (including Counselor, Protector, etc) so it's hard to say what the exact definition of my Type is. However, generally I found the main traits listed for my Type match my actual personality quite accurately. I was pleasantly surprised.

Here are some of the traits that I felt were most accurate (taken from this profile which puts me in the category "The Protectors"):

* take things in primarily via intuition; know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand; put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions
* protective of their inner selves; deep, complex, quite private and typically difficult to understand; hold back part of themselves, can be secretive.
* perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential; rarely at complete peace with themselves; believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments; have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families
* place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world; constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives; not good with money or practical day-to-day life necessities (that's not true - I'm good at spending money! I'm also good at eating, which is a very practical daily necessity!)
* are usually right, and they usually know it (hah! Well, not going to argue with that!)
* gentle, caring, artistic, creative; genuinely warm; good listener
* hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring; concerned for people's feelings, try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone; very sensitive to conflict, which may drive them into a state of agitation or charged anger; tend to internalize conflict and experience health problems as a result; don't believe in compromising their ideals; take commitments seriously; seek long-term relationships but can easily move on after a relationship is ended.
* usually works in areas where they can be creative and independent; natural affinity for art, not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks.

Obviously, it can be hard to be objective when it comes to your own personality, but for the most part I feel I'm a very self-aware person who is accepting of both her strengths and weaknesses and I would say all of the above is BANG ON.

I find this so interesting! I also think it's interesting that these types of tests are not used more often. WHY have I never been asked to submit this information in a job application before? If you think about it, these standardized tests can be a more accurate portrait of a person and their strengths/weaknesses than a cover letter and resume because they are more objective.

Obviously, these tests are not completely unbiased because there is no guarantee the "testee" (tee hee) is answering the questions honestly, but at the same time, the questions are in such a format that it would be hard for the applicant to manipulate their answers in order to come out with a specific result, i.e. the type that the employer is most looking for. For one, the test is made up of "yes" and "no" questions that give no indication of what category your answer will place you in (unlike other tests, such as multiple choice, which I would say are easier to predict), and secondly there is no way of  knowing what Type the employer is even looking for, if they are in fact looking for a particular one.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that all employers should be requiring applicants to complete the Myers Briggs test. All I'm saying is the test could be an easy and interesting way to find out more about a person's character and to remove some of the bias that exists in the hiring process (on both sides).

Human beings are obviously much more complex than a 72-question test can reveal - a lot of how we act depends on the circumstances and mood of individual situations. But I also feel that sometimes 'who we are' is staring us right in the face but we don't see it until it's revealed in an honestly answered questionnaire.

Fun factoid: Only about 1% of the population are the INFJ type! How cool is that?! So, either I'm really special or really "special", if you know what I mean.

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs test? What is your Type? Is it accurate? How would you feel about including your Type in a job application?

If you wish to take the test, you can do so here - give it a try; you might learn something about yourself!