Thirty-One-Woman

Last year I watched a video talking about setting yourself up for a good year with a word.  Rather than making set goals, choose a primary word that you apply every day, and a secondary word that maybe closes in on the target idea. My word for 2016 was “EFFORT”. I wanted to put effort into studying for my last semester of college; effort into my workouts when I went to the gym regardless of whether it was once a week or five times a week; effort into my relationships both with friends and boyfriend; and, effort in finding the best in myself and my situations.
I liked this method of “resolutions” because it didn’t set me up to fail at a diet or weightless or income. All the things I wanted to change or improve had no margin of “reach this point or else.” They simply required that I apply effort and ensure that I did the best I could at that moment in that situation.

I want 2017 to mold me into a better woman in many areas of my life. Being a person of faith, I have a Bible and sometimes find encouragement and wisdom in the pages. Proverbs 31 is quite the popular chapter often known for encouraging women to be good wives and not vain. At least thats how it was always portrayed to me. Re-reading it as a twenty-three year old feminist (as in equality for all, not a man-hater) I have a different take on it.
Here Goes.

The thirty-one woman:
– She provides food and income for her family and household.
– She is productive and efficient, rising early to make the most of each day.
-She invests in properties and makes profits which she then re-invests. She’s smart with  her money.
– She takes care of her health by working out. (literally says she strengthens her arms.)
– She is confident in herself and her work.
– She volunteers and donates to those less fortunate than her.
-She is prepared for all seasons
– She dresses well, with clothes she makes herself to boot.
– She is Honorable, Wise, and Kind in both words and actions.
-She doesn’t bother herself wondering if she is beautiful because she knows beauty goes deeper than just skin.
– She lets her actions speak for her but takes pride in being a bad-ass.

These are all things that I want to be responses when someone asks another someone,  “Do you know Sarah G?”
One of my favourite quotes is, “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.” I ended up at Proverbs 31 after deciding “Grace” was going to be my word of the year. It turned into “Positivity; Listen; integrity” and eventually I just grabbed the dictionary and decided that the whole thing had to be my word. I think my thirty-one list is a little more concise. 🙂

So, in a weird twist on “word of the year”, I’m going to make “thirty-one” my focus word. That list I made above? I want to be all those things. I mean, I probably won’t make my own clothes but I will continue to think three times before I buy a $5 shirt just because its cheap. I will try to be kind and wise when I speak and act. I’ve also been wanting to look into investing money and learning more about finances, so maybe I can take a course or just talk to different banks and educate myself. I have been thinking for months about volunteering but I’m very good at making excuses and then basking in laziness; by just finding one opportunity to volunteer, I nip laziness and become productive. As for the skin-deep beauty, I have gone through phases where I didn’t care, then where I cared so much that I never looked in a mirror because I was ashamed and embarrassed of my face, and now I’m at a point where I just look the way I do and its beautiful because theres only like 7 or 8 other people in the world who look like me. (Sadly, none of them are my family. But it’s a scientific fact that we each have about 7 dopplegangers.) I also love makeup so I think as long as I’m confident in myself and how I look each day, I can rock a bare face or a smokey eye. Its what I do that matters, not what I look like.

That’s my post today. I’m aware that I write about once year now but it is mostly for myself and if someone stumbles upon it, I hope it makes you laugh or think.
Merry Christmas, world.

Love, Sarah.

Would Alanis Morissette Call This Irony?

Let’s start at the beginning.
Its April and I am writing my final exam before being titled a massage therapist. I have a thought that if I wait to get licensed and just keep serving for a little longer I can serve over stampede, make some money for student loans, and then find a job at a massage clinic.
Its June and I am sweating under a cowboy hat and regretting my choice of stampede work. The economy is bad, the crowds are bad, the money is bad, and the hours or working in a club are just plain awful. (new respect to all club bartenders and servers.) The month goes by and I begin applying for my registration. It should take a month. First step, Get a background check from my city police. Estimated time: 2 – 3 weeks. On the 25th I apply to a massage clinic that I am really interested in and I am told I get the job.
Its July. Three weeks have passed since I’ve applied for my background check and I start trying to track mine down. A friend tells me that I can go online and see when they processed my application. When I check, it tells me that they are still processing applications submitted three days before I submitted mine.
Its August and I get my background check back. I gather together all the papers I need and apply for registration. Estimated time: 2-3 weeks. Four days later I receive an email saying I am now an RMT and links to all my information. Ecstatic, I email my new bosses and say I’m ready.
Its September and I get home from a closing shift at the restaurant. I check my emails and see that I have a new one about an orientation date at the massage clinic. It lists a time for the following day and says “Please bring a copy of your first aid, registration, bank deposit slip, and city license.”
What the hell is a city license, I ask myself.
Thanks to google I find out that as a massage practitioner I have to have not just my insurance and association registration, but also a city licence. I call the next morning as soon as the office opens to apply. Estimated time: 20-30 minutes.
Wrong. The city has to do their own police background check on me. Actual estimated time: 2-3 weeks.
I cry. I’m so over waiting. I feel as though my whole summer I’ve been waiting for a door to  open but it just keeps opening to another locked door.
Its October  and I’ve settled into waiting by working extra shifts at the restaurant. I don’t work Mondays. Ever. Then my manager calls and says if I help them out and work all day Monday she will give me the whole weekend off. I agree, I make plans to leave town with friends, I get excited at the idea of a mini adventure.
I get a phone call from the city informing me my licence is in. I write to the clinic and tell them “I can start Monday!”
Its perfect. I get a weekend off as a last hurrah, and then I start my career.

Silly Sarah. Its the long weekend. They are short staffed and super busy. What better of an opportunity to network, let people know what I can do, and make money doing something that I love?
I start Friday.

The Chaos of Peter Pan Syndrome.

If you’ve ever heard of Peter Pan Syndrome, you’ve probably heard it used to describe a man in his mid to late twenties who refuses to get a big adult job or buy a house or marry a girl thats he’s been dating for seven years. I’m using it to describe myself. I don’t want to grow up. I wish I didn’t go to school. I’m feeling like a puppet reciting all these rules.
(If you don’t know the Peter Pan song, “I won’t grow up”, that was my altered version of the first verse.)

I don’t want to grow up. Everyday is great and then I wake up and my lungs flood with worry and anxiety like this claustrophobic air that I can’t stop breathing. Every brain signal says “get a job, pay off loans get a job pay off loans.” while every heart beat says “Catch the next flight to anywhere but here. Drive to the mountains and don’t come back. Find a way to go back to being twenty-one and stay twenty-one forever.”
Life was a hell of a lot easier when I was four. My life was sing-a-longs with mommy, walks under the stars, creating my first vivid memories, getting the worlds most amazing step-dad (okay I was 6 but still). I took naps and said stupid things that were funny and witty because I was a child saying them. Now I say them and I just sound condescending.
I am young at heart and yet an old soul. Does anyone else have this feeling? I want to be eighty and sit on my rocking chair watching my grandchildren and kids. But, I also want to boycott the little pooping monsters and just travel the world and be fifty with a bunch of amazing stories and memories in language I don’t recall. My boyfriend likes to tell me, “You can’t have it all, Sarah.” Maybe I want less choices. Yeah. I think I’d like to go back to being four years old where my mom said, “Do the dishes or go to bed.” Those were my options. Both terrible, but one let me stay up a little longer.

I wish I didn’t go to school. I  am actually so grateful that I had the opportunity to go to school and learn something that I happen to be pretty good at and love. However, daily I am confronted with myself in the mirror and all I see is tear filled eyes wondering if I’m ever going to be able to afford a pedicure, a plane ticket, and street food in a foreign country. My net worth was fine until I added in my student loans and now even though I know I’ll have them paid off in a year, my net worth is negative. I KNOW it shouldn’t affect me as much as it does, but frick, my self esteem has dropped, I feel so insecure about everything like my skin, my body, my mind, my hair, my face in general, my skills, my talents, etc, and in turn, I’m negative. I love numbers, but I’ve always been really bad at them. (Just ask my math teacher who had high expectations when this homeschooler joined his class and then slowly understood why she was a year behind in maths.) So when I look at the numbers, yes, I wish I didn’t go to school until I had won a full scholarship or worked my ass off to pay for at least half of it in cash.

I’m a redhead with two amazingly strong and independent parents and a couple of older and younger siblings who are chasing their dreams even when their dreams drag them through the mud for a little while. It takes a lot to make a girl like me feel like a helpless puppet. Somehow, I’ve done it. I feel like everything I do has to be the a high standard damn near perfection. The worst part is that I am the only one setting the bar for myself. I don’t understand why I have this mentality that I have to be better than myself, but that bar is set and its not to societies standards. I’m actually doing alright according to society I think. I’m out of post secondary, I’m job hunting and still serving. But my standards are set to my happiness level and what makes me happy isn’t working in Canada paying off student loans thinking about buying a house and working for the next 43 years. Hell. No. What makes me happy is living and working in a foreign country, struggling with a language barrier and then finally breaking through that barrier. What makes me happy is watching people in a different culture and learning how and why they live the way they do. What makes me happy is hearing sounds of lakes or oceans mixed in with multiple different languages and cultures and children laughing and people selling things.

I am content with where I am in life right now, but I’m not really happy. I’ve had good times this year but I can’t remember the last time I  felt joy and just had fun. I have an apartment and books, pay checks and food, privileges that a lot of people don’t have. But I would let anyone take over my life if it meant I took my backpack, two changes of clothes and my passport.
I picked up a hitch-hiker a couple weeks ago on my way back from Jasper. My boyfriend wasn’t impressed so naturally he tuned me out and didn’t listen to a thing I said after the words “I picked up a hitch-hiker.” (for anyone who might warn me about the dangers, stop. I know. I used good judgement, pulled over in a crowded pull out, talked to the guy before he even got in my car and asked all the important questions and trusted my instincts.) He was forty-one and from arizona where he worked seasonally on a dude ranch. He was hitchhiking his way from Alaska to Arizona and taking his time seeing a country that he’d never seen before. In two months he’s probably seen more of the country and met more people than I have in my whole life. He also had been married at twenty-three and divorced at twenty-five. He said he’s never been happier than he was when traveling and discovering the world.

Basically, I don’t really know if I have peter pan syndrome or if its just wanderlust or maybe both. But I do know that when you ask people on their death bed what they regret not doing more of in life, the top answer for years hasn’t been “worked more” or “making more money”. The thing most people wish they’d done more of is “Traveling.”

That’s where I’ll leave you today, world.
All my love, more than you know,
-Sarah

Adulting

Sometimes, the day is nothing but clear skies, sunshine, and chirping birds. You do your school and you walk to your job and you think about the fact that you live in an entirely different province than your parents. You’re adulting. You pay your bills, you buy your groceries, and you are entirely responsible for watering the plants and making sure they don’t die. But even adulting young adults miss their parents. On the nicest days, you miss them the most. Back home on a day like this, you might take a walk to the river, waving at the train conductor as they pass on the tracks through the fields. You might jump on a tractor and start getting the fields ready for planting. You might do a butt-ton of baking because nothing feels as Laura-Ingles  as baking pies from scratch and setting them on the front porch to cool on a sunny day. Whatever it is you would do, its not what you do when you no longer live at home.
Then you go home and lots has changed. You go from house to house to house trying to visit everyone you want to see. You sleep on the floor or the couch because one of your younger siblings has taken over your room. You bake, and you can’t find the things in the places that they were four years ago. You go to the barnyard and realize its different. The barn is gone. You go for a drive instead of a walk because your little brother finally has his license.
Adulting is scary and sad and adventurous and amazing in one mixed emotion that has yet to be given a singular name. Or maybe “adulting” is that emotion. Today, I’m feeling it. Its not quite “homesick” and its not one-hundered-percent “I miss you.” It is the nostalgic feeling that you can always go home but you can’t go back to the way things were. It’s trying to recreate the best memories that live in your highlight reel, and realizing that its time to stop recreating and start making new ones. Its calling your friends and family asking every question under the sun in an attempt to not miss out on the ever-changing lives of the ones who have yet to leave.
Its not a bad feeling or necessarily a happy feeling. It just is.

*Dear world, I don’t remember the last time I wrote. Well, the last time I wrote and posted. I’m way out of practice. I have 17 drafts saved that I started, lost inspiration, and dropped it. Have a lovely day, no matter where you are adulting.
All my love,
Sarah

Come Fly With Me.

Come fly with me, come fly, let’s fly away.”
sings Frank Sinatra as he cooly saunters through his private jet thats on call twenty-four/seven because he’s a celebrity and I’m not.
I hate flying. For someone who has little patience and wants to see the world, you’d almost think I love it. But no; I despise it. The take off, the landing, the stuffy air, the cancellations.
Yesterday I landed in Calgary around 6:30 pm and prepped myself for a few hours wait and an 11:20 departure. You see, I’m in the middle of my holidays and unfortunately, to get the most out of our holidays, sometimes we have to take shortcuts to save time. So we book flights with points which turn out to be 3 flights over 14 hours in order to get to a place that is a 14 hour drive but also a 3 week walk because I don’t have a car. And sometimes, While you lay trying to sleep in the airport, the plane that you’re supposed to get on has a mechanical break down (I get it, we all need one of those days.) and the service desk just up and postpones your trip.

That all happened. I’m quite tired. Airports really need to rethink their 2 A.M. announcements of “ATTENTION! PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE BAGGAGE UNATTENDED OR SECURITY WILL COME AND REMOVE IT.” Its not so bad at 2 in the afternoon when a lot of people are bustling between flights. HOWEVER, in the dead of morning, when only 3 people are in the airport and they are just about to fall properly asleep, that announcement comes on and echoes throughout this giant concrete building at volume 10,000 and not only do the sleepers nearly jump and roll off the row of chairs they are sleeping on, but they also become increasingly pissed off that they are getting light sleep in 40 minute increments.

Upon finding out my plane was taking a “me day”, I went and found my tickets and got the girl at the desk to place me on an earlier flight. It lands in Terrace though. Its funny because my family is all asleep right now thinking that they can wake up at 8:30 and pick me up at the Smithers airport at 9:30 and in reality, I’m gonna be at a different airport 3 hours away in a town where I don’t really know anyone at all even a little bit.

I slept for an hour maybe in the last 30; I am indecisive and haven’t figured out what I want to eat, so I’m super hungry. And I am sore and cramped and just want to get home. Road-trips over layovers, any day. In the mean time, is anyone heading from Terrace to Smithers this late morning?

Have an enjoyable long weekend, world.
All my love, Sarah

Traveling With Another

In three days, I will be on a flight to my home-away-from-home, Los Angeles. This is a vacation with no real travel but it will be a get away. The reason I love LA so much is because there is always something to do that I haven’t done before. Plus, all the people I get to meet.
A normal week long trip for me is cheap, paid for before I leave, and very chill. I stay at a hostel for a couple nights, stay with couchsurfing hosts, and I wander and hike and basically do anything I want without having to worry about time (I have it all) or money (I have none) or what anyone else wants to do.

This trip is different. I’m going on vacation (I really hate that word) with my darling, wise, travel-newbie, boyfriend. He’s never gone anywhere before. (Vegas with his parents doesn’t count right now.) He’s never learned another language and has no desire to learn another language; he makes fun of other cultures in an attempt to embrace them I think; he’s never known the struggle of flying into a foreign city at midnight and trying to find your hostel when you don’t speak the language. He wants to vacation, I want to travel. He wants to go together, I want to go alone with someone else who also wants to go alone.

It is very weird. This trip is causing me to stress out over a weeks worth of hostels and food. Alone, I couchsurf and I eat almost vegan because it’s actually the cheapest way to eat. Together, he doesn’t want to think about the idea of couch surfing and he can’t imagine a day without meat and potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly excited to have a week with him in a place thats not here. I’m excited to see him in a hostel dorm taking it all in, hearing him tell his stories to the new people he meets. He will probably make more friends than I will because he is so outgoing and really funny; people almost gravitate towards him.

So I know this will be so good and positive and by the time I get there I won’t be thinking about any of these stress factors I have right now, but its been a struggle to just mentally calm myself down.
Traveling with another human being is so different for me. Hell, The thought of living with another human right now is terrifying. And to me, traveling together is way more intimate than living together. Its going to be amazing and hopefully relaxing and more than anything, its going to be adventurous.

Stay open world,
All my love, Sarah

Kids’ Pick Penny Wise

There is a new business in town. They are available to anyone who has a decent wifi connection and an email address, and they are ideal for anyone who despises hunting for recipes then slaving away to prepare dinners for the week.
The name is Penny Wise Meal Planning and their goal is to fill your tummies with wholesome, healthy food while also providing support for the “Kids’ Picks” program in Greater Vancouver. For only nine dollars, you are provided through email a four-week meal plan complete with a shopping list for two to four servings, plus recipes to get you started in a balanced routine.You will receive them every friday morning in your inbox where you will find that the shopping lists are created to help you do it all in one trip. Meaning, things you already have in your pantry will be checked off the list and once at the store you will be guided through with ease without running back and forth through the aisles.
Your entire nine dollars will be going to the Kids’ Picks program which provides little ones between eighteen-months and six-years old with bags of nutritional, ready-to-eat snacks to encourage healthy dietary choices.
To recap:
$9 = 1 month subscription to online recipe and meal planning. 
^> $9 goes to support kids who might not otherwise have the chance to learn to love their vegetables.

Stay creative, World.
All my love, Sarah.