Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
All of these luxuries (yes, trust me... they are luxeries) will fade when you're on your own. One day, it's like the carpet will be yanked from underneath you and you'll see how quickly the scenery changes on the fall down.
You'll have to balance the cost of tuition, books, rent, electricity, phone, cable, internet, and groceries. Note other luxuries not listed above (alcohol, shopping money, money for things like shampoo and toilet paper). You may think it will be a breeze and that you're up for the challenge... but boy, oh boy, you are in for a treat! Perhaps your parents still plan on paying for everything while you're living on your own - but that won't last.
You will quickly develop OCD, making sure all of the lights are turned off (even when you leave the room for a second). You will resort to a sweater (or two or three sweaters) in the wintertime instead of turning up the heat. You will probably even resort to lighting candles for warmth (or at least you should.) As great as living on your own is, it still sucks. Responsibility sure seems like a luxury from the outside, but on the inside it's just a ball of stress that vomits all over you every month when you receive your multiple bills.
Once upon a time, your cell phone was equipped with voice mail, caller ID, unlimited texting and web browsing. As soon as you acknowledge your lack of money, you'll be downgrading your cell phone plan so you can have the extra forty dollars a month to buy food.
Advice? Keep track of it all. There's nothing worse than getting paid and then wondering where the hell all of your earnings went. Buy a notebook and keep track of how your money is divided and how much goes towards what. You will learn to budget and you will also learn how to fight the temptation to buy the new leather boots in the store window when you realize you'd rather not starve. Before you buy something, ask yourself... "Do I need this? Or do I just want it?" There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a meal out or a night of social drinking every once and a while. But there's a huge problem if you're going out boozing every weekend and you're getting harassed by your landlord to pay the remainder of your apartment rent.
Keep your priorities straight folks! And remember to budget!
This summer was one of the best summers I've ever had and I'm so glad that I decided to go. Saying goodbye to each of my friends from all over the world was harder than I could've imagined. It's seldom that many people can say they spent their summer becoming friends with people from France, Ireland, America, England, Holland and Austria. We were a close-knit group who loved spending time together. So, as devestated as I was that I couldn't go to camp this summer... I'm doubtful that I would've had a better time there. For years, my summers at camp were as good as it got - I couldn't imagine anything better... until now. I'm not sure if I'll ever have a summer as memorable as my summer of 2010.
I thought a part of me would be happy to fly back to Cape Breton. I thought for sure that I would feel right at home driving through the streets of my hometown, right by the ocean. But all I can think of is how much I miss the glowing city of Toronto at night time... and all of my friends that I left behind there. The saddest part of it all is that I know if ever I return to Toronto, it would never be the same. The huge part of why my summer was so unbelievable was because of the people whom I met and spent time with.
So, when I was leaving Toronto... I recognized that it would probably be the last time I would ever have a summer like this. I recognized that a lot of these friends that I've made, I'll probably never see again. It's terribly sad to recognize that my summer of 2010 is just a precious memory that only exists in my mind. It's a memory I'll forever long to escape back into...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
When I was a child and would see a movie in the cinema that I really loved, I would quickly become obsessed with it. The whole time watching the movie, I would be anxious to hurry up and get home so I could draw pictures of my favourite scenes. I would become obsessed with listening to the soundtrack, learning the lyrics of every song and reciting them even without the help of the background music. I would buy the latest J14 or Bop magazine with pictures of the lead actors and actresses, posting them all over my walls.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Yesterday was a beautiful day and I found myself walking through High Park, feeling like I was 100km away from the city. The sun's rays were massaging my skin and I breathed in the saturated aroma of assorted flowers and a campfire nearby. I paused in my footsteps and realized I was feeling a bit nostalgic. For the first time since I'd arrived in Toronto, I was missing home. The only thing I was missing was the sound of crashing waves against the shore and the smell of sea salt.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
I couldn't believe the chaotic mess that Toronto was the past weekend during the G20 summit. I was on a leisurely stroll through Dundas Square when I accidentally walked into a riot. I actually witnessed the transition from humans to animals as I watched crowds of people throw bricks through store windows and spray paint protests over building walls. I was appalled to see how boisterous and disgusting people were acting. I'd never seen so many police in my life as hundreds lined the streets, equipped with face masks and protective shields. There were police men and women in buses, vans, trucks, bicycles, public transportation and on horses.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Did you ever think about how much we're tied up into our cell phones? Instead of passing people on the street and engaging in conversation, we haul out our cell phones desperately needing to look busy to avoid the awkward passing. There are so many times people have almost walked into me, because they refrain from looking up from their hand held device. I admit that I, too, use my cell phone in unnecessary times but after being in a big city and seeing how wrapped up people are in their cell phones, I've made it a habit to leave mine home.
It seems as though people can't go out for dinner, hang out with friends or go for a walk without having their hand on their phone, waiting for it to vibrate. Recently, there was a service shutdown and one of the popular cell phone providers wasn't working. People were going absolutely INSANE without the ability to send texts. This is just absolutely ridiculous! Once upon a time we survived fine without cell phones... and it wasn't a time too long ago. So, I really think people have to calm down.
Challenge yourself to leave your cell phone at home when you go out for a walk, or to an appointment. It will force you to do other things during the times that you would normally take your phone out of your pocket and update your Facebook status.
It would drive me crazy when I would text me boyfriend when he was out with the guys and he wouldn't text me back. Cell phones have helped a lot and have become an important way to communicate in relationships. It would drive me even crazier when my boyfriend and I were out for dinner, and he would be texting his guy friends. So, as great and convenient as cell phones are, I think we have to learn to become less attached to them. There is a time and a place for cell phones, and I think we abuse them way too much. We've become so reliant on this technology that it can be, and is, a huge issue.
Once upon a time, when out at the club with my friends - I would constantly be checking my cell phone for texts or missed phone calls. I would become so wrapped up in it, that clearly it was interfering with me having a good time. So, while in Toronto, I've been leaving my cell phone at home and having a far more enjoyable time out with friends. What I think is even more nauseating is seeing children and young teenagers with cell phones. I, as well as everyone else in the world, survived just fine without having one when growing up... and I think it's ridiculous when young people have cell phones. They're way too out of touch with the world around them - and it's a disastrous thing. Whenever I have children, I will never allow them to have cell phones until they reach an appropriate age.
Leave your phone at home. Or tuck it away in a pocket where you won't be tempted to check it every minute.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I had a lengthy discussion with Dan, one of my Fine Arts professors who convinced me 100% that going to Toronto would be the best decision I could make. After weighing the pros and cons I really asked myself, "why wouldn't I go?" Even if I absolutely hate it, it's only thirteen weeks. This could be a life changing experience. This opportunity could open up doors for me. Dan said if I decided not to go, it could be a decision I'd come to regret. I don't want to look back on my life wondering, "what if?"
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Reading the course text, Open Boundaries, was self-revolutionary as it made me see my life and the world around me from a completely different perspective. It made me realize how much of a feminist I really am and how proud of myself I am now that I finally realized it. Hearing the perspectives of the women authors made me respect the issues that women have had to deal with in the past. It made me appreciate the little things that I take for granted.
I'd never really taken an interest in provincial or government elections before. I've been able to vote legally now for five years, yet I've never ever participated in the act of voting. I rationalized this decision with the fact that I know very little about this topic and I didn't feel comfortable voting when I'm not fully educated on the subject; However, I hadn't taken into consideration until now the fact that, once upon a time, it was only men that held the power to vote. The choice to vote is something I should appreciate and take advantage of. Now, I want to take interest in elections, educate myself, and voice my own opinion.
There were many thoughts that ran through my head the past few months while reading the chapters in Open Boundaries. I'm very much a romantic person, very in love with love. Yet, I'm completely independent. I'm a regular girl with the dream to fall in love, get married, and have a family; however, this dream won't interfere with my dream of being an independent traveling artist. I was thinking a lot about marriage and the act of women changing their surnames to match their husband's. I remember, when I was younger, being completely appalled when I recognized that a woman didn't take her husband's last name. I remember being confused and not able to understand why a woman would keep her own last name. This course made me reflect back on these thoughts and see the situation from a new perspective. I asked my partner if he'd be offended if, when married, I decided to keep my maiden name as my surname. He said he hadn't thought about it but he concluded he wouldn't be happy about the idea. Why are women just assumed to adopt her husband's last name? Why aren't the roles reversed? Why should names by changed at all? Why is the traditional act of "the name change" so vital to marriage? Why would my partner be bothered if I chose to keep my own surname when the most important thing about marriage is celebrating the love between two people?
There are a lot of questions this course made me ask myself. Some questions have been answered easily and some answers I will have to come to understand and learn in time. I'm glad I've come to understand the importance of feminism in the past, and the importance and need of feminism presently and in the future. I recognize now that the gender gap still exists and women are still striving to achieve gender equality. Society, the world, and everyone in it will continue to evolve; therefore, new barriers will be formed. Challenges will continue to be faced as new ones reborn according to the dictates of the changing society. Gender equality is an ongoing struggle that will continue to be brought to justice. It's a long and tedious process but persistence will pay off in the end. Just look at how far we've evolved from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
I'm happy to title myself a feminist and I appreciate the battle that women have had to fight in the past to allow me to have the privileges I do now. I, too, will strive to make gender equality an attainable goal.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
When I was little, I would anxiously wait for my father to check the mail. I'd scurry over to the table as he'd throw down a handful of envelopes and flyers. My eyes would widen and my heartbeat would quicken, soaked up in the possibility of seeing my name scribbled across an envelope.
Monday, February 22, 2010
- Travel to Ireland
- Write and publish a book
- Become a well established and well known independent visual artist
- Sell a painting for a ridiculous amount of money
- Go white water rafting
- Sky dive
- Take up skiing as a hobby
- Learn to surf
- See Stonehenge
- Float in the Dead Sea
- Visit the Lascaux Caves
- Take salsa or tango dance lessons
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Go on a helicopter ride
- Go snorkelling somewhere exotic
- Go rock climbing
- See the Taj Mahal
- Climb up the Statue of Liberty
- Go camping around the Cabot Trail
- Jump from the top of a waterfall
- Fly a kite
- Learn a magic trick
- See a NHL game live
- Learn how to sew
- Finish learning how to play guitar
- Learn different types of origami
- Read all of The Chronicles of Narnia
- Get a Masters degree in Fine Arts
- Go tubing on water
- Donate blood
- Watch the 250 top movies on IMDB
- Learn to drink wine
- Get married
- Swim with dolphins
- See penguins
- Revisit my old house
- Go on a safari
- Ride a camel
- Go on a silent retreat
- Get a professional massage
- Stay in the Hydropolis Underwater Hotel
- Scream from the top of a mountain
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I really can't think of anything but the vast abyss that is laid out in front of me. I hate the fact that it's not even me, standing at the crossroad, forced to make the decision for my future. My future and the decision to travel down either road is in the hands of complete strangers, and I'm not even entirely sure when they're going to make the decision.
Friday, February 12, 2010
So, I hadn't heard back from Cape Breton University about the Bachelor of Education program that I'd applied to, and I'm not entirely upset about it. Though, I think it is ridiculously rude that they haven't contacted me to let me know that I wasn't accepted into the program. I think if you've paid an application fee (which I did) it should be mandatory for them to put the simplest effort into sending a letter or e-mail stating the outcome of their decision.
I've come to the realization that they don't want art teachers educated to teach specifically fine arts because they can just hire English teachers to do it. That's basically what the majority of high schools do for their art class and is exactly why the art programs suck in high schools (in Cape Breton, anyway). You get teachers not passionate about art - teaching it because they have to - to students who are taking it because they have to, and not because they're genuinely passionate about art. I feel, however, that I could've changed that. I feel that because art is something I'm so passionate about, I could've enthused and motivated students and changed their view on taking it "just because they have to" or taking it "for a bird course".
But apparently that's not going to happen.
Everyone thinks it's a blessing in disguise; they feel like I would be wasting my talent if I went into teaching. For the most part, I believe they're right. Like I've mentioned numerous times before, I feel I'm meant to do something big with my art… and that doesn't involve being cooped up inside a classroom. I tell everyone I'm going to be famous. They laugh. I don't need them to believe in my theories about art, my art, and the world. They don't need to understand my passion for art, my art, and the world. They don't have to believe or understand my drive for wanting to succeed as an independent artist; the only person that has to believe in it is me…
… and I'm not sure I've ever been so sure about something in my life.
Don't ever let anyone get in the way of your passion. If you're passionate about something then someone (and someone important ) will eventually recognize that. Don't let other people discourage you from following your dream, and eventually you'll get there.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sixty. Soixante. Sesenta. Fifty + ten. Thirty + thirty.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My mother wants me to be completely independent, and for the most part I am. "You don't have to get married, Beth. You know, you could just live for yourself and live out all of your dreams on your own." I smile and nod when my mother tells me these things, but think to myself, "...but Mum, those dreams aren't worth living to me if I'm not sharing them with someone whom I love." A lot of people are brought up believing in the ideology that they must meet someone, fall in love, and get married. It's rare that you find someone perfectly content on their own... with no intentions at all with finding someone to share their life with eventually. That way of life is so exotic and attractive to me, and is the basis around the facade I sometimes try to paint for myself. I claim independence when I travel to all the places I've traveled. I claim independence when I'm as spontaneous and have a fire for life the way I do. But, for the most part, the only person I'm really trying to fool is myself.
It doesn't take long before the paint starts to crack, and my true romantic and completely dependent self is exposed. It takes a lot of willpower to continually try to resurface that exotic and independent facade. But like I said, the only person I'm really trying to fool is myself. I'm coming to terms with that. My friends and family are completely aware of the fact that I'm in love with love... and I always will be.
So, no, I don't think Valentine's Day is over rated. And sure, I do believe that love should not just be celebrated on one day, but every day of the year; However, sometimes our vision is blurred and I believe a day such as Valentine's Day is there to allow ourselves to refocus and realize the extent of love that we have for that special someone in our lives; and it's about celebrating that love; and celebrating that love with each other.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
I was fourteen when I met him.