I often wonder why it is that people just expect you to settle for something you don't want in life. Like seriously. Why?
I completely realize that in life, people do what they have to do to survive, but just giving up and settling for less than what you want or deserve should not be an option.
I can't tell you how many times in the last 6 months people have said to me, "why don't you do something you don't like for a while?" Automatically, it's negative. If I have the financial means to focus on me and what I want, then I why on earth should I settle for something I don't like? The answer? I won't.
I read this today and it really hit home with me. I've been around far too many people in this life who care way too much about winning and always having to defeat someone or take them down just so they can get ahead. In my opinion, that is no way to live.
"The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of
life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you
have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you
have brought into other people's lives than you will from the time that
you outdid and defeated them."
As I am approaching the last year of my 20's, I have found myself doing a lot of reflecting. My 20's have sure been a bumpy ride, and I am certain that I have learned more and changed more than any other time in my life. I'm sure many would agree with me on that one. So, I've put together a list of things I learned or learned to do in the last decade thus far. Hey, I've still got a year left before the big 3-0 and I'm pretty certain that whatever I learn this year will leave me armed and ready to take on my 30's.
1) I learned who my true friends are, the ones that will be there through thick and thin, always. I may not have a huge group of friends like some people, but to me, it's more about quality than quantity. I am truly one lucky girl to be surrounded by such amazing friends. I had some people in my life who I was certain that would always be there, but for one reason or another that is no longer the case. Either you just drift apart or you have a falling out. I think losing a good friend can be worse than a break-up. But, like a break-up, after some time to heal you realize that maybe you're better off without them. Maybe you had a good run and they were there during a crucial time in your life, and you're grateful for that, but it was time to move on.
2) I am perfectly happy with who I am and what I stand for. I will stand up for what I believe in. I won't ever give into what someone else's idea of what my life should be, just ask anyone who's ever tried to tell me what to do with my life, and yes, I've been told my stubborness is not very becoming. But really, don't bother trying to tell me who to date, who not to date, where I should live or what my career should be. I will take advice of course, but it's all about the approach. I am not a 'yes' girl and I no longer say 'sorry' to a table when I bump into it (ladies, you know what I am talking about). I will always follow my heart and do what is best for me.
3) I don't need anyone else to be happy. What I mean by that is, I do not need a guy to be happy. This has to probably be one of the biggest misconceptions about me, especially if you have read my blogs on my adventures of dating from 2010. Sure, I've wanted to date and felt ready to be in a relationship at times, but it does not mean for one second that I need anybody. I know how to be by myself and am perfectly okay with that. If I were one of those girls who needed somebody I would never be single. Clearly, that's not me. Guys doing the disappearing act is not new to me, but you know, I don't think some guys should think they are so special. Just because they didn't choose me, doesn't mean that I chose them either. It just means I was willing to give it more of a chance. It's gonna take somebody pretty damn special to win this girl over. Do you actually think I would marry just anybody? The correct answer is no, I would not. Quite frankly, I've never met anyone who I even truly thought I could spend forever with; and just because I am happy by myself, doesn't mean I don't look forward to the day that, that guy comes along.
4) I know how to live alone - and I actually like it! I did the roommate thing in college and definitely had some good times with those girls, but I much prefer living alone. You have nobody to answer to but yourself. Can't blame anyone else if the place is a mess or there isn't food in the fridge. If your budget allows, I definitely recommend living alone at least once in your 20's if you know, you're not already married and stuff.
5) I took a solo vacation. Okay, so I didn't get to travel to Europe or somewhere like that by myself, like many people I know. But I did go to New York City by myself. It's something I never actually thought I would do, I thought it would be too lonely, but it wasn't really. I don't think that this is the place to travel to alone for the first time, but since it was my third time, I at least had already seen all of the touristy things. I love NYC at Christmas time, nothing beats it. This past year, I had the time and the money to take a trip rather short notice. Being the week before Christmas, it wasn't easy to find a friend who could just pick up and go like I could. So, instead of letting that stop me, I just went by myself. I had such an amazing time! Next stop: Europe.
6) I've learned that things do not always work out how you planned for your life - but that's not necessarily a bad thing as everything does happen for a reason. Even if you can't see it at the time. Maybe I'm just as bad as those people who try out for American Idol and actually think they are amazing and this is what they're meant to do, but I had the same attitude about my life. I can tell you that almost nothing in my life went according to my big plan for myself...but I think everything happened the way it was supposed to and I am on the right path. Even though I may not agree with it sometimes. I came out of college with a one track mind, I was going full steam ahead. Things did not go as planned, and while what I want to do with my life has changed, my passions have not. I think I've finally found something I can do in my life without forgetting about what my true passions are.
This past Monday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend an advance screening of the documentary Bully at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. I had been waiting to see this since I first heard about it and I was definitely not disappointed.
I could not be happier that director Lee Hirsch decided to make a film about bullying. It's about time that people are now truly starting to pay attention and admit that we have a serious, serious problem. After all of the headlines we've inevitably read in the last couple of years, Bully could not have come at a better time.
Now, I think the thing that shocked me the most was that in the United States the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) slapped this film with an R rating. In a discussion panel after the Canadian premiere Lee Hirsch made sure to point out the hypocrisy of it all. I hadn't thought about this, but they give PG and PG-13 ratings to many films that glorify and even "sexify" violence. Lee was absolutely right.
Discussion panel with Lee Hirsch (iPhone photo from back row)
They of course didn't just accept this unfair R rating. Harvey Weinstein along with Alex Libby, one of the bullied boys featured in the film stood before the appeals board. In his statement, Alex told the board that they were basically saying that he couldn't see his own life! They lost by one vote. It's not a total loss though, they ended up with the film being unrated which is definitely better than R. Canada on the other hand gave Bully a PG rating in every province with the exception of Quebec who gave it a G. Go Canada!
*UPDATE: The MPAA has finally granted the film a PG-13 rating!*
If you know me, then you know the subject of bullying really hits home with me. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I am so glad that I did not grow up in the digital age. The bullying I encountered while growing up was nothing compared to what's going on these days, but I will never ever forget the hurtful words and poor treatment. It didn't follow me home from school unless you're talking the odd prank phone call, but today there is no escaping it. Today you're bullied even when you're in what's supposed to be your safe place.
Bully is such a powerful and moving film. Teachers need to see this, kids to see this, everybody needs to see this! With a generation of kids that are the least empathetic ever, now is the time. It's time to make a change. It's time to stand together against bullying. Do I think that bullying will ever go away completely? No. But I do truly believe that we can make a difference and save some young lives.
A little word of advice for when you see this film? Bring kleenex.
Check out the trailer below:
Make sure to visit their Canadian website BullyMovie.Ca to demand it in your city and while you're at it, pledge to take a stand against bullying!
You can catch Bully at the Varsity Cinemas in Toronto beginning Friday April 6th.
I love last minute road trips, especially if it's to my favorite city in the world!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to spend a wonderful Spring day in New York City....sure it's not technically Spring yet, but it sure felt like it. I always said there's nothing like New York at Christmas, which is true, but seeing everyone out and about on a beautiful warm day showed me an energy I hadn't seen there before. Oh how I love NYC even more now. I didn't even know that was possible!
Last month my family and I went on our first all inclusive vacation together. There couldn't have been a better way to end February!
We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay. I had read many terrible reviews of the place which made me nervous, but at the same time there were plenty of great reviews as well. Lucky for us, we had an amazing time!!! I could definitely see some areas where they could improve, and it all had to do with management. We also quickly realized that the people who were complaining would have been complaining no matter where they went, it's what they do. If you just want a relaxing vacation at a very beautiful resort and don't take things too seriously, you will have an amazing vacation.
I'll definitely be back to Jamaica. It's beautiful and the people are wonderful!
"Friendship takes time and energy if it's going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn't last if you don't give it proper appreciation. Friendship can be so comfortable, but nurture it - don't take it for granted."
I love New York. Anybody who knows me, know that. I had been absolutely aching to go back to NYC for quite some time so I decided that I needed to go back to experience Christmas time in NYC once again, after all it had been a full 3 years since my last visit.
There is just something about Christmas time in New York. It's the energy of the city, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and all of the fancy window displays along 5th Avenue just to name a few. It's simply magical.
This visit was a little different from my previous visits though; this time I went solo. There were times when I wished there was someone there to experience it with me, but I actually really enjoyed my time alone. I got to do what wanted, when I wanted. It was fantastic!
After I got to my hotel around dinner time, I unpacked my stuff, and headed right to Rockefeller to go skating. The line was huge! But while I was waiting in line, something amazing happened. They cleared the ice so they could clean it, but then all of the sudden some romantic song came on (I wish I could remember what it was) and this couple had the ice all to themselves. Next thing you know, he is down on one knee proposing in front of thousands of people! She said yes! It was one of the most romantic things I have ever seen.
On my first full day I walked around the city. I walked for miles, just exploring. I had a nice lunch by myself in a tea shop, called Radiance Tea which I had read about before going. I walked through Central Park, shopped and just really enjoyed the day. I ended the day by going to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which was nothing short of spectacular! I even got my photo taken with Santa!
Some other things I did during my short trip were going to the American Museum of Natural History and seeing "Tornado Alley" in IMAX. That was something to see for sure. Incredible. It was fittingly narrated by Bill Paxton (from Twister). I also went to see "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" on Broadway starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette. It was absolutely brilliant. Really gotta give Daniel Radcliffe kudos for this one, 8 shows a week for 10 months. That's pretty amazing. He's done his run now though, but they have some other young heartthrobs lined up for this year (like Darren Criss and Nick Jonas). I spent my last day just taking it all in, shopped some more, chilled out in Central Park, and people watched.
If anyone has ever dreamed about seeing NYC at Christmas, just do it. There's nothing else quite like it! I can't wait to go back again...except maybe I'll go when it's nice and warm out!