Sunday, April 22, 2012

Things I've learned In My 20's

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.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Insight of the Day

"There's no need to wait for the bad things to be over. Change now. Love now. Live now. Don't wait for people to give you permission to live, because they won't."

Kris Carr

Friday, April 6, 2012

Everyone Should Support the Bully Movie

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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012