Spontaneity For The Rest of Us

spontaneous_quoteI recently learned something about myself. I used to think I was spontaneous, that I enjoyed knowing that my evening could end up in a million possible places. Turns out this is not true, well, partially not true. I like a very specific type of spontaneity. I love adventure. I love exploring new places and meeting cool, new people. However, this spontaneity must fall in its allotted time slot. Don’t go throwing a wrench in my Saturday morning routine with a “surprise”.That’s what the afternoon is for.

I also like to be prepared. I like to know ahead of time that the evening’s plans are open-ended. I like to be prepared for (almost) every possible outcome. I don’t like to be caught off guard without my daily necessitites. This is why my purse is so big.

It’s really not that complicated.

Curly Hair: Living With The Beast

princess merida curly hairPinterest is filled with women who have enviable, long flowing locks. However, what Pinterest doesn’t show you is the struggle it takes to get there, especially if you’re not equipped with a team of professionals. For those like me who don’t have people to dress them in the morning, curly hair can be quite the struggle. Now, I realize that not everyone with curly hair has these problems, but I certainly do.

Curly Hair is Temperamental

If you stand the hope of steering your curly hair in the desired direction, you have to treat it just right. Not enough product can leave your hair limp and frizzy. Too much product can create an unmanageable crunchy mess. If you get the balance just right, you can end up with bouncy, enviable curls, but don’t hold your breathe.

I’ve found the most predictable results come when I bring in reinforcements, aka the curling wand. However, this requires an extra half hour in the morning, and frankly, I don’t have that kind of time. Maybe once I become a curling wand pro, I’ll be able whip out a fabulous doo in 10 minutes or less… And maybe I’ll stop burning myself so much…

Curly Hair is Unpredictable

You’re never really in control. You can try to be, but ultimately, your hair’s going to do whatever it wants. The harder you fight, the harder it revolts.

I’ve found that it’s better to go with the flow (pun intended) instead of fighting against it. Let your hair make the rules, because it basically will anyways. You can either fight and give in later, or skip the fight and give in now.

Another fun fact about curly hair is it generally decides to cooperate and look fantastic when noone’s there to appreciate and admire it. Maybe it has trouble performing under pressure. Stage fright?

Curly Hair Doesn’t Lie

Curly hair often acts as a type of mood ring. If you’ve had a rough day, people will see it. I’ve learned that the craziness of my hair at the end of the day is a direct reflection of how crazy my day’s been. Note, If my hair is a mad, frizzy mess, you should probably steer clear.

Winning Isn’t Everything

Game-OverI hate to lose. Unfortunately I’m winning-challenged and I lose quite often. It doesn’t really matter what I’m playing, The Game of Life, Chinese Checkers, or Fantasy Football. I lose so often that I’ve started to settle for “not last”. It’s become too far to reach for the top. If I can beat at least one person, I’ll probably agree to play the game again, maybe. If not, there’s a good chance I’ll throw the game board and all its pieces up in the air and storm out of the room. I may not be the best loser.

What’s the big deal about winning anyways? Is it really necessary to put someone down in order to feel better about ourselves? It’s just not enough for people to enjoy the inward satisfaction of winning. They have to constantly remind you that they beat you. Like they can’t fully enjoy winning unless you realize how you’ve failed in comparison to their greatness. Come on! It’s Fantasy Football! Can’t we shake hands and say ‘good game’ like regular football?!?!

Personally, I think there are worse things in the world than losing, like a building falling on you. That would be pretty hard to bounce back from. Yet, when someone beats you at a game of Risk, they might as well have conquered the real world. You didn’t actually conquer the world! It’s just pretend!! You wouldn’t last two seconds leading the charge in a real war!!! But I digress.

Losing builds character. Thousands (probably) of famous people were giant losers before they became the successful giants (not physically…well, maybe physically) that they now are. Maybe you should build some character and practice losing…so I can win.

As Roughing It As It Gets (For Me)

IMG_0464Roughing-it really brings out your true self. Me, I’m not much of a camper. Don’t get me wrong, I have camped before. I did the whole sleeping in a tent, living like the wild thing. I even portaged. Mind you, I also managed to tip the canoe, knocking everyone’s stuff in the water. I think they learned a valuable lesson in survival.

I’m more of a cottager. In the summer, my family spends most of our weekends up at the cottage. Although many people envision a cottage as a luxurious summer home on the lake, ours is not quite like that. It’s a little more rustic than most. We do have indoor plumbing, but it’s not clean water. And with the laughable water pressure in the shower, you’re better off washing your hair in the lake.

As a kid, my siblings, my cousins, and I would play in the water all day, inventing creative ways to jump/ fall into the water. We’d play hide and seek, which is quite the challenge when you’re on an island. Now a days, our cottaging experience is a little different. We still play board games, but most of the time, we’re on our phones. When it rains, it thunders. When it thunders, it’s only a matter of time before your all sitting in a dark room. During the brink of every power outage, the first words out of anyone’s mouth are, “Charge your phones!” That, and, “Eat all the ice cream!” Seriously, you can’t have ice cream go to waste. If that’s not roughing it, I don’t know what is.

Good thing we still have the lake water to keep us grounded.

Jump Down The Corporate Ladder

Maya Angelou QuoteWith the help of a friend, I recently had an epiphany. Many of us are told to seek the unconventional path we were meant to follow. For some, that might include seeking out their dream career and climbing the corporate ladder of their choosing. For me, it’s sort of the opposite.

I’ve always known that my path in life would be the one less travelled by. I thought I might be a dancer or an actress. I even thought I might work in a big ad agency. The more I tried each new career option, the more I learned about myself. I learned that my unconventional path wasn’t going to center around my career, but rather the opposite. The more I attempted to climb the corporate ladder, the more I wondered why I was doing it. Those around me told me to keep climbing, but all I wanted to do was jump off.

It’s said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. However, that’s not the only way to be happy. If you have  a job you enjoy, but it doesn’t take over your life, you’ll have time to actually live your life as well.

My dream doesn’t involve a dream career. It’s living a dream life. How about you?

Disappointed By The American Dream

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I was told that in America, you can be who you want to be. More importantly, you can purchase whatever you want, whether that be cereal with little to no nutritional value or regular ‘ole almonds. I was lied to. America may specialize in odd specialized products, but it appears that they have neglected the old faithful in the process.

I recently ventured to a Walmart in the great state of Virginia in search of a nutritious snack. Though I found a shelf full of nut varieties that included purple, blueberry almonds, I was unable to locate a simple bag of unsalted roasted almonds. What’s that about, America?

As I live in Canada where variety is generally limited to recognizable flavours, I looked forward to the wonder in store for me in the aisles of an American Walmart. However, this trip left me disappointed. The American dream as I knew it is no more.

The Economical Traveller’s Lament

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A recent wedding had me heading down to the good ‘ole U S of A. I love to seeing new countries and visiting friends that live in other parts of the world. However, I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between exploring a new country and travelling.

Travelling can be great. It allows you to explore foreign culture and take people-watching to a whole new level. The actual process of getting to and from your chosen destination, on the other hand, is draining, especially if you’ve chosen an economical route. After you’ve stepped off your third connecting flight, you start to rethink your priorities. Having lugged around your carry-on from airport to airport all day, all you want to do when you reach the hotel is shower and sleep. Being an economical traveller is exhausting. Continue reading