Smiles on the Sky Train

I ride the sky train a lot. I am thankful for it because it gets me to where I need to go quickly. That being said, it is almost ALWAYS an adventure. There is always a character, a situation, a smell. I ride the train mid day and also at 1am in the morning. No matter what time of day there is something to make me laugh, shake my head, or turn up my music louder.

I find the most interesting rides are coming home from work downtown. Usually this is at a late hour in the evening. Catching the last train on a Saturday night versus a Monday evening can be quite different, but don’t underestimate those late mid week rides, they have their own type of fun.

This past weekend, Sunday to be exact, I was coming home from work on a late train. Luckily I get on the first train at Waterfront station so am always guaranteed a seat for my 29 minute commute back to New West. I always strategically pick a single seat so to avoid any situations beside me. Usually I sink myself into that probably not so clean seat and blast some music. I’ve come to realize this is both a great idea and not so great idea. I can block out the obnoxious jerks and loud gum chewers. However, I’m sure I’m missing out on half the hilarious banter that comes on the train or the announcement that the train I’m on needs to be serviced and everybody needs to get off at the next station. That happened on the way TO work. Poor girl stood on the other side of the doors as they closed and brisked her away by her lonesome. It was really a funny situation. Her family stood on the other side like they would never see her again. I chuckled. Anyway, back to Sunday night. Pulling up to Burrard and Granville stations are always where I can judge what kind of ride it will be. This evening, I was engulfed in my phone and my music so was not paying attention to the doors opening and flooding in of people. May I remind you its Sunday evening…where these people are coming from I don’t know. Usually it’s me and the tired work crew and the odd drunk but tonight was bumpin. As we pulled out from the station I looked up and a man of at least 80 was standing beside me with two middle aged family members. He was hanging on, hangin on hard, as any 80+ citizen would. I pulled my left head phone out of my ear and asked if he would like to take a seat. The look on his face alone was worth it. Then I pondered why I was the first person to offer this. Jerks. I stood up and we swapped spots. He said thank you and sunk into that seat I warmed up for him. My somewhat foul mood turned upward. There’s something about helping the elderly that makes my heart happy. Now I’m standing in the zoo of people but my music and phone engulfment are keeping me happy. As we get closer to my station I see some seats opened half a train down. Even though I’m happy standing at this point I decide to go sit. I’m about a half cars length away from my original seat and now facing Mr. Thankful. I continue to text like a mad man and switch back to the songs I’ve been listening to on repeat. One stop away from New West, I look up and my gaze meets my new friend. He gave me the most loving, excited, warm, electric smile and a big “A-OK” sign as if saying, “Hey! We both got to sit now!” I can still see it in my mind. My smile stretched from ear to ear and I couldn’t wipe it off. I’m sure those looking in my direction wondered what my deal was. I was so happy in that moment. He was so damn cute and thankful. And all I did was give him my seat. I stood up and walked back towards him to exit. He gave me another flash of contagious happiness and mumbled with an accent something which I can’t recall. Something along the lines as everything worked out.

I left that train with a happy heart. On that Sunday evening, I’m glad I chose that seat. I’m glad that simple gesture had a positive impact, on probably more me than him. I’m glad I get to ride the train. We will see what happens on tonight’s adventure.

Inner Ninja

I love this song. The first time I heard it I was walking to school and I wanted to have an impromptu dance par-tay on Quayside Drive. I also love what Classified is saying. I’m trying to find my inner ninja at this point in my life. Whether it be my running ninja or my academic ninja….heck I’m trying to find my Keep-My-House-Clean Ninja.

 

“It’s a feeling that you get in your lungs when you run
Like you’re runnin’ outta air and your breath won’t come
And you (uh) wheezin’, gotta keep it movin’
Find that extra (uhn) and push your way through it!”

 

Check out Classified’s Inner Ninja here.

Communication Frustration

sajskdskdfkjda!KJ!KJ!HHbfjsgfsfh5789437598ytekjgnlkbfalwboerp!!!

And that is how my brain/heart feels right now. Scattered. Messy. Disconnected.

I want to elaborate on a conversation I just had with one of my best friends. We touch on this subject a lot, and the more it is put to use or discussed, the more I realize HOW important it is. Not just for my own sanity, but for personal growth, and the growth of the relationships around me.  The topic is communication. The art of telling someone how you feel. Albeit this can be very difficult, especially if you haven’t figured out what it is that you feel…which is my predicament right now.

The communication I have with my boyfriend is great. I wish what we had bled into other relationships in my life. Unfortunately, not everybody thinks along these same lines. I mean, it’s really quite simple. Exhibit A: You have two girls. Girl # 1 is feeling sad/mad/rad about something Girl #2 said or did. Girl #2 has no idea. Girl #1 expresses her feelings to Girl #2. Girl #2 acknowledges. Girl #1 feels better. And there we have it ladies and gentlemen. There has been progress into a healthier relationship! Now let’s rewind a bit and see another way this story could have unfolded. Exhibit B: You have two girls. Girl # 1 is feeling sad/mad/rad about something Girl #2 said or did. Girl #2 has no idea. Girl #1 decides not to say anything and not bring it up. Down the road, Girl #2 does the same thing to upset Girl #1. Girl #1 again does not say anything about it. Girl #2 does it again. Girl #1 snaps like a ginger cookie. BOOM. That small thing built up into a massive problem and now has exploded in both their faces like things I learned about in my anatomy and physiology class today on the male reproductive system. I bet Girl #2 would have liked if Girl #1 would have approached her sooner to avoid this build up.

So back to me. I recently shared with a friend that I was feeling a little off. The problem is, there wasn’t ONE thing that has me feeling this way, and I’m having a hard time clearly stating how I feel, because its all over the place. Regardless, I spoke to my friend. It kind of went in circles and I didn’t feel any better after we spoke. It wasn’t an aggressive or upsetting phone call, it was just a conversation, that didn’t really help much. So after a work out, making dinner, cleaning under the kitchen sink, finally taking the pumpkin to the dump and watching X-Factor, my friend (the one I spoke of at the very beginning of this blog) gave me a ringa-ding. Once again we talked about what was going on, and she made me feel better by reiterating what we always talk about, which is being honest with ourselves and each other. If you can’t be honest, what the hell is the point. And alas this is where my little light bulb turned on. So my other friend, lets call her Girl #2, is first and foremost not being honest with HERSELF. So can I really blame her for not being honest with me? Not really. I realized all I wanted from our conversation that went in circles was acknowledgment of my feelings. She may not agree with them, or understand why, but just hearing me out was, in my opinion, a healthy way to deal with it. Don’t even get me started about Girl #3 in this scenario. She’s the I’m-gonna-hold-it-in-and-play-passive-agressive type girl and I’m still learning how to (dare I say) handle her. Then again she teaches me certain behaviours that I try to avoid. But this is not about Girl #3. This is about my enlightening conversation with Girl #2 about Girl #1. We’re like a dysfunctional family. Or maybe just a bunch of normal girls in their twenties.

At the end of the day, these girls are my best friends. I know I am not perfect so I can’t expect them to be either. I choose to be friends with them because I can see past the flaws, knowing we are all riddled with them. They have huge hearts and if I need them, they would be there. Yes, we don’t all see eye to eye on a lot of things but they’re my girlfriends and I love them. Now if only I could think this clearly when being put in difficult situations…

Luckily, I think maybe 1 person reads my blogs so I can speak a little more freely about Girls 1,2 and 3. But this isn’t about these girls specifically. It all comes back to them shaping me to be a better person and in return a better friend.

 

No Secret Key

I’ve realized that through out the week, I come across thoughts/memories/ideas/ah-ha-moments etc etc that I always think to myself, “There you go! Write about that!” Then I see a squirrel and forget.

Recently my sister just came back from another exciting adventure in her life. Although it was a great experience, I’m kind of mad at said adventure because it made her very busy and she did not have time to write in her blog. I’m happy to report, she has picked up her pen (or put down her finger?) to start writing again. I’m very happy with this decision because she is an exquisite writer and I always get excited when a new entry is posted. AND THIS MONTH, she’s doing a 30 day yoga challenge which will compliment her 30 day blogging fiasco. Funny enough, she just wrote about some book, and how the author suggests sometimes you just gotta write, even if you think people won’t like it, or it sucks, or it doesn’t make sense. So, with my sister as my motivational guru, I plan to start writing more. I won’t wait for the perfect story or the perfect moment. I’m just gonna write stuff. I mean at the end of the day, isn’t this just a journal of my thoughts and experiences in my so called life? Except this time there’s no secret key that I’ve hidden in my bedroom to a little flower coloured book that you definitely could have broken with a blink of an eye. I did once have a ‘diary’ that was fluffy and tiger print. I still have it and it’s hilarious. I hope one day I can look back on anything I’ve ever written and be able to laugh, shake my head, or learn from it.

Hey Soul Sister

Ah, sisters. I have one.

This past week during my 2 week break between semesters I traveled to Illinois and Wisconsin on a short trip to visit my mom’s side of the family…a few, not all. My boyfriend and I decided there was no time like the present and my grandparents weren’t getting any younger, so we decided to make it happen. It was a great trip, albeit short, to introduce Evan to my grandparents and to finally meet the only cousin I have never met on her 3rd birthday. It was fun to catch up with relatives and having my parents and sister (who flew in on her 30th birthday) to spend time with was fun too.

I’m lucky to have my sister around in BC right now as she has been living in Hawaii for the past three years. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we can bounce back to the small bickering and fighting that only sisters excel at. This is something that I’m sure neither of us LIKE doing but it happens, and it is proof we are related. Recently, we got into an unnecessary battle that bounced back and forth until I felt like crap. As usual, it was soon forgotten and the night carried on with one of the best dinner’s I’ve ever had (Milwaukee Chophouse) paired with family and wine… can’t get much better than that. But I have to admit, I secretly was hurt that I let my emotions get the best of me and that I unintentionally hurt my sister’s feelings. May I remind you that this was a very minimal altercation but equally unpleasant as getting lemon juice in a cut. This was yet another life reminder that sometimes things you say can be interpreted different on the other end… and when that happens, one should just apologize and own up for being a dink.

My sister is someone I very much look up to. Not just in height, but in life. (Insert Full House final scene music). Yes, we sometimes want to squeeze each other’s eyeballs out, but what good sisters don’t? My sister lives a life that is full of passion and adventure. She follows her heart and I appreciate her strive to keep growing as a person and always following her dreams, even when they are uncertain at times. With many bumps in the road, Roz always stirs her pot of positivity (Gratitude Soup), takes the time to laugh at herself (Whack-a-doodle), and can back up when times get tough and grasp the bigger picture.

Both my mother and sister are women that I hope to be like when I grow up.

If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.” – Linda Sunshine

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.” -Toni Morrison

 

Only a face a sister could love.

An Hour with Tony and Oprah

Struggling to stay focused on reviewing muscles of the human body in great detail, I decided to take a break and eat some dinner. I turn on my TV, and am sad to see that I’ve watched all the shows on my  PVR and have to skim through the guide. #Firstworldproblems. As I scan my go-to channels, I stumble on the OWN network to see a show called, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” In short it is Oprah attending the famous motivational speaker Anthony (Tony) Robbins’ seminar in L.A. I was drawn into this show and watched the whole thing while eating my leftover pasta. It showed snip-its from his 12 hour seminar and it looks like it would be quite the experience to attend. This one that Oprah attended had 4000 people at it, each ticket costing about $800 to be there. I don’t know if I actively seek ways to be motivated but I do love to hear people speak about living your best life. Maybe so does everybody and that’s why people like Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey are as popular as they are.

There’s always that immediate feeling of excitement and drive when you hear a good motivational speaker talk…but I’m wondering how many times there is something said that actually acts you to change. How long until the feeling of, “I can do anything!” drifts away.  Being in school full time, I’ve been struggling with focusing and really putting in extra solid studying. It’s not that I don’t love what I’m learning, but I’ll avoid being disciplined for a lengthy time before I feel guilty and end up being mad at myself for not doing what I know I should be doing. Everything that Tony talked about in this hour segment, I related to my pressing problem of gettin’ er done. As I’m writing this there are textbooks, papers, highlighters and a cat staring at me, reminding me that I’m not studying and using this as another way procrastinate. Which is indeed true… but I also have a small voice in my head telling me there is something to learn from what I just saw on TV. I need to figure out what is causing me to not want to study certain things that I NEED to study, and fix it. Do I need to write more to do lists? Do I need to schedule in study time for myself and stick to it like a work schedule? Do I need to take Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube off my bookmarks bar so I don’t click them in moments of weakness? I’m not quite sure. All I know is my time needs to be used differently. It seems to be standing in my way of being confident in what I’m learning at school. You think paying $30 000 in tuition would motivate me to suck everything out of my experience in school, and I am trying, but it is also a lot. I think besides learning the most fascinating intricacies of the human body and how to become a health care professional to help people, there are many lessons to be learned on my journey right now.

I except a lot from myself and a lot from the life that I create. But looking at my laziness in relation to studying and how I’m using my time, I can’t expect fireworks. The problem is I really like fireworks…. so I should probably figure it out. There’s relation in my current study habits and how I’m always annoyed that I can’t keep my clothes organized. Or that I can’t keep my school books in order. My life feels messy and I don’t like it. It’s the same feeling when I’m not taking care of myself and letting exercising  and eating properly get low on the priority list. How many areas do I need to bleed this inhibiting habit/lifestyle into before I can figure out how to change it?

There’s one thing I feel good about and that’s the fact the I want to change. I want to grow…always. I have a friend who recently said that she is pretty much done growing…. she peaked at an early age… whatever that means. I can’t think of a worse outlook on life. Isn’t that what life is all about? Learning, changing, growing and feeling the fulfillment of doing that?  I guess some people create a bubble and like to stay there. Not me.

I have a family that inspires me to be a better me everyday. Whether it be the courage from my sister, the intelligence of my brother, the positivity of my mother, or the meaning of hard work by my father, I have a lot of people around me that are probably giving me answers I’m looking for in this moment. I’m going to show myself some patience and take a good look at what I can change during this upcoming week. I need a game plan and only I can make it!

Big shout out to Tony and Oprah for making me think.

 

It’s not about getting what you want. It’s about experiencing what you really need by becoming more.” Tony Robbins

Never Underestimate a Jumping Jack…

Even though I didn’t make any new years resolutions this year, I feel like there’s always a whispering reminder to work on one’s fitness after the holidays… or at least get back into a healthy routine after all the alcohol and goodies that Christmas brings. My first few weeks of 2012 felt good, going on a few runs and using the gym in my building etc etc. With the start of my 2nd semester also brings a ‘fresh start’ feel for all areas of my life. Oh NOWWW I can clean out my closet. NOWWW I can bake more, yenno, since its a NEW year. I can FINALLY start that scrap book that is collecting dust and utilize all those pieces of paper and memorabilia from those trips I’ve kept in that shoe box…

 

WRONG. I don’t know what it is but lately I find myself with a large to do list… and either no inspiration to do it, or I’m being lazy. I’m not going to say I don’t have time because even though I’m a busy lady, if I converted half the time I spent on my laptop or watching guilty pleasure TV, I would have plenty of time to tackle these things that sit at the back of my mind.

 

Leave it to Pinterest to inspire me (another time waster, albeit a fun one)! I was fighting with myself whether I had the energy to go down the 4 flights of stairs to my conveniently close gym located in my building. I reasoned that I only wanted to go for a workout because that meant time away from studying (total of 5 tests this week…) and that as much is my health is important, studying needed to start coming first. In my autopilot state, I sat down at my laptop and opened my Google Chrome browser. There’s always a sense of excitement when I see that toolbar looking at me with all those fun buttons to press. Do I want to visit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MapSoup, my sister’s blog, or Pinterest?! Today I opened a few tabs full of my favourites and looked up a pin on Pinterest I had seen before that called my name, especially today.

 

Here it is. “Fitness At Home”.  And so before I had time to think, I changed my clothes and started this quite simple looking routine. At the bottom it says to repeat 3-5 times, so I thought I’ll go through it once just to see what it was like. I couldn’t help but laugh during my first set. As I began my high knees, my cat Hank looked up from his food and stared at me for a solid 18 reps with a “what the hell are you doing?” look. He did one last double take and continued eating. I knew exactly what he was thinking because I was thinking the same thing. Three sets later I was out of breath and impressed by the quick way this routine got me up and sweating and in a short amount of time. After my calculations, I calculated the following…

I did:

  1. 180 jumping jacks
  2. 60 push ups
  3. 150 high knees
  4. 21 burpees (hate these)
  5. 60 crunches
  6. 36 squats
  7. 3 mins wall sit (I think I only did 2 min!)
Not too shabby for some pansy jumping jacks and push ups.
In the end, I woke myself up by boosting my energy, I’m actually warm in my apartment (shocking as I’m and ice cube 24/7), I got a mini work out in a short amount of time (except it caused me to sit down and write this blog) and I feel motivated to get back up from my slump and start moving my buns! Even if it is just this short duration of simple things I can do in my living room, I might pull this out when I need a quick boost and reminder that I shouldn’t be lazy! In the words of my brother, “Health is everything.” I think that’s what he said to me once, long ago in a conversation on getting back in shape. I feel better when I’m making the time to work on my physical health, which translates into improving my mental health, which translates into so many other wonderful things.
  I feel better about completing this small home routine and can now concentrate on my studies. Learning the intricacies of the human body also reminds me how much I want to take care of this unbelievably vessel that I call my body. I’m thankful that I am able to stand up and use my legs to run. No more excuses. Everything counts!

 

Growing Pains

I am currently enrolled in the massage therapy program at West Coast College of Massage Therapy. I just started my second term (of seven) which will carry me straight through to December 2013, allowing me to write my board exam to become a Registered Massage Therapist. I am absolutely loving school and am proud to be apart of one of the most highly recognized schools for this health care profession.

Recently, the education of massage therapy has changed. A new national standardization of the education of massage therapy has been implemented which changes MANY things, including my life as a student right now! In a nut shell, my class has to choose between continuing the 3000 hour program we signed up for, or after this term I’m currently in, resuming in the new 20 month program which is not yet created. There will be a vote and majority will rule. As you can imagine, stress levels are high and as a class we are nervous as this will affect us greatly. By Switching to the new 20 month curriculum, I would essentially be done school seven months earlier than originally planned. This in itself is causing much heated debate among the students. This decision is very subjective and very much to the individual but unfortunately there will be unhappy people either way.

I honestly think that these present changes are going to be good for the profession in the long run, but not anytime soon. There should be a higher standard and higher respect for massage therapy but in order to get there we will have to endure struggle and frustration. WCCMT fought for the last few years trying to keep the 3000 hour curriculum and by having the MTABC and CMTBC increase other schools programs to the standard that my school practices at. We lost the battle and therefore, other schools have begun to spring up offering an education in massage therapy (even offering a free iPad if you enroll with them) with this new curriculum which doesn’t account for hours anymore but is based on competencies. I will still be getting double the amount of hands on experience in the school than our rival schools.

West Coast is still my number one choice and is still one of the top choices in the world. I will proudly finish my learning at this institution  and make my education the best that it can be. Hopefully down the road as a successful RMT, I will be able to look back and say I was apart of the history that is being made today.

 

 

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
Arnold Bennett

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Frederick Douglass

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra