Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Honesty: On the Topic of Mental Health

Note: Despite having participated in the past, I am not a huge fan of the Bell Let's Talk initiative. The reasons include the corporatization of mental health awareness, and the fact that it's basically a huge commercial for Bell. You can find all sorts of criticisms of Bell Let's Talk with a simple Google search. However, the idea behind it is the important part and that is why I did choose today to share this story and promote some mental health organizations that I do personally support.

It's amazing to think that last year at this time I was actively blogging, and posting on here all the time. It seems like such a foreign time to me, because I've been on a hiatus, followed by a brief period of blogging, followed by a second hiatus, followed by a brief period of blogging, followed by this very long hiatus.

As I've said before, there are so many reasons that I have been away from the blog. So many things have happened since I started school in September, and many of them have not been so great. Matt's dad was in the hospital for a week and it took a toll on everyone in the house, Matt's dad's truck got stolen right before Christmas, there was a strike for the colleges that resulted in Matt missing five weeks of school, our car essentially bit the dust, and as a whole I just wasn't feeling right. Oh, and just two days ago now, Matt's mom fell and broke her arm and her wrist!

Disclaimer: From this point on, I will be talking about serious mental health issues. This may be hard to read or hard to understand for some viewers, and I want to make sure that people are prepared for what is yet to come. Mental health awareness is important, but so is taking care of yourself. Don't feel obligated to keep reading if it's too hard for you.

If you are in crisis, please seek emergency medical care and/or call a mental health hotline. In Ontario, one such option is this: 1-866-531-2600. If you need help finding a hotline near you, please try searching here.

Monday, October 02, 2017

No Notoriety

I know I have not been active lately, and there are multiple reasons for that. However, today's post has nothing to do with that.

Today's post is about Las Vegas. It's about Edmonton. It's about every other terrorist attack that has happened in recent history.

It is beyond time that we stop broadcasting the names and images of serial killers and terrorists. If they have been apprehended, or killed such as the Las Vegas terrorist, we need to start referring to them only as terrorists. This is it.

No more sharing their names. No more calling them "lone wolf".  No more excusing them via "mental illness". No more sharing their graduation photos or family photos. No more talking about "why they did what they did". No more talking about their "good" past. No more attention, no more praise. No notoriety for violent criminals who did nothing important other than end the lives of others. No more standing out or identity for them.

Do not give them the attention they wanted, because this gives validity to what they did.

They are not valid. They are not valuable. They are not worthy.

Share messages of love, the names of those they injure or kill, pictures and stories of those who lost their lives without choice. Those who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Share their aspirations, their lives, their dreams and their accomplishments. Remember, share and love them.

Copy cats don't need any encouragement, and neither do the groups of people who are behind these acts of terrorism. They are not worthy of our time, and I will no longer be giving it to them.

They are disgusting, they are incomprehensible, and they are nothing more than a disappointment.

Don't give them more power. Enough is more than enough.


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Introducing The Creative Clever Beautiful Bucket List

A few weeks ago I wrote about some changes that would be coming to the blog. Mainly, I said that there was something that I was adding to the blog, but I didn't tell you what it was. Well, the day is finally here that you get to find out what it is!

If you look above in the pages bar of this blog, I have created the Creative Clever Beautiful Bucket List!

I'm going to be adding and checking things off my new official bucket list as I think of them or as I achieve them, and I would love for you to head over now and take a look at what is on it. Some of them I've already finished because it took me so long to perfect it to the point where I was ready to share it with you. There are over 200 items currently on my bucket list, and I am so excited to work on completing them. I'm also still working on creating more goals, and I'm sure that it won't be long before it hits 300.

Here are some highlights from my bucket list:

  • Visiting each of the 50 states in the United States
  • Going on a resort vacation with Matt
  • Moving out of Matt's parents' house
  • Donate blood for the 5th time
  • Milk a cow
  • Write my will
However, I can't show you too much of it here and now, because I need you to click that tab above and go visit the page! Or, you can also click here.

Once you get there, you can also read about why I wrote this bucket list, and why it's important to me. I think everyone should have one, and maybe reading mine will encourage you to get started on yours. Check it out now, and then leave a comment here to let me know what your favourite of my bucket list goals is!

-Erika Elise

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

First Impressions

This morning, I was two minutes late to my first class at Brock University. It was BIOL 1P91, the first semester Introduction to Biology course. I was late because I wanted to make sure that Matt and I had something to eat, and to continue our tradition of getting breakfast on our first day of school.

This morning, I was two minutes late to my first class, and there were no seats left by the time I got there. In an entire auditorium, there were no seats left. And, it's not like I was the only person left standing either. There were probably around 30 of us who were either standing in the back or sitting on the stairs in one of the aisles.

The professors told us that there are 1000 of us taking this class. The largest class I've ever taken before this had around 100 people in it, and by the end of the class we were down to 40. When I went to Carleton University, I did have a class with around 400 students in it, but I don't count that one because I didn't finish the class. Even still, this class more than doubles that number.

So, I wasn't the only one standing. And, I was far from even being the latest student to arrive. There were some people who showed up behind me at fifteen and even twenty minutes past the time that the class began. I'm not so worried anymore about the first impression I left on that teacher. Partially because I doubt I'll even talk to him more than five times over this semester.

Regardless of that event, it feels a little strange to be back at university. It's definitely a very different atmosphere than there is at college, and Brock is, as you could expect, much different from Carleton. It is definitely making a unique first impression on me.

When I was going to Carleton, I planned ahead and moved to Ottawa early so I could find my way around better, which was definitely helpful. The school was large, but it was friendly and fairly easy to navigate. There was an entire network of tunnels underground that could take you around to most (if not all) of the buildings on campus. It was right next to the Rideau Canal, and it was just, well, big.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Hello, Fall!

As much as I love summer, my favourite season is fall, by far.

I love the weather, the colourful leaves falling to the ground, the holidays, the pumpkin spice everything, and being able to wear sweaters and other cute clothes. And, I love that most of the things I'm allergic to go away. On top of that all, I am also a huge nerd and I am super excited to get back into the swing of things with school.

Starting this week, I will be attending Brock University to study Psychology and Child and Youth Studies. The combined Bachelor of Arts degree will help me get closer to my goal of being an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Speech-Language Pathologist. In just two days, I have my orientation! It's weird to think that I'm going to be a freshman for the third year in a row, but at least this year will be more productive in the grand scheme of things.

On a similar note, my job at Walmart is going well. We're down one of my coworkers in the Dairy department because he's gone for co-op for his school program, which means that there have been lots of hours for those of us who are left. I've been working 30+ hours every single week! It's been good for my bank account, though Matt and I have managed to spend a lot of it. I will continue to work through this school year, with somewhere around 20 to 25 hours a week. I'm hoping it won't be too much for me with school going on too.

Obviously this is not for the date of our concert because it's in Ottawa, but this gives the general idea.

One of those things that we spent all our money on, and another thing I'm looking forward to this fall, is another concert! Matt and I are going with his younger step-brother Hunter to see Dallas Smith perform in St. Catharines in October. We saw Dallas Smith in July at Trackside and it was so good that we decided we needed to see a show where he was the headliner. The opening acts are Lauren Alaina and the Cadillac Three, both of which we are looking forward to as well. Hunter has never been to a concert before, so that's exciting too! I think it's going to be a goal of mine now that I take each of Matt's siblings to their first concerts. We've already got Tyler's done, and now Hunter's is coming up in less than two months.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Hi Again

I know I've been gone from the blog for so long. Life just happened to take me away for a while, but I'm doing my best to get back on track. Are you wondering what I possibly could have been doing in the past few weeks to not be here at all? Well, here's the short list:

  • My old laptop finally died, and I couldn't get it to stay powered on for more than a minute at a time. I had to order my (fancy!!) new laptop, and wait for it to arrive. I love my new one, but I'll talk more about that after.
  • Matt had his first ever Enduro race at Merritville Speedway. What does that mean? It means I spent countless hours at his grandparents' house, helping him tear a car apart and put it back together. It also means I spent 15 hours painting a car for a half hour long event. It also means I got to sit being terrified for my boyfriend's life while he hurdled himself around in a circle with 45 other crazy drivers.
  • My work life has gotten crazy! I'm supposed to be maxing out at 27 hours a week, but lately I've been have up to 36! This week I worked Monday to Friday, with four of those days being from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. By the time I was getting home from work, I was ready to fall asleep!
So, as usual, it's been one thing after another. I kept telling myself I'd get to it later. But, here I finally am!

I'm working on some new posts right now, so I hope you've all stuck around for me through this mess. As for right now, I'm going to talk a little about my awesome new laptop to show you what I treated myself with for the new school year!

I bought a brand new Dell Inspiron 2-in-1. 

I've been wanting to give a 2-in-1 laptop a shot, especially heading into university, and I'm so glad that I did. I love the versatility of being able to use a mouse and a full keyboard or being able to tap the screen and get where I want to be. 

It's a smaller laptop than my last one, but so far I actually like the size better. It's lighter, and I think will be better for school. It also is still very quick because I made sure to get an i5 core. I couldn't go down to an i3 or lower core anymore, I need the higher processing power. It makes a big difference for me.

I'm still undecided on the Windows 10 though, which is a little disappointing because I had no other option. It's the only thing I really don't like about it though!

I'm so happy so far with my new choice, and I'll be sure to update you if my opinion ever changes about it.

In other news, this weekend is Canal Days down here in Port Colborne and we are so excited! We headed out last night, but there are still three more official days of Canal Days. I'm so excited to spend the rest of the weekend off, and enjoy it.

So, that's all for today, but I promise this time, I will be back soon!

-Erika Elise

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Under Construction

It may have been a month or so ago that I last mentioned that I would be making some changes to the blog. I was not very specific at that time, and I'm still not going to give away all of my secrets just yet, but I am going to talk about some of the changes that are going to happen.

First of all, I'm looking at changing the colour scheme and background of the blog. While I still like the colours I originally started with, I don't know if it's quite right for what I want this blog to really be. I think I need something a little less plain, but I'm not planning on going too absurd or extreme.

I want to find something that looks good, and makes this blog feel more like my personality. I am actually thinking about using an image or a pattern for the background instead of just a solid colour. I think that would be a good way to make it more unique, and stand out a little bit more.

Secondly, I am going to rework the page tabs that you can choose from the top of the blog. I intend to introduce an entirely new page on the blog, which will hopefully become a big focus for us. I may change the order in which the tabs are found at the top, and add or take away as I feel is necessary.

Thirdly, I am intending to revamp the various series of posts that I have. I may be reducing the number of nail art posts that I write and share, because now that I'm working, I find my nail polish gets destroyed far too quickly. I may start writing some more posts about school in the fall, once it starts, because school is very important to me and I think it's important to talk about the impact of post-secondary education. I'm sure I will also get some other ideas as I'm working on it.

Lastly, for the past few months, I've been considering changing platforms. I'm not sure if Blogger/Blogspot is the right platform for my blog, because it has such limited features. I may move over to Wordpress to be able to have more opportunity for customization and freedoms. However, I am still a beginner to blogging and creating a website, so I have not yet made this decision. It may take a while before I am able to figure it out, but I'll be sure to let you all know!

So, that's pretty much it for the changes I'm working on right now. It may be a little imperfect here on the blog for a while as I work on making these changes, but be patient and it will only be getting better!

-Erika Elise