Tales of Imagination Never Get Old 

My favorite author sat down every morning to write before the world would awaken and bring with it the duties that made her life vastly different than yours or mine.

She wrote through sicknesses brought by the harsh Canadians winters, sometimes having to sit on her frozen toes to warm them up.

She wrote diligently, in times of grief and desperation, the same as she did on happy and hopeful days.

She beat all odds working against her; she was a woman, from a small town on a secluded island.

She went to become one of the first if not the first Canadian woman to make a living with her words.

She succeeded, in her life time, in doing something many of us writers, fail to do. And she did it all without having the luxury of internet, computers, even without typewriters in her early years.

Whenever I get discouraged I think of her. I have no excuses really.

She was a freelancer about 100 years before the word actually existed. Before she wrote her famous work of fiction “Anne of Green Gables”, she sent out stories written by hand to magazines and managed to make a stable and comfortable income.

At the time of her death she had written 22 books.

I read today that Netflix will debut a “Anne of Green Gables” series this summer.

Lucy sat down in 1905 and wrote the first words to the book that this same series is based on.

2017.

More than 100 years have passed since the idea for her story was formed in her head.

I’m honestly speechless about the whole thing, that’s how remarkable it is to me.

I’ve been struggling lately with my artistic ambitions and I’ve found why.

Some people go through life trying to find out what the world holds for them only to find out too late that it’s what they bring to the world that really counts.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

I really couldn’t have said it better myself.


Have you ever read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books?

Do you have an author that inspires you?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

*Photo Credit: lovinkat flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Blue Lights, Growing Old and Conversations with Kids

If you look closely enough, you can see blue lights flashing among the sea of white lights when the metro train whooshes in the underground tunnels.

The kids and I make a game of it. Whoever sees the most blue flashes wins.

The 4 year old always wins. For some reason she sees thousands even though she can’t count past 40.

The more time I spend with kids the more I appreciate their knack for seeing things we adults can’t see. I think I like it even more when they own it and do it on purpose.

When they tell you impossible things with a big smile on their faces you can’t help but play along.

It always makes for interesting conversations.

I never intended to become a nanny, I was supposed to go to grad school and become a great psychologist but I realized I’d be in the wrong line of work.

I was looking for conversations that made life seem like it was beautiful and simple, not scary and complicated.

That’s the sad part of growing up, the older we get, the more what we say gets weighed down by the ugly things we’ve learned about the world.

One time after our little game I asked if she planned to count all the blue lights to infinity.

Of course she said yes.

“Do you know what infinity means?”

She said yes.

I informed her that even if I counted from this very moment until the day I died I wouldn’t be done.

She looked at me for a moment, processing the information. She then asked me this:

“Can God count to infinity?”

*Photo Credit: saori usuki flickr Creative Commons 2.0

How to Avoid Vegan Burnout

It’s no secret that the world is a dark place.

In the wake of recent political events, activists of all walks of life are feeling the repercussions on their mood I’m sure.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of art in activism. I touched upon how there’s no reason to feel that being artist is pointless.

Today I want to talk about how being vegan feels pointless and rightly so and what can be done about it.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been vegan for a hot minute or years, you can most definitely feel the effects of a “vegan burnout” at any time.

It can take you to new depths of despair, contemplating everything that is wrong in the world and having to add the plight of animals to the mix.

There’s a price to pay for caring too much.

Sadness, anger, bouts of righteous unwanted vegan militant-ism and the worse; giving up altogether on morals are all symptoms of a vegan burnout.

You may want to stop associating with people. Going out to eat at the burger joint with friends is just too much for your soul.

I understand. I’ve been there.

I’ve been vegan for a few years now and I’ve had bouts of difficult times.

I still get symptoms of vegan burnout once in a while. It happened to me very recently when a long time vegan I looked up to, someone I thought was a great activist, turned his back on the animals to literally face (and eat) their dismembered body parts.

I thought if this of all things can happen, is there any hope at all?

While I’m still clueless and astonished that people can go back to (or never stop) gorging on something that is the result of cruelty and death, I’ve been feeling a bit better.

If you’re feeling a bit like you’re having a vegan burnout or you’re actually down there at the bottom of a negative feelings well, I’d like to help you.

Here are a few things that have made a difference for me:

1- Finding solace with like-minded people

First, know that you’re not alone in feeling this way. Even though some people leave veganism or never give it a try, there is a growing community of people who think just like you.

It’s worth reaching out to them, you won’t find a more compassionate ear than a vegan one!

2- Celebrating the little victories

For me it was receiving a Subway ad that made the promotion of the vegan Italian bread. It may seem insignificant but if you add them up, little things like that show that change is indeed happening.

Look around, it may not be obvious at first but if you pay attention you will eventually see all those little victories.

3- Focusing on what you can change

Dwelling on negative feelings is not good in any situation. Sometimes the solution is as simple as turning to action.

While I have no control over the terrible things people do, I can put my own actions forward and focus on the things I can change or get better at.

For me it means getting my words and values out there into the world and supporting the causes and businesses that go in line with them.

4- Making time to distract yourself

It may seem counter intuitive to want to take time away from the issues that matter the most to you but there is no point in letting your anguish over things you can’t ultimately control ruin your mood.

It’s ok to stop watching vegan themed videos or any animal rights content if your mood is already low.

There’s lots of fun vegan things you can do that doesn’t involve thinking about the suffering of animals.

I personally enjoy trying out new recipes.  Ice cream and brownies totally help too!

Have you ever dealt with a vegan burnout?

What are your tips and tricks to feel better?

I’d love to know in the comments!

*Picture Credit: Anton Vakulenko Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

The Fibonacci Sequence & All the Love in the Universe

I had a few good math teachers. Thankfully. Or else I never would have gone anywhere after high school.

I had one that made me love math for at least one class. (that’s an achievement, believe me)

We made a fruit salad.

It was a pretty banal fruit salad as far as fruit salads go. Bananas, grapes, apples, kiwis, oranges.

Although it was tasty (and nutritious) the point of the class was to cut fruit open and count the seeds, spirals and parts of the fruits.

If you’re not familiar with the Fibonacci Sequence, it is a sequence of numbers derived from adding the result of the previous operation to the following one. So 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13, 8+13=21 and so on…

Those numbers are found in nature. In plants, flowers and fruits.

Sitting in class counting seeds in apple hearts felt silly at first. However, it didn’t take long before I started seeing how significant it actually was.

The whole room seemed smaller to me suddenly.

I was a thirteen year old in math class, surrounded by other thirteen year olds, all of us cutting into fruit but I was also a part of this universe. For the first time I was acutely aware of being both at the same time. A student and also a student somewhere on earth in this mysterious universe.

I knew before this moment that they are things who will forever be outside of my comprehension but it never occurred to me that I am one of those things.

In the grand scheme of things I wasn’t sure why I was on this earth just as much as I wasn’t sure why every apple had either 3, 5 or 8 seeds.

I still carry this feeling I got a long time ago in math class.

Last week I got to meet a nice little lady for the first time and I got reminded of that day.

She’s a sweet and soft girl who welcomed me into her life with nothing but the purest love.

I have found this kind of love in some people I’ve met throughout my life but I have experienced it from all the animals I have crossed path with.

I know that like some humans not all animals are inherently inoffensive but when it comes down to it, we are connected in more ways than we think.

I don’t know why we are on this earth but we are on it together.

When I cuddle my cat or any cat, I see the moment for what it is. We are together in a room but we are also two creatures part of this infinite universe.

You may say that faith gives us knowledge in many ways but some questions are simply better served by an open-ended answer.

Everything about the universe is endless and I like it that way.

If there is love in me then surely it must be present in the universe.

Then all the love in the universe is exactly the right amount.

I don’t have anything less than that for the animals that I share this planet with.

Do you?

*Photo Credit: Kai Schreiber flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Same Same But Different

I’ve always been a good girl.

Sweet, agreeable, kind. Quiet.

Those are the adjectives used to describe me. I have no problem with using them to describe myself either.

I’m generally a nice person and most of all I want to be a nice person.

That’s the core of who I am.

However, if I’m being honest I have put on layers that hide this truth at many points in my life.

Sometimes I forgot to be nice to others.

Most of the time I forgot to be nice to myself. 

I may have said or done the wrong thing and disappointed people I love throughout the years but I’ve definitely let myself down.

I let myself get focused on what I should do or shouldn’t do. I waited too long to go after my dreams because I didn’t think I deserved them.

I’m here to say this:

Even good girls get it wrong sometimes.

There is however one thing that we are great at and that is forgiving.

I forgive myself for all the times I insisted on staying the same.

The good parts of me will always be there even if I’m not the exact same.

I’ll just be same same but different.

The updated version of me.


Have you dealt with guilt about always being the same version of yourself?

Have you forgiven yourself? If not, what’s keeping you from doing it?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments.

*Photo Credit: Alice Barigelli flickr Creative Commons 2.0

I Wasn’t Always a Tea Drinker

I had my first cup of tea at age 18.

It started out as a once in a while thing. My boyfriend at the time would brew me some cheap English breakfast type tea. He topped it off with a good dose of milk and a very bad dose of sugar.

Throughout the years I kept on having tea on the regular with him and occasionally by myself.

Although our relationship ultimately failed I remained a solid tea drinker. Only minus the milk and sugar.

I like my tea pure.

If you’re not a fan of tea or of reading about it, don’t worry, this post is not really about the hot beverage.

It only so happens that it’s one of my daily rituals. Tea is my companion. It’s there when I wake up. When I want something to drink with my mid-afternoon cookie habit.

Most importantly it’s there to soothe me when I’m trying and failing to write.

I talk a lot about dreams and reaching goals on this blog because I’m focused on mine.

Being a successful writer is what I dream about.

On some days, like today, when I’m tired and I need my tea even more than I usually do, I wonder how I will make it.

The truth is just like I didn’t become a tea drinker after my first cup of tea, I won’t become a writer by writing occasionally.

We become what we want to become by the actions we do everyday. Our little rituals.

So when my spirits are down and I don’t want to go on, I do this:

I drink tea and I remind myself I wasn’t always a tea drinker.  

What are some of your little rituals?

What rituals would you like to start doing this year?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

*Photo Credit: Ton Tip flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Being Transparent

I liked to answer: “Better than yesterday, Worse than tomorrow.”

That was my way of getting around the “I’m fine” that I hated so much.

I wasn’t fine.

I was a teenager going through a break up when I thought up those words.

I’m probably not the first and last person to come up with this reply.

Still, 15 years old me found it really clever and I find it partly imaginative, partly amusing today.

The truth is it was my attempt at being transparent without actually having to deal with the consequences of what that meant.

The reason I’m writing about this is precisely in the interest of transparency.

I’ve always valued transparency and authenticity in other people but failed to take mine to the level I sought in others.

Even in writing, which one would think is the easiest way to practice transparency, it is not that simple.

That’s one of the things that writing this blog everyday has taught me.

Showing parts of myself through my stories is fun and scary at the same time. It competes with my need to be perfect and insightful. Being myself is what happens when I try to find a middle ground between the two.

Much of life is about finding that balance between being totally opaque and being totally see through.

There’s things we want to say, things we need to say and what we really say.

Sometimes all three are the same.

Sometimes not.

I guess transparency is found in which one we choose.

What do you think?

 

*Photo Credit: <<saigerowe>> flickr Creative Commons 2.0