It has been quite the birthday weekend around here! Shane and my birthdays fall within a couple weeks of each other’s, and it has been a fun filled weekend. We had a stay-cation downtown for two nights! We went to a show with some of our friends on Saturday, danced the night away, and had a blissful, lazy Sunday. Shane surprised me with a Sake tasting in preparation for our trip to Japan, and one of the most unique meals i’ve ever eaten at an Afghani restaurant on Granville island! We sat on the floor on cushions and ate all vegetarian food. It was my favourite kind of Fall weather: bright, cool, and sunny, with the leaves turning colours all around us!
I have to admit that since my last blog post, i’ve struggled with what to write. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more that so much has happened this year that i’ve had a hard time figuring out how to process it all into one coherent blog post. This blog started out as a baking and injury rehab blog, and it was very therapeutic for me to share my journey through a chronic pain condition with my friends, family, and the general public. Since then, however, i’ve needed to determine how my blog will adapt and change to the evolving seasons of my life! I hope that this post, in it’s entirety, can convey that life is ever changing, beautiful, but also uncertain (especially for me at this point!). Even though this year has been exciting, I am also only inspired to write, or do art, at certain times. My inspiration usually hits me when i’ve done something new or exciting. I think this weekend, with the changing season and the excitement of friends, and upcoming travel, has sparked my creative energy! So here’s to my varied year and upcoming plans!
I skied a lot this Winter. Enough for me to reverse the FOMO of missing out on several seasons because of my knee injury. Spending time in the mountains with the people I love is one of my greatest joys in life. It has been so immensely healing to spend so much blissed out time skinning uphill and enjoying the powder on the way down.
I also finished my final semester of my undergrad at UBC. It was slightly delayed because I took one semester off to work on injury rehab, and ended up extending my degree to two majors: English and History. My final project/thesis for English was a graphic novel about climate change. My project interrogated how first world people, like us, see ourselves as “green”. Not only was this project meaningful and relevant to the state of the world today, but my life as well. I couldn’t believe that I could do so well and receive such a high grade on a project that flowed out of me so easily. I remember in math tutoring, I would constantly get in trouble for doodling all over the page. To think that I could receive an A+ in an English 490 course at UBC with these same skills is pretty cool. Creativity is an asset, while not always valued as highly as technical skills. The project was a fitting end to my time at UBC.
Part of the reason my project flowed so effortlessly was because Shane and I took a spontaneous trip to Cuba over reading break. It has been amazing to me to examine how my creativity is stoked this year. Similar to writing this post, I can really only be creative when inspired- it can’t be forced.
Cuba allowed me to see the differences between first and third world countries’ environmental efforts. This also inspired me to look more closely at myself, and all the things that I believed I was doing to save the planet. The trip to Cuba was amazing, and I am very glad to have such an adventurous boyfriend who lives to travel and constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone. Although I have to say that even though Shane pushes me out of my comfort zone, he is so relaxed and chill that he perfectly evens out my high strung personality, and allows me to fully invest in new experiences. Shane and I also wanted to test out whether we could travel as a pair, and while our trip was only a week, we came back feeling like we were definitely keen do more adventuring together!
For my graduation, Shane, Casey and Eliza and I went camping at a hotsprings and went river rafting the next day. It meant more to me than going to my ceremony ever did, and it was pretty cool to skinny dip with some of my favourite people as we blissed out under the stars in natural geothermal water. Life is pretty cool sometimes.
Over the Summer, I worked as an Outreach Educator at AdventureSmart. I educated the public about Search and Rescue in BC, as well as how not to get lost or in trouble in the outdoors. Upon reflection, the job seemed like a perfect fit for me, however I think that in the end it showed me that perhaps the outdoor industry is not for me. It was a challenging and rewarding Summer, and my people pleasing, conflict averse personality type was challenged daily. It was uncomfortable, but I grew a lot. I have always thought that I needed to work in a field I was passionate about, and when I first think passion, I think: the outdoors! What my dad has been able to accomplish has allowed me many inroads into the outdoor industry, but now I think it’s time for me to chart my own course. I need a profession that can use my knowledge, skill, and creativity. Perhaps this is a profession that I will need graduate school for! Life is opening up post grad, and it is challenging my own assumptions about who I am, and what I can accomplish. It’s scary, but exhilarating. I can see myself diving into something pretty new in the next year or two, maybe even physiotherapy.
Before new careers or grad school, however, i’m doing one of the biggest, most exciting things I have ever done. Shane and I leave in November to go travelling! We are headed first to trek in Nepal, then India, then perhaps some skiing in Japan, and then to travel around Myanmar and Vietnam. The magnitude of what we are doing hasn’t quite hit me yet, but I am beyond excited. I need this. I need this so bad. I need culture, perspective, and to get out of Vancouver. While this city is beautiful, and I would eventually like to settle down here, I have been here for too long. I need to explore myself in new environments, and I need some challenges that are not work or school. I need to live a little, especially because I feel like I lost time during my injury, and suffered a lot of heartbreak during that period. If anyone has recommendations, I would love to hear them!
As of now I am unemployed until we leave for our trip, as my job ended in August. I’m okay with it though. It’s the first time in the past 3 years where I have had complete mobility, health, and free time! I am making so many awesome connections, and re-establishing myself as an avid hiker. I am also going to a career counsellor who is helping me with a bit of direction. I’m living life creatively, and i’m proud of myself for doing so!
Finally I would like to give a shout out to some of the awesome women in my life. I have been extremely blessed this year to have made some amazing girlfriends, with whom I couldn’t live without. Keirra, Erica, Eliza, Brenna, Sarah, Bayley and Carly, you all mean so much to me. I’ve been looking for strong female connection for a while, and for women who listen and learn, and love doing the same things I do. Thanks for your love, support, and friendship.
When Shane and I broke the news to my dad, that we would be gone for ski season, he was choked. However, he’s also super excited for me to retrace some of his footsteps in Nepal. I will miss my family like no other, but know that they will be rooting for me the whole way. I love you guys, thanks so much for your constant support!
And of course a little shoutout to Shane, without whom, I wouldn’t be going to India, or writing this blog post on the 29th floor of the Sheraton on a beautiful Sunday morning (Thanks Sharon and Brian!). I am proud of you and how hard you work, Shane! Thanks for the yam fries, and for being the biggest, bestest cuddlebug I could ask for <3.
Here’s to adventure, and some more blog posts before I leave!