causal petty complaining.

i'm sorry i know i literally JUST posted a blog today (PFFT whatever who ever wrote a manual on when and what you can blog?! i'm a bamf so don't worry about it)... but i just have to express how delighted i am that i never have to deal with these poor excuses of paper-towel dispensers all over sfu campus.
the only person more stupid than the person who invented these so-called "no-touch" dispensers, is the person who actually decided it would be a good idea to use the design all over a university campus. it would have been more worth your pennies, sfu, to put wooden spools all over campus.
at least it would go better with the broken-stall-door theme.


slumber party small talk.

I just love this.
Last night, Cori so lovingly picked me up from the King-George Skytrain and we headed to Langley for the night at the house she's house-sitting. It was the first time I would get to meet her best friend, Marne, even though I totally felt like we were already friends. Cori's cousin, Shelby, was there too and as girls do, we didn't take long to get socially cozy.
Our itinerary for the night was making rice crispy squares, drinking Bailey's in hot-chocolate (with marshmallows) and watching Elf (apparently I have a striking resemblance to Buddy from Elf) but like any occasion where you put 4 girls in the same room, three of which don't really know each other, the easy and obvious point of conversation revolves around the one small topic of the boy in your life, not in your life, or... don't know if he's... in... your life...?
It is just so funny. For the four of us all in very very different places or stages with our point-of-interest-man, we all had basically the same thesis of our stories (yes I said that - in school-mode still for sure).
No, it wasn't that they suck.
It was that the moment your "thing" turns into "something" (bless us if they even admit that much) this one little thing is sparked in them. Call it pride, call it protection, call it an emotional blockage... or just call it a pain in the ass. I'll admit some men don't have this but from my experience, all the ones under the age or 24 have it. It's the phenomenon of cat and mouse that when the woman gives too much or shows too much affection, men back off. They play mysterious and hard to get; they're unattainable; they're too busy. But here's the kicker - that at the end of the day they still "really care about you" so all of a sudden, we feel bad that we put so much pressure on our need for them to actually express that. We start off feeling mad at them for being distant, but then we feel bad that we got so "uptight."
John Gray says it well: "Men are motivated and empowered when they feel needed" Ummm yes, but can I attach a second part to that sentence?: "Therefore, they'll do what they need to to continue feeling that way."
So brutal guys. So... so brutal. You know you can all hide it very well... you're need for us, that is. But not forever...
Truth be told, they're the ones who are uptight. It just doesn't actually manifest itself until they feel a real threat in having you. Because when you finally get sick of lowering yourself so he can feel like he's helping you, and you finally back off and say "wait a minute... I don't actually need you the way you're making me think I do..." then the smoke detector goes off in his head and he's groveling all of a sudden. By then, it doesn't even feel good because we're already over it.
So what the heck?
So goes life and love and relationships [after the honeymoon stage]? In really different ways, it was the same story for all of us. I'm sure there are many relationships out there that don't exhibit these strange cycles and there are probably a lot that exhibit them but only to a very small extent. And women are guilty too! The actual second part of John Gray's quote was, "women are motivated and empowered when they feel cherished." If the second part wasn't as true as the first, the first part wouldn't be such a problem because in their display of needing-to-feel-needed, we end up feeling un-cherished and therefore, just plain poopy. So should we compromise our need to feel cherished? Or should they compromise their need to feel needed? It would be nice to meet somewhere in the middle but I have a feeling that's not as easy as I just made it sound...
I am truly under the impression that this only ends when you have kids because then both the man and the woman's needs are met by children who need their dad and cherish their mom. Either that or the fact that mom and dad are too busy thinking about the tikes to think about their own senses of masculinity and femininity.
So I don't really have a conclusion. I'm sure John Gray will though. I plan on starting to read his book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, today!
I'll let you know if I find the answers but for now, I think John Mayer speaks volumes into the man's soul:

i was made to believe that i'd never love somebody else
made a plan, stay the man who can only love himself...

...half of my heart's got a grip on the situation
half of my heart takes time...

...half of my heart is a shot-gun wedding
to my bride with a paper ring
and half of my heart is the part of a man
who's never truly loved anything


what ever happened to predictability?

the newsman,
the paperboy,
the evening tv?

I see my spontaneity in California was not just a phase.
Rena life update as of late:
Moving to Whistler with the beautiful Cori Poole and apparently learning to RIIIIDE (thanks to Riley for his Christmas present to me - a Snowboard). But first, home for Christmas!

Yup. Moving here.


sup with me? sup with YOU!?

I just wanna know sup with everyone.
I think that's one of my biggest flaws but ironically, at the same time, one of my greatest attributes. I mean, I don't really care sup with you like, sup this weekend? sup for christmas? sup with John and Kate?
I really care more about sup with YOU... who you are... what you love... what you hate... why you say this... why you say that...

So basically, I really rule people out of my life from becoming my best friend if they aren't down with it. I see that as bad news and good news all wrapped up in one. Bad news because I will suffer long spans without those best friend figures; good news because when I finally do find them, and I get to experience their heart, mind, and soul and it's magic. Not only that but then the few really good friends I do have, in little pockets randomly all over the globe, are so spectacularly precious.

I think it's what we were made for. And I don't mean to say that what you have isn't special and what I have is. I'm not saying that at all. I'm suggesting that we were designed for that kind of purposefulness in this big scary society that can't get enough fame, money, power, thrill. I don't think we were designed for complacent relationships that don't bring invaluable joy - I just don't.

That's to different degrees in all people - I get that. I think that's why we've been divided, by some psychological theories, as extroverted and introverted. I don't think that changes our longing to be known, heard, felt, understood and our simultaneous need to know, hear, feel, and understand - both others, and ourselves. So I did one of those personality tests because I always want to know more about who I am - what is it that makes me Rena?
Rena is, under the Idealist temperament, a "Champion." I'll give you a snapshot:

Champions are rather rare, say three or four percent of the population, but even more than the others they consider intense emotional experiences as being vital to a full life. Champions have a wide range and variety of emotions, and a great passion for novelty. They see life as an exciting drama, pregnant with possibilities for both good and evil, and they want to experience all the meaningful events and fascinating people in the world. Fiercely individualistic, Champions strive toward a kind of personal authenticity, and this intention always to be themselves is usually quite attractive to others.

Mmmm. Thank you for that insight. How totally true all of those things are and, for those of you who read my blog or listen to be vent about my heart, Champions often speak (or write) in the hope of revealing some truth about human experience, or of motivating others with their powerful convictions.

I think that reveals a lot about why I would take something like a personality test so seriously and try to see the deep revelation contained within it. Sup with me? Why do I do this? Why do I do that? Why do I have these arguments? What can I work on? How can I use my me-ness in the best way possible?

I write this blog with one goal in mind: can everyone please just shed some layers? Just see what happens. I seriously think you'll surprise yourself. Transparency is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful gifts you can give someone. Be you. Let down your guards. Inspire yourself and you'll inspire others. Expose your wounds you beautiful, beautiful soul. If you need to, take time out so you can figure out what those wounds are and who that "you" is. What makes you happy? It can be random things you never even really thought about. For example... maybe you really like bike baskets but you thought they were kinda dorky. Go buy a bicycle basket right now! Whatever it is, I just see it as an opportunity, not a limitation, so don't let fear get in your way.

Suppppp? Please comment if you want to tell me sup with you.


baby, you're a *fire*work*

Take 2 small-town girls with fresh undergrad degrees:
One, strawberry-blonde ambitious and hardworking, responsible, respectable, and dedicated athlete slash aspiring doctor;
The other, a free-spirited, unpredictable, awkward, dramatic and kooky flower-child slash wannabe schoolteacher;
Move them across the country, put them in a basement apartment located in a dingy, ghetto greater-city area together and what do you get?

I'm referring to Holly and myself, if you haven't figured it out.
Holly is never the person I expected to make this transition with. Not that I didn't like her. We were just always acquaintances and rarely much more than party friends or friends-of-friends. I didn't even know very much about her other than the fact that she seemed like one of the most "together" people I associated with, got expelled from the reg in grade 11 (the one time anyone EVER saw a ruffle in her skirt, basically), and that she was a star in Antigonish for excelling in long distance running. When I heard she was coming to Vancouver to take Naturopathic Medicine, I figured it was a decent opportunity to have a buddy with me here when I move. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that she would become one of the very rocks I stand on, or that she would be picking me up in my falls - but she did.

Long story short, this semester has been a bit of a roller-coaster for both of us in realigning our passions and reevaluating our hearts. As a team, we seemed to get through it, but if I'm honest, it's evident who was pulling more weight and I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me. Yeah, Holly puts the "perfect" in perfectionism and while that's the basis of what I saw when we first moved in together, I got a much different picture after about a month.

Yes, Holly gets her shit done. Holly is clean, particular, smart, and so unreal healthy. I mean gimme a break - can I please have that gene that makes you not like junkfood? She's timely, organized, dedicated, and one of the most hardworking people I know. She even makes time for friends and leisure and knows what she wants in life. More than all of that though is a woman of peace, a passion for people, and a thoughtful and honest heart. She is the single most thoughtful person I have ever met. I mean thoughtful like she is constantly thinking about others and how she can help. I.e., pouring my coffee for me every morning, helping me think of solutions to my problems, bringing me my favoriote sushi roll for our Wednesday evening dates, leaving precious notes every day, always letting me hog the bathroom by doing her hair in her room and then subsequently bringing me the flat iron, plugging it in and turning it on because she knows I'm about to straighten my hair...
I honestly could go on forever. She's always warm, always inviting, no matter how shitty her day may have been, always willing to listen to my complaints with an open heart and ready to come up with a reasonable solution.

I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to become the worlds greatest mom, worlds best wife, an olympian, a life-saving doctor, and probably at some point, a Prime MInister of Canada. I'm not tooting her horn, folks. I'm telling it like it is. And on a personal level, if it hadn't been for Holly Van Gestel waiting for me every day when I got home from school (after she decided she wasn't going to continue on her Naturopathic path), so willing and open to help me with anything I needed, I would have been and still would be in rough shape. I think there are a million people out there who would have made a great roommate but none of them would have saved my life the way Holly did. She was perfect for me and in one word, an Angel.

She got me through a rough patch. I'm still in the rough patch but I feel empowered with all the things she left me with. She's leaving me now and I am so beyond thankful for everything she's done for me. Thank you for loving me and all my flaws in-spite of your togetherness and perfection. Thanks for accepting me - smudges and all. I will always love you, roomie.



"Rena, the anxiety you experience in your life now stems from childhood. Losing your father at a young age gave you the impression of your world as being out of your hands."

These words were spoken to me in my first year of university when my nervousness turned into a full-blown, constant worry and anxiety that my day was going to flop; that I was going to fail all of my midterms; that I wasn't going to have enough time to study; etc. I didn't really like the whole counseling thing. At the time, it just made me more nervous because I thought I was wasting time that could have been spent studying. But this one that I chose to go to always stuck with me because it gave me a sense of relief to know the root of my anxiousness. That still never really seemed to make it any easier though.

It helps to explain why I always seemed to be able to manipulate my mother into, well... anything. It also helps explain why I always had to have the last word in our arguments, why I never really wanted to push myself to try something I might not be good at, why I was able to keep a healthy distance from most friends I made in highschool, and probably most evidently, why I chose to date boys who made me happy but were never my ideal and why breaking up with them was never life-changing-difficult.

That's probably the biggest place that people, especially girls, can relate to my need to control. I'm not a perfectionist by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the need to control and being a perfectionist can be mutually exclusive. I think everyone has some extent of this "control" gene. I think most people can relate to the feeling of trying to convince themselves that the guy they are currently dating: "is just really into me. he's alright i guess..."

Is there something about saying those words that make you feel more comfortable with your position in a relationship? I don't think anyone would expect this from me - the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and bursts with affection for the beloved's in her life. But I think I've fooled not only the people in my life, but also myself, into believing I was laying my heart on the line, when I was actually keeping them at arms length so that if something crumbled, I wouldn't have to look very far for a shoulder to cry on.

So... this is how I've been treating those people in my life. This is how I have viewed the ones I lavish my love on and right now, at 22, is when I am just becoming aware of it. Because all of a sudden, it is creeping in and ruining one of the most treasured relationships I've been able to experience. This one makes me uncomfortable. & it makes me uncomfortable because it surfaces my desire to remain in control, but doesn't allow me to do so. I think this is what they mean when they say Love, in its purest form, is hard. Because it challenges us to serve and makes us uncomfortable in our lack of control over the other person. Damn - hard reality. This relationship has brought to my attention my need for, and unachievement of, my independence. But who should I be dependent on when I finally crumble and realize it apparently isn't myself?

In the book, The Shack, Sarayu (The Holy Spirit) says it perfectly:
“Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself- to serve.”

It's obvious that true contentment in life doesn't stem from perfect control - in fact, my perceived ability to have control in relationships, is now crushing me (that's a harsh way of saying "humbling" but that's what it feels like). I think I need to continually ask myself this horrifying question:

What kind of one-up did my creator God get when he took on and paid the ultimate cost for, not just one beloved, but every person who comes into existence?


so THIS is what it feels like...

to be a Mom.

Yes, a Mom. I'm talking about towards my 21 year old boyfriend, Riley James Merrell. Okay I'm not talking about the napping, the poop, the boogers, and the teaching and guiding. Errr.... ehhhe... most of the time...

But for realz, what I'm talking about is this uncontrollable anxiety that moms get when their child goes away. You know how annoying it is when you go somewhere and you even though you know you're safe and everything is cool, your mom seems to think that everything is so dangerous and she gets nervous when you forget to call or something? It's like on the movie Step Mom when the little boy "gets lost" and when they finally find him they're like "Where were you? You had us so worried!" and he's like "I knew where I was the whole time!" haha I can just imagine my odd socks saying that as I'm furiously searching for them in great anger...

I just can't even stop myself from vividly imagining things that could possibly (but are very unlikely to) happen to Riley while he's in India on this missions trip.
Why can't I just trust God? "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5
My own understanding right now is getting the best of me and it's not very fun.

I just feel my motherly instincts kicking in and it's kind of amusing. I'm going to be a basket case when I actually have kids and they go off and be reckless... Oh motherhood...


mmm joy comes in the morning

What is it about the morning that is so incredibly enchanting?

I'm not talking about that groggy-and-half-asleep-roll-over-to-hit-the-snooze-button feeling. Negative. The snooze-button people: We hit snooze until the very last minute (I've had days where I hit it for almost an hour), only to have to rush to get ready for our day, and the entire time we're getting ready we're usually thinking "I really don't want to go to work today. Can't I just sleep... all day?"
Someone please tell me you know what I'm talking about.
It's not like I'm a total pessimist - I can usually take a pretty good outlook on my day regardless of the responsibilities I have that I'd really rather just bluff on. I don't walk around hating life because I had to get out of bed.

But I think that we, as the snooze-button people, are missing out on something. Growing up, I was always so baffled by my mom's commitment to waking way before Lesley and I for, get this - quiet time. I can't imagine forcing myself out of bed for something like quiet time. I tend to only be able to get up before the sun when it's imperative. But how rewarding it is when we do.

It's that time of the day where there is just a stillness. No hustle and bustle, no obligations -the time of the day dedicated just to meditating, thinking, pondering, reflecting.... This morning I had that "imperative" motivation to wake up at 5 - to catch the 8:30 ferry to Nanaimo for Riley's fam-jam. And following, I had 4 hours of travel to do all those things my mom does every single morning. And I realized how amazing it would be if I could get myself up every day... just for me time.

I don't know what it is about the morning. If it's the way the rising sun looks striking your window, the hush of the world around you, or the fact that you have a new beginning. There is a verse in Lamentations that says "Great is Your faithfulness. Your mercies begin afresh each day" (3:23) and I love that so much. The morning is a time of peace but it's also a time of hope. It's probably a combination of both that make it such a romantic time of day between Him and I. Could that feeling I have right now motivate me to get up a few hours earlier every day? I'm thinking no. But it would be nice, wouldn't it?


summer '10 & i

"Someday you're gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You'll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing..."
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I've changed a lot so this is going to be a bit of a big one. Forgive me for having an appetite for blogging like my appetite for food - all in big waves.

I've definitely changed in a few dramatic ways since I first moved here, cinco de mayo, May 5th, only three sweet days after my graduation. It was the first time actually moving for any significant amount of time and I think the worst mistake I made was thinking I knew exactly what to expect. Note to self, when life throws change in your face, expect nothing.

More than anything else I've learned about my need, as Rena Murray, to
stop... breathe... absorb... reflect.... My life, as of late, has been consumed by one man in particular who has a knack for stealing my heart on a daily basis and ironically enough, my number one goal when moving here was to not let my life revolve around him. FAIL. Unfortunately, we as humans tend to cling to the closest tangible thing - and it's exceedingly harder to refrain from doing that when that thing just also happens to be the one you admire the most.

But admiration can be costly. Admidst my heart falling more and more in love with Riley every day that I live here, I am in the process of gaining one of those really valuable lessons that a small-town-girl-with-everything-she-needs-and-wants-in-the-palm-of-her-hand doesn't exactly experience: that at the end of the day, only I can make a change, only I can determine my happiness, and only God can help me. My tendency to put men in my life on a pedestal like they are somehow going to save me has costed me the gift of falling in love with myself and the one who created me. Work in progress me is somehow trying to put those pieces back together, become my own best friend, and meditate on the promise that God works from the inside out.

I've changed.
I'm pretty much like Antigonish's winter weather. I change a lot. I adapt quite quickly to my environments and this beautiful city has also changed me in a few, less insane, ways.

Public transportation has changed me - my worst enemy/best friend. While I have the luxury of the most incredible landlords, an amazing roommate, and a quaint and perfectly humble basement apartment, I am tortured with the fact that my school and the city is an hour away (okay give or take 15 minutes, I'm not exaggerating here). Um... this... can be a total bummer. Especially for the girl who has spent her life within walking distance to everything she needed. With this change in my environment, my organization skills have been increased significantly.

These skills have also increased with my job as A BRAND AMBASSADOR. You wanna know what a brand ambassador is? Ha. Not gunna tells yah - you can figure that out on your own ya weasels. But lets just say it put me in my place and taught me great deal about being pro-active in my job, and being my own boss.

My job as a brand ambassador also changed me to become a little more bitchy. Cheah - the good kind. I deal with a lot of greasy people with a lot of ridiculous, rude, and insulting things to say, and I've quickly learn how to have more of a back bone, and stick up for myself. And... believe it or not ex-boyfriends who all told me I am naive... I even have more of a guard up with guys who are being "friendly." You can take that to the bank.

OH! On that note, I've also gained a really refined taste for food when fine-dining. East coast is hilariously different than West when comparing fine dining. In Nova Scotia you got your fast food, your pub food, and then your snobby-people-food spending no less than $25 a plate half the size of my fist. There is a whole new world of fine dining here and I am semi turning into a snob when it comes to ordering. I.e.: "Yeah I would like to order the salmon burger but I'm wondering what kind of bun does that come on and how well is the salmon cooked? Can I order that please with no top bun, tartar sauce on the side... oh! and a lemon wedge too if you can! I'll have that with the greens but can I have the dressing and cheese on the side please?"
Heeee... Okay maybe slight exaggeration but I'm inching that way. This is crossing the border between having balls and being a total douche bag so I'm going to want to tone that one down.

I've learned how to be alone. In fact, August has marked the point in my summer where things started happening and I began to have a social life (Holly moving in, Lesley moving here, the Trifecta reunion etc) and today is the first day this month I've woken up in an empty house and I actually MISSED IT! In a busy city, being alone is a beautiful and, as I'm realizing, rare thing. On that note, I've also had a total epiphany that I am going to retreat alone as soon as I get my next chance. Maybe for a week... maybe a month... I'm thinking South East Asia.

Oh and Mom, you will love this one. I've started becoming a neat-freak. I think I'm actually becoming you in terms of house-cleaning habits. Going from living with 4 other girls in a two story house, to living alone and then with one other very clean roommate has somehow evoked in me this need to have things spotless at all times. Not sure. Maybe it's just me coming more into "adulthood."

Can I stop here? I don't not mean to be abrupt like... I have to get up and pee kinda thing but... I'm sure I'm totally boring you if you've even read this far (the 3 followers I have, your faithfulness to my inconsistent blogging makes me smile).

Last night, I read in my new book, So Long, Insecurity the fact that insecurity goes hand-in-hand with that all-or-nothing disposition in some people- that doing something just good, as opposed to great, isn't really worth doing. This disposition is very strong in me hence my tendency not to exercise unless I'm investing in becoming a real athlete. Through this book (credit to Beth Moore, the author - LOVE HER) I am learning that I need to be okay with being PAR sometimes. It's like I don't wanna blog unless I have something life-changing to say. Really, Rena? Get over yourself and write about how you went to Ki-Sushi and ordered a Dynamite roll with spicy sauce. As if you're really that incredible in the first place.

So yeah, I'm going to be a non-degree student this year at SFU (ouch this one hurts), I am going to take up snowboarding and ROYALLY suck at it, I'm going to exercise in vain, knowing full well it probably will never make me into an athlete, and I'm going to write crap blogs like this one, conclude them even more poorly, and post them.

Eff you perfectionism.



"a size zero?! what is a size zero? i don't know to me that means you don't exist"
- Richard from beauty and the geek ... [kills me]


SING: not because you love the song - because you love to sing.

So I think I have a possible temporary explanation for some of this floundering I've been experiencing the last little while of my life (I'd say probably, it's been a year and a half that I've been a complete free-bird, but because I once was, I know it's my predisposition). It's not that I haven't been generally happy, but I know I've been missing that little sparkle that, at one point, glimmered even when things in life appeared to be the dullest of gray's.
I know a lot of it is that my relationship with God has basically been non-existent since I ignorantly decided that life is possible without him (once aquatinted with God, this is not possible nor is it worth living. just as a side note) an intimacy with the creator is what brings blissful joy beyond measure and comprehension and I know this is true. But as I am in the process of aligning my heart with his, I am realizing my most incredible moments with Him, and therefore with life itself, were the ones where I was expressing my love/joy/peace/bliss/you-name-it-good-vibes through song.
I don't even have to be in the middle of a crowded room with all eye's on me. It's not about performing, it's about expression. It's wild what a little tune and lyric will do for my heart.
Growing up, I always had an outlet for this. Ten years of classical vocal training, being forced into competitions and festivals, leading worship in my teens, and hanging out with musicians from my church 24/7, always gave me the push I needed to do that which I did not even know at the time to be my deepest desire. That same desire is crying for life inside of me as I haven't been as forced into it. When my business partner with Mosaic, Nicole, asked me if I've been trying to get involved and start singing, I realized I really haven't - not in the least. I only did it when it was almost hard not to. It suddenly occurred to me that if I want to have joy, I need to actively surround myself with the things that bring me joy - even if I have to go out of my way, isn't it necessary? In the same way, if I want to make friends, I can't just sit on my ass and wait for the grass to grow underneath it. I have to make an effort. This may mean bringing people sweets, inviting them over for a BBQ, and really making time in my schedule where I can just chill and develop friendships with others.
I was recently selected to be in Earl's next issue of code modeling the latest fashion dress codes for BP's. Today as I stood in the middle of a bare, white-walled and unfamiliar studio with ten eyes and a camera flashing on me, I could not have felt more out of my comfort zone. Not that it wasn't fun getting my hair and make-up done by professional fashion artists, but just how new it was to me, I was freightened. I just started singing. Haha not sure if anyone knew why or if they even thought it was a good idea. But I just had to. It all of a sudden made me feel so comfortable again.
This should be as important to me as breathing. Copeland put it nicely :)


throw me a life-line.

at this point in my life, definitely learning how important it is for me to artistically express myself. i realized this the other day when lyrics suddenly started coming into my heart and i had absolutely no way of expressing them due to a lack of instruments right now in my life. sad day.
note to self: along with pug-fund, espresso-machine-fund, and travel-fund, i am now adding a keyboard-fund... it's too bad that joy costs money :)
with that said, i have no idea what topic i am blogging today. i just know that i have about a billion blogs in me right now waiting to POP out of me like a new born baby. i wrote this in my journal one day and it truly was a revelation to myself as i wrote:
"i am afraid to be alone in my own head - i hate it. so i speak to get it all out in hopes that someone will understand" (19/06/10). and how true that is hence why i've always gotten myself into trouble by speaking without thinking. i'm sure it would be in my best interest to begin exploiting my heart for all of the cyber world to see... :). i'll admit, last summer when i started this blog, i did go into it with the intention of just keeping people generally updated on my life as i traveled the golden coast of America. now, i begin to regularly blog (i commit. hold me to it.) in the general interest of my mental health. i don't care if you don't read. it's just the idea.

before i moved here i thought i was an alone-kind-of-person. even my roomies at 23 court (YEAHHH SHOUT-OUT TO ALL MY ROOMIES I LOVE AND MISS YOU) can attest that i was sometimes kind of a little social isolate closing my door and often times, staying in my room for quiet and aloneness. i was never afraid to be alone but since moving here i realized that was probably because i always had the option not to be.
now that i truly know what it feels like to be alone (okay minus having my boyfriend but just so you know, he's about a 45 minute commute away) with only a dozen pseudo friends in my phone contact whom of which i would need to be the one to initiate any outings, it's not so great. but being alone is teaching me something really amazing.

it's funny. before i ventured here, i felt like i was trying to fill my god-shaped void with partying and thought if i cut partying out of my life, i would be truly dependent on god (my ultimate goal - if you don't understand, just try him and you'll know what i mean) but there are still so many things in my world that i continue to cling to. tangible things i can be gratified with in the moment. i never even realized it until god stripped me of all the big things.
i just get this picture in my head of me in the middle of the ocean on a huge ship. the huge ship starts to sink so i get into a back-up smaller boat. that boat starts to sink so i get into an inflatable raft. i keep doing this until all i have left is a pair of water wings, and as those begin to break, i keep desperately stretching and reaching for anything in my sight that may be able to keep me afloat. and even as i reach for the crappiest floatation's, i realize my own stupidity in that if i just stop for 3 seconds, i will stay afloat with nothing but faith and my act of believing.

when i'm scraping by with money, my looks begin to fade, i am socially alone, and my successes all seem like a vague memory, i realize what it means to be dependent on god. but isn't it hard to surrender your independence when there are so many things that make you feel so independent? so secure?

thank God that he takes away every once in a while in our lives, so rather than for forever just ho-humming along thinking we're pretty golden, we can actually realize that all of our floatations sink, break, and totally suck. it's nice to know that the one that never will, is actually free of purchase and will keep you afloat right where you are.


yaletown earls

Hey! So I got a job. Yeah... a real job. One where you show up at a certain time and leave 6 hours later and then you do the same thing for the next 4 days and then you get a thing called a pay cheque and it actually pays your bills. Not one of those pretend jobs where you get to sleep in a bunk bed, dress up, play games, and act silly all day, and eat your [really awesome] meals with 500 other people; and not one of those pretend jobs where you forget you're even working because your manager decided that he doesn't like white people and only gives you one shift a week.
I work as a server at Earls. Last week consisted of really intense training with 7 other people. This training was like... classroom learning and role-playing practice. On the first day, we had to actually know every food on the menu like the back of our hand. The rest of the week we spent actually tasting the food [cue mouth watering] and drinks and learned how to speak to the customers guests, make their experience memorable, and maximize profits as well as learned how to use the micros system.
It's a really great job. I went into it with preconceived idea about the people I would be working with (if you live on west coast, the term "earls girl" is something you're probably familiar with and for those of you who aren't... it is not a good thing).
I learned throughout the week that Earls actually really cares about the quality of the food and the quality of the guests experience. I could begin to tell you how but I guess I'll just sum it up by saying it does exceed my expectation and I'm happy to be working for a company like Earls. It's got a lot of fascinating history and ways of outshining other restaurants like it.
Training was hard and I realized how much of a baby I am! I haven't felt like such a small town naive girl clearly lacking street experience until this training week when I realized I didn't know the difference between a "well" and "premium" liquor. It blew me away though, how much my co-workers and trainer cared for me through it, encouraged me, and became my friend. It's weird to say but the people I went through training with have probably become the closest friends I have out here and I feel like I am where I'm meant to be.
Basically to sum up this scrammbled jumbled blog entry is to say that I went into this job looking for a pay check. I came out of it with a handful of friends and a heartful of love. I'm looking forward to all the experiences that will come with this job - knowing full well there will be both good and bad - and, I can truly say that as far as I know, for Yaletown Earls, the rumors are not entirely true. There are a lot of good people in the business.
Boycot "Earls-girl" and enjoy your Fresh, never frozen salmon cooked on a cedar plank!


the past 4 years

I wish I had done differently:

- I bought t-shirts too small
- I moved out before I was ready
- I made down payments for TWO trips I didn't end up going on
- I didn't perform (sing) enough
- I had too many crushes
- I didn't go on enough coffee dates
- I didn't show enough love to some people who deserved it
- I put too much pressure on myself
- I spent too much time on facebook
- I didn't spend any time in the snow... devastating
- I didn't try hard enough to find a job summer '09
- I became complacent, lazy, stopped running up the never-ending downward escalator, and only realized when it was already too late.

Things I'm glad I did
- I worked on my fitness
- I bought a MacBook
- I bought an external hard-drive
- I cut back on tanning
- I found myself a keeper
- I cried a lot
- I went to mom with life's problems
- I didn't take school too seriously
- I discovered avocados
- I found my soul mates
- I traveled to California for a summer
- I saw New Zealand
- I saw Vegas
- I traveled east coast USA
- I was a camp counselor... twice
- I got a job at a fast food joint
- I discovered my love for journaling, fashion, and blogs
- And my dislike for indoor Christmas lights, morning exercise and evening school-work
- I rediscovered the undeniable need for God in my life.



Same blog. New era. I really didn't even want to try and write an opening entry to my life in B.C.. Firstly because I am still definitely in denial.

Second because I'm not just one emotion... I'm like a million... at least. So how do I write this blog? I guess I'll make it short and sweet and say, this feels so right.

I have no idea what the summer holds, in fact, the day I got here I found out I am not even going to Calgary (which, by the way, has been the plan for about 3 months now). I actually breathed a long sigh of relief when Riley told me his parents aren't even moving there until July. Since I'm already paying rent for July and August here in B.C., why no throw June in there, get a job, and make a summer out of it?

Oh, one thing I do not get is how all of Riley's friends say "mode" after everything. "Beer-Mode!" ... "Race-mode" etc. Not sure if I'll join the mode club but I guess I'll end my blog with a try:

I'm in Vancouver Modeeeeee.


Every Kiss

Every kiss should be kissed
as if it is your first,
and your last.From the movie Leap Year. Not many words, but good ones. :)