Tag Archives: work

choice signs

The Life I Chose: Thoughts On Manifesting Destiny

I should feel guilty about being a loser and staying inside on a sunny day like today, but I don’t.

I should want to go out and soak in this amazing world, feel gratitude for living here right now, but I don’t.

Instead, I’m 100% tired, dreading my Monday, and knowing that I’ve got to Make It All Happen for another five days. It’s the same feeling I’ve had just about every Sunday night since January, 2013.

Fact is, I’m two years and four months into “working overtime.” When I started this whole journey of Working More, it wasn’t with a dream of seeing the world. Hell, I didn’t even know if I could get enough scratch together to live abroad for a year. All I knew was, I needed to claw out of my unending financial desperation so I could finally do things others took for granted, like maybe get some takeout dinner and buy a $15 wine instead of $9.

But back then, I thought I’d be working so hard so long to get what I want that I’d have to move abroad just so I could pay down my debt. Somehow, I kept finding new gears. I kept working more, finding different clients, trying out different writing jobs.

I valued myself more, I charged more, I earned more, I paid down more.

When the first two weren’t getting me anywhere, I finally doubled down on the third.

Faking It Like a Pro

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking more about Anywhere But Here. What would living abroad mean? How could I do it? What model of nomadic life might be the right fit for me?

Next, I became a classic case of Fake It Till You Make It. In fact, I’ve developed a superhero power for my ability to, no matter what the conversation is about, mention in the first three minutes that I’m on the verge of “selling everything and travelling the world for five years.”

One could easily assume I’m just being a braggart and a jerk, but in reality, I’m still so much in disbelief that THIS is what I’m doing that I’m telling everyone in an attempt to make it more real for me. Sometimes it even works and I believe I’m that girl. I try to tell someone new every day or two.

It’s weird that I can undertake such a massive life-change while being completely unable to tell you when I actually decided to DO IT. The idea just kept evolving.

The more I learned about long-term travel, the more empowered I felt that I, too, could be a nomad. The more I learned about the stuff I owned and the unavoidable emotional pull it all has, the more I started to think minimalism and Owning Nothing might be the best crash-course of psychic healing I could ever get. The more I learned, the less I felt like it was a life for Other People.

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Eventually, I decided I was brave enough to say I, Too, Will Travel Like Them. Eventually I thought I was exactly that kind of person, even though I spent my life thinking I wasn’t. So I told other people this was my audacious plan.

Then a funny thing occurred when I started to think about what it would take to do what I’d need to travel: I just started to make it happen.

It’s like I wrote for my friends on Facebook this past week:

“It’s real weird when you say, “Self, this is what I need. Now go get it,” and then, like, you DO. You go get it!

Sometimes life is all about making choices. Nobody said what comes after those choices is EASY.

The choice is the easiest part.

But you just gotta choose to pay that price. Then, poof. Sometimes magic happens.”

Every time I’ve gotten more specific about what I need to make happen in order to Leave On A Jet Plane, I’ve gotten exactly what I outlined. Is it just a matter of knowing what’s needed then pursuing it? It is some mystical law-of-attraction aka “The Secret” thing?

Meh, I don’t care, I don’t need to know. It’s kind of like writing. I don’t need to understand what different clauses and phrases are called — all I need to know is how to get it done.

And hey, I’m getting it done.

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All The Drops Count

With 13 weeks left in Canada, it’s amazing how everything is coming together in the final weeks. Financially, organizationally — it’s all coming together better than I could’ve hoped. So much so that the prospect of leaving the country 100% debt-free is a growing likelihood rather than the faint hope I pegged it as just three months ago.

Leaving debt-free was never part of the dream. It wasn’t. I’d have scoffed if anyone suggested it could be done.

That was then. Now, I’m a believer.

And here’s the thing: If I hadn’t been antisocial and a workaholic, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in. I wouldn’t be leaving in October. I’d have more debt. I’d be less tired, but also unhappier, more worried.

Somehow, all the times I’ve worked longer and gotten takeout instead, every time I’ve turned down plans and rested after a six-day week, each time I spurned the great outdoors in favour of recharging mentally so I can write more — it all conspired to get me right here, right now.

I cannot tell you how important every single drop of water in that bucket is. I kid you not when I say it looks like it will literally come down to the week I leave that I pay my debts off in full.

It will be one of those written-by-the-cosmos storybook endings to about 12 years of struggle — but the last five years had me clawing my way out.  It will all culminate with me handing in my housekeys on my 42nd birthday, and within a week, likely becoming debt-free as I leave to travel the world for five years. I couldn’t have written it better.

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For many, this is true. But I have had depression and I know that is not a “choice.”

Mastering Fate

It’s like the poem “Invictus” says: I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.

There are days when I think I will regret not being Little Miss Outdoorsy more while I’ve been in Victoria, but then I realize that this place has been exactly what I needed it to be: The place where I fell in love with writing again, rediscovered photography, learned how to deal with my back, and where I finally fixed my finances.

Those were the goals I set for moving to Victoria, and I gave myself five years to accomplish them.

I will be leaving 3 years, 6 months, and 29 days after that clock started ticking, and with a “100% done” stamp on those four goals.

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All I Did Was Choose, Then Keep Choosing

It’s nothing amazing, what I’ve accomplished or set out to do. All I did was make a choice and never stopped being aware that everything I was doing — all the extra work, all the long hours, all the tired days, all the weekends I opted out of — was a choice. It wasn’t punishment or suffering, it was opportunity to take what I wanted. I wasn’t allowed to whine about overwork, because A.) I made a choice and B.) the universe gave me the opportunities I needed in order to make that choice real.

Making a choice is the easiest thing you’ll ever do. The trick is never letting yourself forget that you CHOSE it, and always being willing to pay for it.

Don’t like your life? No one says it’ll be easy to change it. Other people might have it easier than you — God knows folks had it easier than me (and still more have it harder) — but either that holds you back or gets you angry so you move past it.

It’s all still just a choice.

Like me, staying inside today, sleeping until 10, cleaning my apartment, and just being still. You pick your battles and you go where the struggle takes you. That’s what choices are all about.


I’m travelling the world for five years, starting on October 5th. Follow along with my travel blog, The Full Nomad, as those plans come to life.

YO, WHAT IT IS, PEOPLE! (Filler Worth Eatin’)

I’m doing a lot of writing for work right now. Writing for work, to find work. Other work.

Writing for the soul? Not so much.

It’s too bad, too, because Spring is when one ought to be writing for the soul. Given it SNOWED last Thursday, perhaps Nature has had a hand in the Soul-Squelch Factor. Cherry blossoms be damned.

So, you know, soul-squelch aside and all, I thought I’d pop in with a warm-and-fuzzy “Yo, what it is, people” journalling post and see where that gets us.

It’s a difficult Spring for me. A lot is going on. But I’m also kind of kicking adversity’s ass as it continues trying to suppress me. Emphasis on it “trying.” Because I am Ass-Kicker Girl, and I am getting it done.

Back injury rehab is stupid, but somewhere on the other side of this town, a good man in his early 40s is nearing the end of his life, and I’m reminded that life is not always easy, but always worth fighting for, and some of our “struggles” can be important reminders of what we’ve not been valuing. How much I’ve realized that of late, I can’t tell you. Thank you, Derek.

There’s a lot going on beneath my skin these days, simmering-thought-wise. Just… so much to wrap my head around. Where I’m going, what I’m doing. Pretty pleased with all of it, scared too. A lot of choices on priorities have to be made, and it ain’t gonna be simple to get there from here.

If anyone gets there from here, though, it’s me. I’m all about journey-making… just forgot to get on the road for a while.

People forget that life is like driving — you can’t just be watching the car ahead of you, you gotta be watching the car ahead of the car. That’s where success is: foresight, anticipation. I’m working on that, and it doesn’t make for intelligent status updates, tweets, or emails.

Speculation sounds ass-hatty because so much of what we actually undertake and accomplish is bump-in-the-night. Or, should be. If you’re too married to the mapped journey, it really limits the ability to improvise with unexpected opportunity and divergent paths.

Going hands-free, unmapped the whole way ain’t so bright either. Can be amazing if you’ve the balls, luck, and creativity to make it happen, like someone else I know. Balancing a mix of planning and improv, that’s a tricky deal, but I think I’m starting to get it done.

Doing what I gots to do, I’ll tell ya ’bout it when it’s all said and done. Weeks? Months? Whatever, baby.

Yes. WorkWorkWork. Weeks, months. God knows I hope it’s weeks before the future reveals itself. Months, whew.

I’m tired of having nearly no time for people. I have to be rehabbing, recharging, that sort of thing. I need to do the self-employed looking-for-work stuff, working the work I’ve got, and juggling the rest. I watch TV to shut the brain down in between. I need the dumb-ass recharging provided by network television today. People enter the scene sparingly, and not many of ’em.

It’s a tricky balance the best of times, working/rehabbing/finding more work, but it’s one of those times I know I’ll get to the end of it and feel really damned self-satisfied, since I’m the one putting this tired ass to bed every night and I know what it’s taking.

In the meantime, it’s so isolated and repetitive.

GoGoGoGoGo, STOP, Rinse, Repeat. GoGoGoGoGo, STOP, Rinse, Repeat.

Fuck, man. I tell you.

You know who’s got it going on? Cats.

We call cats stupid, but that’s just what they want us to think. We say, “Oh, stupid cat, just lying in the sunbeam, batting a little ball around. Lazy thing.”

Cat’s lying there, thinking, “Yeah. Stupid. Uh-huh. Look who feeds me, washes me, pays for my medical, and works 40 hours a week to get it done. Oh, look — the sunbeam moved. I’ll just wriggle to my left. Drive safe, schmuck. Seeya in 10 hours. Bring me some bacon.”

When I die, I want to come back as a cat. A long-hair, just to really fuck with my owner.

But, for now, I’m the hamster on the wheel. Thank god I don’t have a cat, might just find myself eaten one of these days.

Summer’s here, though. Or, almost. I still have slippers on. Naked warm feet, THAT’s summer. The sunlight and slow-warming trend is a welcome battery recharge and brain-jumpstarter of late.

Meanwhile, I know what I want: To be a cat basking in a summer sunbeam.

Or, you know, [mumblemumble_TellYaLater_mumblemumble].

For now, I’m a gimpy girl hoppin’ on a bike before a busy day ahead.

Have a good one, minions. Stab ’em with your plastic forks if they give you a hard time.

Time Travel Needed. And One Flux Capacitor.

Once again, I find myself exhausted.

This “one day off a week” thing was a novel notion, but a big fail. The reality is, I’m supposed to be working out 1.5 hours A DAY (six days a week) and I tack that on an 8.5 hour day, nothing else gets done. Or at least not when you’re still rehabbing and energy’s a tough find some days. Continue reading

Quickie: Trouble at the Whorehouse

Oh, minions, minions… what cruel beast has wreaked the wrath of morning upon me? Why must work loom?

WRONG. That’s what working for a living is. Wrong. One of these days the spirit in the sky’s gonna get the memo where I asked for a stretch of private beach in Bali with a cute pool boy playing lapdog and bringing me drink after drink and newspapers. Working for a living is so uncouth. I’d be so good at a life of slack.

But at least I not only have a job, but a cushy, easy job of watching television. The good thing about recessions is, you can always count on people eating, and watching television. So my job’s secure.

Which is not really what you can say to some of the fine women plying the world’s oldest profession down in the great state of Nevada.

Sadly, the Nevada Brothel Owner’s Association is admitting they’ve been hurt something awful by the new economy and the crippling gas prices. Even truckers just can’t find the coin to get shagged roadside anymore.

Times they are a-changin’, friends. The brothels, of course, are thinking outside the sex-filled box, and coming up with creative ways to jog their businesses. According to CNN:

Under a promotion under way at the Moonlite BunnyRanch near Carson City, the first 100 customers who arrive with government stimulus checks receive twice the services for the same regular price.”We’re calling it double your stimulus,” said BunnyRanch owner Dennis Hof. “The brothel industry is having to get more creative just like all consumer products in America. Everybody has got to deal, and we’re doing the same thing.”

Twice the services, hey? Very nice. But strangely out of keeping with a government cheque.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Tomorrow, I’ll feed you something new. Come back then.

And then there was none.

Work looms ominously on the morrow as my holiday comes to a close. I could have achieved a lot more than I did this week.

I didn’t set goals. I didn’t want goals. This year is about achievement, but this week wasn’t. This week was about pausing and just pushing everyone far, far away from me. Sleep, some writing, a lot of “just being” and very, very little else.

Every time I started feeling guilty about the vast nothingness that was my week, I reminded myself, “Monday, it’s on.” I could stop completely all week long, but come workday, ain’t no pause to be pushed.

And tomorrow’s Monday. As much as part of me dreads it, because I’m educated enough to know what I’m in for now, the bigger part of me is looking forward to proving more to myself.

Today’s the antithesis to my week because I’m getting so much done. I’m tackling paperwork I’ve avoided for about eight or nine months, sorting it out. In so doing, I’m getting this pretty good snapshot of where I was last September and where I’m at now, and I finally feel like there’s progress in every area of my life. I’ve also come to accept that this struggle will probably continue for the better part of the next year, and I won’t really start to reach where I wanna be until late next year, even if I continue with all the progress I’m making.

But that’s all right with me. I want my goals to be met in a steady, digestible fashion. I don’t want everything to pan out overnight. It’s impossible to grow that quickly on a constant basis. Growth spurts happen, sure, but they’re called spurts for a reason.

I’m really glad I gave myself this chance to just pull away from everything. I’ve needed a big break like this for a long time. I’m glad I was broke for it, too. Money can be a distraction when we need anything but, at times. Sometimes space is the most precious commodity in the world. Time always is.

Hey, it’s a fantastic day. A fine finish for my holiday. A reckoning of “from whence we came” and an acknowledging of how far to go. Speaking of distances to go, I have some miles ahead before my night comes to a close. Back to the grind for this lowly scribe-type gal.