Satisfaction (not) Guaranteed

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WANT NOTHING + DO ANYTHING = HAVE EVERYTHING

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m currently reading The Happiness Equation. I’m trying to figure out how to be happy every single day. First things first – I am NOT unhappy. I am very happy. I have a good family, a wonderful husband, and a steady job. However, there are many mornings where I wake up feeling dissatisfied, where I want more, where my current job, phone, or writing is just not enough.

According to The Happiness Equation, I’m not the only one. We’ve gone from a society who was happy with what they had to a society that is always reaching for more. For society as a whole this is amazing! It’s progress! It’s evolution! It’s change! It’s technology! But as individuals, is it good to always want more? How draining is it to always feel unsatisfied?

When I got my iPhone 5SE I was in love but as soon as the 7 came come, my phone just wasn’t enough. When I self-published my first book I was completely content until 3 seconds after my book launch. That very evening I wanted to write another book but get it published by an actual publishing company this time. When I worked at Caruso’s all I wanted was a full time job and a proper paycheck. Now that I have one, I yearn to make more money, to move up, to move on.

We have a coffee, we want a second cup.

We have sex, we want to do it again.

We achieve a goal, we want to make a new one.

I am all for self-improvement, for growth, for becoming a better person, for pursuing your passions. But shouldn’t that moment of happiness, of contentment, of pride, last a little longer? Shouldn’t we relish in those feelings before we dismiss them and move on?

Yours,

Vanessa xo

Being a Badass

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We are 14 days into the new year and I am 100% focussed on making 2017 work for me. In 2018 I’ll have a mortgage, I will be out of my parents’ basement, and I will finally begin a life with my husband – just the two of us. So 2017 is seemingly one of the last years I will be able to take risks without having to worry so much about monetary obligations.

For the sake of being proactive I purchased a copy of Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass – how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life. I’ve never purchased a self-help book but I had a feeling it’s just what I needed to push me over the edge toward change and a more meaningful life.

So far I’ve learned that change cannot manifest itself without a positive attitude, gratitude, and hard work. Change begins with your own thoughts. I don’t know about you but my head is a messy place. Contrary to my OCD tendencies, my mind is an unorganized, cluttered, dusty, spiderweb-filled lair full of insecurities and self-doubt. To combat this I’ve started writing down affirmations, dreams, lists, goals, and desires. Whenever I sense a bad thought forming I think of my I want to list.

I want:

  • to travel this year with my husband
  • to write more and join a writing workshop (STARTWRITING.CA)
  • to attend events about books, culture, and art
  • to exude confidence
  • to have more experiences in the city (and get over my fear of driving down there. WHY IS EVERYONE SO MEAN AND CRAZY ON THE ROADS?)
  • to inspire people with my words

I also mumble a little pep talk to really get myself pumped. It’s something like that line from The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important”. This way of thinking is contagious. Suddenly your thoughts become more positive than they’ve ever been. You can’t stop thinking about good stuff. Positivity breeds positivity and before you know it, you have an eerie kind of control over your mind. You let in the light and you nearly forget how stifling it was in the dark.

Let me get something clear here: I’m not sitting back and hoping for miracles. I am getting myself more in tune with what I want and what I know I can achieve. I’m throwing positivity out there in the hope that it will build steam and allow me to do something different. I’m asking the universe for help.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The Alchemist

Positively yours,

Vanessa xo

Three Books to Read this Fall

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Although sitting on the dock in the warm summer sunshine with a fancy cocktail in hand is a great way to enjoy any book; I prefer reading in the Fall. Sitting by the window with a view of the red, orange, and yellow leaves, a book propped up on the fuzzy blanket covering my legs, an a warm cup of coffee in my hand is absolute perfection.

I must admit that I have been reading a lot less than usual. I find that the same books is in my tote bag for months at a time, whereas in previous years there would be a new book every week and a half. I’ve read so slowly that even my fiancé has noticed, You’re STILL reading that book? he’ll ask. I’ll lower my head in defeat and remark I blame the wedding planning. Either way, I’ve found some wonderful books that I think you all would enjoy!

Year of YES by Shonda Rhimes – After feeling a bit down and out-of-sorts I ordered the Year of Yes in the hope that it would inspire me to get my ass in gear. Shonda Rhimes tells it like it is. She doesn’t sugarcoat her own shortcomings and reminds her reader that we’re all human, we all have quirks, and we all get scared. Although she lives a very wonderful life (she’s the creative and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal. Plus the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and The Catch). She is a TV writer who gets many invitations to swanky parties, TV appearances, and loads of talks. One Thanksgiving while complaining about another invitation to an event that she turned down, her sister told her 6 words that would ultimately change her life You never say yes to anything. 

Year of Yes follows Shonda’s most difficult challenge – to say yes to everything. To say yes to all of the interviews, events, parties, travel opportunities, speeches etc. Her journey is an incredible one filled with honesty and an anxiety I can relate to. As a writer Shonda prefers to be out of the spotlight and whenever the spotlight hits her there is a lot of sweat, heart palpitations and tears. I COMPLETELY understand this. But it isn’t her anxiety that I learned the most from, it is a line from the commencement speech she gave at Dartmouth University: LESSON ONE: DITCH THE DREAM. BE A DOER. NOT A DREAMER. 

I once considered myself a dreamer but I now know that I’d rather be a doer. I can dream my whole life away and not work to get what I want. The key is to begin, to keep moving, to strive. To be a successful person you have to put in the work.

Thank you Shonda, thank you.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue – I bought this novel on a whim at Wal-Mart because I had seen it all over social media. I wasn’t convinced that a novel about a girl who hadn’t eaten for 4 months and believed that she was surviving off of manna from heaven would be the kind of book I’d be into. Was I ever wrong! Suspense, mystery, love, a surprise around every corner – this novel had my mind going a mile a minute.

The Fate of Tearling by  Erika Johansen – A few years ago I received a copy of The Queen of Tearling from HarperCollins Canada. I immediately fell in love with the story, the characters, and Erika Johansen’s writing. Last month I read the second instalment (The Invasion of Tearling) and was immediately transported back to Tearling with a bit on sentimentality in my heart. The Fate of Tearling is the final novel in the trilogy and although it had been a few years since I read the first one and a months since the second, I was able to pick up exactly where the story had left off. There’s just as much corruption, magic, and mystery as the first two books but there is also a whole lot of explanation. Questions are answered, fates revealed, and boundaries crossed. I would recommend reading the entire trilogy – you won’t regret it! **This book hits shelves November 29, 2016**

Which books are you looking forward to this season?

Bookwormingly yours,

Vanessa xo