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

Hope for a New Year

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2016 was not a bad year; I got married, I became slightly more aware of who I am and who I don’t want to be, I witnessed moments where people exposed their true colours and even exposed some of my own. 2016 was a good year and yet, I am insecure, incomplete, and slightly nauseated.

2016 was exhausting. 

I was busy, so incredibly busy doing nothing. Work was insane (which is good because when they’re busy that means my position is secure), every weekend was a different family or friendly function, and anxiety loomed around every corner. After 365 days of living I don’t feel particularly different one way or another. I have become more vocal, especially about things I don’t care about, but 2016 was rather consistent.

I hope to put 2016 failures out of my mind and look to new people, places, and websites (like Be the Next Her) for inspiration. My hope for 2017 is that 365 days from now I will feel different. I will have made changes, taken risks, inspired someone, or accomplished something.

A good friend of mine told me that the universe is always listening all I have to do is ask for what I want and work hard in the meantime. 

Let’s do this universe. 

Hopefully yours,

Vanessa xo

Yo-yoing into the New Year

Last week I decided to try out my new year’s resolution a bit early; I logged out of Twitter and Instagram (I don’t have Snapchat or Facebook) and deleted the apps from my phone. I’m not sure what I thought would happen but I surely wasn’t expecting to feel so…bored. Yes, bored. I didn’t feel left out or anxious, I felt bored.

Hour after hour I looked at my phone and thought what is the point of this thing if I can’t log into Twitter or Instagram? Other than social media, banking, and music I very rarely use my phone. Yes, there’s the random iMessage or group chat and a few phone calls from my mother or husband but that’s it. My phone is a social media hub, without those apps I didn’t feel the need to keep my phone on me.

There were moments before bed or while lounging on the couch when I read. I sat there by the fire and while my dad flipped through channels I simply read (I just finished reading Sweetbitter and LOVED it). I didn’t look at my phone because there was nothing to look at. I read without interruption, with a delicious sense of calm. It was magical.

When it comes to family, work, and my husband, whenever I say I’m going to do something I do it. There is no yo-yoing or second guessing. I tend it get all bent out of shape over these menial things that don’t matter. These decisions I rush to make because I feel like I have to just do SOMETHING. It is always these decisions that give me instant regret.

There were moments during my social media detox where I truly missed my phone (#millenialprobs), where I wanted to see what was going on or share a thought or a photo. So I texted a friend to ask if I was completely horrible for not going through with my resolution even before the new year started. Could I take it back? Would I look stupid? What is this yo-yoing I’m doing?  I only lasted 19 hours without it!!!  What if I apply for jobs that require social media?  etc. etc. etc.

For over an hour my lovely friend, Alanna dazzled me with advice and honesty. She answered my every question, stunted my every concern, and helped me look at this (and many other) situations in a new light.

Oh don’t have regrets. They’re a waste of fucking time! You do what you think will work in the moment; you try new things. That’s great! You’re not a quitter. You’re an experimenter. You tried something. It doesn’t work for you – AND THAT’S OKAY.

So instead of making myself crazy or sulking into 2017 like an lost puppy; I’m going to own the fact that I decided not to pursue a resolution even before the new year started. Maybe this is the year where I don’t pretend to have a resolution that I won’t keep. Maybe 2017 is the year of real, raw, and not giving too many fucks about things that don’t matter.

Regretlessly yours,

Vanessa xo

Spare Change (finding a resolution)

Change is the essence of a new year and a new year is only a few weeks away! Bucket lists are written, dreams are dreamt, goals are carefully thought through, memories remembered (my best nine posts on Instagram for example), trips are planned, and resolutions are made with overachiever vigor. There are many things that changed in 2016; newlywed, new haircut (I love it and miss my long locks all the same), new goals, new book idea, new last name, new resume, new perspective. However, I think I am ready for more.

Do you happen to have any spare change? !

One resolution I always make but can’t seem to achieve is to get off of social media and make more (REAL) face time with my friends and family. I think now more than ever it’s important for me to say goodbye to Twitter and yes, Instagram too, and use my time live. To make more of an effort with the people in my life, to not feel obligated to keep up with a newsfeed or compare my life to others.

Believe it or not, there once was a time where I’d reach for my book in the morning before touching my phone. A time where I would write during commercials rather than scroll through Instagram for the thousandth time that day. A time when I didn’t feel pressure to keep up with the Kardashians anyone. I wouldn’t feel as though I was missing out on anything. I would love to go back to that. For those of you who legitimately want to stay in touch, you probably already have my cell number or email address so let’s hang out and explore the city together.

For 2017 I will have one resolution:

** Stay off of ALL social media accounts for one full year – this includes Twitter and my beloved Instagram (LinkedIn will be kept for work purposes). I will still blog because I am writer and that is where I get to share my work. However, you won’t see any new tweets, photos, likes, or posts from me from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 if all goes well. I’m going to be honest; I don’t know if I can do this. Thinking about not having these apps available on my phone gives me a wee-bit of anxiety but I will try. Maybe I don’t need to have them gone forever, maybe I just need a break.**

Newly yours,

Vanessa xo

 

 

 

Anxiety Update

What most people don’t tell you about anxiety is that even when you’re on medication it never fully disappears. It still lives within you, taking up space in your heart and your mind. It moves in and hibernates until something doesn’t go as planned, work is busy, or you get into a fight with your significant other. The medication tames it, it helps you sleep, it keeps your bowels regular (okay that’s just a weird side-effect that I didn’t mind), it calms you. It helped me get through a really draining year, it saved me.

As medication affects everyone differently, I must admit that there were a few things I did not like about it. The constant fatigue was one, the other was the numbing of my emotions.  I would feel happy but not quite so, I’d feel sad but the tears wouldn’t flow, I’d feel anxious but it didn’t overwhelm me, and a very large piece of me missed my overly emotional emotions. Words became stuck somewhere between my head and my heart and I had difficult time both writing and speaking my mind. If I couldn’t write (or write well) than was I really me?

There came a point just after our wedding when I misplaced my medication. Although I found it a few days later I decided not to take it anymore. I took the alarm off my phone and placed the pills in my cupboard. I decided that since I no longer had wedding planning harboring over me and I was finally (FINALLY) getting good at my day job, I would try to continue my life medication-free.

I’m not sure how long this will last but I am taking every moment and every stress-filled week one step at a time. I am taking all of the tools my friends, cousins, colleagues, and parents taught me and putting them to use.

It’s not so much about numbing my feelings, it’s about controlling my anxiety.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie ten Boom 

Semi-anxiously yours,

Vanessa xo 

My Breakfast with Fate

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Fate can come in different shapes and forms; it can be personified as a person, place, coincidence, accident, letter, email, or sign. I met Fate mid-Sunday morning at a new diner close to home. This version of Fate came in a 5 foot 2 bundle of confidence and happiness complete with gorgeous eyes and an open heart. I call her Alanna, mostly because that is her name but I digress.

Alanna and I have been friends since high school and after we meet up I always find myself a smidgen more confident and a boatload more inspired. As always, our conversation went from love and married life to work, family, and friends. We talked about adulting and everything that goes along with it. What struck me most about our conversation was how in the last few years we’ve changed dramatically. Thanks to our own circumstances, we’ve become more confident, happy, and untouched by the opinions of others. We went from caring about what people think about us to completely not giving a f*&$. There is an incredible freedom that comes with letting going of insecurities brought on by other.

Eventually our conversation veered to our creative pursuits, she is one half of Out of the Blue and I’m a writer.  She asked me how my writing is going and it’s definitely going – fingers crossed that the literary agent interested in my work gets back to me in 2017 with some good news. We started talking about another story that I’ve been itching to write. A story that has been right in front of me for years but I haven’t sat down to let it all out. It would be really cool to see both perspectives side-by-side.  I think you should write this book, Alanna said.

The more we discussed it the more I realized that I had to go for it…

Writerly yours,

Vanessa xo

Gilmore Girls Revival – Full Circle

Okay, let’s talk. Let’s say really long sentences drawn out with anecdotes, metaphors, and witty repertoire. Let’s talk as though there’s no need for breathing, saying all of the words in our heads that radiate from our hearts as if periods, commas, and exclamation marks don’t exist. Let’s talk so fast that we get winded and a little light-headed. Let’s speed talk in a way that makes us feel high. High, light, and invincible.

Let’s talk like a Gilmore Girl…

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Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

I’ve loved Rory and Lorelai since the very first episode. I remember watching new episodes every week with my dad; basking in the banter that is Gilmore Girls. I remember suddenly talking faster and thinking faster just so I could keep up with the Gilmores. I remember my mother yelling from the kitchen HOW CAN YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND THESE WOMEN?! They talk so fast! I understood them perfectly, I understood them because they understood me.

Since books, writing, and being a loveable (okay that’s debatable) weirdo have always been a huge part of who I am, I’ve always thought myself a bit of a Rory. That’s the best part of well written shows or books, the characters speak to you, they understand you, and they help you understand yourself. Take the Spring episode for example – although I’m six years younger than Rory’s character, I’m married, and haven’t traveled in years, I feel just as lost, just as ready to conquer the world, and just as prepared to start from the beginning.

The revival of Gilmore Girls is so much more to me than just getting to watch new episodes of a favourite show, it is the chance to catch up with old friends, make new memories, and maybe learn a bit more about myself in the process. No words can explain the excitement etched in my heart when familiar faces popped onto my computer screen. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall – each 90-minute “season” filled me with nostalgia and longing for just one more episode, one more answer.

One more moment with Rory and Lorelai.

I sincerely hope that Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino will bring back the Gilmores for another few seasons. Their writing and vision for the revival could not have been more perfect and given the final four words of the last episode they have to come back! Right?

Right?!

Right!!

Gilmorely yours,

Vanessa xo

Mini-Honeymoon in Toronto

I’ve learned recently that the two questions newlyweds receive most are:

  1. Where are you going on your honeymoon?
  2. When are you having kids? (Please stop asking me this)

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With Christmas right around the corner and the simple fact that more than a week off work for myself and my husband wasn’t viable, we decided to spend a few days in Toronto. Alex was in charge of booking the hotel and stumbled on a great deal from The Shangri-La Hotel. I have only been to the Shangri-La once before for a book event years ago BUT I’ll tell you one thing, I COULD GET USED TO LIFE AT THE SHANGRI-LA! Apart from the stunning atmosphere, the location, and the luxurious suites, the service there is above anything I’ve ever witnessed. From friendly hellos, to offering to bring our coffee upstairs, to prompt room service, and giving impeccable directions, the entire staff knows how to treat their guests. If I ever decide to splurge on another staycation, I’d LOVE to have a girl’s weekend down there and really enjoy the pool and the spa too!

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Views from our sweet suite! 

We thought we would be all touristy and hit up the ROM, the AGO, and maybe even the Aquarium BUT we were completely exhausted from the wedding night and all of the stress leading up to it that we vegged out as much as we could. I even took a bath, A BATH, for the first time in years I sat down in deliciously scented warm water, closed my eyes, and sat in silence. Best weekend ever.

Apart from relaxing, we ventured out during the day, trying out new restaurants, coffee shops, and simply enjoying the gorgeous November weather. We had lunch at BOSK, dinner at Bestellen, and a late lunch with a few friends on Sunday at Patria.

We were blown away by the beauty and taste of each meal we had. I would recommend all three restaurants to anyone who finds themselves in the city and in need of a good meal.

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QUANTUM COFFEE FOR THE WIN – best hot chocolate in the city! 

Since Toronto is not foreign to us and we’ve spent many evenings walzting around town , our honeymoon seemed more like a regular weekend than something extravagent (the only difference was being referred to as Mrs. Buccella! <3). That may sound awful but it’s exactly what I love about us; we find joy in the simplist of things, in quiet evenings, excellent meals, and time with each other. Here’s to many more adventures as husband and wife!

Restfully yours,

Vanessa xo

The Bride’s Diary – WE DID IT

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We did it! We travelled a 1.5 year-long road jumping over arguments, dodging (and even embracing) tears, and pausing at crossroads until we reached destination “I DO”.

November 11, 2016 was exactly how I hoped it would be; calm, relaxing, and fun. Since we had the ceremony and reception in the same location (The Hazleton Manor) the day was super easy. Hair at 9 AM (many thanks to Chroma Hair Design), make up at 11 AM, a few mimosa to calm the nerves, and it was time for the ceremony.

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Photo by: Victoria Stacey // Flowers and Decor: Paradise Floral Studio

The rest of the day was like a dream. I immediately began to tear up as I walked down the aisle with my parents to the music stylings of Out of the Blue. Seeing the smile on Alex’s face and watching his legs shake nervously filled me with excitement and joy. The ceremony itself was quick, fun, and completely US – it did help that we got to choose all of the readings and write out own vows. The hall was decorated to perfection (thanks to my mom and mostly Paradise Floral Studio), the music was on point, the food was utterly delicious, and the drinks overflowing.  Everyone embraced us with a warm hug and a smile. The entire hall was filled with love, hope, and happiness – I could feel it oozing from our guests.

Yes, there were things that didn’t go exactly as planned; I was grooving on the dance floor when the back of my dress popped open. It may have fit like I glove in the morning but after dancing, sweating, and eating, I could barely breathe!!!! All in all, the wedding was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. Thanks to our family and close friends, we made memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who attended the wedding and everyone on social media who wished us well. Here’s to a new chapter as Mr. & Mrs. Buccella ❤

Wifely yours,

Vanessa xo

Live Every Single Day

I was at my aunt/florists house the other night pretending to help with wedding things when she admitted to me that my blog posts leave her with a heavy heart. I was a little stunned by the comment – I always thought my posts sounded jovial and inspired. I wanted them to say: I’m content with my life and where I am right now but I am working toward something bigger. Something different. That’s the conundrum with writing; it doesn’t really matter how you wanted your words to resonate with people, it matters what they actually get from them.

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My aunt has known me for twenty-seven years. She’s been extremely involved in my life and is quite possibly the only one who still reads my blogs. As she is my mother’s sister, whatever I don’t tell her, my mother does. It’s safe to say that she knows and understands many aspects of my life. She’s seen me go through a crazy year and listened to me complain, cry, or question my life choices. As my florist, she’s been with me (and my mom) through every step of the wedding planning process. It’s understandable that when she reads my writing she doesn’t take it at face value or even relate it to her own life. What she sees is a niece who is constantly striving for more, a niece that isn’t as happy as she should be, a niece who cares too much about everything and doesn’t live for today.

Tia Mary, I get it. After reading my posts over from the last few weeks, I completely understand how you’re reading my work and why you feel the way you do. I don’t mean for my words to leave you or anyone with a heavy heart and the look in your eye the other night almost brought tears to my eyes. I am not unhappy. I’m just unfulfilled. I’m content with where I am right now but know that once I allow myself to get comfortable I will not challenge myself to move on or try new things.

I also understand what you mean when you say: Live for today. Enjoy every moment! That is something I need to work on. Bringing little joys to every part of my day is one thing I aspire (and NEED) to do. What I am trying to say here is thank you, for hearing the sadness in my words and providing advice that I can take to heart and use.

On Monday morning, I won’t grumble or allow my anxiety to skyrocket. I will smile, turn on some tunes, dance in the hallway, and get shit done! I will open my eyes to everything I am experiencing and be happy about it.

Life is too short not to.

Lightheartedly yours,

Vanessa xo