You’re Gonna Make It After All: Remembering An Icon

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”
– Mary Tyler Moore

I grew up in the Oprah generation; she was well on her way before I even existed. I would rush home from school and enjoy that day’s lessons and insights before I would tackle my homework or head off to soccer practice. Those who know me well know that I have a slight Oprah obsession.

I still clearly recall the day that a surprise guest arrived on stage at The Oprah Winfrey Show and brought her to tears. It was someone I had heard her speak of, but really did not know much about. It was Mary Tyler Moore. Seeing the way Oprah reacted to the surprise caught my attention, and made me take a second look. Her reaction made me want to get to know this Mary Tyler Moore lady.

I started going through the tv guide and finding every rerun of the Mary Tyler Moore Show I could, and with every single episode I watched the more I fell in love. I was completely captivated. I also remember taping the cast reunion on Oprah; I had to have watched it about 100 times. As the years went on I was able to track down every season of the show on DVD, and if it were possible to wear out DVDs I am certain these would be toast.

Mary’s character put a focus on being a strong woman. She wore pants, she was a single female, she had goals, she was not afraid to chase them, and she knew what she brought to the table, she was the smartest in the room. At the time the Mary Tyler Moore Show was airing this was truly revolutionary. There are generations of journalists, comedians, and actresses who have since followed in her footsteps. Mary Tyler Moore was a game changer.

It is impossible for me to overstate what Mary came to mean to me, and the impact she had on my life. The more I watched the show the more I wanted to be Mary’s friend, and the more I wanted to be a friend like Mary. Mary Richards was a character I could relate to and learn from. She was hard working, she stuck to her guns, she was committed to the team around her, she lifted people up, she was kind hearted, she was determined, and most importantly she had an unwavering amount of self-worth and self-respect.

Watching that show was a transformative experience for me, it gave me the courage to be who I was, to chase my dreams, and to go out into the world and make it on my own.

I think the reason she resonated with so many is that we saw the best of ourselves in Mary Tyler Moore, and her lovable character Mary Richards. Both her and the show inspired people to move beyond the norms society had placed on being a woman. Because of who she was, the work she did, and the trail she blazed all of those years ago there are strong, passionate, intelligent women all over the world today that have her to thank. She was a force for good in this world; she was an icon, a pioneer, and an American treasure. I know I will forever be grateful for the work she did, and the legacy she left.

Last night after news broke of her passing online sales of her shows and movies spiked, my hope is that another generation is busy learning just how amazing she was. I am certainly grateful I had the opportunity to fall in love with Mary all those years ago.

That smile, and that ‘spunk’ radiated through our tv screens, into our homes, and forever into our hearts.

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Little Victories

The ringing in of the new year always seems to be that wonderful time in which I finally have a minute to sit back, relax, and take stock. As we end one year and start on a fresh chapter it is natural to use this as a time of reflection. Most spend time looking at how far they have come, what has changed, and usually decide where they want to go and make resolutions and goals to help them get there. Well when I opened my computer and started writing this post it was May. My thoughts were coming together but the words weren’t. I have written and rewritten this post about a thousand times since May.

But for me it seems like every now and a again when my life gets a little wild, a little confusing and a little difficult I dust off the old notebook, grab my laptop, and start putting things in perspective. I use the word ‘difficult’ lightly, I am at an age where things are constantly in a state of change, which I am sure I will eventually learn will never go away. I have come to embrace the state of glorious chaos that my life always seems to be in. I am at an age where life should be changing and progressing all of the time and I certainly need to get better at embracing the change and working to move in the right direction.

This post is certainly not full of intentions to write more, be a better writer, be a better person or to make any lofty resolutions. I write these words with the intention to be more aware. Aware of how I spend my time, aware of my own happiness and well-being, and to be more aware of what I want out of life. This post is a promise to myself to do more things that make me happy and to focus on the little victories, they all add up to be something special. Celebrate every win.

It is 2016, cheers to you and yours. Wishing everyone health, happiness, and plenty of success!

Looking back

What a year it has been. About a year ago I was midway through a 6-week unpaid internship and was preparing for my second, and hopefully final, post-secondary graduation. I had finally figured out where my passions were and what I needed to do to work in the field of my choosing. It might have taken me a bit longer than most, but it was certainly worth the wait.

I have now been working in my chosen field for about a year, and although it was turbulent at times it was most definitely wonderful. Most of my ups came from work, and most of the downs came well after office hours ended.

I spent the first half of the year in what I now refer to as graduation purgatory. I am not yet a full fledge grown up with grown up responsibilities, but I am spending a great deal of my time in a grown up world. I am a recent grad, I have many friends still in school, and I serve tables part time to pay for my lengthy education. Although I was up bright and early hustling hard and doing my best to make good impressions I was also trying to keep the same life I had before. I was trying to keep up and really I was just burning myself out.

By the time last summer was drawing to a close I realized there is no way I was going to be able to keep up anymore. I knew what I was doing during office hours was my passion, I knew it was making me happy and I can see a long happy life in that field I was still having a hard time letting go of who I was before the fancy clothes, the early wake ups and the important meetings.

What I didn’t immediately realize was that fun did not have to end forever. I did not realize my best days, my happiest memories, my proudest moments and my biggest accomplishments were still in front of me.

My problem was I was trying to keep up with all of the wrong people. There are a whole group of people in my life, all of whom I incredibly lucky to have, that were here to not only have fun but to also to support me, and love me no matter what. Yes now my fun may have been limited to evenings and weekends it did not mean life, as I knew it, was over.

I certainly tested how much these people were willing to love me and support me. I am thankful for those who stuck by me, who supported me and who knew I would end up getting things right… eventually. To all of these lovely humans I will be forever grateful.

This year has taught me a lot abut the world, a lot about the people in my life and most importantly it has taught me a lot about myself. I think every twenty-something struggles to find balance at some point, some may struggle more than others but everyone who comes out on the other end of that struggle succeeds. The key is figuring out what matters to you, and what drives you… the people who truly love you will be there no matter what that is.

I will say this year has been far from perfect but as I look back I count my blessings that I made it to where I am today, and I am especially thankful I made it in one piece. I am grateful to the lessons I have learned, the friends I have made, the fun I have had and the work I have put in. If I spent a great deal of time looking back I don’t think I would have made it this far. The only way to survive is to keep moving forward, to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to keep following your dreams.

Friendship redefined

The last few weeks have been interesting and busy few weeks. I’ve been finishing up the last weeks of my degree, I’ve been on house sitting and dog sitting duty, I’ve been working more shifts at the restaurant and I’ve been trying to get prepared to start my first ever internship.

In these few weeks I’ve really gotten a clear picture of who is in my corner, and who is willing to back me up when I need it. I’ve seen new friendships flourish in this time, I’ve seen old friendships fade and I’ve grown tired of the friendships that never really were. I quickly realized there have been certain people in my life that have been there for all the wrong reasons, and I have realized there are a few friends who will always be there for all of the right ones.

I guess it all comes back to the fact that growing up is hard to do and in the last month I’ve been doing a lot of growing up. I am certainly looking forward to my internship and I’m looking forward to seeing where the long, hot days of summer take me.

But of this you can be sure, there will no longer be people riding my coattails, there will no longer be people pulling me down, there will no longer be people in my life I don’t truly care about. This might sound mean and slightly cut throat but all of my life I have strived to make everyone around me happy. I have strived to help everyone be the best versions of themselves and most days I forgot about my own happiness and myself. I really want to change that as I move forward and move into this next chapter in my life.

When thinking about how to define friendship in this post and what it really means to me I remembered an email I received many moons ago. This was from a close friend and it was her words to describe our friendship. It took a few days to hunt down, but as I read though those words they were the first thing in a very long time that made sense to me.

The email reads as follows:

This is a mutual understanding which lives through your heartbeat and is held by thought. You don’t need a special group of words to sustain friendship, no need for words long in length or exquisite in pronunciation, nor do you need words bold in font. All you need is memories, hopes, and dreams that can be breached at anytime or at any place. This bond and this connection is a promise of times to come, and a promise to remember the times passed.

Time is no factor and holds no place within this definition; time forever stands still. A friendship necklace, a scrapbook or even a key serves as a reminder and puzzle piece of this puzzle that we are forever creating.

They say you will find one person in your lifetime that has the missing puzzle piece but I have been so lucky to find someone who cannot complete me rather help me grow. True friends don’t complete you, they more less open your eyes, help you to grow and never cease to teach. I don’t want to stop learning, I don’t want to stop crying, I don’t want to stop falling, and I really don’t want to stop getting back up, and that’s the power a true friend holds. They give you eternal youth, eternal love and eternal power.

Friends are there when no one else is, friends are there to help you get up, but a true friend is there forever, a true friend is there to let you down and pick you back up. They stick with you through thick and thin, and sometimes you don’t even know they are teaching you things when they are. They can paint a picture with all the colours when others see black and white. Their touch can be felt from a distance, when others who are right with you feel cold and separate.

You look at a famous painting, and you see beautiful detail, you see texture, you see simplicity, but sometimes you overlook what can really be the most prominent part of the masterpiece; the frame. Your true friend is you’re frame, It supports you, it smooths out your rough edges, and it puts you first.

True friends come once in a lifetime and sometimes it takes years to even recognize them, this is why friendship actually has no definition and cannot be explained; everyone needs something different in life and true friends come in every colour, size, and shape it’s up to you to pick the right one! So believe my definition if you wish, but remember everyone has their own way to define it and that definition changes every day.

I believe I have found not my missing puzzle piece but rather the puzzle itself. A friend forever changing, a friend that has more to offer than consistency, a friend that offers her own definition. I love you for life! And this is my promise to you that I will never stop aspiring to be better friend than I am.

I need to find more people who are willing to be my frame, I have plenty of rough edges that need smoothing and I can guarantee as I do more growing up I am going to need much more support from those who love me. I need to find friends who are not willing to let be a pushover and friends who are willing to be there for me when I need it.

I am lucky to have found a group of truly amazing friends, and I promise to always be a true friend to them. I will always try to be a better friend and a better person, I am just hoping I can continue to surround myself with people willing to do the same.

Opening Day

me_jaysTonight the Blue Jays kickoff their 2013 season. If the boys in blue can stay healthy it is going to be a great year. I am looking forward to cheering the Jays on all summer, and I am hoping to even get to the big city to catch a few games.

I hope all the baseball fans are as excited as I am. Baseball is finally back.

Best of luck to all the teams, players, coaches and fans !

Glue Movie

Everyone has one of those movies they can’t help but love. It’s not necessarily your favourite movie, the one that changed your life, or the one you grab off your shelf on a bad day. Every time you are channel surfing, or you find yourself saying, “There is nothing to watch on TV” you happen across this movie.

You know how it ends, you know every word, you have seen it a million times and yet you  Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 4.38.24 PMcan’t help but watching it. The pile of laundry you were folding has now fallen by the wayside, your room will never be cleaned, paperwork has been forgotten about, homework never existed and all hope for being productive is now long gone. You can’t help but pop that popcorn, curl up on your couch with your favourite blanket and you can’t help but get sucked right in.

It doesn’t matter whether the movie is in its first minute or its last, it catches your attention and there is no getting away from it. You enjoy every minute of it you can.

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 4.35.56 PMMy glue movie is You’ve Got Mail, which if you knew me well you might find hilarious. It might not be the movie I would pull off the shelf and put on but it is one I can never seem to get away from. It makes me happy, I don’t know if it is the fact it’s all about coincidences, I don’t know if it is the fact it makes us believe the world really isn’t all that big, or the fact Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks come together for another epic Rom-Com.

Every time I watch it I feel like I am spending time with old friends, I know every word, yet each time I watch it I have new favourite moments, new favourite scenes.

What is your glue movie?

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Legacy

“We get one opportunity in life, one chance at life to do whatever you’re going to do, and lay your foundation and make whatever mark you’re going to make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave; leave your legacy!”

– Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis has put in 17 years of hard work, he has put this organization on his back. He was pissed off for greatness and inspired this team to become what they are, to become who they are. He has 60 minutes left of playing football, that is it. His legacy has been set in stone, he believed in destiny and hard work. He played with passion and dedicated himself to being better and to helping others be better.

 

Lets go Ravens!

After the Storm

Today was a Mumford & Sons kind of day. It was freezing out, I found a quiet corner at school, buckled down to get some work done and enjoyed Mumford & Sons for a couple hours. It was just what I needed, it is the type of music that is good for your soul.

One of my favorite songs is After the Storm, it is haunting in the best way possible.

Let your faith be bigger than your fears

Everyone who knows me knows I am a bit of a worrier. In the past I spent a lot of time agonizing over the details of every decision I made. In the last couple of years I have made some big ones. Such as going back to school to get another degree, deciding to help coach a university soccer team and buying a car among other things.

I was always told when I was growing up that there are a lot of things to think about, but nothing to worry about. I knew it was true but I could never help the worrying. Recently my sister gave sent me a quote that has completely changed my thinking.

“Let your faith be bigger than your fears”

This is such a simple concept that has made my decisions easier and my life stress-free. When faced with a tough decision or a tough situation I make decisions based on knowledge I have, on my skills and what I believe I am capable of. When making life changing decisions you are always going to be nervous or scared. That is natural; it just shows you truly care, it shows you truly understand the importance of success and you fear failure. That nervousness can be what drives you, what keeps you motivated and focused.

You have to have faith in the fact your life has prepared you for what is coming your way, whether it be a promotion, a new job, a big purchase or a big game. Your education, your life experiences, your attitude, your drive for success and your training they have all led up to this moment.

Nothing worth having in life is easy to get or keep, everything in life is earned. All you can do is make the decisions, choose your path and work your ass off for everything you deserve. Have faith in what you are doing as well as in what you are capable of.