Leaving The Nest Version 2.0

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The first time I moved out I was 17, naive and ready to hit the ground running. Having always been an unsociable hermit with way too many extra curricular activities, my parents never really had to set guidelines or boundaries… and they definitely didn’t have to give me a curfew.

Suddenly I was 1,000 miles away from home, ready to experience life for the first time. I, like so many who ventured off to college, believed it would be a wild adventure of firsts where I could totally re-invent myself. Turns out I am pretty stuck in my ways. While my roommates were out all hours of the night partying, I was at my desk watching Netflix and doing my homework.

This move was different. I was not moving to some foreign city, or going off to college, I was simply moving out on my own. It’s funny how sometimes the drastic changes can be easier. I found this second move a lot harder and a lot lonelier. Maybe this is because I know that the comforts of home are now just a drive away, and not a ferry or a plane ride back. I had become accustomed to hot home cooked meals waiting for me when I got home, and my bathroom magically cleaning itself. It was almost as though college had never happened and I was back in high school.

Sometimes I do wish I could rewind. Sometimes I wish I had thought more thoroughly about my choices for post secondary.  I wish I had done more research so I wouldn’t be stuck with the harsh reality that I am now nearly $50,000 in debt pursuing a career choice that would have never made me happy.

What I do know is that change, no matter how big or small, forces us out of our daily routine and sometimes it’s the bitter pill we need to swallow. While this latest move isn’t exactly what I expected, I think it’s what I needed.

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Finding Your Bliss

I’ve had meditation preached to me, I’ve been told time and time again to learn how calm my mind…yet the harder I try the more rapidly ideas swirl and spin, pinging around my head until I’m afraid  its’s going to explode.

Surprisingly, I found my solace in driving. Something I had found annoying and time consuming most of my life. Turns out all I needed to do was move to a beautiful west coast rain forest. Each day as I commute to work I am in awe of the scenery and enthralled by the beautiful world around me. If I have learned anything since I have moved here is that you really need to love the place you live, because it completely changes your quality of life.

Each morning, I spend the last third of my commute walking. Not only do I get a healthy dose of vitamin D, I also get my heart pumping. Turns out there are a lot of hills in Victoria! But the most importantly I am happier and healthier.

While you may not be able to quit you job tomorrow, maybe there is something you can do today to make your day even the teensiest bit better.

 

August Bucket List

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“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”
-Paulo Coelho

I feel as though I am finally getting over this slump I’ve been in for the last while and what better way to continue this positive new outlook than to give myself a good old bucket list challenge to mix things up a bit. I admit none of the items on my list are particularly crazy, but my intent is really just to get myself out of my regular routine, and to have some fun before summer is over.

  1. Paddle board in the ocean
  2. Try a new type of athletic class
  3. Go to a farmers market
  4. Design new business cards and or branding for myself
  5. Pay it forward
  6. Volunteer somewhere
  7. Expand my vocabulary
  8. Have a blackout day: no computer, ipad, phone for an entire day
  9. Redesign/ and or make a new portfolio site
  10. Get rid of at least one box of stuff
  11. sell a piece of artwork or have it displayed in a show
  12. Try a new type of cuisine I’ve never had before
  13. Do something crazy with my hair…I’m thinking Ombre?
  14. Do something cultured like go to a museum
  15. Face a fear
  16. Pick a direction I want to take my life in
  17. Actually eat the recommended fruit/ veggie serving for a week
  18. Do my back exercises everyday for an entire month and reap the rewards
  19. Donate clothes I don’t need or wear anymore
  20. Learn how to do a new hair style (fishtail braids?)
  21. Make a zine
  22. Revamp some of my old jewelry
  23. Have a pamper day
  24. Learn household cleaning basics
  25. Learn how to use illustrator/ a new program or digital skill of some sort
  26. Regain my flexibility-be able to do the splits again
  27. Get to 100 followers on twitter
  28. Try a new recipe
  29. Do something spontaneous
  30. Master the cat eye look
  31. Become an early bird once and for all!

Battling To Become An Early Bird

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I have been a self proclaimed night owl my entire life. Mornings and I have never gotten along. But recently I took a job where I had to leave my house at 7:30 am in the morning and I realized it was time to make a change.

It hasn’t been an easy battle, in fact recently I seem to teeter between getting up an hour or two early ( most inconveniently on my days off ) and sleeping in an hour late…always on the days I have to go to work.

I will admit when I started I did everything completely wrong. I tried to go from waking up at 10 am to trying to wake up at 5 am which was definitely not a smart move…when it comes to waking up earlier you really need to ease yourself into it.

The snooze button is my  worst enemy and my ultimate downfall! Some days I loose track of how many times I actually press it, and when I do somehow manage to open my eyes for more than the second it takes to press it, I find myself surfing aimlessly on zite or buzzfeed. All in all I waste up to an hour to an hour and a half just getting out of bed, and that’s just plain unacceptable!

I let excuses and procrastination get the best me. It is so easy to justify just sleeping in for five more minutes or just looking at one more post that I lost track of all the valuable time I could have been using if I had only just dragged myself out of bed.

Eventually it does get better: I am proud to say that I woke up at 7 am today and I wrote the last 1,500 words of my campnanowrimo challenge by 8:30 am. And productivity didn’t stop there: I went on a hike, did some illustrations, prepped some blog posts and  even ran some errands all before the afternoon was through. When you’re like me, and are driven to procrastination it’s easy to forget how  good it feels to accomplish all your tasks for the day with time to spare. However once you do it’s hard to give that feeling up!

Heres to waking up early!

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21

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Today I come to the shocking realization that I have been on this earth for 21 years. In retrospect I have to say so far I’ve had a pretty good life…(I’ve had my first love, graduated college, got my black belt (in Kung fu), been to Disneyland, lived in a vacation destination…the list goes on) but now I want to start having a great life. So as a kind of birthday resolution I plan to be living a very different life by the time I’m 22.

I’ve taken some baby steps already;  I recently quit my job  and I have to say I’m a lot happier and in turn a lot healthier at my new one. It’s been a long time since I’ve had regular hours! I have also moved to a beautiful island that I’ve always wanted to live on. Now I just have to find an apartment so I can get out of my parent’s house!

But as I said, I’m not done yet! So as part of my resolution, I will be doing a bucket list challenge for the month of August so stay tuned to see all the crazy things I came up with.

My Word Sprint Of The Summer

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I am very good at starting things and not so great at finishing them, so this year I’ve decided to challenge myself through CampNanoWriMo and write 25,000 words for the month of July. That means writing roughly 800 words a day. Wish me luck!!!

A Scam I Am

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Recently I had the near misfortune of almost being scammed on an apartment rental. And the sad truth is, I’m not the only one. I was enticed by the too good to be true apartment at an unbelievably low price that I could actually afford.
A fairly untrusting individual to begin with I was cautious from the start. On the off chance that it wasn’t a scam, I replied to the ad. However the more I looked into the rental, the more the facts just didn’t add up. The amount of amenities included far surpassed the price they were offering it at, and when the supposed renter returned my email the diction rose even more red flags.

“Hey,

Thank you for your interest in my apartment located in 751 Fairfield Road, V8V 3E4. The apartment is in excellent condition and it’s just like in the pictures, very clean and very well taken. Honestly from point of view I’m sure that you will rent it on spot. I’m not looking to make a business or a profit with the apartment, I’m just trying to find a good and trust person to take good care of the place. It is furnished but if you want you can use your furniture and deposit mine in the storage unit that is located near the building not far away. The rent is 650 CAD/month with everything included (heat, hydro, water, electricity, cable and internet-full package, 2 parking spots, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer). You will have full access to all the amenities of the building. Pets are allowed. I stayed in the apartment with my wife for 3 months. I’m a civil engineer and I work for a company that has an auction for a project in construction in London, United Kingdom, so my accommodation period in United Kingdom will be about 4 years. Everything in the apartment is new so there will be no need for repairs. Thank you and look forward hearing from you

Thank you and look forward hearing from you!
Chris
 PS : I attached you all the pictures that I have with the apartment (as you can see everything is in absolutely perfect condition)”
  •  First off he changed the address of the apartment in the email from what it had been in the ad to make it in a more appealing part of town. However when I looked it up on google maps none of the buildings in the area matched the window types shown in the images he had sent me. One was extremely close but the siding didn’t match.
  • from point of view I’m sure that you will rent it on spot” I feel that saying this is very presumptuous to begin with, but later in the email, he tries to make himself look like the good guy by stating he is ‘not in it for the profit’ and doing everything in his power to make this seem like the ideal apartment, that he’s really doing me a favor. This is the same kind of reciprocity that car sales men use.
  • Also maybe it’s just me, but I would assume as an Engineer he would be detail orientated, so missing words and spelling mistakes should have stuck out like a sore thumb.

At this point I was delusionally optimistic. Even though warning bells were ringing in my head, I replied to his email asking several questions and if I could see the place. This is what I received.

“Hello ,
 
Thank you for your reply. As I told you before the rent for 1 month will be 650CAD and damage deposit 650CAD ( last month) with no extra fees and you will have full access to all the amenities of the building. The price will not increase for the whole period that you will stay there. I would also like to know how many people will live in the apartment and also which rental contract do you prefer- 6 months or 1 year rental contract with option of renewal. The monthly payments can be wired to my Canadian Bank Account (TD Bank) or we can setup a payment method that is suitable for both of us.
 
The apartment is in excellent condition, you only need to receive the keys and the contract so you could check it out, and see if you like it. Since at this moment I’m in London, United Kingdom and obviously we need a safe way to complete this deal.The solution is a worldwide third party company called SimplifiedRental (www.SimplifiedRental.com) ,they will provide assistance in handling the payment and delivery of the rental package
 
We use this company to see that you are an trusting and serious person. They will provide assistance in handling the payment and delivery of the rental package  . With this procedure you will be able to check the apartment before I receive the payment. Please be aware that is NOT necessary for you to register with SimplifiedRental given that I’m a registered user for 4 years and I’ve made over 30 transactions with them so far. They are really professional and they have great services.
 
My phone number is +44 20 3286 8996 (if you are calling from Canada you may need to dial 011-44 20 3286 8996). You can call me or e-mail anytime you wish.
 
Let me know if you are interested so I can provide with all the steps of this transaction  . You need to know everything about this process before we get this started. I think is right for both of us.
 
Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!”

By now, without a doubt I knew was a scam.
  • When I looked up the phone number online it linked me to a forum on http://www.scamwarners.com/ where numerous scams all over the country popped up with nearly identical wording and even the same phone number.
  • He also says that the transaction will be dealt with through a 3rd party vendor which it is “NOT necessary for [me] to register” with because he is already a user. This implies that I will have to give him personal information before I can even see if this apartment is legit.
  • I would also like to note that he doesn’t acknowledge any of the questions I had asked.

Needless to say, I didn’t reply to his second email.

To Summarize:

1.) Most times if the rent is too good to be true it is
2.) If they keep changing key information ( like what you will be actually paying for rent or where the apartment is located) red flags should be flying
3.) If the response is too general ( not including your name or answering any of your questions ) chances are you aren’t the only one they’re emailing
4.)They keep pushing you on the sale, trying to make you feel like you’re doing them a favor, and not the other way around
5.)They ask for a credit check and/or other personal information, or a wire before you even see the place, run and run fast!