Insert bullshit inspirational quote here


Forever 21 blouse; Sportsgirl distressed jeans; Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses; Coach court bag; Yves Saint Laurent tribute sandals

I am a firm believer in the motto, “You can do anything,” but with a lot, and I mean, A LOT, of hard work. Well, I’ve put in the hard work, and yes, I’ve experienced in my own life that I can do anything. So when I quit my job, I was convinced the world was my oyster.

Last week, when meeting up with our friend, Justin, for Korean fried chicken, he said, “the world is still your oyster; it’s just cloudy out today.” The sentiment touched my heart, but I continued to divulge how the job search has been a struggle.

I was beginning to wonder if I was living in this idealistic world where inspirational phrases like ‘you can do anything,’ ‘believe in yourself,’ ‘do what you love,’ was actually the key to success and happiness, or was it all bullshit? I have read a lot of stuff on the internet about entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startups, and I always marvelled at how they were able to overcome their fears and follow their dreams. But I rarely read stories similar to my own, where someone quit their job because of burnout and then couldn’t find a job.

I’m guilty of writing idealistic posts about following your dreams and doing what you love. I know it’s not that simple, which is why I always emphasize hard work. However, this experience has been a major reality check, such that my self-esteem has hit an all time low since being unemployed. Since the age of 15, I’ve always had a job except when in school full-time (read more here). At first, the break was exactly what I needed in order to recover, but after Europe and weeks upon weeks of being at home, job searching, writing cover letters, filling out applications, and hearing nothing back, it’s been disheartening to say the least.

I try to remind myself that things will get better and things could always be worse, but it’s hard. Most days, when I’m home alone, I feel like I’m hanging out with a mirror that’s reflecting all my faults and failures back at me. I’m used to succeeding in life and I’ve always thought highly of myself, so this setback has been a humbling experience.

So is it bullshit? Yes and no. It’s bullshit to think that having a degree and some work experience will get you everything you want in life. But it’s not bullshit to believe in yourself and to believe that you can do anything. Even though life is trying to prove me wrong right now, I still believe in myself and I still believe I can do anything.

C.

For richer or poorer


TNA shirt & pants; Ray-Ban sunglasses; Daniel Wellington classic watch; Yves Saint Laurent tribute sandals

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. Jon and I squeezed in one last trip to our friend’s cabin this past weekend, and upon returning, I have been busy with school. Normally, I write when I have time, but today, I’m making time. Before I catch you up on current affairs, let me backtrack a few months.

Most of you already know by now that Jon has a new job. He got accepted into the Graduate Engineering and Leadership Program at Telus. He began the application process last September, around the same time I started my grad school application. Throughout the Fall, he completed a series of interviews, and he got the official offer letter just shortly before Christmas 2013. He started the job in May.

When Jon graduated school roughly two and half years ago, he only had one job offer. His job prospects at the time were limited due to the fact that he didn’t want to work in oil and gas, mainly because he didn’t want to travel after being in a long distance relationship for so long. In addition, we were planning a wedding, so he took whatever job he could get in the city. It kind of sounds like a sad and desperate situation, but it was actually a blessing. The company was incredibly stable, offered competitive pay, had a great workplace culture, and provided wicked benefits. He couldn’t have asked for a better job coming out of school, however little he was interested in the industry.

His move to Telus is completely motivated by interest and passion, so much so that he’s taken a 25% salary cut to do what he enjoys. I can’t say it was an easy decision, but I couldn’t be more proud of him for making this move. As you know, I wasn’t making a lawyer’s salary working as a counsellor at a nonprofit agency, and so Jon worked the big corporate job to make up for my modest salary. Jon has sacrificed so much so that I can do what I love without worrying about our finances. While the change has been tough, I would rather be poor and see Jon happy. He’s always supported me in my pursuit of happiness, and I will always do the same for him, for richer or poorer.

C.

Where I feel every moment go by


ASOS cropped top; H&M faux leather skirt; Yves Saint Laurent tribute sandals

While everyone was getting out of town and savouring every last bit of summer, Jon and I hung around town and just did whatever. Friday night, he went out for drinks while I stayed home to write. Saturday morning, I slept in while he had brunch with a couple of friends. We also went to church, and hung out with our good friend, Andy, and his girlfriend. Sunday, we picked up croissants at Yann Haute in Mission and strolled over to Phil’s for coffee where we spent the afternoon working on our laptops. Then dinner with family. Monday consisted of lazing around, watching season one of Happy Endings, afternoon catnaps, and Chinese takeout.

It seems as though we wasted away the last summer long weekend, but trust me, we’ve made the most of summer with bike rides, walks, ice cream at Village, patio drinks with friends, brunch with friends, dinner with friends, music festivals, Stampede, cabin getaways, road trips, and EUROPE. We are all summered out.

School officially started today, but lectures start next Monday. I’m gonna tour campus tomorrow, and then I have a graduate orientation to attend on Friday. I’ve been looking forward to this moment ever since I started my undergrad, and I still can’t believe this day has finally come. I’m nervous, excited, but most of all, ready.

As for funemployment, let me tell you there’s nothing fun about being unemployed. I have my good days where I’m hopeful and determined. But there are other days, many in fact, where I feel completely scared and desperate. Will share more in a separate post.

I’m also finally getting around to writing about Europe. In case you’re wondering, I’m back dating the posts for archiving reasons. Keep an eye out for our last three destinations. I have a lot of other things I want to write about, so between starting school and writing cover letters, if time permits, I will do my best to actually follow through.

Here’s to my favourite month of the year and to September babies everywhere!

C.

Amsterdam, Day 2

TNA dress; Daniel Wellington classic watch; Coach court bag; Aldo sandals

Even though we lost a day in Amsterdam, we still made the most of our time there. When we got back to our hotel room, we took a shower, changed our clothes, and set out for the day. First stop was the Van Gogh Museum. I love art, and in high school, I thought about pursuing a career as an artist and even put together a portfolio. I was hugely inspired by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and of course, Vincent van Gogh. The museum was always at the top of my list of things-to-do in Europe, and it was A-MAZING. While we were there, it started to pour, and we didn’t have an umbrella. So we took the tram back to our hotel to hide for a bit.

Eventually, it cleared up and we made our way to city centre. Our eating took a turn once we were in Amsterdam. The first night, we ate burgers. While at the airport and train stations, we ate really bad express food. Tomorrowland food was very greasy and heavy. Since we were pressed for time on our last day in Amsterdam, instead of sitting down for lunch, we ate hotdogs while standing in line. Food was definitely not a highlight.

The city, however, was absolutely charming. From the pretty architecture to endless canals to adorable bikes everywhere with the tiniest baby seats, Amsterdam is candy for the eyes. The Red Light District was underwhelming, and while walking around, Jon was telling me how the government is trying to shut down activity because of crime, abuse, and human trafficking. We didn’t do much else except for chill at a coffee shop and stroll around aimlessly.

If we had stayed as planned instead of going to Tomorrowland on the Friday, we probably would have gone to Anne Frank’s house, the Rijksmuseum (mainly to see Rembrandt’s Night Watch), enjoyed more food, explored Vondelpark, and hit up a club. Nonetheless, Amsterdam was definitely a high point of the trip.

C.

Tomorrowland 2014

Traveling anywhere new is often scary and intimidating even when you’re well prepared. So imagine being half way around the world, scrapping your original plan, and preparing to embark on a once in a lifetime adventure in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the clothes on your back and no internet connection. Jon predicted it would be a struggle getting there, and it was; meanwhile, I was mulling over why I married Jon in the first place. Oh, because I knew life with him would always be an adventure.

The next morning, we woke up at 4 am to catch a 5 am bus to the airport. We had 5 minutes to buy coffee and breakfast before catching our train. We had no idea which platform it was and we hopped on the wrong train (the fact that it was empty should have tipped us off), but then this women started yelling at us to get off. “Don’t you know how to read? It clearly says ‘Niet instappen!’” We hopped on another train, which turned out to be an express train where you have to make special reservations and pay a lot more money. Luckily, we didn’t get fined, and we got to Antwerp in an hour instead of two. We could have waited for the next train, but we figured it couldn’t be that bad if we got on the wrong train. Well, it can. These trains aren’t like city trains where you can just get off at the next stop because in our case, the next stop was the destination. In the end, it all worked out.

Unfortunately, the train from Antwerp to Boom was experiencing delays, so we had to kill some time at the train station. There we met this sweet girl from Brazil who was attending Tomorrowland by herself because her friends got tickets to Weekend 1. We also talked to some Aussies who said they used seven computers to score tickets. Once we arrived in Boom, a small town in Belgium, we caught a bus shuttle to the festival grounds and waited another two hours before gates open. When it finally did, it was here go hell come.


That’s me on Jon’s shoulders at the Dim Mak Stage with Steve Aoki

The experience was UNREAL. As you know, Jon loves EDM, and I love a good dance party. We saw a lot of awesome shows, but the highlights were Steve Aoki, Avicii, and Armin van Buuren. Since we couldn’t stay for the whole weekend, we missed David Guetta, Krewella, Above & Beyond, Tiësto, and Hardwell. The best way to experience Tomorrowland is on your husband’s shoulders. Getting a 360° view of the Main Stage is something I’ll never forget.


Life just keeps getting better with Jon

Main Stage with Avicii

But by the end of the night, we were both beat and cold. Jon had his moments throughout the day where he was in and out, but overall, he held up pretty well. He explained some concept from Naruto where he’s like Rock Lee and had to open five life gates to survive all the walking and putting me on his shoulders. As for me, I was a good sport all day until I couldn’t walk anymore. Then the night kept getting worse. We took a “taxi” to the train station, and the guy charged us a stupid amount for a short drive. The next train was a three hour wait and the station was closed, so we couldn’t even wait inside. The area had this strange ghost town feeling at night. We took an actual taxi that dropped us off at a bus stop, but he wasn’t running the metre. The bus would have taken an hour to get us back to Antwerp. By that point, we had had enough. We decided to take yet another taxi from Boom to Antwerp and got dropped off a hotel near the bus station. It felt awful getting scammed and paying way too much money for all those taxi rides, but there wasn’t much we could do at that point. Given the influx of people in the area for the festival, I wasn’t sure if we could even get a room. I thought we would have to sleep on a bench at the bus station. Luckily, there was one available. Even though we had to shell out more money, when you’re cold and tired in a foreign city, all you want is a hot shower and a bed to sleep in.

We got a full night sleep; the first since we arrived. The next morning, we took the right train back to Amsterdam. For some reason, we were relieved to be back. Antwerp felt incredibly eerie at night. Despite the journey there and back being quite the ordeal, it was all worth it, and we had so much fun. We’ve already even talked about going back. Now when I watch the aftermovies on YouTube (my favourite was 2012), I get Tomorrowland withdrawal. Even though I wanted to go, the idea of actually going seemed far too crazy, especially with no plan, but I’m really glad Jon persevered and didn’t give up on the dream. It was really a once in a life time experience that we’ll never forget.

C.