Living in ruins of a palace within my dreams

- Lorde, Team

This morning, I tweeted how I listened to the entire Lana Del Rey album searching for the song “Team” by Lorde. Why didn’t I think to Google the lyrics first? I actually don’t listen to Lorde, but I’m totally diggin’ this song. So much so that I can’t stop listening to it on repeat.

Anyways, I write my final exam at the end of April. After that, I’ll be starting a new course, which I hope to complete by the end of June. I want to take off July and August to enjoy somewhat of a summer before grad school starts in September. So again, I’ll be a little MIA for the next four weeks.

For the past few years, I’ve gone to a number of concerts and theatre shows, so this year, I want to switch things up and go to the ballet instead. Why am I going solo? Because it cost a fortune for two tickets, and while Husband enjoys live music/theatre/dance as well, it’s something I want to do by myself, for myself. I’m going to the ballet again in May, and I’m trying to get my hands on a John Legend ticket for June just to see him perform “Ordinary People” live.

As for TV shows, I haven’t watched anything since finishing season three of Sons of Anarchy in December. I haven’t even watched season two of House of Cards @_@. However, I don’t know if I can help myself when the new season of Game of Thrones premieres on April 6th, followed by Mad Men on April 13th. I can’t wait to catch up on all my favourite TV shows once I’m done all my courses.

Now that my hair is finally growing out, I’ve reverted back to wearing little to no makeup daily (eyebrow powder doesn’t count because you should ALWAYS fill in your eyebrows). I haven’t cut my hair since December because opposite to what Single Girl Dinner said about a bad haircut, a good haircut is still a good haircut even when it grows out. So invest money in a good salon and, more importantly, a good stylist. With that said, I’m getting my hair cut on Saturday. Can’t wait.

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing, whether it’s resting, doing chores, or catching up with friends. Make it count.


My kind of weekend

I love weekends. After work on Friday, I went to Starbucks for a couple of hours to do some school work, and then I went to yoga. Came home, cleaned the studio, did laundry, and continued to do more work. I normally start off Saturday with yoga, but yesterday, I went grocery shopping instead and spent the afternoon at the ballet by myself. This was followed by church and then a spontaneous evening at Jackson’s place drinking wine and eating Pizza Hut.

Usually when I come home from yoga and grocery shopping on Saturdays, I clean the studio or prep food for the week. If everything is in order, I’ll attempt to get some school work done while doing laundry. Sometimes there’s errands to run, like picking up the dry cleaning or making a trip to Ikea. Then church, and after that we usually meet up with friends or chill at home in front of the TV. That’s a typical Saturday for us.

On Sundays, I go to yoga in the morning, and then do school work for the rest of the afternoon before dinner with my family. Sometimes we’ll set up a brunch date with a friend or Jon’s parents when they’re in town. Other times, I’ll squeeze in a little catnap. Lately, we’ve been spending Sunday afternoons at any of many local coffee shops to do some textbook reading or to write, like today. After dinner, we’ll come home and just simply enjoy what’s left of the weekend and then end the night with Marriage Time.

Weekends are undoubtedly busy, however we all get the same 24 hours in a day, but what’s different is how we choose to spend it. I’m learning not to say, “I don’t have time…” because, really, I choose not to make time. I stopped making time for TV, taking outfit pictures, cooking fancy meals, and seeing friends. We make time for things that are important to us, and right now in my life, my weekends are all about important things.


She’s got that ambition, baby

- Kanye West

H&M turtleneck; J Brang jeggings; Campus Crew vest; Gap scarf; Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses; Daniel Wellington classic york lady watch; L.L.Bean hunter’s tote bag; BuiltNY spicy relish lunch tote; Nike shoes

The response to the news about grad school has been overwhelming. My heart has never felt so full. While I’m excited to start school in September, I still have to focus on completing my prerequisite courses. I’ve told a few friends already that I can’t see them until summer, which sucks, but I really need to make school a priority right now.

I forgot to mention in my last post that my long term goal is to register as a psychologist. Starting and completing grad school is only half of the journey; the other half will be writing the licencing exam and completing supervision hours. One thing at a time.

I wouldn’t say it was always my dream to become a psychologist. All I’ve ever wanted to do was help people, but why psychology? Well, I’ve always been fascinated with the brain. I’m also interested in human behaviour and emotion. So basically: psychology + helping people = counselling. Win-win.

I live life with deep conviction, and helping people who are vulnerable, hurting, and marginalized is simply my way of making the world a better place. Also, living out one of my favourite quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Anyways, my new Ray-Ban’s are a gift from Husband because my future is so bright that I need sunglasses. All conceit aside, it’s been a lot of hard work to get to where I am, and I’m pretty damn proud of myself. I believe you can do anything in life, but you have to work really, really hard for it.

I recently purchased the L.L.Bean hunter’s tote bag, and I absolutely love it. Perfect for all my regular day-to-day stuff and school work. Plus, there’s enough room to fit my lunch bag, which is great because I hate carrying too many things. I’ve been wearing my Nike’s to and from work all winter (for safety reasons), but it’s funny how it’s become such a trend. As my style continues to evolve, I care less about trends, and more about purchasing items that work for my everyday lifestyle, like this tote bag.


I’m going to grad school

It’s official: I got accepted into the Master of Counselling (MC) program at the University of Calgary. It’s a three year, part-time, online program. When I was in first year undergrad, I was already thinking about grad school. I remember attending all these seminars about how to get into grad school and constantly calculating my marks to ensure I was maintaining a good enough GPA to one day apply. I finished my undergrad degree in exactly four years, and I worked incredibly hard in my last two years to get the best grades.

Initially after I graduated, I was planning to apply for grad school after two years and work in the mean time to gain more experience. During those two years, I was still such a noob at counselling. Then Jon proposed, and we decided to commit the following year to all things nuptial. After we got married, I thought about returning to school, but Jon asked me to hold off for a year so that we could enjoy married life in the same city together. I’m so glad he did because our first year of marriage was really something (read about it here).

Why else didn’t I apply after two years? The timing wasn’t right. Even though I love counselling, I was still unsure about the direction of my career. Did I really want to go back to school? Working is so much easier, and I like making an income. I also thought about applying for law school or getting an MBA, but the thought was more or less motivated by money. Basically, I wasn’t entirely sure about my future, and I wasn’t going to apply for grad school if I wasn’t 100% confident in what I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until the beginning of 2013 that I was approached with the opportunity to co-facilitate a women’s group. This experience really helped me to grow as a counsellor, and it deepened my understanding of therapy. Naturally, I started doing more research on different graduate programs, and by May 2013, I registered to take a prerequisite course in preparation for my application. I started my application in September 2013, and the deadline was December 1st.

Since then, I’ve been anxiously waiting for the results. Yesterday afternoon, I received the offer letter for admission starting September 2014. I can’t even begin to express how I happy I feel. Although I met all the requirements, the program is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacity, and the acceptance rate last year was only 18%, which means they rejected 82% of applicants. @_@

To be honest, I had a strong application. With my grades, in addition to great work experience and glowing recommendation letters, I knew I would be the perfect candidate for the program, but what if 18% of applicants were better than me? For months, I agonized over the idea of not getting in. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe this isn’t the right time. Maybe I’m not good enough.

In the midst of all my fears and insecurities, God remained faithful. I have always been very in tune with God’s calling in my life. I still don’t know what I was thinking when I switched out of psychology and applied for addictions counselling instead, but I know it was God leading my life. When I finished school, I got a great job, and I know it was all God’s provision. Even now, as I process the reality that I’m going to grad school, I know it is His doing once again.

Nothing we accomplish in life is achieved completely on our own. I have so many people to thank for my success, but I mostly want to thank my parents, Jon’s parents, my siblings, Sonny, Jon, Lisa, Gary, Carla, Jessie, Sarah, Derek, and Nathalie for their help, support, and encouragement throughout the application process.

Last, and most importantly, I want to thank my awesome husband for always encouraging me to follow my dreams. Yesterday, when I received the news, I called him and started crying over the phone, and all I could hear him say was, “I knew you could do it.” Even if I thought I couldn’t do it, it meant more to me to know that he believed in me. He knows exactly how to calm my doubts and reassure me that I can do anything. Nothing touches my heart like knowing he’s proud of me.

It’s still sinking in that I got accepted. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you continue to follow this next chapter of my/our life.


Something ’bout it felt like home somehow

- All Too Well, Taylor Swift

It’s been a relatively quiet week at work, with most people still on holidays. Plus, I was only there for three days out of the week. Yay for short work weeks (aka something you live for when you work full-time). Aside from feeling super sleepy all week, it’s nice to be back to a normal schedule.

Admittedly, I didn’t do any school work over the break, and today is only day one of getting back into the swing of things. Instead of going out with friends tonight, I’m at home learning about face and speech perception, visual object recognition, and top-down processing, which probably doesn’t mean anything to people reading this post. Maybe it’s the New Year or maybe I learned from last time, but I’m determined to stay focused and to keep working hard.

As for the blog, I’m hoping to keep up with it better than I did in the Fall. In addition, I want to start blogging more recipes. I shared a few last April for about a week and then completely stopped. Turns out, the writeup is actually a lot of work.

Anyways, here are some Instagram moments from the last two weeks.