"Do What You Love...Love What You Do"
Where in that quote does it explain how to pay your rent? Buy food? Develop a sense of financial security? Hmm, that piece may have been left out, no?
When do you know and how do you decipher between the things you need to do and the things you need to let go of? When is giving up on something an active, progressive and positive choice, and when is it simply wimping out? How much negative is one to endure before it is socially acceptable to LET GO!?
I recently spent three months working at a job that at first, it was okay. It was a means to an end, it supplied some funds, it allowed me to meet some locals... it was okay. Then as time went on and it became a part of my daily life, I noticed it was soaking up every ounce of my positive energy and hiding it far far away from me. Within five minutes of arriving at work I would feel desperate to just "get out". Even sometimes simply walking to work, the act of moving my body closer to such a negative place, would take my chipper, happy, sunny, on-holiday mood and absolutely butcher it. I became irritated, moody, negative, complainy... you know, and all around joy!! :-S
But... it paid the bills. And there were hours for me. I had truly tried hard to find something, anything else as a means of income, but being the wrong season in a small summer surfer town, I was constantly rewarded with a big fat "nothing now".
I began to lose sight of why I am here, in New Zealand. I am here for a working holiday. Yes there is the word "working" in there... but I know that there are many forms of making money that do not need to be considered "work", as long as you find what you enjoy doing!
So...how long is the "right" amount of time to endure such horrendous conditions? Was I being a baby, a wimp, for wanting to leave? The past five months have been a true holiday for me, minimal "work" involved.. so was this me having to "pay my dues" for all the freedom I previously enjoyed? Or was I being an idiot to stay somewhere that made me so incredibly unhappy?
I don't know the answers to my questions.
I don't know that anyone does.
But, this is my story:
After many many many squabbles in my head about what was the right thing to do, I made the decision to quit. No activity in my life should generate such unhappiness. Yes it brought me some money (it was basically my only income) but there is NO way that money is THAT important in my life. I would much rather have no money and feel happy and grateful for my life than to be rich and feel hollow.
Anyways, back to my quitting. I strategically planned my exit in my head, I wrote the letter, I told my friends, I prepared Luke for a fun-employed and broke-as Deanna, I made it real. It felt great. It felt amazing. It felt...free.
My heart-rate raced, my cheeks flushed, I began to perspire and I could feel my pulse in my ears. I placed my letter on the desk. FEWF! It's done!
And then... interesting things began to happen to me. The catering company that I had worked for very casually began calling me for more shifts. I found a fun weekend promotions job online and they fit me in. I was called for an interview at a coffee shop. I got the name of someone at a call centre who was looking for staff. So many positive things, especially concerning making money, began to fall into place. All because I had let go of that negative tumor and opened myself up to accepting new positive beginnings in my life.
it's in your hands!
It's scary to let go of anything. It really, truly is. But how do you know that letting go of one negative thing isn't going to bring you five more awesome things? You never know until you take the leap and just trust that you can make it work!
I have felt a sudden energy change among my network of wonderful friends and family.. even from afar. There is more talk of low spirits and less energy. Each reason is unique to the individual, but I often find that low spirits do come in waves; like a social phenomenon. If you have a few friends who are down, they're telling you about it, describing why their down, or what is bringing them down, and then maybe you start to think about those things and realize that they bring you down as well. Then suddenly, everyone is having a pity party jam-packed with ice cream, cookies, a little extra wine and reality tv shows...(or maybe that's just my cure)
It's got me thinking.. what do I do when I'm feeling down in order to bring myself back up?
These are some of my favourite things to do when I feel down. Maybe you'll try some.. maybe you won't.. but I wanted to share them just incase they make at least one person smile.
Allow myself to wallow - sometimes all I need is a good wallow in self pity.. sure my life isn't that hard, I have a LOT of privileges, but sometimes I just need to let go of every single responsibility, stop smiling and have a down moment. These are the times that Luke says "you have absolutely zero expression on your face" and my response - "I'm replenishing!"
Endorphins!! - Exercise makes me feel wonderful, and yet I often find it very hard to commit to actually doing the deed. When I haven't done anything physical in awhile, and I'm feeling down, I know there is a correlation. If I'm so down I can't find the motivation to go to the gym because I know I will simply stare at the machines.. I go to a high-intensity class!! This way no thinking is involved, there's a set time that I have to make it there by and if I skip out halfway through.. people will see!!
The Library! - Being over here in New Zealand and only working a few hours a week means I don't have a lot of expendable funds. My new favourite way to combat the money blues.. stroll down to the library. I allow myself to feel like a millionaire in there! When I look through the aisles, I know that I am allowed to leave with any item I choose! And not only that.. I can choose 3, 4, 5, 10 items!! Suuuure I don't read every single item I take home.. but I feel good not having to limit myself! (and I've recently learned I can take out my trashy magazines...FOR FREE!! major score when their price tags are around the $5 mark!)
Write a letter!! This is one of my all time favourite activities to do when I am feeling a bit low or secluded or unsure of myself. Sending love to a friend means you will be putting a smile on their face when they check their mailbox. And as I begin writing, I find I'd rather find anything/everything positive in my life to write about as I wouldn't want them to open up a letter just to hear me bitch and complain. And suddenly, I am focusing on the positive pieces of my life instead of those silly little pieces that were bringing me down before. Instant smile.
Empty the closet! - Don't feel like facing the world? Then don't. Stay in. Sometimes that is exactly what I need.. goes with the lack of expression on my face. Sometimes I need to wear sweats, have greasy hair and stare off into space in silence. This is when I usually go through my closet, my drawers, my cupboard, anything, and just take stock on the many "things" I have in my life. Most things I don't need, in any way, whatsoever. So those get filtered out and passed over to a second-hand store. And sometimes I can't part with any item. Those days I just re-organize, make everything clean, tidy and create a mental checklist. Life gets cluttered, why should my home be the same?
My New Zealand Favourite Mood Booster - Walk the 4 blocks to the beauuutiful beach here at the Mount. I always take my camera, even though I'm sure I have every unique photo possible already, as I am simply stunned and amazed at the natural beauty, that requires zero human interaction to be so beautiful. I stand there thinking, "I have done absolutely nothing to create this, this has zero to do with me, and yet, here it is, allowing me to appreciate it".
I find it very humbling, energizing and inspiring!! It's amazing how close nature can be when you need it.. its just a matter of finding your way to it. Its usually closer than you think and less effort to get there than you imagined in your mind.
"Just the simple process of letting go of negative thoughts will allow your natural state of healthy to emerge within you. And your body will heal itself." - Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
"Experiencing what you don't want helps you work out what you do want." - Mia Freedman, Mamamia
"You are aware of where you want to go, but you honour and give your fullest attention to the step that you are taking at this moment" - Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
The game plan for Luke and I when we first decided to bring New Zealand adventures into our lives was to travel for a few months, or however long our somewhat limited Canadian funds would last. After the traveling, we would partake in the true kiwi way of life, we would find a flat and earn some dough! Real working
kiwis we be! The place to do so: Mount Maunganui
! A beautiful small town on the East Coast of the North Island known for its long, white sandy beaches, cafes and restaurants and Mauao, a local hike with beautiful mountain top views. Logically, when one's funds are low, it would make sense to find a job before a home...however, Luke and I aren't often logical... and so... we found a home! This is the story of how it all began...
It was apartment hunting day and we had three appointments scheduled - one for a basement suite all to ourselves, one for a beautiful second story apartment with friendly flatmates and the third one we knew absolutely nothing about. So, smiles on, sunnies on, off we went to find our new
home. The simple act of driving around the Mount on a sunny day is enough to put anyone's worries and stress at ease. We took a few moments to take in the big rolling waves of the ocean, the people bustling about in the shops and cafes and the big, beautiful dormant volcanic cone, Mauao, or The Mount.
"ahhhh" escaped both of us as we realized that this city was a wonderful place to be, regardless of what apartment we chose.
Once all apartments were visited and we had foolishly claimed we would give
them a "yes" or "no" by the end of the day, Luke and I set out to find a seat by the ocean to have a drink and a think. With lots of discussion, we opted to eliminate the basement suite because it was just a tad too "eclectic" for our taste. We opted to eliminate the friendly flatmates simply because they lived quite far from town. So, by the process of elimination, we chose the mystery apartment.
This apartment was stunning!
It had beautiful large windows, two
balconies, a big, open living area and was very nicely furnished. The flatmates would be a friendly couple from Chili with broken English. The only thing weird about our new place was this really strange, uncomfortable feeling that something wasn't quite right...
I have had quite a few moments of "I KNEW that was going to happen... OMG... I have intuition... that works!"
throughout my life. Because of these moments, I paid attention to this little twang of unhappiness I felt regarding our new home and contemplated about it. Luke thought I was completely mad for not being as excited as him about our new place. The moment we walked out of it, before we had even seen all three places, he had an ear-to-ear grin and was ecstatic about the beauty! "This is the nicest, fanciest place I'll ever have lived in.
" And I'll be honest, I wasn't so sure that I wasn't mad. It didn't make sense. Like I said, this place was beautiful
!! But, I kept my feelings to myself, we drove back to Terri's house and we got geared up to move into our new home the next
The timing of our scheduled move-in had been a bit vague but was for sometime in the afternoon the next day. So, after doing a bit of work around Terri's place to show our appreciation for all that she had done for us, we put on our job hunting
duds, packed our car full of all that we own (which really isn't much), and made our way to The Mount. It was about 2:30pm and the plan was to drop off some resumes, scour the town for "help wanted" signs, move into our new home and crack our bottle of celebratory champagne. wooohooo!!
As we drove in to town, we received a text from our new "flatties" stating that move-in time was 8:00pm... clearly a bit later than we were anticipating. I responded asking if it was alright to have the landlords downstairs let us in but was told, "no
" and to "please wait for us...we will be home 7pm now
". We were definitely a bit peeved at this change in plan and couldn't figure out a reason that we would need to wait around town all afternoon and
evening instead of just talking to the landlords. Now we couldn't take sweet sunshiney moving-in photos. Fail!
In an attempt to keep our moods high, we decided to start on the job hunt. We both went in to a number of places, and both came out with upside down smiles on our faces as none of our prospects were promising. We ended up feeling even more defeated. Fail!
It was finally close to dinner time so we decided to buy a cheap bottle of wine and find a BYOB restaurant to enjoy a nice long, time-passing dinner at. Turns out The Mount has none. Fail!
Sooo, what do you do when all else fails and you're broke and feeling defeated... hit up the BK Lounge, grab some grub and park by the ocean to watch the beautiful sunset behind the mount. Finally, while chowing down on our greasy burgers, we felt happy and our smiles came back. Success!
Love From New Zealand
An insightful poem for you to ponder while listening to some beautiful music. Both of these two things helped me through a very challenging day today.
At the end of the poem lays a surprise for you!
"Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be–a roommate, a neighbor, a professor, a friend, a lover, or even a complete stranger–but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.
Sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles, you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.
Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved straight flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are sometimes the most important ones.
If someone loves you, give love back to them in whatever way you can. Not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.
If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to.
Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen to what they have to say.
Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.
You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets. Most importantly, if you love someone tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow will have in store. You learn a lesson in life each day you live. Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday."
thank you to a very wonderful friend for sending me this quote when I needed it! <3
Auckland, New Zealand - Here We Are!
We did it! We made it here to Auckland, New Zealand! We finally made it to our travel day, the day of 18.5 hours of being in transit, sitting on planes, making transfers, passing time... we made it! The travel really wasn't too bad at all, and lucky for me I chose my perfect travel buddy! We laughed and laughed - especially at our ridiculous attempts to get in comfortable sleeping positions on our 13.5 hour overnight plane ride. Our first day has been a good one! Very sunny and warm and beautiful. We wandered around a good majority of downtown Auckland - lucky for me Luke is a bit better with directions and remembering where he has been before. Then we booked into our hostel, had a "short" 3-hour nap and we were at it again. Wandering around the downtown core, enjoying all the people watching. :) Fun Fun Fun!
Here are a few of my New Zealand first impression observations:
The seagulls are TINY! Like the size of pigeons! Either we have mutant seagulls in Victoria - or New Zealanders don't leave much garbage for them to feed on!
- There seems to be no New Zealand fashion - it is purely wear whatever you like!
- Internet is very hard to come by and costs for every time you use it! Even at Starbucks!
- There are lots of hostels to chose from, but we think we made the right decision!
- Our first hostel meal - rice, carrots & beans! cheap cheap
- We already think we brought too much stuff! Fail
Luke and I both love sunshine! And Auckland! And being fun-employed!
Excited for our 18.5 hour travels to New Zealand! Wasting time @ YVR
Where are you New Zealand?
First beer in NZ at a slanted bar
Thinking of you Tingy
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Sky Tower in Auckland
There's New Zealand!
More About Our Final Day In Canada Below
Recently a few friends have expressed to me that they have been following my blog. And not only that, but in following my blog, they have even been a little bit inspired! Inspired!? Talk about inspired!! Each time I hear that someone is enjoying reading my ramblings it genuinely makes my day so much better! It is wonderful to have created a platform for my many thoughts and rambles, but to know that someone actually enjoys what I have to say, well, that's the dream! Thank you to Kate, Melsa, Christine and Kelly for taking that extra moment to share this news with me! It was very much appreciated!
Dream. That's an interesting word isn't it? Dream. All throughout our childhoods we are taught that we can do anything, and to always remember to dream. And dream big! So, why is it that as adults, suddenly our dreams become unattainable. Who makes them unattainable? Is it your boss? Your bank account? Society? Your debt and mortgage? Or is it just, you?
And by you, I mean fear. Fear of failure. Perhaps fear of success? Fear of truly being happy and doing what you want to do, instead of what you need to? Fear that maybe you don't really know who you are, and what you want? Everyone is unique, and has their own fears. But what I don't understand is why it is so common to simply settle for what you're supposed to do, instead of seeking what you want to do, your dream!?
My theory in an attempt to combat these fears..."why not?" When presented with an opportunity, I ask myself, why not? All the "nots" that I come up with are usually fear-driven, so I take them out of the equation. And to be honest, the answer becomes pretty clear!
If you want to try something.. why not set yourself up in a way that allows you to try it? Surround yourself with the things and the people that you would need to make your dream happen. I have reached out to my entire network, and beyond, asking for advice, tips and tricks on our upcoming travels to New Zealand. I have been met with fantastic responses. So many people are more than willing to lend a hand, an ear, an afternoon or an email address, in order to help out another. It's truly amazing. And I think it should utilized and celebrated more often.
And just trust yourself! Believe that you truly can make your dreams come true. Whatever those dreams may be! And even if those dreams are ever-changing, as I feel that mine will be, go with the flow. Trust that you are, or can become, adaptable enough to create the life that you want. Because really, who else is going to do it for you?
Need a brief pick-me-up today?
Click here to see what
I use for those days!
"Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration."