Why 30 is not the New 20

I always thought that my 20’s were a blow-off year. You know…like an extension of adolescence. Since I’m in the big city all alone, I had to get a big-girl job and support myself.

Now I share an apartment with another girl and her cat, while I figure it all out.

This TED talk inspired me to take advantage of my youth, control of my 20’s, and reach higher.

TED talks are inspirational tidbits of wisdom–information worth sharing.

Prepared to be inspired.

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I hate my job

I hate my job.

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I’m not special. A study found that nearly 75% of workers have “checked out” of their jobs.

I am one of them.

How did I check out? I’m not in a hurry to check my e-mail. I browse online a little more than I should. I started online shopping again. Every time I see my boss or certain coworkers, I die a little inside. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve cried in my car on my way to work–and more than once.

The novelty of having a full-time job and steady paycheque has worn off. I spend almost 12 hours a day getting ready for work, going to work, working, and then returning home from work. Seriously! Here’s a breakdown of my day.

7:00 am – 7:45 am: Get ready for work.
7:45 am – 9:00 am: Drive to work
9:00 am – 5:00 pm: Work
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Drive home from work

The most productive and mentally active parts of my day are spent at work. All I want to do at 6:01 pm is rip off my clothes, shower, stuff my face with food, and lie in front of the t.v., mindlessly drooling. Then, I lie in bed and dread going to sleep, because then I’ll have to wake up and go to work.

I know I’m lucky to have a job. I’m a recent (about 2 years out) grad with nothing more than a simple B.A. I know my peers are struggling. I feel for you guys. As a side note, give me a shout if any of you need help with your resumes! 

I’m not a stereotypical millennial brat. I haven’t asked my parents for money since I was like 18. Seriously.

I’m just so bored. I am so understimulated at work. I’m a paper pusher. It seems that my intelligence has plummeted since starting full-time work. And on that note, where has my creativity gone? I don’t have unrealistic expectations, and I certainly don’t expect to save the world. I just want to be interested in my work. I want to learn. I want to grow. I want to see the fruits of my labour, and feel like my life has meaning.

But for now, I’m just a cog in the machine.

Sigh, tomorrow is Monday.

Natural Beauty

It was a slow day at the office today. Practically nobody was in, so I spent the day online shopping.

I only bought a few beauty items off Etsy, but I spent the whole day browsing Etsy and Asos. Anyone ever bought anything off Asos? How was it?? I’m a US size 2-4, but apparently I’m a UK size 8 at Asos. Pretty devastating. Was it the fish and chips I had for lunch today? Oh well. Since I’m so wonderful, there should be more of me to go around.

I found this neat little shop that sells vegan soap, lip balm, and essential oil perfumes (with the little rollerball thingy). I’m not a hardcore vegan–actually, I’m not a vegan at all–but I’m really excited to try out these products. I quit commercialized crap over a year ago, and I’ve never looked back.

I’ve never been more pleased with my skin–and of course, my wallet! Natural beauty is the way to go.

Here are my tips to you, sisters.

1. Exfoliant: 

You need to exfoliate your face once a week. Remove make-up and wash your face. Mix equal parts milk and nutmeg until you form a paste. You won’t need a lot of either, so be modest with your portions.

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Next, get a pot of boiling water and set it on your table. You will want to put a towel underneath the pot so it doesn’t damage your table. Lean over the pot (not too close!) and cover yourself with a towel, so the steam can’t get out. Sit there for a couple of minutes, and let the steam work its magic. Hint: It’s opening your pores!

Go to the bathroom and put the paste on your face, massaging in circular motions with your fingertips. Be gentle. Do not, for the love of all things holy, scrub your face vigourously. You’re going to tear the skin and possibly get an infection. I promise it’ll be painful.

Wash it off with lukewarm water. Then, splash cold (and I mean really cold) water on your face. This is to close the pores. Pat your face dry with a clean towel, and put some moisturizer on.

2. Moisturizer: 

You need to keep your face, neck, and decolletage moisturized if you want to age gracefully. Please do not buy commercialized crap at the drugstore. If you insist on doing that, read the ingredients label. Do some Googling, and find out what the hell you’re putting on your face.

I personally use coconut oil or olive oil–but usually the former. Coconut oil is so fucking wonderful, guys. It’s antibacterial, gentle on sensitive skin, moisturizing, natural, and contains enough free radicals to ward off premature aging and wrinkles! Plus, it lasts forever. I bought an $8 jar that has lasted me all year. And I use it liberally on my body, too. I can eat it too, so I feel safe putting it on my face. Here are some nutritious benefits of coconut oil.

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Olive oil is a wonderful make-up remover and moisturizer. I use olive oil on my face if I don’t have access to coconut oil, or if it’s winter and I’m really dry. I use olive oil on my body year-round. It’s natural and really effective. No more dry skin! And it’s cheaper than buying some crappy moisturizer that smells like cotton candy and doesn’t do shit for my dry skin.

3. Eye Make-Up Remover:

I use sweet almond oil. I’ve had the bottle for over 3 years, and I use it every day. I think the bottle was under $12, and it has lasted me over 3 years. You can find sweet almond oil at any health food store.

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When I don’t have sweet almond oil on hand, I opt for olive oil or coconut oil.

4. Body Scrub:

This is the best body scrub–period. Totally ideal for winter. Mix equal parts olive oil and sugar to form a paste. Massage in circular motions into your skin while in the shower. Rinse off. Pat body dry when shower is complete. Enjoy soft, moisturized goddess legs.

If you do this, you can skip post-shower moisturizing entirely. Win! I would recommend doing this no more than 3 times per week.

5. Hair Mask:

Everything you need for fabulous hair is in your kitchen.

For stronger hair, whip some eggs and massage them into your hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave it in for a bit. Wash off with lukewarm water. I repeat, do NOT use hot water. You will end up with an omelette.

A nice lady from work let me in on a little secret. As a side note, she has gorgeous long and shiny hair. About once a month, she mixes Argan Oil (get this from the health food store) with coconut oil and sweet almond oil. She warms it up, and then massages it into her scalp and working through her hair–roots to ends. She pins her hair back, and covers with a shower cap and warm towel. She lets it sit for an hour or so, and then washes it out. It requires about two to three shampoos. I’ve tried it once, and by god, it’s amazing.

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If you’re a girl on the go, you can simply put some mayonnaise (yes, I’m being serious) into your hair and massage from roots to ends. Cover with a shower cap and leave it in for half an hour or so. Wash it out as normal and don’t use conditioner. Your locks will be shiny.

6. Regular Hair Care:

Uh…don’t wash your hair every day. You’re going to dry out the follicle and your hair is going to become even oilier because your scalp will panic and produce more oil. See how this can be a vicious cycle?

I wash my hair about twice a week.

There’s a new movement, guys. It’s called “Going ‘poo free“. There are people out there who don’t use shampoo anymore! Imagine that. They’re using baking soda mixed with a bit of water, instead. I tried this out because my shampoo was leaving residue in my hair–gross. It’s surprisingly refreshing. My hair never felt so clean and light.

If you’re willing to try this out, remember to rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar and cold water after. Mix one tablespoon of the vinegar with a cup of water and rinse your hair with it. Don’t wash your hair or anything after this–just squeeze the water out with a towel and style as usual.

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What are some of your beauty secrets?

Moritz Erhardt and Ambition

I’m a typical twentysomething stuck in a dead-end job, but dreaming of something more for myself. I don’t know what it is yet, but I know that I want more. I want to achieve something. I want to make a difference. I know that once I pick a direction, I will work hard and propel myself forward. Long hours, all nighters, whatever! I’ll do it, because you’d do anything for your dream job, right?

Right.

Moritz Erhardt was like that too. I’ll give you the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version of everything the news has reported thus far.

TL;DR: Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year old intern at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch died last week, after pulling 3 all-nighters in a row, and 8 in the last two weeks. They found him dead in his shower in London. He had grueling work hours and was under pressure to succeed.

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Looks like this guy was the full package: cute, smart, ambitious, and hard working

This hits close to home. I didn’t know Moritz and I don’t know anyone who died from exhaustion–although there is some speculation that Moritz had a medical condition (like epilepsy) and/or was getting some help from methamphetamine to trudge through those long hours.

This hits close to home because I see myself in Moritz. I’m only a few years older than him, but that was me. That still is me, sometimes. I remember pulling all nighters in college, sometimes two in a row, just to finish a project or study for an exam. Like Moritz, I was under a lot of pressure to succeed, and I was incredibly competitive and overachieving.

My wake up call was when I ended up in the hospital. I worked myself to exhaustion and dehydration. I went to the hospital in the bad part of town (intake is faster). They told me that I was exhausted–unsurprising, since I was running on little to no sleep. They told me to drink water or even Gatorade to replenish my electrolytes and help my dehydration. I couldn’t drink anything without gagging. I was throwing up all day. At some point, my stomach was so empty that I was throwing up nothing–that’s right, I was throwing up air. I couldn’t sleep because I kept getting up to throw up.

They hooked me up to an IV and fed water into my veins. It’s absolutely sick that I loved it. It felt so nice. I felt somewhat refreshed. It didn’t occur to me, in that moment, how fucked up the situation was–I had worked my way into a hospital bed.

When I told my professor about the hospital incident, she told me that nothing can make up for the health I’ve lost.

I pulled a handful of all-nighters the following year in moderation. Since graduating, I haven’t pulled a single all-nighter and I intend to keep it that way.

My heart goes out to Moritz’s family and friends during this difficult time. I hope his death wasn’t for nothing–that his death will spark public outrage, and labour conditions for our interns–and other professionals like lawyers, doctors, and bankers–will be improved. We shouldn’t reward 100-hour workweeks. And we shouldn’t punish those for working normal hours. At the end of the day, it’s just not worth it.

As for all of you Moritz’s out there, take it easy. Your health is the most valuable thing you have. Don’t fall into the trap, set some boundaries for yourself, and know when to call it quits.

Blogs worth mentioning

J. Parker from Training Camp Rookie nominated me for a Liebster award. She’s a southern belle from Texas who injects delightful things like “y’all” into her posts. Saying “y’all” is so much fun. I wish I could get away with it without looking ridiculous. I follow the rule of “you’re not from the south, you probably shouldn’t act like you are” and it’s working out for me so far.

I digress.

Without further ado, I’m gonna answer her questions, highlight 10 blogs I haven’t nominated before and think are worth checking out, and then pose 10 of my own.

Let’s go.

1. What’s the longest ROAD trip you’ve ever taken? Trains, planes, and hot air balloons don’t count!

My family took a road trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Manitoba is just next door to Ontario, where I live. Since Canada is so enormous, it took us a day just to get out of Ontario. Every. Town. Looked. The. Same. It was like a horror movie. Small town after small town. Gas station after gas station. Corn fields. The more north we went, the more white people there were. Coming from Toronto, the most diverse city in the world, it was really shocking.

2. What is at the very top of your bucket list and why?

Hands down, traveling the world. I have a lot of catching up to do and I relish new experiences.

3. Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met/gawked at on the sidewalk/sat next to on the subway?

I don’t care much for celebrities, but I saw Drake when he was visiting Toronto. If I could push past the excited teenage girls, I would ask him to please stop making music or at the very least, stop advertising that you’re from Toronto. We don’t want you.

Here’s a fun fact about Drake. He didn’t “start from the bottom” as he claims. He grew up in Forest Hill, one of the most (like top 5 most) wealthy neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Also, here is Drake without eyebrows.

Image4. What is the Fall activity you’re most looking forward to?

Wearing my riding boots and looking all east coast equestrian and shit. I can’t wait to step on crunchy leaves, wear chunky scarves, and make pumpkin-themed everything. My roommate almost barfed last year because I made pumpkin soup, lasagna, and pie in the same week (from the same pumpkin too!) and forced her to help me eat it all.

5. Do you have a favorite breakfast food/meal?

Brie-stuffed french toast soaked in Grand Marnier. Oh yeaaaah.

6. If you could wake up tomorrow with any job in the world, what would it be?

I’d be a chef with my own TV show and book series. Only because I like narrating with a faux British accent while I’m cooking.

7. Have you ever successfully completed something you pinned on Pinterest?

Not yet but one day! One day…

8. What is most recent thing you bought and why did you buy it?

I bought a bottle of red vino to split with my roommate for dinner tonight. It was Fat Bastard, to be exact, and it was actually quite good. Do I really need a reason to buy wine? Well here it is: it’s Monday.

9. Do you wear a watch or just use your cellphone to keep track of time?

I wear a watch as an accessory and use my cellphone to keep track of time. My coworker noticed my watch was like 3 hours behind one day, and I didn’t even bat an eye. Whatever!

10. Can you do a handstand?

Only in the water. Or against a wall or something.

Here are the nominees. Check out their blogs when you have a chance.

1. The Russian Way

2. Kay’s Fairy Tale

3. Kev’s Stuff

4. Harmonious Stew

5. Oyster Diaries

6. Books, Tea, & Me

7. Taking Chances 21

8. Journeym4n

9. Underground Parenting Vancouver

10. Vodka & Cupcakes

And here are my questions to you.

1. What made you want to start blogging?

2. What’s your favourite place in the whole world, and why?

3. If you could erase one word from the English language, what would it be?

4. What small thing makes you happy?

5. If you could be extremely good at one thing, what would it be and why?

6. Are you an early bird or night owl?

7. What’s something you learned recently?

8. If you could live in another decade, when would it be?

9. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

10. Tell me a random fact about you.

 

Now go pass the torch!

Ta.