“Everything I seek is already within me.”Louise Hay
Yes, friends! I’m alive and well. My name is Lindsey and I’ve been ghosting this beautiful little space on the web for far too long, but ghost no more. Bestie JS, thank you for inspiring with your post. Now that it is 2019, I thought I would take a couple of minutes to do a little recap of what I was thankful for in 2018. Here it is… are you ready?
Twenty eighteen, thank you for:
- random encounters with people on the street (hi, french boys)
- the montréal metro
- bumble. you brought me more entertainment and random dates than i could have ever imagined
- peppermint tea
- the worst kiss and the best kiss
- all the prairie sunsets
- swimming in the river
- my legs. oh, the places you took me this year. thank you, bod
- my yoga mat
- the untethered soul … you changed the way i live my life
- fresh mexican mangoes
- a fully stocked kitchen
- google maps. i’d probably be stuck in a forest if it wasn’t for ya
- freshly baked bread
- beers in the park
- my swell water bottle
- meeting new friends at cafes
- clary sage essential oil
- earpods. the real deal, friends. worth every single penny
- the best veggie burger my mouth has ever tasted
- finally seeing newfoundland. you’ve been on my list for over a decade
- the smell of the ocean
- teaching me how to sleep in a hammock
- seeing the stars
- feeling the sun on my face
- laughing the hardest I’ve ever laughed… ever!
Wow! You were quite the year. So many random adventures. Roadtrippin’ around Mexico, camping on the beaches, hiking and hitchhiking all around Newfoundland, seeing Sheryl Crow perform at the Winnipeg Folk Fest (btw, she killed it!), going back to school and eventually moving to Montreal. Thank you for the best year thus far. You were the sweetest!
Well… now that it’s 2019 let’s get this party started. I have a feeling, my friends. Cue all the glitter, laughs, dancing, blissful moments and pumpkin pie. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST YEAR OF OUR LIVES.
Hola mi amigas! Since we’re such good friends and all, I wanted to share something that I haven’t spoken about much before- online or with friends. You ready?
The last time I went traveling for 1 and 1/2 years, I gained 20 pounds.
At the time I didn’t really realize. I knew my body had changed and I felt a little weird about it, but I wasn’t sure exactly how much until I returned home and literally NONE of my clothes fit me anymore… So what did I do? I bought new pants, and continued on with my life. Then, while I was living back home over the next year, I lost 20 pounds, so… I bought new pants, and continued on with my life.
Now that I’ve been traveling Mexico for roughly 6 weeks, I can notice my body changing all over again. My cheeks are a little rounder, my hips are a little wider, and my bra’s are doing their best to keep up with it all (Thank you, thank you, thank you to my bra’s – You’re my most loyal friends. I love you).
Are you wondering why I’ve never spoken about this weight fluctuation before? Because it doesn’t fucking matter, that’s why. The reason I don’t talk about my weight is the same reason that I don’t talk about the colour of my eyes, or the size of my shoes, or the length of my hair; because it’s completely irrelevant to my quality of life and overall happiness.
Another funny thing about weight (and most everything else), is that other people are way too obsessed with their own to ever worry about yours. You might think that everyone will notice and ask you about the changes you see in your body, but I’m here to tell you- they wont.
When my body changed the first time, no one even noticed! Not one person noticed when I gained the weight, and no one noticed when I lost it, either. I don’t remember anyone saying anything to me about it the entire time, and if I ever brought it up, people seemed shocked and surprised.
Did my friends still love me just the same when I returned home from traveling, 20 pounds heavier? No, they loved me more, because I was smarter, funnier, more confident, more cultured, and just an all around happier person because of my experiences abroad.
Did the extra weight mean I had a lack of boys wanting to make out with me? Hell no. Any boy who see’s me naked should count himself BLESSED no matter how much I weigh, and they know it, too.
Here’s a little secret for you my friends- people are attracted to confidence in yourself and vitality inside of your soul, not pant size. Here’s another secret- you don’t need validation from anyone. You are already a perfect, beautiful, angel, and your weight does not define you.
It never has and it never will.
That being said, I’m still just a regular person, and sometimes I feel a little weird about my body changing, so something I like to ask myself when I notice these changes is “why did I decided to travel in the first place?”
Did I go traveling so that I could be skinny and photogenic and have shinny hair and perfect skin and an Instagram feed full of selfies? No! I’m a regular human being. I went traveling so that I could make friends, enjoy my life, experience the culture, learn the language, eat the food! drink the drinks!! kiss the boys!!! dance the dances!!!! And now please tell me, how the hell am I supposed to do all of that while I also worry about my weight? I’m too busy living my life and having fun to worry about something so pointless and insignificant as a few extra pounds.
Life is too beautiful a thing to miss out on by stressing over the small stuff.
Yes, mezcal and lack of sleep and fried corn in all it’s forms can help to add a few pounds to the body, but that’s kind of the point of being in Mexico, no? How boring would it be if I never tried the local food, never drank the drinks, never ate tacos at 7am after a long night of dancing, and if I got 9 hours of sleep every night? Let me tell you… I did not come to Mexico to get 9 hours of sleep a night, okay?
Alright, alright, so that’s all fine any everything, but before you (Mom) think anything crazy, let’s get one thing straight here- when I talk about not caring, it’s about my weight, not my health.
My health is always and forever my number one priority.
My body and I- we are besties- and I plan to take care of, treasure, and respect it, just like my body loves, respects, and takes care of me
I’m still eating a ton of vegetables, I’m still drinking water, I’m still doing yoga, I’m still meditating, I’m still sleeping, I’m still listening to my body and giving it what it needs.
The thing about health is this – it has just as much to do with what you put in your mind as what you put in your body. Mental health is obviously extremely important, and at least for me, I would rather eat the chilaquiles and drink the margarita every now and again than stress about exactly what it’s doing to my body. What do you think is worse for you, an extra 7 pounds, or a lifetime of stress?
So yeah, my body is changing, and it really, truly, does not matter. In fact, MY ENTIRE LIFE IS CHANGING. Everything is different; my whole life is expanding, the world is opening up to me.
It’s called growth- the best way to measure if something is alive.
My body is changing, and it’s okay.
Alright, so I know that everyone is getting pretty sick of reading a bunch of Instagram posts about what their friends have accomplished in 2018 and how freekin blessed and happy and obsessed with themselves they all are. But guess what? For the sake or gratitude and appreciating the simple stuff, I’m going to hit you with another one – so get ready. Sorry not sorry!
Dear 2018, thank you for:
- The tree outside my window, and all the tiny birds who called it home
- Beach sunsets
- Vintage coats
- Hugs- so many hugs
- Words that took my breath away
- Wine – even the sparking red that I exploded all over a bunch of strangers and ruined my shoes with
- New friends
- Old friends
- Friends who become family
- Library books
- The music I danced and cried and sang along to
- The babies I smiled at
- Pink jeans
- This Instagram account <–
- Dogs – all the dogs
- Farmers market swiss chard
- The tears I cried
- The boys I kissed
- Smoothie bowls
- Red lipstick
- Light reflections at magic hour
- The bike rides to work
- The meals I shared with friends
- Purple sea shells
So thanks for the mem’s, 2018. Sure, the big moments were great too, but it was really all of the tiny moments of joy that got me through the year and made it so enjoyable. Can’t wait to stare at the sky and dance and laugh and cry and smile at even more babies in 2019.
Hey peeps! It’s Jessica here, coming to you via the World Wide Web of 2018. Man it’s a crazy time on the internet these days, hey? It seems that everywhere I look right now I’m either being told to buy a bunch of stuff that I don’t need, or bombarded with information about how the human race is destroying literally everything.
Everything we eat is killing both us and the planet, everything we buy is made by underpaid children, in horrible working conditions, in factories that are polluting the environment, shipped in plastic that is destroying the earth… and then somehow it’s all giving us cancer. The polar bears are dying, the oceans are rising, children are starving, the forests are being cut down, the sea turtles are extremely sad, our politicians are out to get us, social media is turning us all against each other… and it’s all our fault.
the world is doomed:
Although this horrifying information (I assume?) is supposed to motivate and encourage people to spring into action and start making the world a better place, oftentimes it leaves me feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and terrible about myself and all of humanity. I see how far we have to come, and getting there feels insurmountable, paralysing, and down right depressing. Do you feel this way too?
Everyday there is a new solution that we are promised will fix everything. “Ditch the straws!” “Shop local!” “Bike to work!” “Ban all plastic!” “No palm oil!” “Shop organic!” “Hug a homeless person!” “Get rid of all your stuff, move to the forest, forage for your meals, and sleep on the ground!”
Everyone wants to make the solutions to the worlds problems seem simple, but it never is. For example, one week we read that banning plastic straws will clean up the worlds oceans, so we ditch the straws, feel good about ourselves for a minute, and then a few days later we read that in reality, 46% of all waste in the oceans comes from abandoned commercial fishing net’s, not from straws or other single use items, and we think “Well screw it then! I can’t do anything right, I will never be “good” enough to actually make a difference, the world is doomed, and I’m just one teeny, tiny person, and nothing I do matters.”
Does this sound familiar? I know that I personally have these thoughts all the time, and it’s not fun. If you feel this way too, I’m afraid to say that unfortunately, you’re not wrong. I mean if we’re being realistic here… one person saying no to straws and biking to work twice a week isn’t going to save the polar bears, that’s true, but then I think…what other choice do we have? Sure, we can’t change the world over night, but is throwing our hands in the air and giving up the only other option?
progress has to happen:
Here’s the thing that we often forget- the world HAS to progress if we want to survive… we don’t actually have a choice.
We have to stop using single use plastics if we don’t want the world to turn into a giant garbage mound and kill all marine life, we have to drastically cut down on our animal product consumption if we plan to feed the earths growing population, cut down on greenhouse gasses, and reduce pollution, and most importantly, we have to stop buying literal TONS of cheap shit that we don’t actually need every single day if we want to keep the planet (and each other) healthy. We have to start giving a fuck- end of story, and we have to start now. There is no other option.
But here’s the thing- these changes don’t have to be a dramatic, abrupt, or stressful.
We don’t have to commit to changing everything all at once, we don’t have to overwhelm ourselves, and we don’t have to feel ashamed about starting from square one. The idea of progress doesn’t have to paralyse us with fear, and we definitely don’t have to hate ourselves or others if we’re not growing as quickly as we feel we ought to be- or god forbid, if we’re not perfect.
perfection is a trap:
Yes perfectionism, it creeps into every area of our lives. Western society idolises it, and social media makes it seem like everyone else is mastering perfectionism but us. We see perfection as a good thing- perfect people seem to have ultimate control over their lives, everything goes as planned for them, and everyone loves them for it.
But you know what? Perfectionism sucks. In fact, it’s total complete bull shit, and you should not strive for it- ever. Perfection not attainable, it’s not real, and striving for (or faking) perfection helps absolutely no one and hurts everyone.
I’m going to quote Brené Brown on this. In the book “The Gifts of Imperfection”, she says:
“Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimise or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”
Ahh, can we all just take a minute to soak in that message? Perfectionism is just another shield that we use to try and protect ourselves from vulnerability, not a useful tool for change…. wow.
In my experience, perfectionism is more about control rather than a desire for growth. We hold ourselves to an unattainable standard because we are terrified of the vulnerability that trying and failing brings. We strive to be perfect and impenetrable, thinking that if we are perfect enough, no one can judge us (no one can hurt us), and therefor we will be safe. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like this. No my friends, perfectionism is a trap.
Again, let’s let Brené tell us why:
“Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
Ahh yes, depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis… my old friends. I definitely know a thing or two about those; I think we all do. If you’ve been there too, you’re not alone in this, but just know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Perfection is not the goal.
perfection vs. progress:
The idea that we have to be perfect in order to progress is so messed up that I don’t even know where to begin, but it permeates so much of our way of thinking about personal growth. How many book clubs, bootcamps, or 30 day challenges have we all given up on because of one small misstep, or even worse, have we been too overwhelmed by to even start? Sometimes we get so caught up in our progress being a picture perfect upward trajectory that we never actually start, or we can’t keep it up to the standards we think we ought to be at, so we quit half way through.
If you’ve been there, I get it. I’ve been there too, but as my mom would say, “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Honestly though, I’m not 100% I even understand what that means(?), so let’s just go with “your best is good enough.” In fact, your best is the most you can ever expect, and you should be incredibly proud of yourself for doing your best. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and starting from square one is completely acceptable, honourable, and doable. You go this!
Perfection is not the goal; progress is, and the key to progress is to not feel ashamed for being imperfect (human?), and instead to just. keep. going.
For example, I’ve spoken openly about how rejecting the idea of being a “perfect vegan” and instead, just doing my best with veganism, has allowed me to be a (happy) vegan for three + years, and develop a healthy relationship with food and my body in the process. If I was focused on being a “perfect” vegan instead of just doing my best, I probably wouldn’t have even started- I would have been too overwhelmed- and if I did start, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to keep it up 100% of the time, and the shame would have eaten away at me.
Being imperfect doesn’t make me a failure, it makes me a HUMAN, and there is no shame in this. I can see the progress I’ve made over the years, and none of it is thanks to perfection. Instead, it’s qualities like being open minded, curious, honest, and vulnerable that have gotten me to where I am today, and the same is true for you too.
In order to move forward we need to acknowledge perfectionism for what it is- a shield for our vulnerability, and learn to let it go. It’s not serving us; we need to move on. Progress is the only goal.
where to start:
The convenient part about the human race currently doing everything wrong (pretty much) is that we have many many avenues in which we can start to improve ourselves and affect change in the world. So ask yourself, what are you curious about? What sparks your interest? What makes you sad? What makes you mad? What are you passionate about? Start there.
Are you interested in human rights? Start by checking the tags on your clothes and do a quick search on the conditions in which they were made. See where that information leads you.
How about pollution? Look at your garbage. What are the items you’re throwing in the trash every day? Is this necessary? How can you reduce?
Interested in health? Read the list of ingredients in your beauty products and packaged foods. Don’t recognise any of those words? Maybe that’s a sign they don’t belong in your body. Ask a health conscious friend where they started and go from there.
Read books! Watch documentaries! Read blogs! Listen to Podcasts! Talk to people! Ask questions!
Join some groups on Facebook! I have learned SO MUCH from zero waste and vegan groups online, and the information and support I’ve received from other people learning and growing together has been invaluable for my own growth. Just start, people!
just do it:
The incredible thing about positive change is that it has a snowball effect that starts to find it’s ways into other areas of your life- you just have to start.
When I became vegan three years ago I had no idea about the worlds current issues surrounding animal rights, human rights, human health, climate change, plastic pollution, ect. I just started with something I was interested in, and then one thing led to another in an organic, non stressful way, and I progressed little by little. It is okay to learn at your own pace- there’s no pressure- but do not remain stagnant. Growth starts now.
Just do it, people! Just start. Take it one step at a time, keep going, and stay curious. JUST DO YOUR BEST and know that that is more than enough. YOU are more than enough.
The world is too big, too beautiful, too interesting, too luscious, too incredible to sit back everyday and scroll through posts of people pretending to have it together on Instagram and online shop for stuff you don’t need. Isn’t your time more valuable than that? Isn’t your life more interesting, more joyful, more fulfilling than that? Don’t you want to look back on your life and see passion, growth, and humility? I know I do, and I know that you do too. Alright?
So let’s all be proud of ourselves for taking two steps forwards and one step backwards- that is how all progress is made, after all. Let’s all be open to new information, new lifestyles, and new opinions. Let’s all be curious and humble. Let’s all put our ego’s down and drop the shield of perfection. Let’s do our best, and remember that that is enough. Let’s build each other up and cheer each other on.
Let’s keep going… after all, what other choice do we have?
Love you, believe in you, proud of you.