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TRAVEL : Prep


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LOOK! A Wild Post that isn’t about Cosplay has Appeared!

As much as I consider myself an adventurer, there are certain situations where I prefer being prepared for in advance instead of spontaneously jumping into the action. Traveling has always been one of those situations. Don’t get me wrong though. I totally understand when things don’t go to plan and “winging it” is a phrase I often say, but I know myself, and when I’m in a new place without having done little to no research, I find myself out of my element and prone to stressing out (flashback to my first time in Europe when I was 17-years-old and experienced my first bout of culture-shock).

I’ve since learned that being a little prepared goes a long way in keeping my peace of mind. (My first time travelling solo is a clear testament of this.)

With my trip to Japan closing in quickly, I’ve found myself stressing out a little bit as I’ve been slacking on the studying I had originally wanted to have completed by now.

I’ve decided that from now until my departure, to at least learn how to read Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji and some basic phrases for emergency situations. Now I don’t expect to have a superior understanding of the language by the time I leave, but I’m at least hoping to be able to read maps/signs or even a menu without pictures haha. It might be a very ambitious goal and if all else fails, Translation apps will be my best friend.

Outside of learning some basic Japanese, I’ve invested in a new DSLR camera, and I’ve taken it upon myself to learn the in-and-outs of this new toy of mine. Going to Japan and Korea has been a long time dream and I would like to document as much as I can~ I know, I know. Some people are annoyed by all the photo taking, and as usual— don’t get me wrong, I get it! It’s just I think Photography is a new hobby I’ve taken up and experimenting with it in Japan would be a pretty amazing experience! I think it’ll be fun to be on the other side of the camera for once 🙂 And don’t worry, I won’t live my trip only through the lens!

Anyway, I think that’s it for today, I’m going to get back to perfecting my Hiragana and making some flash cards. What an exciting Saturday night XD studying for fun haha~

I hope everyone is well! Any plans for the rest of your weekend? Did you ever experience culture shock? Or are you the kind of traveller who jumps straight into the unknown like a Gryffindor?

ALSO, if you’ve ever been to Japan or Korea, PLEASE chat with me~ I love to get some opinions and suggestions of what to see and do in the short time I’ll be there! To be honest, this trip of mine is pretty much just a giant food adventure. We all know how much I love food haha~

Much Love,
Sam ❤

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Where Am I Going?


Now that I’m a student again those “what am I going to do with my life” thoughts have come back to haunt me with a vengeance (probably because it had been put on the back burner for about a year or so). You’ve probably had similar thoughts and if you’re anything like me, you were probably wondering, worrying, stressing about how things might not go your way.

I know it’s completely normal to not know exactly what you want to do in life. Some people are lucky and knew from the start, others had/maybe still have no idea what they’re doing and continue to coast through life.

My problem wasn’t so much of a “what am I going to do” but a “which one should I choose” kind of deal. In high school, I knew I wanted to go into the arts or writing. When I applied for CEGEP (if you’re unfamiliar with the acronym, it’s General and Professional College (in French though) that’s pretty much required for Quebec students if you want to go to University) I did Arts and Culture which was a nice mix between fine arts classes, art history, film studies, journalism, creative writing and how this all related to society and different cultures. When it was time to apply for University, I knew it was time to choose. Which artistic side of me did I want to pursue more? My writing or my art?

After some contemplating, I realized that no matter how much I loved drawing and painting, I would never be able to do it as a career. I couldn’t see myself doing it every day for the rest of my working life. Freelancing it, keeping it more as a hobby than a job was fine but anything more than that, I felt like I would probably lose my passion for it. With writing though, it was different. I knew I’d be able to do it everyday, even if I didn’t feel like it, but not lose my passion for it. In fact, while I might not update my page every day here (like I did in the beginning) I still write every day. It just doesn’t get posted.

With that understanding, I went for literature and as a result I’m currently an English Lit major with a minor in Professional Writing.

That’s when more options, career-wise, were revealed to me and for a good part of my first year of undergrad studies, I started thinking about what exactly I wanted to do with this degree. At the time I was really interested in going abroad helping countries build schools and teach. But as I was taking composition classes and learning about editing it brought me back to my journalism classes back at CEGEP and it made me want to venture into that field. Then, during my year off when I got hired at a book store, I contemplated on working in the book/publishing industry. Sigh. Decisions…

In an ideal world, I’d like to do all of these jobs/careers one day. If I plan it carefully, maybe I’ll manage to pull it off. I mean, there are plenty of volunteer groups that go to countries in need, builds schools and teach so I could join one of those for a summer or two (or four).

After I finish my degree, I was planning on applying for this internship I found that works directly with the Canadian magazine industry and I’m sure I could find something similar for the publishing industry as well. If those fell through, I knew I wanted to go back to school and get my art and education degree so I could teach art or English. Ideally though, I’d love to work for/in magazines/journals/publishing first and when I “retire” or something, move onto teaching to share my experiences.

These are all just hopes and dreams at the moment but I hope I’ll achieve them one day soon.

Above all of these, I’ve always wanted to inspire. I always hope that one day my words, works or actions will inspire someone like many have inspired me. I think that’s partly why I started this blog in the first place. To connect with the world and give a piece of myself no matter how small. Maybe I could bring a few smiles along the way… who knows?

So…
Where am I going?

I’m going to finish my studies
I’m going to strive and work hard
I’m going to continue dreaming and reaching and hoping
and one day
I’m going to make all of this happen.
Maybe.

Until Next Time~!
Sam

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Why I’ll Start Facing My Fears More Often


FREE FALLING 😀

WELL. I was away longer than I had anticipated. I was originally going to come back on Monday, but I was just so tired that by the time I’d get home from work, I’d knock out for the day. I think it’s partly jet-lag and partly not having slept much while I was away. Anyway, I am back and things should return to a daily posting schedule! 😀 I missed you all and hope you’re doing well!

Since it’s my big return, I figure I should make this post worth it! It helps since I had a mini life-changing experience when I was away, and I feel like it’s a nice welcome back post.

I’ll be talking about Fear. Or, more specifically, facing said fears. Being scared of something can paralyze you and prevent you from doing something you might actually really want. It can be over trivial things, like spiders (I normally can’t sleep in a room I know a spider is currently residing in), or something pretty reasonable like dying or being alone.

Letting you in on a not-so secret of mine, I’m terrified of spiders, clowns, heights and falling. Also, being a human-being, I don’t like setting myself up for rejection whether it be from a job, school, or maybe a relationship, and sometimes, that fear stops me from going for something I want. I’ve been working on that and so far it’s been going alright :). What’s life without a little risk right? Besides, getting rejected is part of life, you can’t always get what you want (unless you’re extremely lucky, which I’m not, but that’s another story for another day).

Now that you know what I’m scared of, let me elaborate on two of my fears: heights and falling. I can’t stand on a balcony/roof (even if it’s one floor up) without feeling nervous. I’ve been working on this fear by going on roller-coasters and airplanes etc, but it’s not the same. An airplane doesn’t feel like you’re X feet high and could plummet to your death should something go wrong. A roller-coaster goes way too fast to even register the height. For me, on a balcony/roof, you can see the distance from the ground and know you put yourself in that high position… and willingly too.

So before I get into the nitty-gritty stuff, let me tell you a story:

While I was in California, the topic of skydiving came up. For some odd reason, despite my fear of heights I decided, hey! I should do it! As a result, for the rest of the week while I was there, I’d ask my mother: “Am I jumping out of a plane on monday?” At first she was like: “sure”. I think it’s because we were both joking about it. But then I kept asking and it just made her nervous and her answer changed to maybe.

My thoughts and feelings about skydiving for the week were pretty nonchalant, like: yeah I can do this!
No biggie! It’s like I forgot I was scared of heights or something. Then when I asked for a final time that monday (the day I would have gone if we were home and not driving back to the city), part of me jokingly, part of me serious my mother asked me if I was sure because if I was, she’d drive me to the parachute center the next day (my last day in california).

I said yes, but really… I wasn’t. Next thing I know, she called the place and asked if she had to make an appointment but they said to just drop in between so and so time. That’s when I started getting extremely nervous. I mean, for someone who’s terrified of heights like I am, skydiving is a serious thing.

How did I expect myself to get a good night’s rest when I know after I wake up the next morning, I’ll be jumping out of a plane. At 13,000 feet. WHAT?

Before going to bed I browsed youtube and watched other first-timers tandem dive and that just made me much more nervous I started to shake and my palms started getting really clammy. I wanted to back out. I really did. I ended up messaging my friend saying: Hey. so. I might do something stupid and crazy tomorrow. Wish me luck.

I didn’t tell her what just in case I chickened out hahaha. I had nightmares that night about collapsing bridges and world destruction and when I woke up in the morning I was super quiet. I’m not saying I’m a morning person, but after at least an hour of being awake, I’m fairly talkative. My mother asked me one more time if I was ready. I couldn’t talk so I just nodded. By this time I started feeling really ill. Then I was getting ready and soon enough we were on the road. It’s supposed to be a 30 minute drive to the center but it seriously felt like two minutes.

I could barely walk straight but I get into the place, was directed to the front desk, paid for my jump and a video+photo package and next thing I know, I’m watching a horribly yet hilariously made intro video and I’m signing my life away. I will admit I barely read the contract, I couldn’t concentrate on it and all I knew was to sign my initial in the little boxes and then my full signature and date at the bottom.

Once I handed my paper in, the workers there told me I could sit outside and watch others jumping. At first I was too nervous to watch but I knew I had to brave it out. I think it just made me more nervous to be honest. The whole time I was thinking: “SAM!? WHAT ARE YOU GETTING YOURSELF INTO?! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF YOU CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY GIRL!!!”

I was soooo close to backing out, I’m pretty sure I was near tears and possibly extremely pale at this point but I think I managed to hide it. My number is called, I head to the other room and suddenly everything gets so so real. I’m geared up with the harness, I’m introduced to my partner: Paulo, and my cameraman: Yuriy, I’m instructed on the how’s and what’s of tandem diving and then, I’m headed to the plane.

No turning back now.

Up and away we go and unfortunately, being the first to board the plane means you’re the last to dive. That means you watch everyone else fall out of the plane seemingly to their death and then it’s your turn. At this point, you don’t have time to be scared and even if you hesitate, it means nothing because your partner will just dive anyway and being attached to him or her means you have no choice but to go along for the ride.

There’s this moment, when I’m at the edge of the plane’s door staring out at the world knowing I’m 13,000 feet high up in the sky about to dive out and the only thing I can remember feeling is acceptance. Acceptance of what I’m not too sure, accepting my fate? My fear? Over-coming it maybe? It’s a little unclear. That might be because my thoughts were interrupted when Paulo decided we enjoyed the view enough and we were free falling for a minute and a half.

I can tell you now the experience was amazing. There’s no funny dropping feeling in the pit of your stomach. Since I’m not a bird I can’t compare it to flying, but it must be a pretty close comparison. I think the best word would be floating though, especially when the parachute is up and you’re just sailing.

The whole point of this long story is if you can move passed fear you can pretty much do anything humanly possible. You might not understand how proud I felt for myself, and accomplished too, but I was. I mean, the night before and the whole morning before my turn I doubted myself. I was in a world full of self-hate and that’s a pretty crappy place to be in because you feel horrible. In my head I wanted so badly to back out but then I’d get angry at myself, calling myself names none too pretty. I’m really my own worst critic but because I managed to push all that negativity aside and set my mind to this goal of overcoming this fear, I felt like I was on top of the world.

My mother says if I put myself in this mentality for everything in life, nothing can stand in my way for what I want. It’s true. It doesn’t mean you will get everything, but at least you’ve given everything you’ve got to try and get it. And like I said earlier, what’s life without a little risk? It’s the same as a life without dreams. Boring. A person will just sail through life, living but not really experiencing what there is. If you’re living this life once, why not make the most of it? Why not challenge yourself and figure out what your limitations are? If fear is holding you back, think about what you can do to over come it. It’s obviously easier said than done, like many things in life, but would you want to live a life full of what-ifs and maybes or the feeling of being proud of yourself?

My skydiving experience was a real eye-opener. I realized the limitations I thought I had were wrong and it’s all about what you can and will dedicate yourself into doing. I don’t think I had ever felt so proud of myself before that moment and that feeling is so overwhelming but so amazing I want to feel it more often. I mean, it’s one thing having someone feel proud of you, but to feel it for yourself because you did something is another feeling all together.

Am I making any sense?
I hope so.

I think it’s a little funny how skydiving had to be the event to make me see this, but hey, it’s different for everyone, right?

So, if you’re scared of heights, I definitely recommend skydiving (and even if you’re not scared of heights, skydiving is definitely something you should try if it interests you!). The next time life presents you with an opportunity to face your fear, whatever it is, take it. Take it and run! You’ll regret it if you don’t, and even if the outcome isn’t what you wanted, at least you tried.

🙂

Until tomorrow~!
It’s good to be back!

Sam

Signing my life away

Gearing Up

Saying byebye to Mom; She was pretty terrified for me

Paulo, Me and Yuriy 🙂 ❤

Post Jump 😀

Hug! 😀

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Dreams


This morning after work, I was having a coffee break and someone had come up to me complimenting the tattoo I have on my back (featured above). We both got to talking about our ink and if we had a story behind them. Mine wasn’t really a story but more of an idea.

As you’ll come to realize, I have a fascination for Dreams. Not the kind where a girl fantasizes about boys or whatever. No.

I love the idea of dreams being something you work towards. I’ve always thought to myself:

“Dreams are our hopes and ambitions coming to life; they’re the beginnings of a goal and the road to something greater. We only have to walk that path to make our dreams come true.”

It’s not always easy to walk down that road but what road is ever perfectly smooth the whole way through? Sometimes you’ll want to give up, sometimes there will be a fork in the road and you won’t be able to decide which way to go, but you always have to remember that no matter what, at the end of that path your goal is there.

Along the way you’ll meet people who will help you towards this goal and you’ll meet people who will try to stop you but as long as you keep going you’ll eventually get to that destination. You have to keep your head up, keep walking, and keep moving forward.

Now, I’m not perfect so I forget this sometimes. Often if I’m being honest. Going after what you want isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are days when I don’t have enough courage or enough motivation. There are days when I just don’t care and it sucks. I get angry at myself but then I remember, getting angry at yourself doesn’t help. It doesn’t move you forward but keeps you back.

There are times when I worry, will I ever be able to reach this goal? Make these dreams come true? Who knows. I’ll have to keep trying to figure it out. There will probably be some dreams I won’t be able to make happen but trying and failing is better than doing nothing at all. What happens on that road to your goal is the story and there isn’t always a happy ending. But! That doesn’t mean getting to the end wasn’t a great story or adventure in itself, right?

Right.

So, long story short, my tattoo is a reminder if you will, to keep dreaming and I’ll always have someone watching my back should things go wrong.

Besides, what’s life without dreams?
A boring one.

Sam

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