Author Archive for Wander the Arctic – Page 2

Lessons I Learned Yesterday (literally, yesterday)

Yesterday life smacked me in the face with some enlightening lessons out of the blue. I’m normally more prepared when it comes to writing my blog posts but I felt the need to write and post about these right now (plus I was very ill prepared for today’s post but I was determined to keep my schedule).

I started the day yesterday thinking I knew exactly how my day would unfold. I like routine and change completely messes me up. I knew I had to work from 8:00am until around 6:30pm and then I was going to a concert. I started my day like I do everyday with a really cheesy pep talk with myself (seriously, it works. Try it.) I put on my red lipstick (red is my confidence color) and told myself over and over again that I’m going to conquer the day. Then I learned lesson 1: Just because you are having a good day, doesn’t mean that everyone else is having a good day and it’s not your responsibility to ensure that they are having a good day. Let me explain that. I am all about lifting people up when they are down and helping them out when you can but sometimes a situation is out of your control and you can only do so much. I struggle with this a lot, especially with one friend in particular (totally waiting on the text from her after this goes up). If I can’t fix her, I’m a failure and the hardest thing I’m trying to learn is that that statement is a lie. Sometimes my responsibility is just to give 160% if someone can only give 40% at the moment.

A little later lesson two came along. Last October, my friend and I bought tickets to see the one and only Harry Styles in concert (and you best believe I screamed “DADDY” the entire time last night…). The concert was last night. My friend was unable to make the concert for reasons I am not going to write about without her permission. I understood the situation but I was disappointed about the possibility of having to go alone (there’s no way I’d miss seeing Harry). My friend offered the ticket to me to take another friend of mine even though she was the one who paid for the tickets to begin with. She wasn’t trying to sell her ticket she just wanted someone else to join me if possible since she couldn’t be there. Lesson 2: selflessness. It amazed me how selfless she was being. I think if the situation was reversed, my first instinct would have been to sell my ticket. Because of her selflessness, another good friend of mine had one of the best nights of her life.

Lesson 3: What Harry Styles has taught me about hard work. We all know Harry from One Direction but his journey to being a part of One Direction required a lot of hard work. Harry is now touring solo and last night he made the comment “I only have one album. I’m aware of this.” He was talking about how grateful he was for this opportunity. Not only is he so sweet and humble, but to only have one solo album and sell out arenas? Damn. That requires a lot of hard work. This also taught me that it is possible to make your dreams come true with hard work, as cheesy as that sounds. I didn’t know what my dreams were until recently but I walked away last night with a new sense of hope.

Yesterday was a good day. A very good day.

Knowing Your Worth Does Not Make You Conceited

I think there is a lot of confusion between knowing your worth and being conceited. Complimenting yourself doesn’t make you arrogant. And self deprecation is not humility. 

As soon as I receive a compliment, it find it impossible to simply say “thank you”. My conversations tend to go something like this:

“Hey Phoebe! Your eye makeup looks really good today!”

“Oh. Thanks..but  I suck at makeup”

When they should really go more like this:

“Hey Phoebe! Your eye makeup looks really good today!”

“Thanks! I think it came out pretty well today too!”

In the above conversation, in no way did I 1. insult anyone else 2. claim to be better than anyone else 3. do anything besides exude a small amount of confidence. So why on earth is it so hard to have conversation #2 instead of conversation #1?

Because THIS is how confidence is viewed:

And honestly, if conversation #2 is still too hard there’s a third option.

“Hey Phoebe! Your eye makeup looks really good today!”

“Thanks! I’m no Jaclyn Hill but I think it came out alright today!”

 

What got me really thinking about this was actually a chapter in Lilly Singh’s book “How To Be A Bawse”. .. Of course it was because I read this book like it’s the Bible. ..In this chapter, Lilly talked about her experience meeting Selena Gomez and how Selena absolutely schooled her in self confidence. She gave many examples of how Selena displayed confidence but one example stuck out to me and made a lasting impression. Lilly explained that when talking to Selena about her album cover, Selena described it as “raw and beautiful”. I was very taken aback hearing this because I don’t think I could ever refer to myself as beautiful out loud to someone else whether or not I felt it was true. But Selena was confident enough to do so. I was impressed and inspired.

I hate the fact that in hearing someone compliment herself, I was shocked. Selena feels that she is beautiful and was not afraid to say it. No where in this story did Selena claim to be more beautiful than anybody else, she simply said she thought she was beautiful. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I know personally I am constantly insulting myself and praying that someone will disagree with me and boost my confidence even if I know damn well exactly what I want them to reaffirm for me because recognizing my own accomplishments feels unnatural and wrong. It’s so much easier to try and relate to others using our flaws rather than our strengths. One of my worst examples of this is probably when I talk about my college degree in the following way; “I studied Kinesiology in school but now I’m an overweight bank teller so clearly that worked out well for me” when I could simply choose to recognize that even though I may not be using my degree, I still worked hard for it and that shouldn’t be discounted.

Recognizing your accomplishments is not conceited. Complimenting yourself isn’t insulting others. Confidence is not feeling like you are better than others, it is feeling like the best version of yourself. 

Sashbear Walk 2018

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to the lovely city of Toronto to attend the Sashbear Foundation’s annual walk.

When I was first diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I spent a lot of time online googling places to find help (or hope, honestly). I have personally experienced the challenges that come with trying to get help for this disorder. I’ve been rejected by doctors who didn’t want to deal with me and I was only able to get an adequate amount of help when it was almost too late. 
Although the Sashbear Foundation is based in Canada, I have yet to find anyone that empowered of willing to speak out for BPD in the U.S. If anyone, anywhere can get help, I am here to support that because I don’t want anyone else to have to experience the same difficulties getting help as I have experienced.

The Sashbear Foundation was started by Sasha’s parents after Sasha lost the battle against her own brain in 2011. After scrolling through the website for a few minutes and reading Sasha’s story, something hit me like a ton of bricks and put everything into perspective. Her story includes the very real, very valid point: “The pain associated with the disorder was too great and the system failed to support her needs.” View full website here. After reading that sentence, I immediately knew that I needed to connect with these people. They have no idea who I am, but I am forever grateful for discovering them.

The theme of the walk seemed to be “mindfulness” and there were some very meaningful activities associated with mindfulness. I really appreciated being encouraged to stay present and really soak in the moment of being surrounded by people who, even though most of them have no idea who I am, supported me. I had a lovely time hearing stories of others. If anyone I connected with during the walk happens to stumble upon this post, please reach out to me either in the comments or at wanderthearctic@gmail.com. I would love to continue our support of each other.

I encourage you to check out the Sashbear Foundation and I will link their website and social media accounts below:

www.sashbear.org

Twitter: @sashbearorg

Instagram: @sahbearorg

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who bought my shirts during the month of May. I donated all of the money I made from them to the Sashbear foundation during the event. This is our bear:

*Also, I don’t directly see who orders my shirts, so if you did please email me so I can make sure to get you a personal thank you note.

Whether you have BPD or just want to learn more about it, please take time to get to know the Sashbear Foundation and what they stand for. And if anyone from the Sashbear Foundation happens to be reading this: thank you for what you do. You are truly inspiring people all around the world.

Hi. I’m in…. Canada?! (Solo Wandering Chronicles)

Wasn’t I just in Dayton last weekend for blog stuff? Yes. Am I sitting on the floor at Toronto-Pearson waiting for my delayed flight to Charlotte right now? Still yes. Did my flight just get delayed again while I am typing this causing me to panic because I won’t make my flight from Charlotte to Indy now? Of course. Since that last sentence, did they cancel my flight, switch my flight to a different airline and make me go back through security and customs and all that wonderful stuff? Sure thing! 

But hi. I’m in Canada. The lovely city of Toronto to be more specific -well, if you want to get technical I’m in the airport but I swear I was in Toronto for the past two days. Two glorious Tim Hortons filled days. I came here for a purpose- come back Thursday to read that post- but I want to write about the fun, touristy things I did for now because I still have a lot of reflecting to do before I can finish that post. I’m just thrilled to have been able to escape the Indy 500 at home this weekend!

The three main things I got to while I was here were: Sunnyside Park, CN Tower and shopping downtown. I also ate a lot-seriously, a lot -I mean who can refuse a Nutella Cafe?! If you can, come here so I can punch you in the face. Apparently -or so I was told- I picked the busiest day of the year to go to the CN Tower. I believe it because I waited in line for two hours. I’m not afraid of heights though so it was a fun experience. Worth the two hour wait? Not sure. I was trying to do my best to stay present during this trip. It was pretty cool (but also pretty trippy) to stand on the glass roof and look down. 

The lakefront was beautiful and it made my heart so happy to see so many dogs playing in the water together. I had a good time shopping downtown but it was mostly just because I had to check out of my hotel at 11 and my original flight wasn’t until almost 6 (still salty but shoutout to Air Canada for fixing American Airlines’s shit).

Honestly, I’m a foodie so I have to post about the food. I love Tim Hortons and being from the US, I don’t get it very often. There was one for like 4 months where I live but they randomly, abruptly shut down and stabbed me in the heart. But because they are franchises, I decided to forgive them and go there like 6 times in two days. Probably not 6 but maybe like…5. I can feel your judgement. I’ll reflect on that over an Iced Capp. I also tried poutine for the first time. I tried the McDonald’s version because I apparently missed Poutine Fest this weekend. Why didn’t anyone tell me about that?! I am also so very in love with ketchup chips so I made sure to snag a few cans of ketchup Pringles at the airport. 

That was my Canada experience in a nutshell. There will be more Canada posts but since this one is already almost 8 hours overdue, I will end it here (very sorry by the way). As I said, please check back Thursday to learn about the real reason I came to Toronto this weekend.