Thoughts From A Coffee Shop

My boyfriend and I went to town today. We really hardly ever go out, so this was a nice change of pace. We went on a little date at a coffee shop. We are a couple that can and will sit in silence, and since I am a highly observant person, while we were drinking our coffees, I was looking at my surroundings, pondering. There were groups of middle aged friends, business meetings, students taking a break from class, solo coffee drinkers working on their laptops and us. Whether they were talking about their significant other, stressing out about school or really trying to get that work project done, I was noticing how immersed into their own world everyone was. This got me thinking of how we really do have our own worlds within our minds. Here were 30 people sitting in the same coffee shop, at the same time of day, having all ordered from the same barista and yet we were all having unfathomably different experiences. On a global scale, that is 7 billion people with 7 billion different perceptions of the same world, all having a different human experience within their own individual minds. How wonderful is it that not one of our 7 billion Earth brothers and sisters are having the same experience as you? I suppose maybe this should make me feel lonely, but instead I feel… necessary. I am the only me on this entire planet. My eyes are the only ones that will perceive the color blue the way they do and my spirit is the only one that will feel that exact degree of optimism when the sun shines. Such different realities and yet we are all here on this planet; we all have the same air to breathe and moon to look at. My mind often wanders into an eccentric direction and I suppose today is as good as any to share some of my brain with you.
Happy ponderings and stay weird, Sidney

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Staycation

Hello friends! So, I’ve noticed that it’s that time of year where seemingly all of our Facebook friends go somewhere sunny. They post fun pictures and get nice tans- and we’re sitting at our computer screens seeing what a nice time in the warm weather they’re having, drinking hot tea in a fluffy blanket like, *siiiiipppp*. Well…. I am anyway. This slightly gloomy observance inspired me to take a “staycation” this weekend. I just wanted to write about it and post some pictures to motivate you guys to take one too! Just because we don’t have the money or perhaps time off to travel somewhere far away this spring doesn’t mean we can’t explore our own backyard! Hope you enjoy.

Devan and I left on Saturday late afternoon to take a mini road trip to Jasper (Alberta, Canada). It takes about three hours from where we live and we make it a point to go at least once a month to get our happiness meters back up there (the magic of nature!).
DSCN4675We arrived at at dusk, just as the sky turned to cotton candy. We stayed at my brother’s house for the night and were up early the next morning (too early). It’s always nice when you take a trip, to have someone’s house you can stay at- it saves tons vs. a hotel! 

Our first stop Sunday morning was to Old Fort Point. We almost always see big horn sheep up there and today was no exception. We even saw some babies!

 

Next, we took a walk through Maligne Canyon. We have done this walk once, on our first visit to Jasper, but we usually opt for a more strenuous hike. Today though, we were feeling something more mild. Also, when we visited in autumn,the deep ravine was filled with mesmerizingly vicious water. Because it is winter, all of that water has frozen and we actually got to walk in the canyon where the fierce water once was. PicMonkey Collage

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We crossed a questionable bridge of conveniently fallen tree logs to get to some stunning water falls. There were massive frozen ones but also falls that were melting (since it has been so abnormally warm this winter). Seeing the non-frozen waterfalls made me question my intelligence, walking through a canyon on melting ice. The mellow weather was nice however, which added to the perfect adventure.

Sadly, it was time to go home. But that just means that we are closer to visiting next time! Where do you like to staycation? 20160221_105618

Happy adventures! Sidney

Tips For Social Anxiety And Self Confidence

Expressing myself outwardly is, quite simply, difficult. I think this is something a lot of people can relate to these days (with all of the societal pressures leading to more and more anxiety and all). If you happen to be one of these people, take comfort that in this little space of the internet, you are not being judged. Speaking as an individual with anxiety learning to adapt to a fast paced and stressful world, I’d like to give you my tips that I use deal with the stress of social interactions/ how I remain confident even though I am uncomfortable in some social situations.

  1.     Recognize that there is a good amount of people with social anxiety. When you are nervous talking to somebody, they are likely thinking some of the same things you are. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone or abnormal.
  1.     Regarding presentations for school, hardly anybody is actually paying attention to you speak anyways; they are just waiting for class to be over and to go home! This used to help me in high school. Nobody is going to go home thinking about that you said for the rest of their day anyway. They have their own lives and your mandatory school presentation is probably the least of their interests.
  1.     Tell people right away when you meet them, that you have social anxiety or are shy. People tend to be really understanding of this. It lifts a huge weight off my chest knowing that the person I am speaking with isn’t going to wonder why I am silent for too long or not making as much eye contact as I probably should.
  1.     Smile- it is psychologically proven that smiling makes you feel happier (and people will assume you’re friendly and might even smile back!).

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  1.     If you wear glasses or contacts, don’t wear them during a presentation. Obviously, use your own discretion on this. Wear them to the presentation but take them off/ out right before you have to speak.
  1.     Listen to music/ dance before speaking. A good “pump up” lifts your mood and that carries into when you have to speak.
  1.     Slow your sympathetic nervous system down. Take a deep breath.
  1.     Look good feel good! Wear your favorite shirt and feel marvellous.

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  1.     Do something you’re good at the day you have to speak; this will make you feel accomplished and that confidence will likely carry into your speaking.
  1. Speak in front of people more. It will surely be uncomfortable at first, but the more you do things, the more comfortable you get with them; I promise.
  1. Pretend you are confident. Pretending goes farther than people realize. That is how you fall asleep after all.
  1. Embrace it. no matter what any extravert or naturally well spoken person tells you, you don’t have it easy. Every time you talk to somebody you are being brave and acting against all of the adrenaline in your system telling you to run away. Take fulfillment in the fact that no one else sees the world the way you do. No one else feels passion like you. You are unique. By simply being you, you are acting as a wonderful addition to the world that wasn’t there before.

Have a happy and confident Thursday! Sidney

Valentine’s Date Ideas

People say love is complicated. I disagree. People are complicated. Love is simple. To me, love defines itself when somebody’s company improves your level of happiness and vice versa. So! If you have your eye on someone that makes you happy and the feeling is matched, here are a few date ideas to try this Valentine’s Day. Most of these dates are intended to be cozy; not too overwhelming for new couples and simply relaxing for seasoned couples.

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Go somewhere new together: I get most excited when my boyfriend and I get to experience somewhere we both haven’t been before, together. We get to be sixth graders, eager and wide eyed, chatting back in forth about our impressions and opinions of this new place. We both get introduced to new perspectives from each other; even after 5 years together, this is something we rarely get in the confines of our home because we’ve come to instinctively know what the other’s opinion will be about near anything.

Go to your favorite place together: On the flip side, going to your mutual favorite place can be just the thing you need to rejuvenate in time for Valentine’s Day (or any day).

Cook each other a meal: I like how this is an inexpensive date idea. For new couples, it has potential to break the ice too. Sometimes the way a person cooks says a lot about them; do they like to be in control, laid back, adventurous or follow the recipe to the last pinch? I’ve always wanted to try this with my boyfriend, but we have such different diets (meatatarian vs. vegetarian) that this limits our gourmet kitchen abilities for each other- I don’t even know how to cook a steak. We usually settle for something mutual like pasta anyways. Nevertheless, I’d still love to try this (maybe this Valentine’s Day!).

Dinner/movie: I am a sucker for this classic date. It is my go to choice. Good food and I get to be lazy and sit in a comfy chair for 2 hours? Count me in. This could be good for new couples too because you will have plenty to talk about during dinner.

Love notes: I love to make little notes for my boyfriend. They always make him smile. It could be anything from an “I love you because:” list to “I hope you have a great day, xo”. Sometimes it’s difficult to communicate verbally that you love somebody and this can be a no pressure, fun little activity. You can set rules like to make a “what I love about you” list or you can leave it completely open and see what they come up with.

Tour your town: I find this date idea interesting because many people don’t even think to explore their own town. Going to work, coming home and running errands is enough. I have yet to do this. Finding new museums and hidden gem restaurants would be a great way to  bond with your partner. Plus you get to see how they act with directions… a big foresight to problem solving for new couples.

Bookstore date: Go to a bookstore and pick out a book for each other. I love the freedom that comes with this date. Not only can you choose between an old, dusty bookstore and a big franchise, but you also have the freedom to choose a novel, a “how to” book, a travel destination book or even a personalizable little pocket book for your partner. The thoughtfulness that goes into choosing a book for someone else is something to be deeply appreciated. This is a great date idea for introverted couples!

Enjoy and have a happy Valentine’s Day love birds!

Good vibes, Sidney

8 Tips For Getting Through The Last Bit Of Winter

If you’re like me, you dread winter starting in September. Winter is cold, dry, unpleasant and loooong- for me, it can never go away quickly enough! February, however, always marks the top of the hump for me. It is, in my opinion, the worst month to get through (although January is arguable). Since we are near mid-February, I am starting to get eager for spring (I tend to get excited for things unreasonably early…. it feels like what I’m looking forward to will come quicker that way. Anyone else?). Here are a list of tips that can help us all get through this last little push of winter:

1. Start to eat healthier: This may seem like a daunting statement, but I don’t expect anybody to get right into their “super-summer-workout-health-diet-extreme-3000” quite yet. At this point, I typically *start* to eat healthier. I have been eating like it’s been Thanksgiving for three months and that heavy feeling in my gut is getting old. It lifts my spirits as well as improves my overall lifestyle to incorporate a few salads, nuts and lighter meals into my diet.

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2. Cut back drinking alcohol to avoid gaining more winter weight and feeling like you’re in a continuous haze. (Obviously) the holidays can be a festive time and festive translates to tipsy for a lot of people. But, my friends, holiday season is over and being more conscious will keep our energy looking forward to spring and summer!

3. Start putting lemon in your water: Firstly, lemon has many benefits and vitamins- vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium- and citrus always puts me in a summer-esque spirit. The vitamin C found in lemon helps prevent and fight off nasty winter colds (which I am particularly prone to). The antioxidant and detoxifying qualities in lemon juice help to decrease blemishes that could very well have been caused by our poor winter eating habits. Nothing says summer-ready like glowing skin! 

4. Get your sleep schedule out of hibernation mode: It is so much easier to sleep winter away than to face it (guilty). But winter’s end is near and now we have something to look forward to: sun!  Along with a better diet, a more natural sleep pattern will vastly improve your lifestyle until the sun gets here for good.

5. Start taking your pup for walks: This is a great way to ease yourself back outside and into a healthier lifestyle without having to run 10k and do 200 sit-ups. Plus the reward of a happy pup can hardly be matched. You will both be in a happier mood coming back from your stroll.

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6. Pick out a few books to read for when you’re inevitably still feeling like winter just won’t go away. Not only do you get to immerse yourself into someone else’s world, but by the time you are done reading them, the sun will be shining!

7. Quiet time: This might be the best thing that keeps me going until spring. I like to dedicate a time in the day (for me it’s late morning) where I can drink my coffee/tea and just direct my energy to looking forward to warmer weather: planning activities, trips, outfits, renovations, summer decor, etc. It distracts me from this wintery nightmare while validating that spring will come because I can actually put these plans into action. It’s relaxing and inspiring at the same time.

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8. Write a blog post about getting through the last stretch of winter to try to convince yourself more than anybody else, that it has to end at some point (ha).

If all else fails, remember that winter is temporary and in a few short months we have this to look forward to:

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Have a happy day! Sidney

About

Hello! Welcome to this little peek into my life! My name is Sidney and I am a 21 year old Canadian (eh?). I am an extreme introvert hoping to connect with the outer world (you!) through the way that I am most comfortable- writing! I love communication, candles, pulpy orange juice and soft pyjamas. I am a lover of our Earth and its inhabitants. Thank you for joining me in this adventure of self discovery and interpersonal connection! I look forward to this next part of my Earth trek as a human being. Good energy to you, always.

Who Am I?

Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I?” It seems like an easy question to answer because when you introduce yourself to someone new, you always say, “Hi, I am ___, nice to meet you.” But when you demand an answer from yourself, I have recently realized, things get tricky.

I suppose that nobody can ever be one person for their whole life…. so I shouldn’t be upset that I’m not the same as who I was when I was younger- someone who believed in the 100% best in everybody and who would never ever second guess herself. How can I be the same person as then, when all of my circumstances have changed? I guess everybody goes through several versions of the self without ever coming to a complete identity. All of those versions, and altered selves make up who you are up to this point.  So… is the right question to ask myself who I am right now?

I am Sidney. I am 21. My favorite time of day is around 10 in the morning when the sun starts to feel warm on my skin. I am an INFJ myers-briggs personality type; and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I love the smell of the Earth and cringe at the thought of other souls hurting. Although I have anxiety, I have every intention to live fully despite it. My favorite as well as least favorite place to be is where there isn’t a trace of anything I know because that’s where I find it most challenging; however, therefore the most meaningful place to be. I have an intense hunger to always want to know “why?”. I think my favorite season is spring, but I’m not quite certain. I criticize myself too much and love the taste of orange juice (with pulp). No matter how many hair tutorials I watch on YouTube, I can never succeed at any of them- so I leave my hair down and dull almost every day. My absolute favorite thing in the world is to see someone smile; genuinely smile from happiness (especially dog smiles; they melt my heart).  Although I am positive and joyful most of the time, I get severe seasonal depression which can leave me staring at the same wall for hours. This makes me really sad because it is so out of character for me. I would never want anybody to feel that low, including myself. I recently moved across the country because I recognized that I was extremely comfortable with my life and routine so I decided to challenge myself (it worked). I love photography. I have a tendency to get caught up in being introverted and that might be my least favorite thing about myself. I hate cooking but love yoga. I admit that I have a poor taste in shows. I have an intense desire for a purpose and not knowing a definite answer for what that is yet leaves me feeling so very uneasy with myself.  

I have a set intention for this point in my life: to learn to love myself wholly and with that, feel confident in connecting with the outer world more (despite my awkwardness and introversion). If you are reading this and can’t answer “who am I”, I want you to know that it is ok to feel that way. I say this because if you don’t have a definition of who you are, then you can be anybody. If you are searching and searching, (like I have been lately) then you won’t find your answer because you can’t just simply be anybody. So I guess you should just be your best self up to this point, in this moment. Discover what you like doing at this point in your life or even just today and do it without hesitation. Realize that your weaknesses are temporary and working towards improving is always a good thing, no matter if you succeed. So, join me in this adventure of self discovery! Take risks. Get brave. Get energized. Discover. Be creative. Be happy. Go back to the basics and ask yourself “who am I”?  Make a video, write, paint a picture, make a song or leave a comment. I want to connect with all of you and find out who I share this Earth with. Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with me, my fellow Earth children. Until next time.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It’s so plain and simple, and yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” Alan Watts

Happy Thursday! Sidney