2018 Vision Board

I have always been goal oriented. An array of computers, cellphones, notebooks and sticky-notes list my “goals” and “to-do’s.” Some of these have been accomplished while others remain untouched, as evidence of my failed ambitions. I tend to be ambitious, but never follow through. A few nights ago I contemplated how I could change this. My thoughts MUST align with my feelings which MUST align with my actions. Let me explain…

My Thoughts = Those goals and aspirations I think about and strive to accomplish.
My Feelings = I must FEEL these goals already inside of me. If I have a goal to be fit (which I do), I have to already feel myself as a fit person. Any insecurities I have about my body will negatively affect my progress. To succeed, I must already envision my body as one that is fit.
My Actions = This is self-explanatory. I think and I feel and all that is left is to perform my goals.

The first bit of 2018 was an unsteady journey. I have been in an unmotivated and depressed slump ever since I returned from California back in December. My dark moments only put my life into a greater perspective. I created my Vision Board to realign my motivations and ambitions.

The way you think creates your reality for you. Most of my past goals were passive. “This year I will…” is a problematic statement. Using positive AND present affirmations is the only way to ensure that your goals will become a reality. Here are mine:

2018 Vision Board_118

This year:
I am my most authentic self
I am building an empire #GirlBoss #BossBitch
I am whole
I am fit
I am moving to New York
I am going to Morocco
I am going to Greece
I am a Vlogger
I am a writer

My daily positive affirmations (my thoughts, feelings, and actions) and the visual representation of my vision board will ensure the success of my ambitions. NONE of these visions have been accomplished yet. No plane tickets have been purchased, no jobs have been landed, no condos have been rented, and no entrepreneurship has begun. But, I am driven and I am attracting these positive experiences and opportunities into my life.  At my Reiki healing treatment yesterday, my Reiki master and friend confirmed that my spirit guides acknowledged that many of these goals will be accomplished.

What is one goal or opportunity you desperately want to accomplish and/or attract this year? How can you alter your thoughts and feelings to attract the best and most rewarding experiences your way?

2018 is going to be a big year for me. I can’t wait to share my stories with you!


Linnea Nilsson: Sweden to Sacramento

Linnea Nilsson was a Health Science student at the California State University, Sacramento. Interview and photos are conducted and taken by yours truly. On a side note, Linnea was the first person I met in California. We later became roommates. She was truly an essential part of my exchange. 

Why did you decide to do exchange at Sac State?
I wanted to do my exchange in the USA to experience new cultures, especially the American culture. So, I applied for five different universities in the US, and Sac State is the one I got. My major is health science, and Sac State has a big department for that, which gave me opportunities to take interesting classes in my field.

What was your favourite thing that you learned about American culture?
I liked that the Americans are very open (compared to the Swedish culture). They talk a lot and say what’s on their minds. If you’re on the bus, or in an elevator, there’s always someone who says hi and smiles at you, which I appreciate a lot since we don’t really do that in Sweden.

I also got to know that the Americans are very engaged in stuff, such as sports and events. I really enjoyed when everyone went to a game a supported our team together. And there is such a good atmosphere. At games at home, there are often fights between the supporters. But at the games I went to in California, people were cheerful and happy.

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What is your favourite memory from exchange?
It’s really hard to pick only one favorite memory, because I got a lot. But one of them is definitely going to Hollywood for Thanksgiving with my sister and some of my new-found friends from all over the world. We went shopping on Black Friday, spent time on the beach at Santa Monica and had a great thanks giving dinner that ended with a night at a really nice Mexican bar. It was the perfect weekend.

What is one thing about Sweden that you missed while you were on exchange?
The thing I missed the most was actually Swedish coffee (I think everyone knew that lol). I’m used to drinking very dark and strong coffee, which is not usual in the US. So I often made my own coffee or ordered with extra espresso shots at cafes.
I thought I would miss my family and friends more, but since my family came visit and I Facetimed with them and my friends, it wasn’t that bad.

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What destination do you want to travel to next?
My next travel will be to Hawaii and hopefully New Zeeland. I’m going to apply for an internship at a health care center in Hawaii, but if I don’t get it I will go there on vacation. Me and two other friends went there a few days before Christmas last year, and I fell in love with it. The people, the climate, everything. So, I felt that it wasn’t enough with only five days there and therefore, I’m going there after my graduation. And after Hawaii (depending on the internship), I think I’m going to New Zeeland to visit my friend who’s going to be an au pair there. I have never been there before, but it looks amazing so I would really like to explore it.

California Dreaming

If you had asked me around this time last year if I would be on academic exchange, I would probably say no. I had a lot of other SHIT going on in my life. But, a turn of events caused me to spontaneously apply to study in California this Fall. I applied exactly one day before the application was due. I received my acceptance letter almost immediately. And just like that, my life was about to change.

The Anticipation

Leading up to exchange, it almost seemed as if everyone was more excited than I was. Everywhere I went, people I knew would stop me and say the most generic travelling things:

“You’re going to have so much fun!”

“You’re so lucky, I never got to do that when I was in college!”

“You’re never going to want to come back home!”

I would usually dismiss these statements. For me, this exchange is was merely an opportunity to study abroad. Whenever people would say I was “so lucky” and was “going to have so much fun,” I would get annoyed. I wasn’t travelling for mere leisure, I was here to go to school. Little did I know that only 2 weeks abroad, I would already feel like a changed person.

The Beginning

I can’t say I really liked California much my first few days here. I was feeling homesick already. I spent my first day alone in a hotel then the following few days in an Airbnb. I was alone in a new country. I didn’t have anyone to call or hang out with. My days were spent lying down in a bed that wasn’t mine, watching Netflix, and ordering in food. I felt as if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life coming here.

This all changed a few days later during “International Student Orientation.” I completely forgot how hard it was to make friends. There was this HUGE line of International students. Over 300 of us. All of them clearly from different countries. But, being the ambitious little woman that I am, I approached the Swedish girl in-front of me (She is now my roommate hehe). One friend, turned into 2 friends, and later that day I already had a whole crew of friends from all over the world!

The Change-Up

It’s funny how meeting new people and FINALLY settling in changes your perception of your environment. Only 3 weeks into my exchange and I already want to call California home. My professors are AMAZING, the weather is beautiful, and my mindset has been nothing but positive. Other than missing my family, close friends, and my dog, I haven’t experienced any sad, anxious or negative thoughts recently. I am truly happy. I see California as a land of opportunity and all I want to do is experience everything.

Stay turned for my new travel series – First stop, CALIFORNIA.

My First Bit Of Hate Mail

Being an aspiring journalist is hard.

Kind of like being a celebrity, it takes A LOT for a journalist to get noticed in the digital age. As much as I want to sit around at home and write about all my morally correct, feminist views – I know I can’t. Being correct does not get you views; being controversial does.

So I decided to go to the dark side and got a gig as a click-bait journalist… I know, I hate myself too! And it makes me kind of upset that all my profit is coming from stupid, Buzzfeed type articles, instead of articles that actually mean something to me. ANYWAYS, the other day I wrote an article that stirred up a bit of controversy. It was assigned to me by my editor and no, I do not agree with anything that I wrote. It was a challenging article write because it went against ALL my morals. I even made that clear in the introduction of the piece.

Within minutes of this piece getting published, I received SUCH HATE from sooooo many women. I can’t help but feel kind of upset that my morality is being questioned because I agreed to write such a controversial article.

On one hand, I know this article will get me a lot of views because of the questionable content. On the other, I kind of regret writing it. I wish young, aspiring journalists did not have to turn to such extreme measures just to get views and profit for their content.

I Stopped Thinking About You

I thought about you everyday.

You were the first thought I had when I woke up in the morning. You were the last thought I had before I went to sleep.

Wherever I went, you were on my mind. I would walk through a store and imagine outfits I might wear when we are together. I would plan what club, restaurant, or bar I went to in hopes that I would run into you there.

I would imagine scenarios of us in my head. You in bed with me. You at this party. You having dinner with my family. None of these scenarios ever played out.

When you would message me, I would get butterflies. When we would hang out, I lived in the moment with you. And when you would leave, I would think about the next time we would be together.

I thought about you everyday. Until one day, I didn’t.

I was out living my life. Out, thinking about me. Then, I felt as if I was missing something. I felt so whole. I felt so clear-headed.

Then it hit me, I stopped thinking about you. I wasn’t missing you anymore. You were no longer part of my everyday thoughts and routines.

I felt a little uneasy about this new feeling. This new life, which you were not apart of.

And then, I started thinking about you again. But this time, it was because I knew it would be the last.

A Thank You Letter to Western University

Upon finishing three full years at Western University, I decided to write a letter to the school itself. Three years ago, this was my dream school. I was an excited, ambitious, and courageous 18-year old, ready to start my new life at a university I was already in love with. I experienced such difficulties and regrets throughout my three years attending Western. But, none of these ever had to do with the school itself. I often thought how great it would be if I could drag the school, and my wonderful program back to my hometown, Toronto, with me. I can’t believe my journey at Western has already ended. And how it ended way too soon. Maybe I’ll go back and write a thesis, maybe I’ll go back and take a few easy and interesting classes I never got to enrol in while I was a student there. But for now, Here is a thank you letter to the University of Western Ontario.

Thank you Western for opening up my eyes. For showing me that identities can be questioned, changed, and shattered. My white-washed, heteronormative, patriarchal lens has been broken. I thank you. I thank you for showing me the people I knew existed, but never got to see. I thank you for making me even question me. For showing me that life doesn’t exist in binaries and that conforming is totally lame. For showing me love, and challenging me with hate. For giving me fake friends, and a few real ones. For making me cry. Oh, how you made me cry. I don’t think I ever shed a tear before university. My highest highs and my lowest lows were spent here. Because of you Western, I am the person I am today. Because of you Western, I will be able to face any challenge that comes my way.