#BellLetsTalk

Disclosure: I personally believe that mental health awareness should not be restricted to one day a year. I wrote this after finding out about recent suicides on my university campus. I thought today was an appropriate day to share.
Check out my acknowledgement of my own mental health here


I always wanted to be strong.

Imagine, 5’2″ me, the strongest woman in the world. I could build bridges, end wars, encourage world peace. I can bring diverse populations together. No more hunger; no more pain.

I can do this all because I am strong. My physical body would pave the way for the toughest journeys I would face. My fierce mentality would push me towards my goals. I would never give up.

I am strong.

But, this is all a fantasy.

When I experience my darkest episodes of depression and anxiety, I feel so weak. Like my physical body is burning away into a pile of ashes that will be blown into disappearance. Everyone will forget me. My soul feels unworthy. It feels like the runt of the litter. The worthless one.

How can someone so weak ever dream about being so strong?

And that is what mental illnesses can do to you. After hearing about a recent suicide at my university, I let out a huge sigh. Another individual, like me, suffering from a mental illness was taken way too soon.

Whenever I hear about suicides I shiver at the reality of it. That COULD have been me. I am beyond happy right now. Haven’t experienced an episode of depression or anxiety in months. But, I have been there. And for all I know, I might experience that again someday.

I am strong. Not because of my muscle mass or mental ability to retain information. I am strong because of the power I have to fight back against the darkness in my life. This is a strength that not everyone has. BUT, this is a strength that we all should be encouraging in one another.

A lot of my strength has been internally founded. I have discovered ways to overcome my episodes. Yes, I am strong. But, some of this strength was formulated through the positive energy around me.

A simple smile I received from a stranger; A “how are you text” from a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while; A quick and quiet stroll in the park with a good friend.

These little events are what made me strong. On the exterior, I appear unbreakable. On the inside, my soul would weep in pain. This is a feeling I hope to never experience again, but this is a feeling I know so many individuals are familiar with.

Before you decide to bully someone (like seriously grow up if you still do this), purposely avoid eye contact with a stranger, or send any other form of negative vibes their way, please consider what these people might be going through.

Sometimes the people with the STRONGEST exteriors are in the deepest pain. Remember this.

In Malibu

The skies were not so blue the day I visited Malibu.


I giggle whenever I reminisce on my Malibu adventure. A newbie traveller, completely unaware that Malibu is its own city. Wait Malibu isn’t a beach along the LA coast? My mind was blown learning the ever so basic Greater Los Angeles area geography.

I was staying at a Santa Monica hotel and Malibu was a bucket-list destination for me. I assumed putting “Malibu” into my GPS would be a suffice method to get to the beach. I later found out there are multiple beaches in the city of Malibu. Yikes!

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Pre-Malibu picture. I’m devouring a Nutella cannoli from Carlo’s bakery. Damn, that pastry was so freakin’ delicious.

Malibu Pier

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After a 30 minute Uber ride (I literally thought Malibu was a 5 minute drive away), I found myself at the Malibu Pier. I wish I filmed my reaction. The whole pier, and I mean the WHOLE pier was filled with fog.

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Thinking this smog would eventually clear out, I decided to fill my bikini body with some Mexican food – A new obsession I developed while in California. Finding the nearest restaurant – it was literally across the street – I ordered my favourite Mexican dish… Quesadillas!

Feeling stuffer than ever and not giving a damn, I was ready to hit a nearby beach for some sunlight, sand, and to consume those Malibu vibes. Having little knowledge about the Malibu beaches, I basically played Russian roulette with a list of beaches. The winner, El Matador beach.

El Matador

The fog did not clear up. In fact, I’m pretty sure it got worse. I knew I would despise myself if I didn’t at least glance at the beach. So, I gained the confidence (even with my super full stomach) to rip off my outfit and strut down the beach in my cheetah print bikini. Body positivity, no matter what shape, size, colour or ability is everything to me. I wanted to capture a few pictures of myself near the rock formations. They were absolutely breathtaking.

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To reflect on my Malibu experience, yes the fog absolutely sucked. But, I wasn’t going to let something so insufficient to ruin my day. The skies weren’t blue, but the views were still as extraordinary as I anticipated. To be given the opportunity to travel to such a naturally beautiful destination was rewarding on its own. Fog, or no fog, I am grateful to have consumed such beauty in Malibu.

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The Memories That Will Ripple Forward

The death of a young person really puts life into perspective.


I’m sitting here in my living room with the lights turned off because I cannot afford to pay expensive hydro bills. The darkness that fills the room leaves me clenching my eyeballs trying to hold back tears. I saw a friend from high school in a casket just a few hours ago. Twenty-One years old, my age, already dead. As a child, I always believed young people were never supposed to die. I think a lot of people still live with that mentality.

We plan our lives and goals assuming we have more time. All my dreams will come true in the future. But what future do we have? As saddest as I sound, life can be snatched from you at any second. Have you lived your life to the fullest? I know I haven’t.

Even in death Simon had the most positive energy illuminating from his casket.

In his Final Testament (a document Simon wrote before he passed), he wrote that he created an immobilization of ideas and memories he wants to ripple forward after he dies. I want the same to be true for my life after I die.

Luckily (and unluckily depending on how you look at it) there is no “countdown clock” ticking away the time we have left on this Earth. I am a big believer that our body is a vessel that holds our soul for a given period of time. But, what I fear the most is being forgotten. I want to positively influence each person I meet while living on Earth. I want my eternal energy to live on in people once my body decomposes.

As I placed my trembling hand on the casket of a fellow friend, I promised him that his uplifting energy and illuminating presence will never die. I will live each one of my days the same way Simon had. I will be kind to every living being that I meet. In my darkest times, I will fight negativity, disease, and failure with a bright smile on my face.

The death of a young person really puts life into perspective. Live out your dreams, your passions, and aspirations while you are alive. Be kind, be positive, and be bright.