My First Wrong Re-written.

For my first “change” article, I’d like to clear up a very global misconception – which is that – there is no one way to define a woman. Though I am not a psychologist, or expert on all women, I am an expert in knowing me; a woman.

And I – my friend, am very multi-faced!

Not to be confused with schizophrenia, which may very well be the case, though I have never been diagnosed by a doctor as having it.

What I mean by “multi-faced” is that I have many different levels that I allow the world to see, and sides I keep to myself or my limited circle of people. It’s a matter of choice, rather than mental disorder. However, as I gain more comfort in the outside world, one by one my brick wall is coming down and the world will see me for the sweet, crazy, chaotic, free-spirited girlish woman I am.

As mentioned above, women are not [and should not be] defined by one word or phrase. We are all different, we are all special, from one mother to her daughter, to strangers from countries across this globe. Strong, weak, beautiful, ugly, smart, less smart, clean, tidy, good cook, great hair, beautician, whatever the label we wear- we are all who we were born to be and although many of us hide the imperfections away from the public eye, we do have them. There is the flawless image society believes, and then there is the very flawed version that only we know to be the actual case. Can you imagine what would happen if the world saw what really happens? Kind of like a “Behind the Scenes” documentary, only it would be about women and the struggles or transitions we go through to be considered worthy of the public view.

Take me for example: Here I am, about to bare everything to the world, to hopefully allow other women to open themselves up too. To inspire others to stop being ashamed of who they are. Set free your negative body image and negative mindset, you have nothing to be ashamed of and I’m hoping my story helps others be able to let go of their shame.

My name is J.J. Day. In full, Jackilyn Janet Hastings Day (no hyphen). I am 4′ 8″ [last I checked], and if I were to be a car, I would not be a “Ford” or a “Dodge”, but rather a “Rolls Royce”, (just kidding I’m not that classy- but I got rolls-a-plenty!)
Yes, I suffer from negative body image. I have gone past the phase of “curvy” and now know that I have a weight problem. Although I have a very strong desire to change this, and get back to a more comfortable, healthy and manageable weight, I lack the ability to push myself up and get out to do something about it. I even have signed up for a gym membership [currently at 2 gyms] but am have fears of going – which I realize make absolutely no sense. I fear what people will think of me when I workout. I jiggle, I sweat and if I go as hard as I want to, I stink to high heaven! Even at home, when I’m working out, I smell myself and want to throw up. I am afraid to look that gross out in public. My weight got out of control when I got into a deep depression. I am also blessed [or cursed] with hair, both course and thick, not to mention really dark in colour. I have to shave every day pretty much in order to avoid feeling stubbly, and looking like an ape. The curse comes into effect in other areas of my body where hair grows. I have hair that grows on my face, on my back, on my neck, my knuckles and toes and most embarrassingly my butt. (All thanks to the Scottish in me!) Which means if I want the sexual attention of a man, I have to be willing to go out and pay someone to put me in excruciating pain to get it all waxed smooth. Another truth, at times I suffer from severe depression and was really bad when I was in my final year of high school; which I ended up dropping out of after I tried my first(1st) of four(4) or five(5). I am a strong woman, but I get knocked down a lot; and when I do it is difficult for myself or anyone to pull me out of it, until I’m ready in my own mind to let go. I just get so bogged down by the carelessness and insensitivity of the world around me that I physically and mentally become extremely saddened.

Which leads me to another trait I have: high sensitivity. [If you’ve read the books by Elaine Aron called “The Highly Sensitive Person” and “The Highly Sensitive Person in Love”, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t I strongly suggest you do.] If you were to google, Highly sensitive person as defined by Elaine Aron” this is one of the options you would find, “Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), a personality trait, a high measure of which defines a highly sensitive person (HSP), has been described as having hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity.” However, I would like to take it a bit deeper than this by adding that if you were to look at it as a gift, you would see the benefit of having this trait.
In her writings Elaine describes the trait as having the ability to walk into a room and be instantly aware of the mood, the friendships and enmities, the freshness or staleness of the air, the personality of the one who arranged the flowers. It does not mean that you’re crazy, or that you have a problem. It just means that the world gets to you on a deeper level than it does to others. But that’s not a bad thing by any means, it’s actually a blessing [however in disguise it may seem for some of us], because it means we are a crucial necessity when it comes to cruel and insensitivity in this world. We are there to comfort those who are sick, frightened, hurt or just feel alone. We are the hope and the light that shines through the darkness that overwhelms.

I am also not very tidy – as anyone who has visited me can attest. Its not that I like being surrounded by clutter, in fact that is so far from the case; I just have to work extra hard to force myself into doing it and I am so unbelievably happy and get the strongest feeling of accomplishment when I get my surroundings exactly how I want it. Much to everyone’s surprise, I am not “lazy”, it’s not that I am choosing not to get up and be active one explanation for my behaviour is that I suffer from ADHD. And on that note, I am getting better at learning to control it as I find the realize how much I am truly able to do, when I’m able to find the motivation technique that works best for me. However, usually my mind is too overwhelmed and worn out from thinking about quite literally EVERYTHING to function well. Here’s an insightful analogy: My mind is as cluttered and scrambled by thoughts as my house is by materialistic junk. Just as I trip over a book laying on the floor, or a pile of clothes (mixtures of clean or dirty I do not discriminate!) that threatens to fall over and consume my bedroom, I trip over all the thoughts in my head. I can be thinking about anything from future life plans, to wondering how much water is being consumed globally on a daily basis. Quite often my sleep is disturbed or inaccessible due to my brain’s inability to shut up and shut off.

I also suffer from a constant need to be desired by a man; which thus far has not been attempted, much less satisfied. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression, I am not a whore, nor do I want every guy on the planet to notice me. No no, just the ones I’m interested in, or even better may be interested in me. It is a natural instinct to want to be found attractive and desirable by someone or people you find yourself attracted to. When you’re approaching your 30s and realizing that you’ve had no [real] significant relationship with a man, ever – you can’t help but have your ego and confidence shaken. Ever since I was a little girl [circa, day care], I have been on the hunt for the elusive one, but to no avail. I’ve always scared off any potentials, and attracted the never-shoulda-coulda-woulda types that didn’t rise to my standards, but due to my need I allowed my level to be lowered to theirs. But no more is that to be the case. I now am more aware of my worth – both to myself and the world I was born into. When its my time, the right man will come along, and until then, I’m going to try casual for a change.

I also have a massive quirky side to me, that when in the right company flourishes and brightens the faces I see. I love to smile, in fact, most of the time that’s my most favourite accessory to wear! I also love to make others laugh with me – most of the time. I will wear funky things, say funky things, and express myself extremely funky verbally. You never know what dialect I will attempt to speak. I love to sport the British, Scottish and Asian most, with special mention to French, and I think there is sometimes Dutch or Australian somewhere in there as well. Please note, I am not doing it to make fun of other people or cultures. I just like to do impressions, and although when I make people laugh I get enjoyment out of it, I want to be that person. Especially the British accent; worldly it is associated with class and gracefulness as well as beauty and elegance. When I am feeling like being those things, I embrace the Brit in me (my grandmother was of English descent), and my Scottish side (my grandfather). My quirkiness also extends to my attire. I don’t always dress to impress, sometimes I dress to entertain. I have sported everything from a princess, to Mickey Mouse at a house party – just to try and make people smile and be happy. To express one’s self, and introduce herself and others to more dimensions of who she is is a great privilege and a right I value.

I was also diagnosed with what’s simply called a “math disorder”; which means I have an almost non-existent understanding of anything mathematical. I know what money is, and if I take the time to write it all out, I am able to understand how much I have and when I add or subtract how much I am left with as my final total. But, this paired with my ADHD and my impulsiveness that is tied to my disorder, is a detriment to me because when I’m shopping, I have a very hard struggle to control myself and how much I spend. I will usually spend until I’m left with absolutely nothing. At which point, as much as I want to cry because I lost control, I’m also relieved because I know I can no longer spend more. This doesn’t mean I will never be able to live successfully, I just may have to hire people to be in charge of my finances, so I don’t lose it all. At least until I feel I can comfortably control both my impulse and my discipline.

I also dropped out of high school when I was 17, and moved out of my mom’s house, at 18. My mom is my best friend and I love her to death, but we just don’t do well living together for too long. Since dropping out, I’ve had a revolving-door pattern of work, school, work, school, work, etc. I would work to earn money, then due to my inability to handle the money I earned, lose it and then decide working wasn’t working for me, so I’d try school, again and again. I still don’t have my high school, but am currently working on completing my GED and am preparing to apply to college for Journalism upon receipt of my GED certification. I’ve fallen behind in terms of keeping up to my friends who graduated when I was supposed to, but I realize now, I was meant to go a completely different journey, often on my own [with people in the background cheering me on, and ready to offer me help when I was able to ask for it].

 

I have struggled in my life, and I’m sure I will continue to as my adventures are far from over. Hell, some might say they are just beginning, and that what I’ve been through so far was just training my legs to be extra strong so I can keep on running down the road. I have a lot of flaws and layers of ashes to shed through, but among my ashes I will one day spread my wings and rise above much like a phoenix; finding myself reborn into the person I’m meant to become. So therefore, maybe the labels do fit after all; but my weakness becomes my strength, my clumsy duckling form is reshaping into the elegant and graceful swan of beauty and wonder, increasingly smart as time passes, and I am able. Able to be a complex, awesome woman, and follow the footsteps of fabulously fierce and unstoppable goddesses that have come before me. I can do it, and so can you! Don’t let others tell you are, create your own definition. And don’t bow to anyone who isn’t willing to bow to you. Smile, be appreciative, be humble, be thankful, be honest, be friendly, be willing to step up and help when needed, be comfortable with who you are, and only change if its something you desire to see. Be the change you wish to see, be the voice for yourself and others if you feel there is something to say; say it!

 

I share this information with you not to be “an open book” for attention, but to create awareness for women. To point out to the men, and women who don’t have these struggles that there are others who differ from yourselves, and to be more mindful of others. As well as to help other women like me, who suffer in the silence and shadows, never speaking of these things because it would be too embarrassing or shocking to the public. Well, I have said it, so there is proof that there is someone out there that may be like yourself.

If you liked this article, and either share similarities to my own story, please feel free to comment, or message me. Connect with me on my Facebook or Instagram!

 

Thanks for reading!

J.J.

Having Your Cake (and eating it too)

I think the reason a lot of people get the “trapped” or “stuck” feeling, is because they’ve limited themselves to only a one or two options for their lives, when in actuality there is –get this- a WHOLE WORLD of options to choose from, and the great thing about being human is that we can have it all if we plan well, and realize we deserve to use all the tools in front of us to get there. I’ve been holding myself hostage with the “cannots” and “shouldn’ts” and the “don’t know hows” way too long. I’m sure there are many more of you out there like myself, setting limitations on your potentials and possibilities. We’ve let fear and doubt creep in and take over, the fear of the unknown, and the doubting of your own abilities.

I’ve struggled my whole life to fit into a “norm”, and after all the years of trying, and failing I’d started thinking that there were a whole bunch of things wrong with me, and my reason for being put on this earth may have been a mistake. But there are no mistakes in a world so miraculous, whether you believe in God, or just that there is a power that be, just a great energy that is causing the world to form, there IS a purpose for every being, and every idea, from the teeny tiny bugs crawling around, to the ginormous sky mountains that scatter the earth. Living breathing creatures, to the concrete jungles there is a reason for it all. We don’t know what the future holds; some make predictions based on scientific facts, past performances, or whatever the astrologists say in our horoscopes. Whatever you believe in, it is our each individual belief that will carry us to the unimaginable and to the not yet designed future that awaits us.

Take me for example.

I have made mistake after mistake my entire life. When I didn’t think I’d screwed something up bad enough, I always had to make sure I obliterated it. High school, careers, love lives, social lives, Hell; I even managed to screw up my being alone by badgering my mind with depression and anxiety for not being able to cope or manage my own life. But I learned to seek out professional help, and as we talked through my issues, and we stretched out all the materials and fabrics, I began to see that the flaws were not necessarily a bad thing, but maybe rather character. I had been imprinting myself with my own signature and didn’t realize it and eventually all the analyzing lead not to my breaking down, but to my breaking through.

I woke up one morning, late February really early, (pre- 8 am!!) which is highly unusual for me being that I like to sleep into mid-morning/mid-day with a realization. I’d been so down lately, and feeling the most “stuck-in-a-rut” than I’ve ever felt before because my personal living situation had become almost volatile. My friend (and roommate) and I had spent a beautiful warm day fighting practically the entire day, both finally getting on each other’s last nerves, (it’s hard to live with people and not have blowups once in a while, especially when you both find yourselves stuck in your own ruts) and it was tearing our friendship apart. We were both great people, with flaws that neither one could get passed. It was hard on both ends, but we chose to agree to keep fighting to make things work. For one, because we both deserved it, and because two, we’d put in all the time thus far, it would be a shame to throw in the towel- ever. I went to bed with a feeling of misery and feeling like I would never find happiness and felt devastated. But I woke up in the morning with a realization that I was just lost, and that I had limited myself way too much and it lead me to think, (in a Carrie Bradshaw fashion) maybe the reason I (and countless others across this great earth) feel stuck is because we don’t allow ourselves to see “BIG PICTURE”. We are all looking at photographs when we should be building 3D scaled to size replicas. I was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada until I was 17/18. When I was young, my family and I would drive to the city to go to the malls for shopping a couple of times a year, and as I grew up, I knew that one day I wanted to live in it because it was so different than I was used to. In just one building it seemed as if there were more people than there was in my entire town. (Kids think the darnedest things!) But then when I grew up, and moved there and it wasn’t as glamorous as I had dreamed. Mind you, I hadn’t really made good decisions beforehand- I dropped out of high school when it became too hard to balance the work with the social. I became depressive in high school and had tried to end my life because I knew I was different and had a really hard time fitting in. When I came back to school after my attempt, the whole school seemed to know about what I’d done. I don’t know if they really did know, or if it was just my miscued perception of judgment because I myself felt guilty, but I ended up just leaving with the reason that if I wasn’t happy there, it was my surroundings and that I needed a change to find my happiness. So I moved around a few places because my family didn’t think I was ready for the city- which is where I craved to be and felt I’d be the happiest. The city to me represented acceptance and change. I mean after all, if all those hundred-thousands of people could live in one condensed area acceptance would seem true- right? Well, as it turned out no, a city is still just a town with bigger buildings and more chaos. So I was unhappy in both the country and the city, so where would I belong? In a self-built shack somewhere in the woods, off the grid where no one knew I existed? That seemed my only other option. But THAT isn’t what I want either. As much as I hated them at time, I needed people. We all do. We can live on our own, but we survive together. I moved back to the country to regroup because that’s what it seems a person does from time to time when they strike out and for the record it does actually help- at least in my case. It was during this time that I discovered all of the possibilities I hadn’t let myself consider. That morning (that I keep attempting to speak of but then detour around) I realized I can have both; the country and the city. But if you’re going to think about city living, there is only one city I desired to live in. New York, specifically Manhattan (I know I know, I’m a cliché!). I’d visited it a couple of times when I was in high school, and we’d travel with the Visual and Dramatic Arts departments of the school. I loved it; it was everything the movies painted it to be. And I even got lost during both times I went, and found I could function better on my own, 13 hours away from home than I could in the city an hour from home. I know, I got lucky, my experience could have been so much worse. But good or bad experiences are going to happen, it’s a fact of life, you still have to remember to LIVE your life and to make choices that may put you in harm’s way for a brief period to get to where you need to be. Many throngs of people have undergone hardships to get to a place they feel comfortable living. We all have in our own rights. So that was the moment I decided I wanted to live in New York. But then I felt I would miss the country I grew up in, literally if I chose to move across the border. I would miss being able to call myself Canadian, and go home and see my family and friends.

But I don’t have to. I can have both.

I can get a work visa which would allow me to live in New York, get a place there where I can call home, and keep my home in Canada and then switch it up every 6 months or whenever works. Winters in Ontario Canada, Summers in New York, USA one year, then the next switch. That was just the kind of “out-of-my-box” thinking I needed to kick my butt into the final gear I had been trying to hit and fly into my destined place in this world!

Life as a Highly Sensitive Person and Dealing with a Highly Loving but Highly Co-Dependant Mother.

I know my mom loves me, and contrary to what she may sometimes believe, I love her just as much, but sometimes she puts horrible amounts of pressure on me by constantly placing expectations on me that I’m either incapable of meeting or are in fact her responsibility, not mine. So here is the situation:

I was home visiting her from Thursday to Sunday, and we did some fun things, like going shopping on Friday and then to a local festival on Saturday. I try to make a habit of visiting her weekly, and since she lives over an hour away, I go for at least one if not two nights. But this week, I was home for 4 days and 3 nights.

Today I was supposed to have had a meeting, but it got canceled due to perceived poor weather. As a highly sensitive person with anxiety and ADHD I reach a certain limit of being around people; even (and sometimes especially) my mom. And I hate the feeling of getting trapped places by weather, and not being able to leave. So, I decided I wanted to head home before the really bad weather was supposed to hit.

But as soon as I mentioned wanting to leave, instead of her acknowledging the fact that I’d been there longer than usual she immediately got emotional and started listing off the things she’d wanted to do with me since my day had been freed up, and how I hurt feelings and disappointed she was, and what could possibly so important to get home to that would make me hurt her, and cause her the added stress of worrying about the safety of my drive. So I said I’d do a test run into town, to see what the roads were like, she agreed with the idea, and said she needed some things at the store so I could kill two birds with one stone. I determined that the roads were fine for driving, and after returning home with her groceries, I told her I felt it was okay to go, but that I needed to leave immediately because I didn’t want to take a chance on them getting worse.

She got flared up again and started saying that she thought we’d decided I was just going to town to get some things, and that I’d be back to stay, figuring I’d come back saying the roads were not drivable. When I reminded her that the whole point of the test run was to determine whether I felt safe to drive and that I did, she got mad and started stomping around the house, and pouting. When I tried telling her that I just needed to go, while I felt I had the chance, all she heard was that I wanted to get away from her. She went on and on about how she can’t count on any of her friends to be there when she needs them, but how they are so quick to be there when they need things from her. And in doing what I was doing, I was no better. I ended up leaving, despite knowing that I was hurting her, and the guilt that was cemented in my head. And while I tried my best to remind her of how much I loved her, and that it was something I needed to do for me, she remained mad. And I’ve been home at my apartment for roughly 4 hours, and she’s still very short and cold in her responses when texting her.

This happens every time I disappoint her, which is every time I do something that strays from the imagined plans she had for us. I love my mom the world over, but sometimes I just need to get away. Not from her, but to my own life outside of her. To get back to my apartment and just be alone with my thoughts and have my time to myself. To get back to my own routine, where I feel productive and can accomplish tasks I set out to. When I’m home with her, she wants to be with me every minute of the time that I’m there and the only time I get time to myself is when I go outside for a smoke, (mostly in the winter because I know it’s too cold for her to come out and be with me) or when I stay up all hours of the night, and then end up sleeping in until unGodly hours in the morning throwing my day off completely.

I’ve just always needed time to myself, and more when I’m with her because when I’m there, she is constantly up in my business about everything, from simple things like my phone beeping and her wondering what or who it was, to more exhausting things like talking about my future plans, and how she doesn’t think my methods will work. I end up either biting my tongue so hard it almost bleeds because I don’t want to say anything to cause an argument, or I try to stick up for myself and try to communicate my own collected knowledge of how my way would work fine and it causes her to get her back up, and gives me a hefty dose of the silent treatment, or a terrible battle of who knows best, which only ends with one or the other just changing the subject.

My mom is not a tyrant, unlike some parents I’ve witnessed she truly does love me, and want the best for me, and in so many ways she displays a true love for me, and she DOES so much for me, including financial support with my educational and career goals, but there are times where I feel not that her love is conditional, but the actions or support she gives is.

Is there anyone else out there who can relate and possibly give advice? Many of you I know will advise that I ditch her, or cut her out of my life, and while that may be sound advice I just know I can’t do that. I am ALL THAT SHE HAS IN HER LIFE, and I can’t just turn my back on her. I love her, and I want to help us both get to a place where we can have a loving relationship, but with mutually respected boundaries.

 

Thanks,

 

JDay

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How do you deal with the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK syndrome?

Whenever I sit down at my computer to write, I have so many thoughts and ideas swimming around in my brain that are desperately trying to escape all at once, it gets so overwhelming that I stare at a blank page for countless hours. It is so frustrating. Finally, when I get the nerve to try, a few sentences come out and then I sit back and analyze the crap out of it until I no longer like what I’ve written and then erase everything I just did.

I found a great video on YouTube trying to figure out a way of combatting this bad habit of mine. And one of the tips I came across was posted by FAST Screenplay, titled “Writer’s Block Instant Cure”. (Please note: As I do not fully understand YouTube’s copyright laws, I have not included the link on my page. If anyone reading this has any Legal information about this, please let me know in the comments- thanks!)

Getting back to the helpful information I found while watching the aforementioned video. In it, the speaker says that what actually creates writer’s block is the fear of perfection. When we sit down to write, we are afraid that what we read on the screen isn’t going to look as good as it did in your head, and that when we don’t see it perfectly displayed on the screen we see our efforts as pointless and then begin to bash our ideas and we give up rather than sticking it out and enjoying the entire writing process. He talks about how just sitting down and rather than fearing that what you’re writing is garbage; instead give yourself permission to write the garbage anyway. This way you’ll be able to work through it and escape the fear; I am paraphrasing slightly, but this is my interpretation of the information I learned. For more information, I encourage you to watch the entire video where the speaker explains a 4-Step process to beat the writer’s block syndrome.

 

If you found this information helpful, or have any other tips and tricks for escaping the writer’s blockade please feel free to leave a comment!

Thank you, fellow writers! Write on!

 

J.J.

 

Writer's Block

 

No More Excuses.

All of my life, I have known to some degree what I was born to do with my life. I remember when I was in kindergarten, according to my Jr. and Sr. years said I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. That was because I loved my teachers, and I liked learning from them. Since then, I’ve realized it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a school teacher, but rather a teacher of life. There is a certain part of being a teacher that I’ve always wanted; the part where you help to guide others on their paths in life. Help them figure out who they are, mostly because up until recently I was still searching for the same answers about myself.

There are many things I’ve wanted to do in my life, career-wise. I’ve wanted to be a singer, a writer, an actor, a musician, a model, a fashion designer, a journalist, a photographer, an artist, an interior designer, an architect. I’ve wanted to be a life coach, therapist, philosopher, paleontologist, archaeologist. All of the things I’ve wanted to do seem so different when you hear them, but they all share one common bond in my mind. I love learning, and I love creating, and I love discovering things, and most of all, I want to do something that communicates and speaks to others, that helps them find beauty and peace in the world around them.

But I’ve made so many excuses for why these things wouldn’t be right for me. Such as, I’m a high school drop out, I live on disability assistance, I have ADHD, I suffer with anxiety and depression, I’m weak, I’m too fat, I’m too short, I’m scared, I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, etc. All of these things seem pretty real, and carved in stone some days, but these are all just excuses I’ve put in place to “protect” me from stepping outside of my comfort zone and could get me hurt. But, the problem is, my “comfort zone” is not at all comforting. It’s like I’ve locked my self in a glass-walled box. The ceiling, the floor and all four walls surround and encase me. I can see all the world around me in every direction. All the dreams and goals I have ever had are within sight, but I cannot reach them because there is a glass barrier between us. And all that does, is show me that they are possible, but because I’ve spent a lifetime building up this box, the glass has become so thick, that it seems impenetrable.

But this past year, I’ve made some remarkable progress in breaking through, I’ve managed to create a hole big enough for me to reach my arm through, and touch my dreams, and that touch is so powerful while its connected to me that it helps eat away the glass remaining. But when the touch is broken for whatever reason, the glass stops eroding. I get filled with so much hope, and so much desire for more, that after spending all these years wallowing in my own defeat and misery of not giving my dreams light, I can’t bear it anymore and retreat back to my safety box. But I am not going to let myself stay cooped up, each day I will learn to stop making my excuses for why I can’t, and start making steps towards the reasons why I can because I deserve it. I have waited long enough, and I don’t want to waste any more of my life wondering if it could be, when I can spend the rest of my days knowing that it most certainly can be done, with work. Hard work, maybe not so much in the way of slugging heavy equipment in the hot sun all day kind of work, but more hard work on my own mindset. I have to find the way of cracking through my limitations, and my excuses, and my fear and just give myself the permission to be selfish, to be brave, to be adventurous. Permission to be okay with going a different way, one that I may fashion myself that no one else has yet to go. Permission to seek help from those who are in a higher position of knowledge or experience in the business I seek to one day be a part of. People are not perfect, and since I am in that category, it stands to reason that I am not perfect either. But I deserve to give myself my best chances in life, and to go where I need to to make myself happy.

The way I look at it, I just turned 30 years old. And while many tell me that 30 is still young, they are right, but to some degree they are also wrong. Who knows when my time card gets stamped, and I am moved on to a different, possibly higher place. I hope that if my family tree gives me any idea of length, my mother is about to be 70 but battles cancer, my grandmother is 95 and still alive, (her mind has moved on, but her body remains), and my great grandmothers lived into their 90’s. So if I follow the train, I have potentially between 40 and 60 years left, and I don’t want to waste a moment filling that time. I want to look back and know I took every opportunity to give myself everything I ever wanted in my life.

And what I want, is to be great. To be great at living my life. The way I designed. I of course care about what others think, and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t, or lecture myself on whether it’s right or wrong, but just accept that I do. However, I’m going to stop caring MORE about their opinions than my own. At the end of my days, it will have been MY life I lived, so why not put my excuses aside, and be the reason I was meant to be born as Jackilyn Janet Hastings (J.J. , Jacki, Jada etc) Day. There is no one else out there like me, which means that already I’m off to a pretty unique start. I am going to continue to see my dreams come true, and finally break out of my glass coffin I’ve imprisoned myself inside and live my life to its fullest!

No more excuses needed.

J.J. Day

Lessons I Learned From My Family.

 

I was very lucky to be born into the family that God gifted me, because he put me in a small family of three: my grandpa, grandma and mom. All three of whom were quite different in their unique abilities and upbringing.

My grandfather came from a Scottish-Canadian background, and was a very honourable, loving, giving and creative person. He lived creatively in the way he dressed, and acted. He was a drummer (and a few other instruments) in a few bands, both country and jazz. He grew his hair longish (mid-back) and wore it in a ponytail, and wore anything from crazy self-made costumes, to stylish well-groomed 3 piece suits, or sports jackets jodhpurs and English riding boots. He also loved to draw. He ended up working 30 years at C.K.N.X. as a TV producer and a few other jobs. I grew up learning how to draw, and loving fashion, and appreciating jazzy type music, and wanting to be an entertainer.

My grandma was of English-Canadian heritage, and grew up with 2 other siblings; her brother and sister, she and her sister and had to work really hard to put herself through teacher’s college, because her father was of the mind that girls were going to end up marrying and raising children and didn’t think it wise to spend money on their education. She was more of an authoritarian-type of person, set down rules, and gave punishments if necessary. She was more logical, but also raised in a family who valued music. She played piano well enough, and sang in church choirs. Every event we’d go to on her side of the family came with sing-alongs while our aunt Marie (sister) or Joanne (sister-in-law) played piano. I learned to love music even more as a group experience, and the value of education, and reading, and respecting rules, even if I didn’t always obey them.

My mom was pretty much the sum of both of my grandparents’ teaching. She did end up leaning more towards her dad’s side of the genes but what she has taught me is something more. When I was younger she worked at the TV department of C.K.N.X. but when it closed down, she moved over to the radio side. While she combined both of her parents’ attributes, the lessons she most filled my life with, are ones of how strong one person can be, against all odds. She chose to have me, fairly late in her life, at 39, and after having suffered through a few relationships, decided that having a child didn’t have to come from a relationship with a man; and she found a way to do that. She went through artificial insemination in order to have me and raised me as a single parent. Luckily my grandparents were very active in helping her to raise me, and look after me when she was at work, or needed time for herself. She has showed me the power that can exist inside a person, and an unconditional love that literally has no bounds. My mom was more of a free-spirit, much like my grandpa. She did life her own way, her own rules, and was became a real-estate agent, and showed me what it was like to go from a secure, steady paycheque to a job with risks, and a not so steady paycheque, but that allowed her to be free to make her own schedule, and still be able to be good at her job, and be an amazing woman and mom.

With all I was given in a family and as I’ve grown up and had more experiences outside that safe little world I was first introduced into, I can think of no better word to describe my life as blessed. It is because of their love, guidance and support throughout my life, that I’ve been able to work my way along my life’s journey as well as I have, and as humbly as I possibly can. I now know what a truly remarkable family I had, because I’ve witnessed first-hand families that haven’t had it that great, sometimes their whole lives have been rocky. I know some people who’ve come up from hellish lives, and done better for themselves and their situations.

So, with all that I’ve been blessed with its time for me to work towards giving back to the world, that is why I am pursuing my dreams, because I want to be in a better position where I can speak to a nation who is slowly crumbling, and help be one of the people who inspires others to be their best self, and to never give up on whatever good they can do to better the crazy world we live in.

It needs all of our help in order to flourish and rise from the ashes that Hell has doused us with!

God speed fellow humans!

J.J.

Valentine’s Day — Love and Hate this yearly tradition!

Valentine’s Day for couples and Valentine’s Day for single people can be a very different day at times. If you’re in love it’s another day extra to your anniversary to pay tribute to the love you share for each other and your time together however long or short. 

As I scroll through my social media feeds I see the love-filled messages and photos of happy couples, and all the ways they appreciate one another, and I am genuinely happy for each and every one of them because it shows me that love does exist and that truly warms my heart.

But for those of us who’ve spent countless years alone on this day, it can be quite saddening. I am turning 30 this year, and have yet to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day; and while I still hold hope for my future that that may not be the case one day – this year, it still is. And in the time where I have dated, or had relationship-like men in my time, there have only been two times where I’ve actually been IN LOVE. My first relationship when I was 16; about to turn 17, I was finally with my best friend, and love of my life at the time, and it was wonderful, and I knew that I we both had value in each other’s lives. But, due to external forces, it ended and left me devastated, and not only did it end; but it ended on Valentine’s Day. Picture your first relationship ever, you’re experiencing feelings you’ve never felt before, and you have this naive take on the world, and you with all your heart believe in love, and are a true hopeless romantic, only to have your world kicked up from underneath you, on what you’ve come to know in society as the most romantic day of the year… and THAT is when he chooses to “let’s just be friends”. For most of my years since, I came to loathe this holiday, even after he and I had moved on past the hurt, and reconciled our friendship I still had this angered feeling come over me as the time drew closer to February 14th.
The second, is more recent, but I don’t want to divulge too deeply into it, other than to say, it has come to be my MOST treasured relationship of all, because I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about him, and it’s also the first encounter with a man, where I don’t feel judged too strongly, and can be free to release for the most part, some of my most intense insecurities about myself because he doesn’t seem to have a problem with them. Sometimes, best friends make the best partners, even if it doesn’t go to the romantic level.

After many years, I’ve now learned to let the anger go, but I still continue to have a pang of longing when this time comes around, because I remember my beautifully naive heart’s desire to find my soulmate. But this year, this one is tricky… because I’m not in a relationship as defined by any other relationship I’ve seen or heard of around me, but in a sense I am and I have this new feeling like, maybe I have found my soul-mate, just not in the form of a boyfriend, but in that of a best friend. Maybe it’s okay not to be traditional, but just accept things they way they come. And learn to appreciate what you have, without defining it’s form or reason. 

So with that being said, I really hope all of the lovers out there celebrating this red and white day of love and happiness of being together with the one (or family), or just being in good company of people you adore! The world could use way more days to celebrate love, with all the crazy, messed up stuff going on in the world now.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day my darlings!

All my love!

 

J.J.

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Doing OR Don’ting in life: The fear is always there either way.

There’s fear if we do the things in our lives that we want to do, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of finding out your life-long/biggest dream isn’t going to work, fear of hard work, fear of pain both emotional and physical, fear of loneliness, fear of not conforming to society “properly”, and the like.

However there are just as many fears that come with the “don’ts” as well. If we don’t follow our dreams, there is the fear of staying put or settling, the fear of being tormented the rest of your life for not trying, the fear of staying in one place, the fear of what other people will think.

No matter what these will always be the two thoughts people have when making decisions for their life. That’s a fact, and probably won’t change, because it’s part of our nature as humans. But what’s also part of our nature as humans is our ability to choose between our do’s and don’ts, and determine which is more important, and will be the best option for you.

Up until this point in my life, I’ve chosen the easier “DON’T” approach, and just let my dreams glide further and further away, because I thought I’d be safer if I stayed put. But now, my mind is opening and I’m seeing more light and leaning harder towards choosing to go after my dreams knowing I’d rather look back in 30-50 years (the time bracket I hope to live into), and also knowing that I embraced more of my do fears, and fewer of my don’t fears and lived a full and exciting life. Even if by the time I get to my end, I can’t remember them myself, I’ll at least know others can and will remember.

Old World vs. New World- Yay or Nay?

Friday night, while everyone is celebrating the end of the first work week of 2018, I am sitting in my bed searching through the online movie catalogues to watch as I wind down for the night and as I scrolled through the endless sea of what to watch, my mind traveled back in time to when I was a little girl, and it was the weekend and the choices for movie watching were either to go to a theatre and watch the newest releases on the big screen with your parents, or friends and a big ol’ bag of the butteriest, greasiest popcorn and Raisinettes, or to beg your parents to take you to the local video rental store. For me, my best memories are walking into “Home Video” in my town, where when you walked in, was either a billiards table room on the left, or the land of movies on your right. You walk in, say “Hi!” to the man or woman behind the counter, and rush on past to graze among the millions of VHS tapes, to choose what would be your newest view… or 100,000th view because you just LOVED some of them you had to see them way more than once. I used to stand in there for what seemed like hours, just ogling the selection, and then making your choice, only to find that the little poker chip that was to be dangling on the hook with the coinciding number attached to the VHS box was not there, so you had to run back to the front and ask the cashier whether it had been returned yet. Sometimes, you’d be disappointed, and have to march back and start your search all over again, but other times, your luck would win out and it would be in the back in the dropbox bin and you’d go home feeling like it was your luckiest day. Yup, those were the days… the biggest bonus about going to the theatre or video store happened when you’d see your friends and fellow classmates, or friends of your parents’ or… an even bigger thrill would be when your crush walked in and your butterflies would flutter around in your tummy, and you’d take even longer to make your choice and wait until you saw them heading for the counter, so you’d just look, and grab the quickest watchable movie in your sight, just so you could hustle to the counter just to stand in line behind them and hope that they noticed you, and pray that they may even speak to you. Even just your name, or “Hi.”… We had it pretty good back then, and although technology has made things so much more convenient, I miss those special moments. The physical presence of going out and mingling with fellow movie watchers… you just don’t get that in the new world like you used to. Now, people all over have too much social anxiety and depression going on in their heads, that we’ve begun hiding in our private, safe little home-world instead of walking outside just to enjoy the simple things like going for walks, or out to coffee/drinks with friends, or even just going out to enjoy a nice dinner with a special someone, or someone you HOPE will turn out to be special. And as one of those people who’s become a hider, I really long for the old days where although I was shy, I was still able to go out and enjoy the simple pleasures we have almost all forgotten.  Maybe that is all it takes — just the memories of old to help remake our future so that the child in us, still exists. Out with the new, well — not all the way out, but make room for the old too, because without it we’d have nothing to remember what it takes to live.

Do yourself a favour, and go out and live like the old isn’t dead! 🙂

 

JDay

Capture the Flag — of Motivation

Is it just me, or do you ever find that you’re always playing a game of capture the flag — the flag being your motivation for getting things on your to-do list done? When I’m out driving around I am overcome with ideas and ambition for getting my chores caught up, like cleaning my apartment, or making phone calls that will boost my career and my life, or even making a fully home-cooked meal for myself, but, when I get home all of that drive and ambition flies out the window, and all I end up doing is curling up in my bed, or on the couch and watching TV or movies, or checking out my social media feeds and watch other people do the things I told myself I was going to do when I got home. Why is it that when you are not where the chores are, the motivation to complete your tasks is at full throttle, but when you are present with the chores, the ambition is so hard to keep a hold of – at least until the middle of the night when you’re lying in bed trying to get to sleep, but you’re kept awake thinking about the things you told yourself you would, but didn’t do and then it all flares back up, and you end up doing a couple of things on your list, getting less sleep than you intended just so you can feel you did something? Is it just laziness, or is it that when we are faced with the decisions that will better our lives and our homes we just get so overwhelmed that our nervous systems go haywire and fry out our energy?

If I could possess a superpower I would choose to have an endless sea of motivation that doesn’t die out. Don’t you? In this world where everyone including ourselves expects perfection and “big things” for and of us, are we putting too much pressure on the common tasks of everyday life?

Thoughts, opinions, advice?

 

JDay

Welcome 2018!

2018

It’s a new year and as I sit here watching Sex and the City reruns I felt like getting into my own Carrie Bradshaw state of mind and had a thought come into my head, why is it that when you’re sitting home alone, with no-one but you and your cats in your room do you get that “look-through-your-fingers” cringe of discomfort when something is shown on screen, like a love scene or in this case watching two characters watch a love scene? I instantly got this full body rush run through me and also instantly became aware of how silly that is. Was that the show writers’ intention? Or was that just my interpretation of the writing based on my own experiences in my own awkward life? Do you ever wonder why we feel the things we feel? Are feelings developed from life, or are we born feeling things like discomfort, embarrassment and shame? How do we break free of those chains and just let ourselves be free to feel what we want to feel and let go of the limitations?

With this new year comes a whole new world for me as I exit my 20’s and enter my 30’s, I am going to be allow myself to be the me I’ve always wanted, and make my 30’s and beyond the best and happiest of my life.

Happy 2018 everyone! 🙂

JDay

7 Ways to Success (2 min read)

A good read to remind ourselves to keep going up and on! 🙂

Millionaire's Digest

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: T.D.

Founder & Owner of: Storyspiller Blog

Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Art, Blogging, Books, Fashion & Style, Food & Drink, Stories, Successful Living, Travel and Writing Writer


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Why am I not successful? Everyday, everyone thinks or asks this question. What is success? Its reaching your goal and achieving even more than you dream

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