Why I’m Not Moving to Ottawa

This is a question that everyone has been asking, and it’s taken me a while to really get my thoughts sorted out enough to sit down and write this. I’m going to go into as much detail here as I can without exploiting my loved ones.

The main reason is simple. I needed to put myself first. I have spent a large portion of my life making decisions in full belief that if the people I love are happy, then I will be too. As the years have passed it has become more and more apparent that the decisions I was making were not making me happy. This time I needed to sit down, focus on my goals and dreams and really work towards them.

I needed to prioritize my family. Family is forever, and family will always be my first priority. Long story short, I cannot fathom the idea of not being close through health concerns, and the growth of the little ones.

I needed control. This kind of ties back into putting myself first, but I genuinely believed that I needed to make this decision myself. I could very well end up moving to Ottawa by the end of the year, but that is a decision that I need to make myself. I couldn’t make this decision for anyone else, and I needed to have control over this aspect of my life. It’s no secret that control is something I struggle with and I began to feel triggered in a big way.

This was a self care decision. Sebastian and I are on the same page, and this was the right decision.

To the Friends I’ve Lost Touch With…

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever drove us apart. I want you to know that I still think about you and I will always have so much love for you. I hope you’re doing well – it seems like it from what I see on social media.

It brings me joy to see your happiness. Sometimes I get sad because I used to imagine that we would celebrate the big moments together, that we’d have a toast to all we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve come. I miss you.

We don’t keep in touch anymore. A couple back and forth likes of profile photos and status updates have taken the place of regular phone calls, skype dates and daily texts.

I’m sorry I wasn’t there when times got tough, and trust me I wanted to be – but how do you reach back out? It’s hard. I know you understand this, because we’re in this position. We both caused this. I don’t expect to hear from you anymore, and you don’t expect to hear from me – that’s fine. I always think back fondly on our friendship, and I am so blessed to follow along on the amazing journey of your life – even from a distance.

And please remember, I will forever answer your calls, texts or messages and I will always be here for you.

Making Tough Decisions

In the past month I have made a number of difficult decisions – most notably I decided not to move to Ottawa.

Let me be clear, this was not a decision based on my relationship and this was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m not going to go into all the reasons I made this choice, but to be frank this was a decision about putting myself first. Either way, I wanted to walk you through what I do at times I find myself at a fork in the road in my life.

1. I seek counsel from people I trust, and who I know will not judge me

I speak to my closest friends, the ones who have been there through other tough decisions in my life and the ones who I genuinely know will be completely unbiased regarding what I choose. I speak to people who I know genuinely only care about my happiness.I also speak to professionals. I will not lie, I have a therapist and I speak to her about everything. When life becomes overwhelming, she is often my first call.

2. I make pro/con lists

GIRL. You cannot make a decision without a pro/con list – end of discussion.

3. I practice visual expansions

This is something I subconsciously did until my therapist gave it a title. This is the practice of looking at all the possible outcomes. For the purpose of this example, I pictured what my life would look like by my birthday if I moved to Ottawa versus what it would look like if I stayed in Vancouver.

4. I listen to logic AND my emotions

My therapist calls this “tapping into the wise mind”. This is something I struggle with. I generally live very strictly in my logical mind. I find that I only swing over to my emotional mind when I am in crisis. I then rein myself back into my wise mind which lies in between my logic and emotions.

I hope this helps you all going forward, especially when both choices seem hard. These are the best tips I have for making sure you’re confident in your decision, as hard as it feels in the moment.

Social Media is Very Isolating

Kinijalele has such an amazing life, she is fearless and confident. She is everything I aspire to be. I wanted more than anything to have the life that you all saw.

I am not Kinijalele though. I have spent what feels like a lifetime building my brand on social media and I have garnished constant support, love and interaction from all of you. That being said, I’ve also felt so alone.

I felt like I couldn’t be real with any of you. As I would post about all the amazing happenings in my life, I would be in the middle of a complete mental breakdown. I’m so sorry for lying to you, and as I move forward I promise to be more real with you.

I know that I have touched on real topics in the past, branding myself as a survivor. It’s never that simple, and I am so so so sorry for anyone who I may have lead to believe that once you’re recovered, you’re good to go. Every single day is a test, things are still hard and triggers are always real.

Thank you for giving me the time to take this time for myself and I’m ready to get back to it as the new Kinijalele, unbranded, unfiltered and always honest.

Taking a Break

Hey all, you may have noticed that I deactivated my instagram – maybe not. I’m going to take a break from being Kinijalele for a minute and really focus on Savanna. I promise this is temporary. I just need some time to figure out my direction. Thank you for you understanding and I love you all so much.

I’ll be back in full force soon.

Vacation Recap – London

Welcome to the third and final part of my vacation recap! Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

We got into London around probably 2 PM and only had about 6 hours there total to see everything we wanted to see.

The first stop was the Tate Modern, a massive art gallery in London. Admission was free for about 5 of the floors. I took my time here to check out the exhibit on modern art, controversy and feminism.

Then we took a walking bridge across the Thames where we got a nice view of the London bridge. Time didn’t allow for us to go check out the major attractions, so this was the closest I could get.

For dinner we ate at Ottolenghis, a tapas bar with Mediterranean and Israeli inspiration. The food was incredible – and they served up a healthy portion of olives to start!

The lighting was also phenomenal here. We couldn’t resist taking a handful of photos while we waited for our food. The ring featured in these images is from a Local London jeweler called Telegrapher’s Lab – I saw her booth at the market and had to own one of her pieces. She doesn’t currently have an online shop, but trust me – I’m waiting.

After dinner we packed up our desserts (including a killer gluten free cake) and got back on the train to our hotel. We had early morning flights, said our goodbyes at the airport and returned home – it was thankfully a super uneventful travelling day.

It was an incredible trip, but it sure is nice to be home for a minute before the craziness of moving ensues.

Vacation Recap – Stoke and Exeter

This is the second part of the three part recap of my trip to North Devon, England. For part one, click here.

On Wednesday we went to the Stoke Cathedral and Cemetery. There was so much history here you could feel the age of the energy in this area. With tombstones dating back to the 1700s, it was amazing. It’s so surreal to be in an area with such old buildings coming from Vancouver where everything is so new in comparison.

We found two tombstones from the mid 19th century that marked where Seb’s ancestors were buried which is incredible.

From the church we took a walk a few miles to the Hartland Abbey, which had some incredible grounds. We didn’t spend a lot of time here, but I couldn’t help but try to capture the beauty of this amazing building.

Then we ventured back into Hartland just as a storm began to roll in. Hartland was such a quaint, interesting village that seemed to have everything you could need regardless of the fact that it was tiny.

On Thursday we took a road trip south to Exeter, which is such an amazing city with such rich history. We went to the Exeter Cathedral which was an amazing example of traditional gothic architecture. It was truly breathtaking how detailed and artistically designed it was.

We then walked up to the Exeter Castle (Rougemont Caste) where the plaque honouring the last people executed for witchcraft in England was. It was very sobering, and reminded me how blessed we are for coming so far.

Exeter got me very excited about moving to Ottawa, where maybe the history isn’t quite as rich, but there is so much more character there than anywhere I’ve lived yet.

OUTFIT DETAILS | JACKET – Forever 21 | SHIRT – Express | PANTS – Le Chateau | SHOES – Kangaroos

Vacation Recap – Hartland Quay, Dartmoor, Ilfracombe and Lundy

We’re back from England! We actually will have been for a few days by the time this post goes up, but it took me a while to get this all put together. I’ve decided to break the trip into three parts as we did so much I could never fit it all into one. It was an amazing trip, and it was so refreshing to go off the grid for a week and take a trip unlike any other trip I’ve ever been on.

We stayed in the English countryside in North Devon at a place called Lundy View. It was the most serene place I’ve ever been, without a tall building or any civilization as far as the eye could see. It was just vast landscapes and the ocean. At night we couldn’t hear or see anything – an incredible escape.

On our first day we ventured down to a village called Hartland for breakfast, and then went for a hike down at the quay. This was the most incredible coastline I’ve ever laid eyes on, and no photo could ever do it justice – but I tried my best. We were very fortunate to have absolutely stellar weather for the first half of our trip with temperatures above 30C! Luckily for us we were on the coast the whole time, so we had the sea breeze to break up the heat.

On the second day, we headed south to Dartmoor National Park for a walk. There were sheep, ponies and cows all over the park roaming free in the middle of the road. We went for a walk off the trails through the terrain to find this tor with a metal sword shape object stuck in it. (we couldn’t pull it out, so I guess we’re not the chosen ones)

On day three we headed to Ilfracombe to take a ferry off the coast to Lundy Island, Ilfracombe was such a cool town. All the boats in the harbour had double keels to accommodate the changes in the tide. I’ve never seen this before, but it was pretty brilliant.

The Ilfracombe Harbour also had this amazing sculpture by Damien Hirst. The subject, Verity, is a pregnant woman holding a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other. She’s also standing on a mound of old law books. Breathtaking really.

After we caught the ferry in Ilfracombe we headed towards Lundy Island for a hike, it was an amazing (hot) place with beautiful views and landscapes (and more sheep and more cows) As a westcoast girl, I’m always taken aback by seeing the vast ocean with nothing on the other side. When we look out on the horizon here, there’s always more islands off the coast, it was really amazing for me to see just an empty sea as far as the eye could see.

In my next two posts I’ll share about our days exploring Hartland, Exeter and London!

We’re leaving Vancouver!

I felt like now was a good time to sit down and talk to you about what’s going on. I know that lately I haven’t been keeping you up to date on the happenings of my life, and I know that’s the only reason some of you keep up to date on my blog.

Partially I haven’t been blogging about my life as much as I’m realizing that some things just aren’t that important anymore. My career is not a staple of my identity and at this point in my life, I don’t have to associate my happiness, direction and purpose with what I do during business hours. That being said, in the big picture, no major changes there.

I also haven’t been blogging as much about my life as we’ve had a lot in the works, I didn’t want to say anything until it was the right time.

Now that that’s out of the way, I do have very big news. Over three years ago I wrote this and it’s no secret that my life was never the same after that. Now, it’s time to close this chapter of my life as Sebastian and I pack up our belongings, get in the car, and move across the country, to Ottawa!

Seb got into an amazing Masters program, and now felt like the perfect time for both of us to make a big move and start fresh. We’re both so excited to embark on this next journey together, and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather drive through the prairies with.

So here’s to continuing to fall, now in tandem, and finding our footing eventually.

denim dreams.

Can we all take a second to appreciate this denim jacket? Guys, I’m obsessed with it. It’s so comfortable and versatile, I’ve worn it almost every day since I got it, and I have no regrets about any outfit I pair with it. It’s perfectly over-sized without completely swallowing my petite frame. A true miracle jacket.

I love to rock it casually with some black skinny jeans, a t-shirt and ankle boots for a super cool and casual vibe. It also has massive pockets to make up for the lack of pocket room in women’s skinny jeans.

I’m also in love with the way it wears as a little more of a going out mood. Here I threw my jacket over a simple, thrifted LBD for an effortlessly cool look. (Please note, nothing about me is effortless, or cool – I just like to give off that vibe)

I promise guys, this jacket is the best piece that I have ever purchased from Forever 21 – it’s excellent quality and has a great weight to it – I will wear it until there are holes in it, and then even still (if distressed denim is still trendy).