05.25.2014

This morning as I was stressing over work that didn’t require me stressing out, and wondering about life and what will come of it, my aunt said something to me. She told me that life isn’t all about success, or money, or status, which is one of the things I’ve always known, but never really knew. She told me that life is about happiness, and happiness might not come from work, or money, or success, or status, but it can come from the small things. So I sat down in bed, with my coffee and finished up some reading for work. Throughout my reading a few things happened that reminded me what those small things might be. 

Now, I’m a list-maker. I love lists, I love writing lists, and I probably have a list of lists I need to write in my head. So I figured why not make a list of things that make me happy.

A few of my favourite things:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Late-night take-out with Meghan
  3. Those sweet little texts from Pat that make me feel like hot cocoa on a snowy day (with little marshmallows)
  4. The little updates from Matt after every race, this has been a tradition since he started running about 6 years ago
  5. Love and cuddles from Marley and Piper
  6. Puppy kisses. Puppies in general
  7. The ocean breeze
  8. Long walks that don’t go anywhere
  9. Coffee, black
  10. When it’s night and its hot enough out still to be in shorts

This is just a short little thing for today, but it’s Sunday, and I feel like Sundays were invented to be full of happiness and coziness.

05.04.2014

It’s been about three months since I moved here, can you believe it?

In a month Meghan and I will be getting out own place finally and then I’ll probably start feeling more grounded. This has been a long free-fall and I’ve been spinning in all the directions. I’m feeling confident that I will avoid face-planting, but I can’t say much more as for with direction I will hit ground. 

I’m still trying to figure out who Vancouver-Savanna is. All I know thus far is that Vancouver-Savanna and Victoria-Savanna are not the same person, and I’m not sure if that excites me or terrifies me. It may be that I’m growing, and learning how to adapt, or is could be that the city is making me hard and bitter. I’m doing my best to stay true to myself and not become the bitter person I see some days.

Some days, when I can sit down and breathe I remember who I am and it keeps me from feeling like another zombie wandering blindly through the streets of Vancouver. When I’m sitting by the ocean in the sun, talking to Meghan or just reflecting on things that have changed, and things that have remained the same. Those are the moments I remember that there are no such thing as “Vernon-Savanna,” Ølen-Savanna,” “Victoria-Savanna,” and “Vancouver-Savanna”. They’re all fictional characters that play supporting roles in my life, and in the end, I’ll always just be – and I’m okay with that.

We all know that any version of Savanna will figure out a way to land feet first, gracefully.

04.05.2014

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A question I’ve been asked my entire life, still today I get asked that a lot. I’ve wanted to be all sorts of things: archaeologist, pyrotechnician, airplane mechanic, fashion designer, environmental lawyer – evidently I’ve never had much of a clue. Regardless, that question has lingered over me for years. When I graduated high school I got rushed into finally making a decision, and surprise, I picked wrong. Turns out, environmental studies wasn’t for me. So I crossed that one off the list, took some time off and went back to school for marketing. People often ask me “Why marketing, what do you find interesting about it?” and I’ve finally figured out what it is.

For years I spent most of my time thinking about the future, and no time thinking about the present. The time I wasn’t thinking about the future, I was lingering in the past; the “what-if”s and such. After taking a step back, and looking at where I was, where I had been and where I wanted to be, it dawned on me. I knew I didn’t want to spend my life focusing on the past, so I knew I didn’t want to deal with history or analytical work. So I thought about focusing on the future, I could be a politician, a scientist, a fashion designer and focus on what was going to happen next. But that would continue to leave the void of the now. 

I know a lot of people are really good at separating their work and their personal lives, but I’m not one of those people. If my work is focused in the past, I will be focused on the past, if my work is focused on the future, I will be to. If my work is focused on the here and now, I too will be able to live my life in the here and now.

Marketing. What people want right now? What would make them happy right now? What would make me happy right now? Sure, there’s areas that look at the past trends, or upcoming trends – but that’s healthy. I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without my past, and I wouldn’t want to continue to be better than I am now without the hope of a future. 

This all might sound awfully cliche to a lot of you, but if I can bring my passion into my work, and have both intertwine together, I would call that a successful life.

03.17.2014

It’s been exactly 40 days since the big move. 40 days of ups and downs, feelings of pride and feelings of defeat. Sometimes I feel like this city is full of promise and opportunity, but some days I feel like moving could have been a horrible mistake and that this city is going to eat me alive. There are days where I feel like I’m drowning, but there are days where I feel like I’m walking on water.

A lot of the reasons I feel upset has to do with work related issues, but I don’t want to bring that negative energy on to my blog – so this will be the last I speak of this.

40 long days, 40 short days – however you spin it, there’s been 40 of them. In those days I’ve experienced many things, some of which have become a very concrete part of my daily life, some of which will not be. I’ve attended a hockey game, I’ve built relationships, I’ve become excited about things, and I’ve missed things. The city is big, and lonely and fast paced and it keeps my mind occupied, I get to spend quality time with family, and enjoy home cooked meals every night. I don’t feel trapped here, like I have many times before – I’m not saying that I’ll never feel trapped here, because the truth is; my passport expires in November.

It’s not all been sunshine and rainbows, it’s rained a lot – really, the amount of water that falls from the sky here is unbelievable. My dad was in the hospital for a couple weeks, and it was hard – things were serious, and the doctors believed he wouldn’t be okay. In the end, the fabulous staff in the CICU at St. Paul’s worked a few medical miracles, and so far, all we’ve had is good news. I mean, if you ask me, that is. He would argue that a low sodium diet, chased down with 20 hours a week of low-stress paperwork would beg to differ – but that’s all gravy in comparison.

There’s also things I miss about island life, I miss the way strangers treated me, the way people lived their lives and most importantly, the way people deal with situations. I miss my friends, and I miss my boyfriend (lame, I know – but that’s that), and lastly I miss my old team at work. A lot of things about my new life are fantastic, but some things (people) in life prove to be absolutely irreplaceable.

I’m still spinning, I’m not going to lie, my feet haven’t hit ground yet – but I can’t say I’m 100% convinced when I do land, it will be on my feet.

It’s feeling awfully likely to be a faceplant. I’ll keep you posted.

02.07.2014

Remember that time I said I was moving on the 1st of March? Well, that changed – hence my lack of blogging.

I moved to Vancouver yesterday, and I can’t say I’ve really come to terms with it quite yet. Meghan and I have both realized we’re in denial, and that I must just be on another one of those Vancouver-trips I go on all the time. The past day has made us both very aware that three months apart will not work, so we’re gonna have to fix that. I’m currently on the friend and house hunt here in the city, trying to get everything sorted out for when Meghan finally comes.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in life, and where I want it. I haven’t figured any of that out yet, but I do know that for the most part, I’ve made decisions I’m proud of up until now. I spent a lot of time today sitting in bed thinking that I had made a terrible mistake moving to the city. I had build a really great life for myself in Victoria, I knew people I needed and wanted to know, and could get what I needed done, and it was all hassle free. That’s when I realized, it was too easy. With great effort comes great reward, or something. Where I’m going with this, is I got everything I needed done there, but it was easy. I accomplished amazing things there, but without the challenge, I never felt satisfied. I also realized that I’ve made a lot of decisions about my life, approximately all of them give or take a few. And I’m thrilled with who I am, and where I am, usually. Everything I have and everything I am is because of the decisions I’ve made, and every single of them turned out exactly how it needed to in that point in time.

Long story short, maybe right now I’m scared, and I have cold feet – but in the end, this is what I needed, I’ve never let myself down, and I will accomplish what I came here to get done. Whatever that may be, I’ll figure that out in time.

I’m going on an adventure tomorrow, maybe I’ll find a clue.

#bigcitysmallsavanna

01.22.2014

A reason, A season and a lifetime.

Growing up, my mom always told me that people will always come in and out of my life for either a reason, a season or a lifetime. This was partially to point out that she was a lifetime, and I best not forget that. She also wanted me to know that people will come and go, but no one will ever be pointless. 

She explained things to me like this: A reason; they may not be around for long, but they will do or say something that could teach me something, change my outlook or just alter a situation. A season; they’re around for a little while, and mainly just affect that chapter in my life. (ie. High school friends, vacation friends, friends or friends). A lifetime; this is explanatory. Family and a select few make it into this group – it’s like a VIP club in your life.

I would say that most people I’ve encountered in my life thus far would be seasonal. I do not, however, believe that these categories are exclusive. I look for a reason in every person I develop a relationship with, and I very rarely am disappointed by people. I find that most seasonal or lifetime people come with a reason. This does not mean that every person who is in my life for a reason will stay for long enough to be a season or a lifetime. 

Now, this has all been on my mind a lot recently as I’ve been thinking about every experience I’ve had up until now. I realized that I’ve always put everyone into categories – reason, season, reason, reason, season, lifetime, reason. 

Not once have I looked at things from the other side. What do want to be in other peoples lives. How can I affect their lives in a positive way? Do I want to be around for a season? or a lifetime? I personally decide which category a person is in within the first couple encounters.

“What is their reason for being in my life?” 

“How are they going to change my life?”

Looking back, I want to start looking at things differently. A new chapter, a new outlook. 

I want to meet people and ask myself questions like:

“What is the reason, I’m in their life?”

“How can I positively effect their day? Their life?”

01.20.2014

Today my life got turned upside down, or maybe right-side up. At this point I’m not convinced I understand which way is up, or what colour the sky is.

It’s been 2 and a half years since I uprooted last and planted my feet on island soil. In 2 and a half years I’ve done so many barrel rolls, which is why I’m not sure which way is up. I’m not even 100% sure whether or not I’m going forwards or backwards some days. I’ve learned more about myself since coming here than I thought was even possible, and now, in 38 days, I’ll be uprooting again. I’ll be getting on that big boat, and starting fresh, all over again.

I’ll be a city girl, which is something new. I’ve lived in a lot of different places. I’ve lived in different countries, but never, have I ever lived in a city. I’ll be that one step closer to figuring it all out, one step of many, but still closer.

Today I decided which way is up, and I might be wrong.