For the longest time, this trip to Ireland was mostly talk so it was easy to continue with my day to day activities without any nervousness. In the past week or so, I've caught myself taking note of silly little things like the park by my house or the tiles in my bathroom. I find myself strolling a bit more slowly on my walks and really taking everything around me in. I know that this is because I'll be leaving soon and it's my way of appreciating what I'll be leaving behind for some time.
With the trip approaching quite quickly, I find myself choking up when I think about everything I'm leaving here. I worry about my family (although there's no need) and how they'll be without me. I worry about not seeing my nephews for two years and what I'll miss with them. I worry about my friends and not seeing them either. With all of this worry comes the peace of mind that I'm just a worry wart and all of my friends and family will actually be just fine without me. It's natural for me to worry about everything and I have to keep reminding myself that worrying is like poison. There's no need to worry about all of the people in my life, I need to be more focused on myself.
After my mother passed away, I started focusing on everyone else around me and rarely took the time to focus on myself and my own issues. It was so easy to pull myself in all of their directions while forgetting about my own. I've spent the last two years focused on everyone but me and this trip is really going to change all of that!
This trip is going to be so much more than just some travelling. It's an opportunity to really get to know myself, to focus wholly on my own needs and desires without constantly worrying about everyone else. It's a way for me to hopefully move past my mother's death, to move past all of the worry and fear, and to finally understand my own needs. This trip is going to be the beginning of something very special for me and I can honestly say that despite all of the nerves I have, I'm so ready to finally focus on me.
When I think about the things that are important to me in life, I consider animal activism to be one of my biggest passions. I truly want to devote my life to helping animals in any way that I can but there has always been something that has prevented me from taking the plunge. Although I film animal rights videos and preach on my blog about living a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle, I haven't been able to bring myself to attend protests & demonstrations out of fear. That fear is directly related to my General Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety is something I have struggled with since I was in high school. Being bullied, struggling with an eating disorder, and trying to figure out my sexuality really overwhelmed me growing up and I believe that's when my anxiety became out of control. It got so bad that I was paranoid of walking, crossing the street, or being in public altogether. It has been so hard to fight those feelings off and there have been many get togethers put on by friends that I have avoided for fear of being in social settings with people I didn't know. I've avoided connections with guys because of the fear of having to develop a relationship which scared the bejesus out of me. Anxiety has truly wrecked a good portion of my life.
After my mother passed, I started to realize that life is way too short to be anxious about everything. That event really changed my life in so many ways but there was still a lingering anxiousness that persisted.
What does this all mean?
Booking this trip to Ireland and taking the plunge so to speak is sort of my way of taking control of my anxiety. Thrusting myself into a situation that I know will test me in every way imaginable is how I intend to conquer my anxiety. I know I can handle myself and I feel like putting myself in this position will really help me break out of my shell. I will be forced to meet people, forced to step outside of my comfort zone on every level, and forced to face my fears head on. I am almost sure that this experience will change my life in so many ways and I especially hope it helps me take control of my anxiety and be done with it.
My ultimate hope is that in conquering my anxiety I can return after my 2 years and really thrust myself into activism. All of the fears and thoughts that have prevented me from stepping up to the plate will be distant memories and I should be able to really involve myself in the fight for animals wholly.
This trip means so much more to me than just travelling and having fun, it's my opportunity to tackle what has always been the biggest hurdle in my life. My anxiety has stood in the way of so many things in my life and I truly hope that this trip snaps me out of those feelings and allows me to be the very best version of myself.
I've got big hopes for this trip and I can't wait to embark on this journey of self discovery, travel, and excitement. I know that I am in control and this trip will truly prove to myself how in control I am. That's exactly what I need!
This past week I had a meeting with my bank to talk about dealing with my finances while I'm overseas. There was so much information given to me that I thought my head was actually going to explode. I knew this was going to be a big change but meetings like this really make me realize how big this move truly is. It can be a bit overwhelming when I try to think about everything I have to achieve prior to my leaving especially considering I'm working both jobs and leaving myself very little free time to try and plan or organize myself.
It's kind of a double edged sword type of situation. I need to be working to save money but I need time to get my sh!t together as well. It's so hard to try and manage everything I need to be doing when I'm literally at one or both jobs nearly every day. I definitely see myself scrambling to get myself together in the 3 weeks I'm off of work leading up to my departure. Although the idea of rushing at the last minute is kind of scary, it's also kind of exciting and honestly, I feel like it is part of the experience.
Can anyone truly be prepared for a move like this? I've certainly never done anything like this before so I don't really know if I'll actually feel ready by the time I leave but I know I'm so ready for this. I'm so ready to have free time to actually do the things I enjoy doing like sightseeing and learning how to use my DSLR camera that has been sitting in the box nearly since I purchased it. Time to go out and meet people, make friends, maybe find a boyfriend one day lol, all of those things that I'm NOT doing right now.
I leave in 3 months. 3 short months and I'll be heading to Ireland. Time flies that's for sure!
There are so many things going through my head every day that sometimes I forget if I've already thought of something. I'm pretty overwhelmed between working, blogging, and trying to do ANY planning for what is likely to be the
Biggest Trip of my Life!!
Amidst all of the chaos, I am constantly reminded of what I am most excited about. Not only am I going to Ireland for two years, travelling, and trying all sorts of new things, but I am also dropping down to part time work. That might sound daunting to some of you, but I've literally worked my whole life away (minor exaggeration) and the prospect of having more time for myself is so exciting.
Under the stipulations of my program, I am entitled to work part time hours to help fund any travelling / living expenses I'll incur. I've worked full time hours since I was 15 / 16 years old and have really never taken any kind of break. Even now, I'm working both jobs and up to 65 hours a week which I'll tell you is extremely exhausting. I'm super grateful to have some pretty amazing people to work with every day, makes working a lot so much more enjoyable!
Anyways, working so little in a new country will truly be a remarkable experience. Having time to focus on my blog more and dive into more videos / travel vlogging is exactly what I need at this point in my life. I truly love blogging and learning / sharing new things all the time and I can't imagine a better opportunity to truly put my all into blogging and really taking care of myself.
Every day I wake up and think about all the scary things about the trip, but at the end of the day I'm always reminded of the opportunities I'll soon be encountering. I'm just so ready for this step in my life and I can't wait to get things going despite being so anxious :p
As I sit here watching House Hunters International, I can't help but think that in 4 very short months I'll be moving to Ireland for 2 years. I've watched these shows religiously for the last few years and always admired the courage it took to pick up and leave everything behind. Here I am, soon to do the very same thing.
I have been working literally day and night between jobs in an effort to save as much of a cushion as humanly possible. I am beyond exhausted but the prospect of working part time and travelling for 2 years has me motivated! I am overwhelmed with both nervousness and excitement and realize that 4 months is very little time for what I'm about to do. I have so much to accomplish in a short time and definitely have started to feel the pressure.
I am thoroughly looking forward to the opportunity to explore a new culture, see beautiful places and things, and meet some amazing people. Despite the fact that this is about as far outside my comfort zone as I can imagine, it is unusually satisfying at the same time. I'm nervous as hell but so excited to experience everything.
I imagine I'll be freakin' in a few months, but for now I'm enjoying the nervous excitement I'm feeling!
This morning I woke up and my first thought of the day was a reminder that I was leaving in 5 months. 5 months is both a long time and really no time at all when you consider the scope of the change I'll be engaging in. I'm already racking my brain trying to figure out everything I need to accomplish over the next couple of months prior to leaving and I can honestly say, my brain is on overload.
I'm in the process of selling off some of my appliances to help add some more funds to my bank account and I'm also working on getting maps and such together so i can start learning streets and spots to remember prior to my arrival. I definitely want to be prepared so that I don't allow myself to become overwhelmed when I get off of the plane in my new home. I'm sure I'll be overwhelmed regardless, but the thought of being prepared is a good one.
I am so excited for this opportunity and I will be keeping you all updated on how things are going as we wind down to my date of departure. :)
I've been a Vegetarian now for over 15 years and it's something that I've always been incredibly proud of myself for. Making a lifestyle shift of this nature and actually sticking to it is truly an accomplishment. I've faced backlash in my years whether through opposition of the lifestyle, jokes or crude comments related to animals, or the attack of the vegan who considers our efforts in vain.
Being a Vegetarian is something to stand up tall and be proud of!
Since starting to work in the kitchen at HEALTHY MAMA VEGAN CAFE (www.healthy-mama.com) almost a year ago, I've had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful, passionate people. I've been able to have deep, meaningful conversations with like minded people about animals which has been so amazing. It has also reminded me that there is always more to be done when fighting for a cause.
I have since cut out eggs almost entirely from my diet and only consume milk in my coffee. My biggest hurdles were, and always will be, CHEESE! Cheese is my achilles heel, I absolutely love it. Some days I feel like I'd never be able to survive without a creamy, delicious, rich cheese product in my life. This is why becoming a vegan has always been something I contemplated but never followed through with. And that's when I sort of realized, my own selfishness is preventing me from committing to an even greater, healthier lifestyle.
The health aspect of making this switch is super exciting but at the end of the day, it's all for the animals. I feel hypocritical saying I love animals and petitioning for their rights while also contributing to their suffering. Watching that video really reminded me why I became a Vegetarian over 15 years ago, I wanted to help animals. I wanted to be a part of a change in the way society and the government viewed animals. I have worked hard to fight for animal rights and want to feel wholly involved in this advocation. To do this, going Vegan is the next step in my journey.
I am leaving for Ireland in September / October and will be there for 2 years. During that time I will continue my journey as a Vegetarian and enjoy the experiences and challenges that will be presented to me. When I come back from this Working Holiday, my very first challenge to tackle will be making the switch to Veganism. It will not be easy for me but my love for animals and motivation to see them respected and treated better will be what fuels my success.
I love animals and I understand my role as an advocate so I'm ready to take the plunge and commit to a Vegan lifestyle!
Yesterday was a difficult day, 2 years since the passing of my wonderful mother. I spent the day reflecting while burying myself in work as a distraction. It's certainly eye opening how time can pass so very quickly without allowing time for any kind of healing. I've spent these two years wishing things had never happened the way they did while also slowly forgetting and locking away the memories. How time can work both in your favour and against you is quite strange.
Days like that certainly dig up those feelings and put them at the front of my mind. It's hard to think of all the wonderful things I'll be doing with my life in the next year and not having my mother there to witness any of it. Sometimes it's easy to feel like this is only happening to me but I try and remind myself that there are so many people at the same time going through exactly what my family did. It's not consolation that another family is suffering, rather puts my mind in check as far as feeling pessimistic about my own experiences.
I live my life every day with a smile and try to approach every situation with a positive attitude. If these two years have taught me anything, it's that time will fly by regardless of whether you are miserable and sad or a bucket of smiles, so I want to make every attempt to spread smiles. Negativity is as contagious as positivity and it's so easy to hurt someone or bring them down when we ourselves are negative.
I miss my mom every day but I also know that she wouldn't want any of us still suffering so I try to remember that. She was truly an amazing woman and I'll always remember how many fabulous memories I was lucky enough to make with her.
There never seems to be enough time to get on here and get personal. I've been so very busy between working both jobs that I haven't found the time to reflect on anything happening in my life. Here's where I'm at;
Sometimes just getting on here and typing out my feelings does the trick. Letting out some of these emotions is beneficial in the healing process so I love having the opportunity to sit down and just type out my how I feel. Thank you all for listening ;)
So that sums things up for now. I'll be back with more news as it comes, take care everyone !
It's been a hectic couple of weeks with Christmas and New Years having come and gone. I've been up to a lot and I wanted to touch base with y'all about where I'm at :)
Thanks for sticking with me everyone, I'm hoping to make 2017 one to remember!