2019 was hard — the kind of hard that makes you feel silly for ever having claimed to a hard day or week or month before, because nothing seems to compare. Don’t get me wrong, A LOT of beautiful things happened in 2019, but I’m here to prove that life isn’t always sunshine and roses and THAT IS OKAY. It’s okay not to be okay — it’s okay not to be the strongest person in the room — and it’s definitely okay to be emotional. In 2019 I grieved loss multiple times, I cried a lot, I missed out on things because I couldn’t get my shit together. I cancelled plans, I broke promises, I made mistakes and I felt like I failed at loving those around me over and over and over again.
Every year when #BellLetsTalk day comes around, I feel inspired by the conversation that is sparked in unfamiliar places, as well as a continued narrative in the most progressive of spaces. I feel compelled to listen and to reflect, and inevitably, I feel challenged.
This year is no different in that I do feel inspired and challenged, but there’s a different looming pressure to say something profound because 2019 was hard — the kind of hard that makes you feel silly for ever having claimed to a hard day or week or month before, because nothing seems to compare.
I by no means am saying that my 2019 was harder than anyone else’s. Please, if anything, hear that loud and clear. That’s not the point. However, maybe the unknowns and ambiguity that surround comparing my year to yours, and yours to the next person — maybe THAT, is precisely the point.
You see, playing a comparison game here just won’t work if we are going to get anywhere meaningful. The classic “apples to oranges” analogy, albeit outdated and cliche, is true. Comparing your bad day to the next persons experience is just plain stupid. There’s no standard, no metrics, no justification — it’s just weightless words that bring about unnecessary insecurities. [continued in comments •••]
Do the important things with the important people. 💛 Spending the last 9-months leading 50+ students alongside some of my best friends has been pretty cool. Knowing that all of the time, frustration, tears and long-hours we invested in our program returned us 1st place (!!!) school of the year for all of western Canada is also pretty cool.
We have to remember that grief is a multi-tasking emotion. We can be sad, and happy; we can be grieving and able to love in the same year, week, or day... maybe even in the same breath. There’s no formula for moving on, but I also don’t think we can ever fully “move on” — rather, we move forward. We move forward — marked by people, by moments, by experiences and by love — trusting that the light will always beat out the darkness. ✨
Happy Birthday to one of my nearest & dearest. @brittanybrailean consistently and faithfully puts others before herself, she always puts her whole heart into the things she loves and she’s so so so kind. The older we get, the more I’m inspired by the way this beautiful soul carries herself through this beautiful life - through every mountain and every valley, she remains fearless and strong. I’m forever grateful for your friendship, my big booty Britt. 💛🥰
I’ve been digging into my enneagram type recently, and it’s been challenging, humbling, grounding and emotional. I think there’s SO much value in understanding who you really are at your core, and what you naturally emit into the world around you. These buzzwords like “authenticity”, “emotional honesty” and “self awareness” have come alive to me in a new and profound way over the last while. It’s been a really freeing feeling to understand that some of my tendencies really are ingrained into my personality, and although it doesn’t define who I am or excuse negative behaviours, its helpful and healing to journey in discovering why I am the way I am. This process is teaching me to feel released to be exactly “me” - unapologetically and unreserved. It’s so important for us to allow our internal voices to rise up and not only be heard by others, but also (maybe even more importantly?), be listened to by ourselves. 🌿🌷✨💕🌾
“If you think education only takes place in an institution, think again. As long as you breathe, your mind, your heart and your soul are seeking knowledge — so respond to them and nurture their needs.” - Najwa Zebian