Sensory Matters PODCAST & Going VIRAL!

Happy New Years Eve everybody. I’ve had a pretty eventful past few days. Firstly, I submitted a WINNING ENTRY to No Frills – which is a budget friendly grocery chain here in Canada owned by Loblaws (Galen Weston). I came up with a catchy, tongue-in-cheek melodic jingle and it’s going viral. It’s nearing 100,000 views. Check it out right here!

Also, Sensory Matters was kind enough to interview me for their podcast and it went live today.

I hope you have an amazing 2019!

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Outspoken, Childfree & Autistic.

Dealing with negative comments is no easy task. It makes my anxiety kick into high gear and makes me question how I feel about myself. I need to remind myself to breathe and realize that the comments don’t reflect how they feel about me but how they feel about themselves. The past few days i’ve had a few people utter the F-word about things I have posted or done.

Photo by Kayla Harris on Unsplash

I posted an unpopular opinion puffins meme from mindyourowneggs on instagram that read “I’M TIRED OF PARENTS COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW TOUGH IT IS TO RAISE CHILDREN” and at the bottom of the image it read “NO ONE FORCED YOU TO HAVE KIDS.”  It prompted a flurry of messages on instagram from an Autistic Mother with an Autistic Child who took it to heart.

As a societal-whole, we make choices and need to deal with the consequences of our actions.

It continued on twitter with more messages towards me, essentially discrediting me as a “small time activist” amongst other things. 

I have been incredibly vocal about my Childfree stance and I do frequently worry about the sad state of our planet. My opinion encompasses all those feelings and I don’t want people to think I am specifically targeting parents of Autistic Children. I posted that meme as a blanket statement. I can’t say that I have much in common with parents of Autistic Children, because I don’t. When I speak, I speak from my heart. Entirely based on my experiences. Clearly, this doesn’t go over well with everyone, but those who have chosen to support me are people I would like to thank for giving me strength to get by. If anyone wants to believe that seeking out allies on social media platforms, by sharing this story, is a negative or “schoolyard” tactic, so be it. Childfree Autistic Adults do exist. We may be going against the grain of what society wants or expects from us, but we are just as valid.

There’s many things about myself I wouldn’t want to duplicate and therefore being Childfree has always been the best choice. How would I benefit from hearing people complain about a choice I have consciously decided not to make? I can’t provide any insight other than saying “Well, you made this choice.”, I can’t. There’s honestly nothing else I can possibly say to satisfy a parent. I still care about the rights of Autistic People as a whole and with that being said, I do what I can with my Childfree stance intact. There are facebook groups for Childfree individuals. There are instagrams, twitter accounts, websites, even Childfree Cruises and the Not-Mom Summit. A community which thrives. I’m not going to stop doing what I am doing because one person thinks I need to be a certain way.


White Rhino Bags & New Haircut.

I wanted to share my brand new White Rhino Bags Unboxing & Review:

and my haircut – I went to Hair Art Academy in Langley BC (not sponsored by them) and was pretty impressed with the results:

Exposing the NORA NYC Scam!

I’ve heard all kinds of things about them trying to shut people down and say it’s slander but i’m going to go ahead and preface this with a warning: these are things i’ve witnessed and read about. All allegedly, of course.

  1. The Comment: If you’re reading this, chances are you got a comment on one of your instagram photos. It generally will start with a compliment and then saying something along the lines of the fact you’re been selected to be an affiliate and “work” with them. They ask you to DM or e-mail for more information.
  2. The DM: If you email or DM them, they’ll come back to you with a message almost instantaneously. I believe that a majority of their communications are automated. They are essentially casting out their fishing pole and waiting for some bites. They’ll let you know about the “exclusive” discount you’ll receive if you order, the affiliate code you’ll get and the fact that you will be featured on their profile. I’ve heard that the affiliate code that is passed around is one they share multiple times. Usually those codes are individual to each person so that they receive their cut. I’ve read/heard that a lot of people have not received a cent.) Word to the wise — if it was a legitimate sponsorship/partnership or collaboration, you will NOT be spending money. That should immediately raise a red flag.
  3. The Purchase: If you’ve already gone this far and made a purchase, sorry to say, but you fell for it. You fell for their pitch and their promises. On either site, you’ll see the jewelry or sunglasses. They are sometimes modelled and passed off as “handcrafted” and “handmade” This is part of the facade of quality that they are creating. In fact, most of the items they pass off as being their own designs are available through eBay and alibaba. It doesn’t take long for me to find some styles they are hawking. 
  4. The Questions: So, it’s been 4-8 weeks and you still haven’t received your glasses. Well, here’s the deal. Your item is coming from China and it’s possible that Nora NYC & Mirina are both based there. They have no phone number, no address and seemingly no information other than an e-mail. You’ll get some kind of phony excuse. 
  5. The Product: You’ve received your product. It came in a grey, plastic envelope with a shipping label from china. Packaged on a flimsy card or in a thin, cardboard box. It feels lightweight, it’s falling apart or crooked and you’re unhappy with the product you received. Well, I hate to tell you, but there’s a very good chance it’s made out of cadmium. To reduce costs, cadmium is used because it’s saves money and increases profit margins. Oh, not to mention, it’s EXTREMELY TOXIC.

Instagram is @shopnoranyc

Youtube:

Stories:

Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory

I want to thank the Vancouver Park Board for giving me the chance to attend this beautiful event.

The Bloedel Floral Conservatory first opened it’s doors in 1969 and has been delighting families ever since. It had been an especially long time since I had been – probably over 15 years! I was in awe of the plants and the birds! The gorgeous lights that have been added to make holiday heights come to life. 

We were warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to participate in the scavenger hunt. OF COURSE. No hesitation. Find all the GNOMES?! YES! In case you didn’t know, I love garden gnomes. I think it has to do with my fascination of all things kitsch. 

The birds are stunning and wonderful to see. For me, it evokes memories of my past. I grew up in a house full of pets. One of them was Arthur. Arthur was a blue and gold macaw who absolutely loved my mom. They were inseparable. 

Arthur now lives at the conservatory and I stopped by and talked to him. I could tell that he remembered me. He was family, after all. 

We approached a photo wall, complete with hashtag and beautiful flowers. Couldn’t help but snap some shots! Insta-worthy moment.

I noticed that some of the trees had very eclectic decorations. Shells and other kinds of natural wonder adorning them. Things like this please me because they give me artistic ideas and I love the fact that they are so unique.  

If you want to visit this glowing, tropical attraction that is sure to awe you, all the lovely details can be found here! https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/holiday-heights.aspx

Thanks for reading and have the happiest of holidays! 

Two New Videos!

It’s the most depressing time of the year!

It’s almost Christmas. I wish I could fast forward to December 26th. 

The bombardment of ads, trying to get me to buy presents gets increasingly harder to ignore. I’m constantly reminded of how the holidays are apparently not about consumerism and all about family time spent together. I feel as if so much of that is a lie. I have to do so much masking to feel okay. Inside, i’m stressed out, anxious and feeling like seasonal affective disorder includes Christmas.

We celebrated Chanukah. It wasn’t until my Mom met my late Stepdad that life changed and we suddenly had a tree in our house. That was weird for me.

The most festive thing I do is making my own holiday cards for family and friends. I do not buy gifts for various reasons. There’s still a sense of guilt and uneasiness when I receive a gift. I never feel like my card is substantial enough. 

Malls are something I avoid for all the right reasons. I especially wouldn’t step foot in one right now — although, my emails keep reminding me I should GET ON THE CONSUMERISM TRAIN AND SHOP, SHOP SHOP! Old Navy emailed me today and said “( ❗ ) THE ENTIRE STORE IS ON SALE ( ❗ )” Yeah. No. I’m good. 

I’m pleased i’ve been able to separate myself from the corporate/retail world. I think that provides me some relief. There’s a sense of freedom I gain in which I can deal with the holidays because i’m not selling anything to anyone and with that comes not having to succumb to the annoyingly repetitive nature of Christmas music. I’m not surprised that “psychopathology tends to increase around the holidays”.  

Christmas is 15 days away! I know i’ll have to sit through meals that will make me feel like I will want to isolate myself at home and sitting on the couch with my cats. I’m not trying to make excuses for myself because I know it’s good for personal growth to do things that make you uncomfortable, but honestly? Seeing big pieces of animal protein on the table with really odd, pungent smells and being the centre of conversation with nothing for me to eat is frustrating. I usually bring my own food but beyond that I never know what i’m supposed to do. Maybe sitting at the table awkwardly, listening to the sounds of cutlery, chewing and sparse, topical conversation is just what the holidays are and will always be. I try to get distracted and in my own head. Mentally, i’ve already left the table.

Next year can’t come soon enough.

Almost there.

Reliving my (painful) past

I want to preface this post by saying that these are things i’ve experienced and at the time of writing this, I do not have a PTSD diagnosis. I, in no way, want to make those with a proper diagnosis feel less than or devalued in any way.

Often times I find myself in these dizzying spells with negative thoughts running rampant. They flood my mind: terrible, painful memories that I wish would vanish.

Discovering deceased pets, multiple instances of being bullied which included: thumbtacks, sharp side up- They would be left on my chair with an audience that consisted of my entire class, watching and waiting to see if I would notice and sit on it, purposely having dodgeballs thrown at my face, having friends-of-friends find out personal details about me and they would attempt to humiliate and berate me based on it, being excluded from birthday parties, having the whole class turn against me while the teacher was out of the room – that’s just some of the bullying that occurred during my elementary school years. Can’t forget the workplace bullying with all kinds of instances that included customers yelling at me, management making me cry or not believing things I say (I am very honest) and being fired – which was one of the most humiliating things i’ve ever lived through, co-workers being nasty to me for reasons i’ll never know.

I also can’t forget all the things my Father did: the daily verbal abuse, screaming so loud that you could hear him down the block, chasing me to my bedroom and holding the door closed so I couldn’t leave, yelling at me for questioning things he said and having friends witness his emotionally destructive behaviour which was embarrassing and continued to pile the stress on top of me. 

This is just a small portion of the hundreds, maybe thousands of memories that flow through my mind.

Even though I had the support of my Sisters and my Mum, I still felt so alone and depressed. I didn’t think I would survive so I failed to look after myself. I think sadness was one of the first emotions I remember experiencing.

I want these painful memories to subside. Easier said than done. I can’t seem to shake off things that happened as far back as I can remember. 

People often say things like “Forgive and forget”, “don’t dwell on your past”, “move on” and “live in the present”. It’s NOT THAT EASY. Diminishing the valid feelings of those who often have to suffer in silence is not something that sits well with me. It’s hard enough to allow those feelings to come to the surface, let alone feel comfortable enough with anyone to actually allow the words of pain to flow out of ones mouth. It’s a PRIVILEGE to listen to such agony. I don’t think it’s okay to interject comments telling someone to forget, move on and live in the present. It makes things worse.

I have reached out to some people that have caused me pain and forever haunt me in my memories and I was unsuccessful. I also was left feeling as though what happened was my fault. I do my best to cope.

Forgiveness is so much harder than its made out to be and it has stages that are very similar to grief. I would say that one of my biggest faults or personality flaws would be the severity of my anxiety. Many thoughts continue to haunt me, not only during my waking hours but even during my sleep.

I’m talking about those nights where my mind and my heart feel like they are racing in unison.

Trying to fall asleep, I toss and turn. Sometimes, I wake up at 3am and lay there, trying so hard to go back and sleep peacefully when my mind is at war with it’s self. My body becomes warm, clammy and my night sweats are the worst. I try to find something to think about or something to do. If one of my cats happens to be awake I will gravitate towards them; their soft hair, their therapeutic purring – it helps me stay mindful, it’s calming, it puts me at ease.

Every day is a new chapter but my story starts with pain and my book is still being written. There’s still a chance for happiness.


Sippin’ hot drinks!

I have been enjoying a lot of hot chocolate and teas while frantically entering Christmas contests. It’s that time of year again and it happens to be one of my most enjoyable hobbies. Seriously. I do this…!

I did some more background work on film where I was dressed up all 80s and it was WILD. I didn’t realize my hair could get that big.

I also was featured on GEEK CLUB BOOKS and they’ve been so kind to post me on their social channels. I would love if you could read the article here: https://geekclubbooks.com/2018/11/impactful-blogs-navigating-life/

Lastly, I actually drew something that conveys my hyper-awareness & anxiety all at the very same time: 

I have been thinking of some articles i would like to write so i’m just kind of waiting for that BURST of creativity to hit me so I can get it done. I haven’t neglected my blog. I always fear people are going to think i’ve abandoned it. That’s just not the case.