(Yes I know I’ve been M.I.A. a long time. Yes I’m sorry. This seems to happen way too often.)
So, A lot have things have happened in the past month. I quit my second job (I’ve got a whole ‘nother rant for you guys about that) so I went from working 70 hour weeks to 30 hour weeks, I got a kitten (I’ll be sharing pictures soon enough), I re-homed my rats (for their own wellbeing), I signed a lease for a new apartment, and I’m applying for online universities. Cool stuff. Now you’re caught up.
With all of my extra time I’ve begun to realize that I spend a lot of money on fast food. So I finally decided that was going to stop, and that I was going to end it cold turkey. I basically got instant meals for breakfast lunch and dinner ever since the two jobs started, back in January. Dunkin Donuts knew me as a regular. Burger King as well. No ‘healthy’ fast foods, either. I’m talking a steady diet of sausage egg and cheese on a croissant and then later a 10 piece chicken nugget. For months. It was disgusting and my self worth went straight out the door the more and more I got hooked.
Fast forward to now, where I’ve basically quit coffee except for extenuating circumstances, make eggs every morning that I wake up in time, prep meals and overall have my life actually under control. I feel so much better. I can actually wear most of my shirts without feeling bloated. I can save my extra money for things I actually want/need. I can waste time in grocery stores and not worry about the food I buy going bad because I know I’ll actually eat it.
I know there’s no real point to this blog post I just figured I’d update you and share how I’m doing even though it really doesn’t matter. If you feel like shit and your wallet is basically empty by the time your next paycheck comes around, look at what you’re spending your money on. Find a better solution. You don’t have to have an exact plan for what you do with your money but at least try to figure out what’s draining the bank. Make sure you’re not in a cycle like I was… between gas and fast food money, I was basically working myself to death doing 70 hours and saving barely anything more than what I am now with just one job that’s barely full time. And now I actually have time to better my life. Crazy, huh?
No, phone humping is not a legitimate term, but it should be! (credit to my old Chem lab partner) Before my current job that has a zero cell phone policy, I was a complete addict like most people. I convinced myself that it was because I liked the fact that if someone needed to contact me, I was ready to respond. Turns out that’s not so important 99% of the time. A few things changed in my life after making this transaction… both good and bad. Here’s my personal experience with breaking ties to my phone:
My original realization to my phone addiction started with getting hired at my new job. At every other establishment, I had been able to keep my phone on me because as a manager I was constantly in touch with people. So long as I wasn’t caught on it every five seconds, I was fine. My current job does not tolerate phones even being on your person. It stays in the break room, on silent or off. You are only allowed to check it if you are expecting an important call or ordering food in advance for your break. At first this sucked, mainly because my main addiction is taking pictures. I would see a cute animal and reach to take a picture, only to realize my phone wasn’t there.
For a while I kind of felt like I was always missing something. You know those days where you forget your purse but you have your debit card so you keep it in your pocket and keep checking every 2 seconds to make sure it’s there because it’s not where it normally is, or it shifted? Yeah. Eventually the feeling went away, but it took a while to be okay with the fact I didn’t have my safety net. When I realized that not having my phone was one of the reasons for a small bit of anxiety, I decided to change how badly I needed my phone.
The first step was having a cutoff time for when I would have my phone on me. Considering between my two jobs that I don’t get home until midnight, I made it a goal to just put it on the charger and go on my laptop if I had to as soon as I walked through the door. Make sure it wasn’t the first thing I did when I walked through the door.
The second step was making sure there wasn’t enough to do on my phone. I removed all mindless games, pointless stupid apps, and most social media. I kept just enough to keep me entertained in case I ever seriously had nothing to do, my bank apps, messenger and Spotify.
The third step was to get used to the lack of texts, yet also be prepared to respond to a mass hoard of them in under 10 minutes. It felt almost lonely to not wake up to everyone’s responses to last night’s meme discoveries, but it’s also very satisfying to read a bunch of actual conversations on my break if there is anything worthy of being reached out to about.
My phone addiction needed to be tackled and I wasn’t happy to admit it but once I finally did, the transition was fairly easy and I had so much more spare time. I felt less like I was drowning in work, less annoying to my friends, and my head felt much clearer and focused. It was almost like wiping away fog from glasses, as cheesy as that sounds.
So basically I have nothing but great stories from Montreal, despite the intense city driving and being so sick I couldn’t speak all weekend. Forgive the lack of quality to these photos, most of them are from snapchat. Here’s the story:
We stayed in this ‘little’ hotel (12 stories) in the middle of downtown Montreal. The five of us left at 9 PM Thursday night and arrived to check in at 2 AM, stayed up until 4 AM exploring the hotel’s rooftop and private gym, where we met a guy way beyond trashed going to get breakfast at 3:30. That’s when we knew there was no way this weekend was going to be boring.
The next day we woke up bright and early to catch breakfast somewhere nice, and of course since we haven’t had the chance to legally drink yet, we were sure to grab mimosas with it. The food anywhere we went was absolutely fantastic- and coming from me (I was so hopped up on meds and painkillers I was practically numb), that’s saying something. I, being kind of a foodie and not really ashamed to admit it, made it my goal for these three days to have as much eggs Benedict (in some form or another) as I could possibly handle from as many restaurants as we went to.
The first day we went to the botanical gardens which was the first time we took our cars anywhere away from the hotel. I learned a lot about how to city drive… With the new SUV, it proved a challenge. Don’t want to brag but I did pretty great. The gardens were absolutely stunning, and we stayed far longer than any of us expected. They had many different rooms with many different environments for the variety of plants… plus a butterfly room. Again; stunning. I can’t even explain it.
The second day we explored old Montreal, where we actually got stuck driving behind a horse and buggy. Again, it was magical. We toured numerous art galleries, discovered that you can actually have a payment plan for some paintings, and got souvenirs from a small basement shop run by this young woman who created every piece of jewelry by hand. Everything about this place was authentic, and from a tourist’s point of view, absolutely adorable.
Being 19-20 year olds in Canada, I’m sure you all know the goal of our trip wasn’t just for the food. The first full night spent in Montreal we found a bar, which turned out to be pretty shady but had awesome drinks. I’ve been obsessed with Pina Colatas ever since my mom let me try a sip of hers at 12 (a sip. She wasn’t condoning it). Naturally my first legal drink (okay, minus the mimosa) had to be that. So we ordered, and the bartender literally handed me a coconut. A coconut! It was magical. We stayed out for a couple hours before calling it a night.
The second night was a little more interesting. We discovered that buying booze is magically cheap compared to going out, so we pre-gamed and then went to this shady little Karaoke place on the edge of Chinatown. They had absolutely zero customers other than us on this particular Saturday night, and upon reading this, you’ll probably understand why.
We go in, ask for a private singing room. The room is $15 an hour and a purchase of a drink for all parties is required. Seems reasonable, right? So we order our drinks, mine was called “The Mind Eraser”, but I assure you I remember every last detail. He delivers our drinks and then says, “By the way, cash only.” None of us had brought cash. I’ll admit, maybe that’s our mistake. But he follows this up with, “Don’t worry we have an ATM you can use when you’re done.” So we stop worrying about it, and enjoy our hour in this room, belting out every last throwback we can find on this machine which is neither in French or English, and doesn’t have an option for either language. At the end of the hour, we try to pay and the ATM is broken. We ask what to do and the guy goes “I don’t know I’m not a professional, can’t one of you go find another ATM somewhere?” to which obviously we respond, “We’re not from around here. Do you know where the nearest ATM is?” He shrugs and says somewhere in Chinatown. We’re already in Chinatown. That’s not very helpful.
So my friend and I volunteer to go find an ATM, drunk, in the middle of this massive city. It doesn’t take very long with a dead phone and dulled senses to get lost in a place like this. We finally find the Metro after sprinting across intersection after intersection like chickens with our heads cut off, and asking a stranger for directions. At the Metro some guy is of course heckling tourists for money as they go to the ATM. As you can imagine it was a pretty stressful time. We finally make it back to the street the Karaoke bar is on, and we see our friend running to us yelling “They kidnapped her! None of us know where she is!” Apparently the manager didn’t think we were coming back so she took it into her hands and decided to bring one of our friends to an ATM to insure they were getting paid. Keep in mind we’re a group of five. So two of us had been drunkenly (desperately) stumbling around this massive city trying to free our friends from this bar. One of us had been taken by the bar manager without contact with the rest of us. My other friend is running towards us on the street obviously scared out of her mind. And the fifth of us is literally trapped in this shady karaoke bar in the basement of some banquet place. All of us had been separated.
We go inside and demand that they call the woman who had taken our friend away before we paid them. So they call her, and we pay them and don’t leave until everyone is back together. Needless to say, this place didn’t get a tip. And they’re pretty lucky I don’t remember the name of this place because otherwise this would be an angry yelp review and I’m pretty sure separating us and holding people captive over money without an authority of the law is illegal no matter where you are.
ANYWAYS! We were determined to make the night a success despite that horror story. So we go to a sports bar, meet probably the coolest Canadian I’ll ever meet in my life, who takes care of us and points us to all the best clubs in walking distance. Sadly we didn’t follow her instructions (Next time for sure) but went to the first club found within walking distance. I swear to you that none of us meant for this to happen, but that first club we saw ended up being a male strip club. How we found out? The bouncer says to us as we’re going in, “Enjoy the cocks!” Everything that happened after that is none of your concern… but I would like to brag, I matched with one of the strippers on tinder.
The last day in Montreal was spent sleeping in, checking out of the hotel, and finding one last place to eat. It took us 2 hours to get food for no reason and the glasses were all stained and still had dollar store tags on them, so I wouldn’t recommend going to that diner (not that it matters because I don’t remember the name of it anyways) but the food was still delicious.
Best part of the trip? I may have smuggled a plant into the States. At least it wasn’t booze.
Farewell Montreal, I’ll see you again real soon. And one last reminder to you all, straight from the botanical garden;
Recently I’ve decided that since the ultimate goal for me is to become a conservationist, I should really figure out exactly how much I am contributing to the problem. So, I filled out a quick survey to calculate my carbon footprint and learned that on average my carbon footprint is 39,402 lbs. per year. That is solely from my energy usage at home as well as the emissions from my car. The average american emits 55,000 lbs. of CO2 every single year, and yet this calculation only accurately accounts for 40% of our carbon footprint. Another 60% is from what we buy, and luckily, we can control what and where we buy from. (carbonfund) So, without any more rambling, here is how I am reducing my carbon footprint and how you can too.
Sooo, yeah. There’s my list. Make sure to get as many of your friends to follow it as well!
Alright this time I swear I’m going to stay on track!
This blog has officially become my writing haven. I will obviously create links for easy access to actually helpful articles that I may write, but right now I am solely interested in getting myself back into the swing of things and therefore want to make the ambitious goal of posting 3 times a week; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. While these posts will try to be aimed towards the purpose of this blog, I will not be strictly limiting myself to anything here.
So without further ado, why don’t I give the giant life update again?
While this may not seem like a huge list, I am in a much better, much more stable place than the last time I posted. Also, Sir Huffington is thriving and receiving much love!