It’s Not How Fast That Matters

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Something that I came to realize a little later than I would have liked, is that life is not a race. There is not a perfect timeline that we should all be adhering to. There is not a pass or fail for the accomplishments we attain at different ages and stages of our life. It’s okay if we are not marching to the same drum that everyone else around us seems to be marching too.

My life took some unexpected turns, such as my diagnosis with bipolar, that diagnosis was not something I envisioned as a little girl planning out my family, education and career (I was a wee bit odd and started looking at universities when I was in grade 6). My diagnosis impacted my life drastically, not to mention bipolar in general before my formal diagnosis. At times I felt inferior to those around me, I felt like I was watching everyone pass me by with school, career, relationships, marriage, children and so forth while I struggled just to stay balanced and afloat. At least that was the case until I finally came to the realization that I was on my own path. I was growing, I was becoming better, I was gaining perspective and insight, I was meeting my goals – I was just doing it slower than I imagined I would. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.  So long as you are putting one foot in front of the other you will reach your destination and if you stop harassing yourself, you will probably enjoy the process a whole lot more – smelling the roses instead of rushing past and trampling them.

It’s okay to grow slowly. It’s okay to go at a pace that isn’t the norm. When you aren’t rushing thru life trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing, it will allow you to look at where you are going with more clarity and less time will be wasted tripping and taking wrong turns or ending up at dead ends. Be kind to yourself.

I am 26, turning 27 in a few weeks – I have a diploma, not the degree I envisioned I would have from a young age. I have no children and I am just getting married this October (yes, 27 to some people may seem young to get married however, when your mom and sisters were all married by the age of 20, 27 can start to feel old) Anyways, my point is – this is where I am at and I am proud of myself. I overcame so much to be where I am. I have a diploma – I have succeeded in my education, it took me YEARS, but I never gave up and I achieved something for myself. If you knew my educational struggle with my mental health you would understand why a diploma means so much to me and my family. I have met the most amazing man and I am the happiest I have ever been. I am getting married – and I know that I didn’t just settle with any young bloke, I waited because I knew my worth.  The right things are happening in my life because I didn’t give up. I didn’t let my slow growth defeat the progress I knew I was making.

Don’t wallow in discouragement that your growth may be going slower than you like. Don’t be discouraged about your dreams that have yet to be achieved, because they will be – so long as you are true to yourself and put in the effort. I have no doubt you will accomplish amazing things.

I am so much happier accepting my life at the unique pace that it marches to. Don’t compare your pace to that of your neighbours. Be yourself. Love yourself. Nourish yourself and grow slowly – but never give up and never stop growing.

– Steph

The Upside

What a moving quote. I think that it is safe to say that those living with bipolar quite frequently face various storms.  What a beautiful concept that those storms may have a greater purpose.

Sometimes the storms of life come as a result of choices we make, they are the consequence of our actions. However, sometimes the storms of life come at no consequence of our own –you don’t have to do anything in particular and BAM, you are in a squall – tossing to and fro – hanging on for dear life.

Over the course of my life I have been in countless storms, as I am sure you can all relate. And just as this quote expresses, there have been times that those storms have cleared a path for me, they didn’t just “disrupt my life”.

Sometimes the storm – the chaos – the destruction is exactly what we need in order to find our foundation again – to be grounded – to rebuild. Sometimes the storm gives us insights that we would otherwise be oblivious to. Sometimes the storm thrusts us on the path we so desperately need to be on to continue on our journey.

Storms ruffle our feathers, they make us uncomfortable, they require us to be resilient. But growth stems from discomfort, think back to the timeless expression of “growing pains”. At times the storms seem to take more than we can give, but they never leave us baron. They always leave us with the opportunity to grow. And that is priceless.

Our path isn’t always visible and sometimes through the storms of life we may lose sight of it all together BUT there are times without doubt that the storm makes our path crystal clear. Take a moment to evaluate the storms you’ve gone thru. Have they all helped you grow into the individual that you are today? Have they shuffled you on the path that got you here today.

Sometimes storms are terrible, you are unprepared for them and they take you off-guard, however other times the storms give you an appreciation for life and allow you to dance in the rain.

Storms will come and storms will go. Don’t be mistaken to classify the storms of life as all negative. I am not going to say that all storms are positive experiences that we should all be overjoyed to be swept away in, but I am saying that there can be positive things that we take away from being in each storm. We may not see it in the moment, but once the storm has settled, we may realize that we are exactly where we need to be in order to get exactly where we need to go and without that particular storm we wouldn’t have gotten there.

– Steph

Just Live A Little


Life.

My oh my. 

I’m currently working on making the most of my life. Recently I had someone walk into my life, mind you I showed them the exit… BUT for the brief time they were in my life they caused me to re-evaluate how I was living it. I am the most stable I’ve ever been – this is a fact. But there is more than just being stable. More than just holding the status quo.

I’ve done things in my life, but I haven’t all at the same time. Living was such a struggle for so many years I feel like my life was a bit of a write-off. Perhaps I haven’t completely escaped the mentality of just surviving. 

But I’m here. I’m alive and I want my life to reflect that.

I was asked about my bucket list and I only had 2 things to list off. On top of that the two ideas weren’t even that creative! 

That just won’t do.

Over the course of two weeks I developed a bucket list. Or rather “lists”. One list outlines things I would like to do over the course of 2017/2018, and the other lists things I’d like to do in a lifetime. I’m trying to step outside of my box, escape the mundane routine I’ve created. Add a little bedazzle. Spice things up. You get the idea.

I’m really proud of my list, it took quite a bit of effort to create it. 

It’s so easy to get into a routine, routine is good don’t get me wrong BUT there should be more. More to life. Where did my exploratory nature go? Where is my sense of adventure?

I was going thru a bit of depression the past while, feeling trapped. But I realized I was the one putting myself in the cage or like I referred to it earlier – a box. I was the one restricting myself, no one else.

When you feel trapped you are the only one who can free yourself, whatever that situation may be.

Escaping our box is a choice, and most often it requires that we put in effort and feel a bit uncomfortable. And why must we feel uncomfortable? Because my dear friends, we are stepping outside of our norm and its the price we must pay.

And when I say I want to live life I don’t mean I need to climb Mount Everest or backpack thru Europe, not saying I’d turn down the opportunity.  What I’m talking about is reading books, going to museums and art galleries, taking guitar lessons, joining a choir, going to a paint night (which I just did … my painting was terrible! But I had fun making it, and that’s what it’s all about), simple yet impactful things that will add dimension to my life. 

Dimension that’s my objective. I want to have something to talk about, things to look forward to. I want to meet people, enrich my life with perspective. Expand my way of looking at life and take advantage of the life I’ve been blessed with.

I want to be an actively engaged in my life rather than passively letting it pass me by.

I feel so passionately about this new outlook on life, I feel alive and excited for what is to going to happen because of me making it happen. 

Ask yourself if you are trapped in routine, feeling like life is escaping you – then make a list. Make a list of things outside of your box and start doing them.

It’s been a big year for me. Lots of new chapters with school ending, me getting my dream job, a couple of toads crossing my path. I feel like in my life’s story is picking up its pace and it’s only going to get better! 

Stop thinking about all the things you’d like to do. Take action and do them. Liberate yourself from the box you live in and add dimension to your life. Stay stable but add a little bedazzle. 

– Steph

Good Things People

What better time to write a blog post then when you’re stranded on the side of the road. Looking for the silver lining

Presently that’s me. 

By the time I post this I’ll be rescued BUT since I’ve got the time I’ll write away. 

Life update.

I’ve been doing good. The breakup is going good… he contacted me and wanted to work things out – go figure BUT in the words of Taylor Swift I told him we are never ever getting back together. And I feel great about it!

I started my new job at a family law boutique firm and I absolutely love it! Everyone is so nice. I will be working for two lawyers… it should be interesting and I’m sure I’ll be writing more posts about this new part of my life.

My health is good. It’s amazing what leaving a toxic relationship can do for you! I’ve had doctor appointments and I’m managing well in their eyes. My medications hasn’t changed and I don’t feel like there is a need to. I have a good combo going on right now. 

On to the fun stuff… 

I am going to post my DIY project down below … I finished it early last week and I am so happy with the the final result! It makes me even more excited to move out so I can put them to good use. (January is when I plan to move out)

Just a reminder … the table I bought for $25, the chairs $3 and the stool $3, the fabric for $30 (but i didnt use all of it), the stain, stripper and sand paper probably around $55… I had some at home as well. So not too shabby!

The before: 

The in-between… the stripping and sanding took a long time! 

The finished result:

And there you have it! My new dining set!

It was a lot of work BUT worth it, and I always enjoy these types of projects when it’s all said and done. 

I have all few more coming up so I’ll post those as they come along. 

Life is going good presently and I have a lot to look forward to! (Minus my broken down car set back BUT it could be worse, so I’m still smiling)

On a side note… all that weight I gained (which we determined was from my seroquel) I’ve lost 17lbs … I still have 15lbs to go but I’m grateful for the progress. I think I’ll write a post talking more about it later. 

Good things people. Good things. 

I just feel so grateful and blessed one decision can change your life and I feel like I’ve been making some pretty good decisions lately.

So my dear friends, make a decision today that will give you a better tomorrow.

– Steph

Protect Yourself 


I really needed this quote. 

It’s so easy to get caught up in someone – in their behaviour. 

We work so hard to find peace in ourselves to create peace in ourselves. Don’t let the behaviour of someone else destroy it. 

I have.

There have been times in my life where I’ve tried to normalize destructive behaviour. I’d make excuses for the individual because I wanted them to be in my life. 

But at what cost?

At the cost of me. And truth be told, it has never been worth it. 

I deserve more. You deserve more. 

We should never have to justify someone treating us poorly. It just shouldn’t happen. It’s so easy to tell yourself that things will be different. That they didn’t really mean it. 

But they did. 

Otherwise they wouldn’t have to apologize a hundred times for the same hurt they’ve caused you. That’s if they even apologize.

Reality is you can’t change someone. Sure you can identify that you want to help them be better – be happier. You can see their potential. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s good. But, you can’t change someone and their behaviour, they can only do that for themselves. 

However, let them be in your life long enough and they can change you. They can destroy your inner peace. Hack away at your confidence. Get in your head. Make you the problem when you’re not. Things can get ugly when we allow someone toxic into our life.

Save yourself the suffering and walk away. 

Sure, give them the opportunity to change BUT know your limit. When you have a time frame it makes walking away so much more attainable. And when you walk away try your darndest to not look back (something I’m working on). They had their chance. And now it’s time that you got yours. 

You deserve a chance to be happy. A chance to have peace in your life.  A chance to be treated properly by someone else. 

There are billions of people in this world. You don’t need to let a single person ruin your happy. There are so many more that could add to your life instead of taking away from it.

Don’t justify destructive behaviour. Call it what it is. Identify the problem so you can solve it. 

Protect yourself. Protect everything you’ve worked for and don’t let anyone tear you down.

– Steph 

Not So Simple

Last week I went to my oldest sister’s house. I had to go to get my dog, Nutmeg’s teeth cleaned and the place I take her is in the city my sister lives (about a 3.5 hr drive from where I live). I obviously could take her to a vet in my own town/city BUT it would cost me an arm and a leg. The clinic I take her to charges a fraction of the price. Ultimately it’s worth the drive and gives me an excuse to visit my sister and her family. 

It was a pretty good week. I never tire of sitting down with my oldest sister and getting her counsel. She is such an example to me – she’s honestly amazing.

Over the course of the week (and presently) I had a lot on my mind. And that means my brain refuses to shut off. Night after night I’d be up and then in the day I’d be exhausted and overwhelmed with my thoughts and emotions. As much as I loved being with my sister and her family, I’m pretty sure I made for poor company. But they loved me anyway and I did my best to not let my mood ruin my time with them.

I could write countless blog posts on the thoughts that have plagued me over the course of this last week and weeks prior BUT  there is something in the back of my mind telling me to figuratively bite my tongue. Perhaps it’s too personal or perhaps if I write about it there is no going back, regardless to the outcome. My doubts, insecurities, and frustrations would be published and what if it all worked out… then I would have spoken ill for my audience to read and the reconciliation would be tainted.

There is a lot of emotion welling up inside of me. There is a part of me longing to write about it all because my brain is exploding and this blog is my outlet BUT for now I will refrain.

Perhaps I’ll find a constructive way to write about it without being so emotional. But alas I am an emotional person so the odds are not in my favor.

Sorry that it’s not an interesting blog post… but it’s enough to show I’m alive and illustrate the turmoil my mind is in. Something others have told me is so simple is crippling me. I’m sure if you have bipolar you can relate. 

Simple isn’t always simple. 

– Steph

Creative Juices 

I have a love for taking old things and turning them into something new. Specifically furniture, and yesterday I hit the jackpot!

Almost two years ago I went to a salvage yard and fell in love with a set of three chairs. Although, it would have been ideal if the set had a fourth chair, its absence did not deter me. I purchased the set and I think I paid all of $3.00. 

Because I moved back in with my parents I obviously didn’t have a need or space for three chairs, but they spoke to me and I couldn’t let them pass me by. My little sister graciously let me store them at her house (my poor parents have an apartment worth of things stored in their garage and shed).

Ever since that purchase I’ve been on the lookout for a suitable table and stool. And my dear friends, yesterday was the day. 

I went to a thrift store with my mom and there was a gorgeous…. correction… soon to be gorgeous… table. It’s honestly perfect! I paid $25.00 for it – what a steal!

After finding this table I was feeling lucky so I asked if we could go to the salvage yard to find the missing stool that would complete my set. Lo, and behold  I found the stool! 

Seriously what a day!

I now have a fantastic kitchen dining table and chairs. And soon enough I’ll move out and put them to good use.

My mom said we could store the table in one of our rooms in the house. She knows how badly I want to be on my own and how perfect this table will be for my apartment. It felt nice knowing she has confidence that I’ll be living on my own sooner than later.

The other week I went to a fabric store and found a beautiful fabric to use on my chairs (and now stool too). Talk about fate.

So everything has come together nicely and over the course of the next couple weeks I’ll be stripping, sanding, staining and, reupholstering my furniture into something new.

I love having a vision and watching it come to life. It’s so rewarding!

When I was younger I always wanted to do interior design. Refinishing furniture is partially how I get my fix. As well as decorating whatever space I’m permitted to.

I’m honestly so happy right now. I haven’t had a big DIY project in a long time. I’ll be taking some before and after photos and posting them on my blog so you can see how it all turns out. If it’s anything like what I’m seeing in my head I’ll be happy with the end result.

– Steph