Lucky you, Murphy

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In this cold, cold tundra (though today I was informed, “it’s only chilly, wait until winter…”) every bit of colour and positivity counts. I have yet to encounter a blizzard, a long power-out, or the days with 20 hours of darkness, but it won’t be long. I’m working to forge friendships and build personal strength that will get me through the winter.

In my last post featuring positive graffiti, I featured a local artist and someone (unknown) who had changed F*** the police to Hug the police. I found some more today on a photo walk that made me smile and that I wanted to share with you.

Murphy’s law is something that you come to expect and anticipate here. Staff shortages, unpredictable weather, losing your internet if the wind is too strong or it rains. I really like the graffiti I found that says “Lucky you Murphy” because Murphy’s law never leaves you feeling lucky. Things go wrong up here, and you just have to deal with it and keep going. I hope you enjoy these pictures and that you remember that you can get through whatever is going on in your life right now.

If you are clever, you can probably see what the word graffiti used to say before it was changed to something more positive.

“I wish you didn’t have to fly away”

posgraf1

“Shucks, you’re #1”

posgraf5

“Lucky you, Murphy”

posgraf4

“Cook’n peachy” – on a second glance, I realized this probably says “Look’n peachy” … guess I had food on the brain.

posgraf2

“<3”

posgraf3

“you kno you luff it”

posgraf6

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aksarnerk | aurora borealis

Film, Love, Thoughts

Either God was up late painting, or there’s an alien invasion on it’s way, but they can’t decide where to land. 

Tonight I got to see the Northern lights for the first time.

NL2

During my last shift, someone at work told me the lights had been good the night before. Around 11:30pm I remembered this, and I peeked outside… to a glorious green-streaked sky.

First, I got shivers all over. Then, I knew I needed to grab my camera. I brought my camera out onto the deck and was trying to use auto focus and it was obviously not working, so I just stared at the lights and there may have been a few tears. Disbelief, gratitude, amazement…

Back inside the house, with the help of light, I managed to figure out my camera settings and brought my conveniently just-made cocoa and a blanket outside to keep watching and hopefully to capture some of this beauty. I am very happy with the shots I got. Even if they aren’t totally clear, it was my first time seeing the northern lights, and I’m thankful I got a few shots.

NL5

NL4

NL3

After a while, I came out from behind the lens and just sat back to watch. I reflected again on a word I’ve been writing about frequently in my journal: transient. It’s a word I like so much I’m contemplating getting it tattooed. So much in our life is transitory, temporary, just here for a brief moment in the wide scope of time. Even us, we are just passing through. But it is in the impermanent that there is so much beauty and we can appreciate and remember the temporary moments, people, experiences that brought us the most joy. I am all the more grateful for things that I am unable to hold in my hand. I am more grateful for things that I have lost. I am more grateful for the passing and changing beauty of the world around me than anything solid.

It was a beautiful night to be alive, really.

Once again, thankful to be where I am in this moment, and looking forward to everything that the year will bring.

Thugs, Hugs & Dumpcano

Love, Style, Thoughts

Magical narwal!graf2I will always find graffiti intriguing. I have never done large-scale art, I have always been more at home with my nose in small sketch books at home and scrawling on paper napkins when eating out. Iqaluit has been great for the street art (not only graf, but there are also stone and metal sculptures everywhere). My brother in law’s friend was commissioned to do these murals. These ones pictured are on the side of the fire station, I have yet to photograph the very large mural near the hospital, though that is another one I must get some pictures of.

graf3This is one of my favourites. It’s completely magical and I just love it. The colours and concept are amazing.

graf1Some other non-commissioned street I’ve come across include “HUG the police” on the side of a shed, and “west coast Thug Life” on a shipping container. I could make a whole album of things I find in the tundra. One of the most interesting so far was that plastic boot. There is a lot of litter, I wish I had the time and resources to repurpose them into something cool. But they are fun to just come across when I’m running too.

Dumpcano, you ask? Our dump has its own Twitter account, because it’s on fire. It has been for months. I can read about the drama in the local newspaper. I have only really skimmed our newspaper, though that’s something I’d like to be more diligent with, in order to connect myself better to the community.

thugshugsdumpcanoLife in the North has thus far been an incredible thing. I feel healthier, happier, and more whole. I’ve met some first-class people at my job as a waitress. I can easily walk to work, the store, the library, the ocean. My runs through the tundra are challenging and breathtaking. My love bank is filled every day by three amazing little boys who want to draw and play and dance endlessly with me. I have stuck with my vegan lifestyle. The 6 weeks I’ve been here have flown by.

I’m feeling endlessly inspired by this new environment. I can’t wait to share more through blogging and YouTube!

Thanks for reading!

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jessihall1
Health Blog: milesonmilesonmiles.wordpress.com
Instagram: @jessihannahjay

My Northern Start

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I’ve begun the process of making a packing/purchase list for my move this July. I’m moving to Nunavut. Away from this warm and wet BC West Coast, up to the Canadian arctic. I’m not nervous about the move; I’ve left home for extended periods before, with less contact with family than I will when I go. I’m looking forward to this change, this opportunity to develop in so many areas of my life. My mind has been overflowing with ideas and expectations and plans as I continue to research.

 

ImageA picture I found on Pinterest of St. Jude’s in Iqaluit, below the glorious Northern lights.

 

Here’s a few lists which give a quick overall picture of what I hope to get out of the experience. 

The tourist in me wants to… 

  • See some wildlife (polar bear, seals, whales)
  • See the Northern lights
  • Snowshoe or cross-country ski
  • Dogsledding 
  • Try some new foods (This one will be challenging! Especially if it’s meat/fishy stuff, but I’m gonna try to keep an open mind!) 

In the way of work… 

  • I’ll be nannying for my sister’s family 4 days on, 4 days off when she returns to work from mat leave. I’ll be taking care of 3 of my nephews ages 8 months, 4 years and 6 years. Seriously cute and funny little boys, I can’t wait to spend time being auntie + nanny. 
  • Will be getting a second job to work on those days off. Probably as a waitress if possible, as that’s where I have experience and it’s a great second income.
  • Currently looking for opportunities to volunteer or intern in a position relevant to my field of study. Hopefully can jump on board with a French radio station/newspaper I found, or at the library or something related to writing/communications. 

Personally…

  • Very excited to spend time with my sister and her family, who have been living up North for about 2 years now, and I’ve never visited. So glad I could be the one to fill this need.
  • The past year of school has really been a struggle for me mentally. I love learning, I love school… but I’ve just been too stressed to be able to absorb and participate as much I would like to. I’ve been a slave to academia and making money and I don’t like that. 
  • I love meeting new people and travelling! 
  • Exposure to a new language and culture will be an interesting and challenging experience.
  • I will work to develop my writing, photography, film and editing skills while I’m up there. I’ll be getting my YouTube up and running and continuing to blog (in addition to any intern position I will get hopefully)
  • I think it must be impossible to make a change this big without changing yourself in the process. The process of standing firm in my decision, working hard, adapting to a new environment, making sacrifices (leaving family, postponing school, quitting my current job), and following through will be an amazing journey and I know I won’t regret taking this leap of faith.