When I Grow Up

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The plan was always to become a writer and an artist. 

I am reminded of this as my nephew who I nanny tells me his dreams for the future. The NHL, an olympic speed skater, American ninja warrior (even though we’re Canucks), NBA… and finally, an artist who sells his work.

chalkAs a nanny, my job description is diverse and ever-changing. My sister did a back to school photo shoot with her boys last week and I got to be the chalk artist for her.

So, technically, I got paid to make art. I didn’t sell anything but my time and talents were valued enough for her to ask me to do it for her. It was an a-ha! moment for me.

I want to keep doing the things I love always. Whether I am paid to do them or not. I must create; I must absorb and learn from other people’s creations; I must keep asking questions.

Now that I am working two jobs, my time to create is somewhat limited. But I try to play some music, do some drawing or writing and some reading every day. It keeps me sane and feeds my soul.

Today, I was off nanny duty, so I started my #radicalselflovebible.  It was great to just curl up in bed, put on an audio book (Harry Potter again, of course, what else?) and create something of importance to me.

I hope you hold on to the dreams of your youth and pursue them with gusto. And if you are having trouble finding what you want in life, hit the rewind button and look at what you spent time doing as a child. What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Before Sunrise (1995)

Film, Thoughts

I re-watched what I might venture to name my favourite movie last night. Before Sunrise follows the meeting of two young strangers on a train. They spend a night walking and talking through Vienna. Their conversations are honest and equally hopeful and skeptical. They ask the questions we have all felt inside, but perhaps not voiced. It’s a philosophical look at life and love through the eyes of two young adults who make a chance connection. 

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Here are some of my favourite quotes from the movie: 

On parental influences…

“I could never get very excited about other people’s ambitions for my life.” -Jesse 

On the death of the young…

“Now I’m ten years older, and she’s still 13, I guess.”-Celine

On the magic inside of us… 

“Everything we know is stardust. So don’t forget, you are stardust!” -Palm Reader

On God…

“If there was any kind of God, he wouldn’t be in anyone. Not in you, or me… but just in the little space in between.” -Celine

On dancing… 

“I like the idea of dancing being a common function in life: something everyone participates in.” -Celine

On life as a process and journey… 

“It’s nearly impossible to succeed… but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt.” -Celine

On time… 

“Everything is so finite. That’s what makes our time and specific moments so important.” -Jesse 

Apart from the piercing conversation, I love the simple cinematography. It in no way detracts from the dialogue (which is what I believe to be the best part of this film, without question). Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take this beautiful screenplay and really own it. I could watch it over and over again. 

This movie was followed up with two sequels, Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2012), (using Hawke and Delpy again) both equally as open about the real issues that come up when you’ve chosen someone to love. 

If you decide to watch this movie, go into it with an open mind, a notebook and a quiet environment. Every time I watch it, I find myself with more thoughts and questions. I find more quotes that penetrate my heart and cause me to examine the way I view the world. 

“Bye.”

“Goodbye.”

“Au Revoir.”

“Later.”

-Celine/Jesse

To See

Love, Thoughts

I remember the words of my art teacher in my first year of university. 

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The landscape here in Iqaluit is amazing. The tundra rolls as far as you can see, lichen-covered rocks jutting out everywhere, explosions of purple arctic fireweed (which, I am going to try to make tea with!). 

I’m grateful for those words, and those lessons. Even more so since having aged and experienced a few more years in my life, progressed in my mental clarity… I feel like I see more. The light is a little brighter to me, the flowers more fluid and the changing terrain more enticing for exploration. Even the litter which can be found in crevices and nooks along the tundra is interesting for my eyes to cross. 

loveshadow

Outside my house, there is a lot of construction going on, as new houses are being built around ours. As it was Sunday today, there was nobody on the lot, and as I walked back from a little adventure on the tundra, I noticed this shadow on some of the heavy equipment. A heart shadow. 

Maybe most would walk right past it.

But my eyes are ready and my brain is receptive to everything. 

So what are you missing in your hurry, in your worry? We’re all in such a rush, that nothing is in focus. What opportunities have you missed because of an inability to recognize them as such?

What a gift it is to see, let’s make the most of it. 

To hear more about my move up to Baffin Island, check out my vlog about Moving to Northern Canada. 

peace, 

J.

Positive Change Manifesto

dreams, Thoughts

I wrote this manifesto as a reminder of how I want to live. 

My past includes a lot of negative self-talk, self-depreciation and lies I told myself. Negative thought patterns with words like can’t, ugly, stupid, never, and impossible.

Positive self-talk and affirmation is something I have been forming into a habit, day by day. I’ve slowly erased these words from my lexicon. I rarely use them, or let the people around me use them. It bugs me so much when someone I care about puts themselves down. 

Even though this is my own manifesto, I hope you will read through it, and find it resonates with you. I hope that you choose to believe that you are beautiful and important and capable. 

Maybe it will even prompt you to write your own manifesto of positive thoughts and affirmations. 

Check out Gala Darling’s radical self love manifesto for more ideas! She’s brilliant. 

postive change manifesto

Choosing Love

dreams, Love, Uncategorized

One of the biggest questions people try to answer is this: How can I be happy? 

My answer is this: do what excites you. Pursue your passions. Choose self-love and make time and space in your life for the things you love. 

Place yourself in the situations where you will get to practice your art (whatever it may be), spend time with the people you cherish, and surround yourself with individuals you admire and who make you better. 

Here are some of the things I love to do. 

I love to be behind the camera to capture every moment around me, so that in the future I can look back on happy times and places I have explored. 

camera

 

I love to make art. Drawing mainly, but any form is fun for me. 

drawing

I love to eat healthfully and make my food aesthetically pleasing and Instagram it all. (@jessihannahjay

food collage blog

 

I love to make music. Piano, guitar, singing, writing… This was on Main St. in Vancouver. 

Main Street Piano Collage

 

What would you do more of if you had the time? What activity or group of people makes you feel alive? What can you cut out to make room for what you love? 

The more you envision the life you desire, the more you practice things you like in every small choice throughout the day, the closer you will get to a life you love. 

 

♪ Midweek Jams: MAGIC! Rude ♪

Music, Thoughts

cannotchange

Our choices are incredibly powerful! We don’t get to choose the family we are born into, but we get to choose our friends, and who we love. Are the people around you positive? Are they uplifting you? Do they support you? Are you in mutually beneficial relationships that involve give and take, compromise and appreciation?

This song caught my attention on the radio, and I recently looked up the music video and fell in love even more.

Choosing who you love and who you let into your life can have huge implications on who you become. They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with most. You need people who support you, who aren’t afraid to give you some constructive criticism and disagree with you, people to have fun with, people to grow with. You may not find all of these things in every relationship. However, there are a ton of people in the world; you don’t need to waste your time being dragged down by those who constantly put you down, pressure you to be someone you are not, or look for ways to sabotage you.

“I’m gonna marry her anyway..”

There’s something about this song that I just love. The video makes me really happy, the way the guy dances. But I love that he knows what he wants, and he isn’t letting the disapproval of the dad change what he’s made up his mind to do. I don’t see it as an issue of disrespect of that coveted parental blessing, but rather as an act of freedom and love and choosing who you want in your life. I think it is beautiful.

1 Year

Love

“I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been”

Today marks one year with my best friend. If you haven’t seen my post about our history together, you can see that here. This is the story of today, in pictures. It was wonderful.

Image^Strawberry love

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^Breakfast ingredients

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^Cuppa with whip

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^Bacon master

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^French toast and bacon

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^ It’s me!

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^ Behold the beauty of strawberry and whipped french toast

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^ For dinner, we each made what the other was craving. Mike made me butter chicken on rice with naan.

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^ I made him perogies with onions, bacon and sour cream.

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My heart is filled with gratitude for this man who has been such a blessing in my life. I never have to pretend to be something I’m not with him, and he is the most honest person I know. He tells the same jokes as my dad and he is kind and great with kids. I thank God that he aligned our paths in this life.

I got us tickets to go see the Lumineers this month, I’m very excited about that. Mike had an even bigger surprise for me however this morning after breakfast. He gave me a promise ring. It’s a big step, and I haven’t stopped grinning. I’m so in love.

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A Visual Reflection

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In 3 days, I will celebrate one year of dating my best friend. I have known Mike for most of my life, from kindergarten or grade one we’ve been in the same class or at least the same school. We had our first slow dance with each other in grade 8. We went to prom together (only as friends!) in grade 12. Three years out of high school, here we are together. 

Our journey to this point has not been smooth or easy, but I have never been so grateful to be exactly where I am in this moment. Mike supports my dreams, treats me like a princess and can make me laugh harder than anyone else. He appreciates my gifts and abilities, and encourages me to pursue my passions and be true to myself. 

I am very in love with this man. He has my heart. I will probably do another post on our actual anniversary, but here is a little collection of pictures to show you a bit of us. 

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^Mike is Santa, I’m the reindeer on the right. Our friend Martin is the other reindeer. This is grade one, I believe so it would be around 1997. 

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^ At our graduation ceremony in 2010. 

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^ At our prom in 2010. 

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^ On a day trip to Whistler Village, we were outdoor skating in this picture.

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^ Mike took me up for a flight in the Cessna 

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^ collage of selfies. 

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^ Mike and I on my 21st birthday BBQ this past June (2013)

 

So thankful for this man in my life. 

Coming Attractions

Thoughts

Dear Neglected [but probably didn’t notice I left] Readers,

I have news.

I have contracted an infection. 

It occupies a lot of my time, it’s on my mind while I’m at work, and when I am going about my day.

Now, in light of Withdrawal, you might be thinking this bug I speak of, is the grammer bug….[begin rabbit trail] By the way, I have my phone back again. Somehow over a month after having lost it, a fellow student at my school tracked me down on Facebook and I was able to get my phone back and not have to replace it! I have been Instagramming to no end (delicious foods, pretty flowers and selfies of course), though that is not the point of this post, and this is not the thing which infects me. [end rabbit trail]

Creativity.

My impulse to create, my urge to bring newness into existence, to build upon what exists and to ask questions about what’s around me that no one else is asking. My desire to form and fabricate a life of beauty and meaning, to appreciate the aesthetic of simple things, to celebrate performing arts, to find new ways to love.

It has been overwhelming. It is like an infection, which itches, burns, screams for attention. It does not settle until it gets this attention.

So what to do? In reading a post on Gala Darling’s blog titled “Blog On, Babe: Get Organised!” I knew what I had to do. All the disorder of my mind had to be shaped into a plan. All the ideas had to be compiled and ordered, given a number in the line of the endless projects I wish to accomplish.

She suggested making a calendar out of a large post-it and writing down what day you will do what. It just so happens I have giant post-its, so this morning I let go of all excuses and sat down and made this 7 week calendar of blog posts and YouTube videos I will be making.

Also, in a book I am reading by Michelle Goodman, The Anti 9-5 Guide, she suggests carving out time several times a week to commit to your pet project on the side. Time to do the creative things you wish you were doing while you are sitting in your cube(or other less than thrilling day job location).

SO I DID IT. 

Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 1.11.24 PMThis took a good couple hours to make, what with the additional research and detail hunting. But it was worth every minute. I am so excited to follow this plan and be more consistent on my blog here(3-4 posts a week coming up!), and also finally start my YouTube channel.

So what’s coming up?

FILM: Reviews, actor and director features, my YouTube channel
ART: Artist features, gallery visits, my drawings, crafting
MUSIC: Favourite bands, artists, songs, covers on my YouTube channel
STYLE: Outfit of the day(OOTD), decor, DIY
LOVE: What I’ve learned about loving myself, things I love(& you should too), relationship talk

First up is a music post, and that’ll be coming up on my birthday! Check back this Saturday, June 8th! 

Peace & love kids,

-jessi hannah jay. 

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @jessihannahjay