How To Be Alone

How To Be Alone.

This is one of those quirky, beautiful, lovely things. Like Juno only shorter! haha.

This year i’ve spent a lot of time alone and really think i’ve learned to be okay with that. I’m turning 19 and i’ve never been on a proper date or in a relationship and that is alright. I look at some unhappy people in unhappy relationships and I am grateful that I have just myself to worry about.

Even with friends though… My friends have changed a great deal recently and are continuing to do so. High school has ended and university is still just beginning for me. People are moving away and growing apart. Change is unavoidable and unrelenting. “It’s all for the best” as a wise musical once said (Godspell FTW).

My Mom recently commented on how much time I have been spending at home and to be honest I don’t think it has been an outragious amount, validating concern. Have I become a hermit without realizing it? And if this doesn’t bother me is that worrysome?

A few weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation on top of a rooftop in Vancouver. It was a beautiful day and the whole thing felt something like an honest, raw, offbeat short film. This girl who came here for school mentioned how sometimes she doesn’t have many friends. I was so grateful for that statement. I think in life, from my experience, there are busy times with lots of people to see and places to be and then there are quiet times of solitude and reflection. Some people like to deny it or think less of others but really there is nothing wrong with being by yourself. No matter how many lovers and pals you acquire you still need to go to sleep on your own and wake up with only you in your head. I sometimes feel I have to justify going places by myself. “Oh, I’m here alone because…” What should it matter if I have come alone? I am here now and we are conversing. That is all that matters… right? We all have some places we must go alone.

I think though, that there is something to be said for the people we meet in our alone places and the ones who pop up when no one else is around. I don’t know if that makes sense but this idea has been toying with me for some time now.

Maybe i’m all wrong. Isn’t one of the most important things in life to build community? To connect with others?

I suppose balance is the key. I’m really grateful that I have learned to be by myself and also to be with others. Really, “being” itself can be a challenge. I accept.

Journey Forth,

Jenni

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Thank You World… and a bike ride!

The other day I recorded this while I was riding my bike home. Basically I am really happy and content with life right now. I’m so grateful for this wonderful planet! And i’m so lucky that I get to sit in my backyard blogging looking up at this:

Think of how many branches this tree has, and leaves… such abundance. And still it grows! Mind blowing.

The Garden Diet

I just finished doing a 21 day raw cleanse with my Mom called “The Garden Diet“. It cost some money but they sent us all the recipes to follow and there were a bunch of other people doing it at the same time as us.It was created by this really cool raw family that is super healthy looking and fun having (the website talks all about them). I started it the same day I started working at summer camps so it was really nice to not have to make decision about what to eat… you just follow the recipes! A few of them were kinda gross but from the most part they were delicious and helped me to try new things and learn which flavours I prefer, This cleanse was completely raw and didn’t use a dehydrator at all. I was amazed there were so many recipes using just nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies.

I stuck to it pretty religiously except for the last few days…

I did it because I wanted to support my Mom doing it, anything that puts more vegan food in our house is a good thing, and I am also very interested in raw eating.

The first few days I was EXHAUSTED and this could have just been from starting a new job and not being used to working with kids all day. Wednesday the energy started coming and I felt unstoppable. Everything was great until Thursday of week two, “Water Day”. On thursday itself I was fine not eating and just drinking water. I went to rehearsal and had a full day without really being hungry at all. The next morning however I woke up and was too weak to move, my Mom had to drive me to work and make me some juice and almond milk. I felt like Mimi in RENT when she’s been “doing lots of drugs and not eating any food for three weeks”. Apart from that is was really good though, I’m glad I experienced it and it was a fun/tasty adventure.

If you don’t know what raw food is it basically entails not cooking anything and eating lots of fresh juice, soaked nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits. YUM! Of course this is gluten free and vegan (some recipes used honey but I substituted fruit and dates in those cases).

MMMMMM.

Vegan Pizza Party

Pizza Party Menu @ The Loving Hut

MMMMMM! So on Wednesday I went to the Vancouver Vegetarian Meetup for the first time. It was so full of deliciousness and awesomeness. The meetup was a Vegan Pizza Party hosted by The Loving Hut, this great little Vancouver restaurant. I got there a bit early but some folks had already showed up. Everyone was really friendly and super cool. I love how at these things you can have a great conversation with pretty much anyone. Everyone comes from such different places and has such unique stories to share. You can learn so much from other people. We got to try all four of The Loving Hut Pizza’s and also sample their poutine and royal caesar salad. It all tasted really good, my favourites were the vegan poutine, Island Bliss Pizza and the Ocean Love Pizza. They all used Daiya Vegan Cheese which is the one i’ve been most impressed with as far as cheese alternatives go. This way of eating vegan isn’t the healthiest (compared to say a raw diet… more on that soon) but every once in a while it’s nice to try something new and good : )

They had pictures of famous vegatarians on the wall and a bunch of happy writing painted on about nourishment, respect and joy. The minute I went inside it was like : D

That should be one of the awesome things, liking a place just based on the atmosphere and vibe it puts out. I suppose that could apply to people too.

I also got to try this drink called Oogave which was really delicious. It’s only available in the US but i’d definitely pick some up next time i’m across the border (maybe on my trip to HAWAII??? details to follow…). Someone was nice enough to share so with everyone so I got to try the watermelon creme flavour and I’m not a huge fan of super fizzy drinks but this was a pleasant level of carbonation.

I didn’t stay for the fireworks because I had some trip planning to do but I definitely would have. Everyone was super nice and I had a really good time. Looking forward to future meet ups!

How do you measure a year in the life?

RENT Poster, designed by moi.

Last week I was in a production on RENT with Theatrix Youtheatre Society at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam. It was AMAZING and I sumed it up on facebook by saying…

the past 525,600 minutes have been so wonderful and amazing. I’m so glad I could come full circle with RENT and i’m so grateful for all the amazing people and experiences I have had : ) MEASURE IN LOVE.

I’m still in shock that I got through it all. Last Monday I was really stressed out. I was thinking, How am I going to do this? What am I going to eat? Where will I stay? How will I manage work and school and the show? Show week is always crazy. I would go to work in the morning, then go straight to the theatre after (one day I even had a class in between which i had to rush through). It is really crazy but really rewarding and fun.

There were so many awesome people in the show. Some oldies, and some new people but I learned something from all of them and I’m so lucky to know this incredible group of human beings. I’ve been with Theatrix for 7 years now and most of my most memorable moments have occurred as a result of that. I am so grateful and lucky to have a family like this.

I was able to stick to my raw food cleanse (mostly… on Wednesday night I broke it the first time and then Sunday I think I had pretty much everything on their list of things with toxins, except meat and animal products that is… NICE). Sometimes we achieve the things we think are impossible. This was one of those times. When you have those times where everything feels impossible, remember that we’re all in this together. I’m so grateful for everyone who helped me through the week, from my excellent co-workers to my amazing castmates to my superb mamma. SNAPS FOR US. Come together, right?

This experience had so many similarities to where I was 12 months ago though, I couldn’t help but compare… I had two awesome adventures where I didn’t go home for several days (sleepovers FTW). I had good hangouts with friends. I ended up in many of the same locations as last year. I watched the sun rise from a mountain on Monday morning… Full circle. One of the things these similarities have taught me is how much I have grown in this time and everything I have learned in this past year.

Like Seasons of Love says I could measure my life in: report cards, contracts, dollars, truths learned, times cried, daylights, sunsets, midnights, cups of coffee, laughter, strife or numerous other things. When I really reflect on it though I think I measure in laughter, new experiences, memories, shows, hairstyles, and love.

What do you measure in?

Fall Classes

A TON of people (almost everyone I talk to) is telling me to only take 3 courses while enrolled in IAT 233 because of the high workload. I’m really lucky to have people concerned about me and it’s really awesome to have so many people to draw advice from… However I feel that I can do it. Is it going to be busy? Yes. Is it going to be hard sometimes? Yes. Is it also going to be awesome because I LOVE everything I am committed to? HELLZ YES! I’m so excited for another year. I am a really hard working and motivated person.

Let’s do a little recap…

Last year I started university.

I took 4 courses first semester and was SUPER bored.

I volunteered as an assistant director/production assistant for two Theatrix show, “The Little Princess” and “Les Miserables”.

EDIT: I totally forgot I was in a show too! Rocky Horror went up during first semester. DUR.

I was also the TechOne Rep on the Surrey Campus Committee (SCC) but this required minimal effort.

I volunteered at a bunch of the university events as well.

I took voice lessons and competed in three categories at a festival which took some time to prepare for.

I took a dance class through the SFU Rec program.

Second semester I took 5 courses while still volunteering with the two Theatrix shows.

I found that this semester was a good workload for me.

I also commuted to all three campuses last year

This year I will be starting my second year of university and…

taking 4 Classes

being a Tech Teams Leader

being an Orientation Leader

being the Interactive Arts + Technology Student Union (IATSU) Communications Officer

acting in Into The Woods with Theatrix

Should be fine : )

I can’t validate only taking three courses and my Mom isn’t a big fan of that idea. I’m not working because my focus is going to school so I really want to immerse myself in the experience this year (something I could have done better last year). All my courses are in Surrey which will save me TONS of transit time. I am telling myself I can do it and I will do it. Everything will be fine, or better than fine. Everything will be wonderful. It’s all for the best : )

PS: As I was writing this I made friends with a racoon. Thought you should know. Yay for backyard blogging!

How to live better

http://sunshineson.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/happiness_poster11x17.pdf

So I just came across this post on The Sun Shines On Blog from Yes! Magazine (which I must find out more about!). The past 12 months have been the happiest of my entire life and I really believe that it is a result of learning how to live better.

I took an acting course last semester at University and I found that many of the things we worked on could apply to life. Things like choosing a focus. One small goal to keep in mind so that what you do has purpose. I find that the days I actively engage in these practices are more fulfilling. I’ve had tons of little goals. Thing like sounding like I mean it more when I say “Thank you” and saying hello to people I pass… each day is a work in progress of a beautiful masterpiece.