Guilty Pleasures

Is it bad that tomorrow night, I’m looking forward to watching The Bachelor? Is it even worse that a “Paige treat” on my next grocery trip will likely be a copy of US Weekly?

At this point in my life, I’m too old to try to be someone other than myself. But for some reason, I’ve always felt the need to cover up my guilty pleasures—or in other words, those interests or hobbies of mine that are just plain embarassing.

A wise man (perhaps my fiancé) once asked me, “If you’re too embarassed to admit it, is it really something you should be doing?”

And I can finally answer with absolute confidence: YES! In fact, I think it’s perfectly OK to realize that, in spite of being an intelligent person, you enjoy things that are completely mindless.

For me, I think it’s a way to decompress. When I come home from work, the last thing I want to do is think. I would much rather be amused and entertained than intellectually stimulated.

I can honestly say that The Bachelor, with all of its cheesy ballads and shameless women, can succeed at putting a smile on my face. And US Weekly magazines, which are basically loaded with gossip and celebrity trash, are at times more enjoyable than a good piece of literature.

Every Friday night, when I’m not busy with friends, I religiously watch wedding shows on TLC (which by the way, should NOT be referred to as ” The Learning Channel”). Four Weddings is my favourite, and Say Yes to the Dress comes in a close second. As tacky as those wedding shows can be, they have  provided me with great inspiration for my own wedding coming up in August!

And when I’m not reading trashy magazines or watching junky reality TV, I’m most likely listening to my music, which is not of a genre most would expect. If you browse through my iTunes library, you will find that 50% of the music on there is either rap or hip-hop.

It’s a bit strange to picture Paige and rap in the same sentence, but I feel I can relate to that type of music (and not in the, “Paige grew up in the ghetto” or “Paige had a rough life” kind of way). Any time I hear hip-hop or rap, I just want to dance! And I can’t think of a better way to feel when I’m listening to music.

So, there you have it—just some of the many guilty pleasures of mine. I encourage all of you to reveal yours to me—you know, just so I’m not the only one.

All Things Grateful

At times, I can be a complete pessimist. And while it’s not a trait I’m proud of, I know how easy it can be to focus on the negative rather than look at the bigger picture.

As a step towards improving my outlook on life, I would like to share a basic list (in no particular order of importance) of all things for which I am grateful:

1) My family. It speaks volumes when your parents invite you every Sunday night for dinner, a tradition I hold dear. At least once a week, I get to spend time with my Mom, Dad, sisters, brother-in-laws, niece and nephew—all who love unconditionally.

2) My fiancé. Honestly, I never thought it would happen for me.  I still can’t believe I’m marrying John, my perfect match, in 7 months!

3) My friends. I remember the days when I used to sit beside the phone waiting for someone, anyone to call. Now, I can’t stop the phone from ringing. I’ve made some incredible friendships this past year, and the existing ones have only grown stronger.

4) My first trip to Europe. Thanks to my dear Aunt Cindy, I had the opportunity to travel through Europe (Italy and Greece) this past May. I will never forget the breathtaking sites and memories shared. It was a trip of a lifetime for which I will always be thankful.

5) My current job. While it’s not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction. I’m happy to have a job, that in the very least, is related to my field of interest.

6) My/our Juke. What a relief to have a car that actually works! Since when did I enjoy driving? Clearly, since we bought the Juke.

7) My/our apartment. It’s not a house, but for us, it’s the next best thing. After a freezing cold week (like this one past), there’s nothing better than coming home to a warm and comfortable apartment.

8) My adopted family. This of course includes John’s family and his two adorable kitties (Spike and Shadow). Sadly, some people don’t have a family to call their own, but I am lucky enough to have two. And maybe even three if you count my best friend and her wonderful family.

9) My health. I’ve accepted the fact that I will never be 100% healthy (due to certain factors), but I’m alive and well, and for that, I am grateful.

10) My relatives. I’m fortunate enough to be close with all of my immediate relatives, both in distance and relation. While it’s getting more difficult for all of us to stay in touch, we still visit each other on a fairly regular basis.

Here’s a toast to a life, that in spite of its challenges, I can call pretty amazing.

Cheers!

So Close

About four months ago, I applied for a job that seemed like a perfect fit. The description had “Paige” written all over it. It was creative, it was exciting and it involved extensive amounts of writing.  It was the type of job I dreamed about, but never expected to actually get at any point in time.

Shockingly, the “gods” answered my prayers — or so I thought. One phone call, two interviews and a trial assignment later, I came painfully close to getting said job of my dreams. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I missed out by a hair next to just one other candidate, one with slightly more experience in that industry.

Disappointing? Yes. But surprising? Not in the least. My career thus far seems to be a series of near hits and misses. I always come so close to that amazing opportunity, but somehow fall short. That’s not to say I discredit my work experience to this point, as I am grateful for the knowledge and skills I have gained.

But for once, just once, I would love for things to fall into place.

I’m sure many others can relate to my situation, but I have to ask, at what point do you give up on your dreams, and just accept fate for what it is?

Sadly, getting a job is 25% about who you know, 25% skill and 50% LUCK — in my opinion, at least. And I guess it frustrates me that I’ve worked so hard (both in school and in past jobs), only to have luck take over.

I suppose the best thing to do is take the positives from the opportunities lost. In my case, I should look at this job application as a step closer to where I want to be. And I should look at the fact that I came so close as a sign that I am a good enough writer.

It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic, right?

A First Time

January 5 — an ordinary day for most, but a very special and personal one for me. In my mind, there are two reasons why today is so important:

1) It is the day (I guess now I should say evening) of my VERY FIRST blog post. **NOTE: the blogging I did for school does not count.

2) It is also the day (I guess I should say date) when a wonderful man singlehandedly changed my life — another first.

To start with, let’s talk about 1). I consider myself a writer, but over the past few years, I have lost touch with my connection to and passion for writing.

It’s not a cheap way for me to get attention. And it certainly isn’t a reason for me to label myself an artist. I write because it’s a part of who I am — a reflection of my thoughts, my emotions and most importantly, my personality. If you don’t know my writing, then I guess you don’t know me too well either.

What better way to get in touch with my “inner writer” than to start a blog. I thought it would be a great way to begin 2012. It took me a few too many years to get started on this project, but I’m bound and determined to follow through with it.

That’s all I really need to say about 1).  In fact, I should move on to 2), because he is the main reason why I was motivated and inspired enough to start a blog in the first place. Truly, this post is in honour of him.

So, here’s the story of how I met previously mentioned “wonderful man,” and how he “singlehandedly changed my life.”

Back in 2009, I was in a pretty rough place. I hated my job, I hated being single, and in many ways, I hated myself. After a series of embarassing dates, unbearable weeks at work and depressing evenings home alone, I decided I needed a fresh start.

And this “fresh start” meant a fundamental change in my attitude. I promised myself that I would at least try to be happy. By 2010, I had quit my crappy job and gone back to school to take Public Relations. I had also stopped desperately chasing after men (who in this case should be referred to as boys) who were clearly not interested in me in the first place.

And then, I met John. We had met prior to 2010, but that was the year where we had really met. Our very first date was January 5, 2010, and on that particular day, I decided to stop sulking and to start living. I decided to meet for coffee with the one guy who had always appreciated me for who I was.

Our date started from a drunken Facebook message, and it ended with a four-hour conversation at Remedy Cafe. Now, the rest is history.

Today (January 5, 2012), we are celebrating our two-year anniversary as a couple, and by the end of this year we will be married.

To those of you out there who have given up on life, remember, there’s a first time for everything. For me, it happens to be a blog and a wonderful man who I can blog about.