Finding Your Passion in a World Filled with Options

Studies in various Canadian cities indicate that between 23% and 67% of homeless people report having a mental illness

– Canadian Institute for Health Information (2007). Improving the health of Canadians: Mental health and homelessness.

 

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Mental Health – Celebrities – Social Media – Being Social

These are just a few of my growing passions I have developed over the past few years.  But how does one choose a career or life path that fulfills all of these aspects?

This is something I have been trying to wrap my head around for the past couple of months as I have embarked on my new school journey (just 4 months left!).  I have been thinking, rethinking, and over-thinking every possible way I could fulfill my passions and ultimately end up happy.

Slowly but surely, I have begun to narrow down my interests – deciding that some passions do not need to be my career and vice versa.  This in my opinion is where the saying truly does reflect it’s meaning: the struggle is real.  I am constantly on the lookout for the next best thing that will make me happy.

But maybe I am rushing myself too quickly?  Trying to force myself to find something that has yet to be discovered?  All I know is I am on the right track to find something that actually makes me happy, it is just a huge process in itself.

 

I need to start taking risks and putting my thoughts into actions.  For too long I have “thought” about what I want to do instead of actually doing it.  This does not mean I am planning on making rash or stupid decisions, but that I cannot always fear that the worst will happen.  I have grown up always thinking I should not do something because it could turn out badly, but what if it doesn’t?

 

What is your opinion?  Do you feel the same way as me in terms of not knowing which path to go down?

 

The Road to a Bipolar Recovery

46% of Canadians think people use the term mental illness as an excuse for bad behaviour, and 27% say they would be fearful of being around someone who suffers from serious mental illness.

– Canadian Medical Association (2008). 8th annual National Report Card on Health Care.

Bipolar is often a word used for when people think a person has split personalities or to describe the weather.  But to me, it is a much different word.  It means a time in my life when I was not well but also a time when I learned so much about myself.  This post is meant to enlighten you about what bipolar is and to tell you my experiences over the past few years.

What is Bipolar?

Photo from helpguide.org

Photo from helpguide.org

Bipolar is a mood disorder that can affect people in many different ways.  At times a person can go through an episode of mania, when they are essentially “on top of the world”, or a person can experience severe depression.  Many people are unaware that to be diagnosed with bipolar you only need to have one episode of mania (either extreme or hypo) and one depressive episode.  There are two types of bipolar, type 1 and type 2, type 1 being on the extremes of mania and depression, type 2 being on the hypomania and depressive side.

 

When did I get diagnosed?

I realized something was not right with me about three years ago.  I have always had an admiration for successful people, but when I saw Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never movie, I was literally on top of the world – for weeks.  I had no stress, felt like everything was going to be okay no matter what, and was the happiest I had ever been in my life.  This all sounds fine and dandy except that I had no reason to be so happy.  I then continued to have one of the biggest depressive episodes of my life where I wondered: “why the hell was I so happy before?”.  I had been seeing my doctor regularly for about 1.5 years leading up to this point.

 

Where am I now?

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Currently, I like to think I am “cured” of this disorder and feel I am through a combination of medication and therapy.  But sometimes I think to myself, “am I really sick in the first place?”.  I also struggle with the opposite thought of: “am I actually better?”.  This is because I sometimes have racing thoughts, make rash decisions too quickly, and flip flop from career goals on the weekly – all signs of bipolar creeping through.  I am managing these feelings though by reminding myself that it is okay to take time to think about a situation before I commit.

 

Road to Recovery

The road to recovery is one that will never end.  I have issues here and there, but nothing like I used to.  I hope by sharing my story it helps people reassess their own lives and encourages them to seek help if needed.  I know this is a short blog post about my experiences and there is much more to it – but I think any conversation about mental illness is a good one.

 

How is your mental health?  I encourage you to take time for yourself and make sure you are being the best person you can be!

Carolyn

 

My Dream Job in 5 Years – Does it Even Exist?!

70% of mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence.

– Government of Canada (2006). The human face of mental health and mental illness in Canada.


The other week, I had an assignment to write a personal prophecy on where I saw myself in 5 years in terms of my job.  I came up with something I would consider my dream job – and thought I’d share with you what I came up with.

Is there such thing as an agency that connects charities with celebrities?

By this I mean is, if a charity is having an event and would like a celebrity to attend/endorse, how does this happen?  Who is in charge of this?

My prophecy included me connecting a fictional charity with Justin Bieber (shocker I know) for events in Vancouver and Toronto.  It was my big break and extremely successful – obviously.

After further research, I had a hard time finding companies that actually do this work.  It made me think “maybe I should start a company like this?”…but then I thought “hmm how would I even start, having very few connections in the first place?”.

I don’t have the answer to this but all I know is I’m dreaming big and who knows maybe one day, 5 years down the road, I’ll have my own company helping charities become extremely successful.

What do you think?  Have you ever heard of a company/organization like this?

Small Target Canada Clearance Haul! – 2015

42% of Canadians are unsure whether they would socialize with a friend who has a mental illness.

Hey everyone!

Today I made my way to the Kildonan Park Mall here in Winnipeg where I found myself buying a couple of items on clearance at Target.  The sales are currently (as of 15/03/2015) 30-50% off – which is a pretty decent deal for most items.

Here is a picture of the few personal things I bought:

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My favourite items are the floppy hat and flower shoes/sneakers.  The prices of the items were as follows:

  • Black flats – 40% off from $19.99 – $11.99
  • Flower sneakers – 40% off from $16.99 – $10.19
  • Floppy hat – 40% off from $14.99 – $8.99
  • Socks – 40% off from $3.00 – $1.80

I also purchased a padded bra that I thought I would leave out of the pic…but it was originally $12.99 with 40% off – $7.79.

So all in all, a good little haul here.  Most of the cosmetics were picked over other than the Sonia Kashuk stuff (@30% off) but I think I’ll wait until her stuff is 40-50% off before I pick some stuff up.

Have you picked up anything from the Canadian Target liquidation sale?  Let me know if you found anything good!

 

Carolyn

@CarolynPogo

The Ups & Downs of 2014

As I look back these past couple of months, I can’t help but think of the choices I’ve made.  I’ve had some ups and downs, but what really matters is how those downs were handled.

So what were the ups?

(1) One of the biggest changes was deciding to go back to school in September 2014.  I never thought I would step back in a university after my time at UBC but I also knew my previous degree needed complimenting.  It honestly was one of the best moves I have ever made and although I doubt myself weekly about my choice; I know it is the right one.  I should be here where I am.

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(2) On December 4th, 2014, I stopped drinking alcohol for health reasons.  For anyone that knows me personally, this was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a while.  Not because I had a drinking problem (I don’t), but because it was something I did to have fun and essentially ‘fit in’.  After over 1 month of not a single drop of alcohol I can definitely say that I feel and look better.  My skin isn’t as red, I’m not as bloated, and my wallet hasn’t taken the holiday beating.

(3) I’ve made some amazing friends these past few months.  This is pretty self explanatory as everyone who is anyone in my life knows who they are.  But a few people in particular have really helped me realize what I do and do not want in my life and I am slowly transitioning into a better person.  I thank those who have been there for me through my weird emotions (you know who you are!).

And the downs?

Well, school has made me a hot mess at times…but I’ve always gotten through it.  Realizing that there is more to life and that my mental health is still important has really put things into perspective.

I hope that by reading this you are able to reflect on your own 2014, acknowledge the good and be rid of the bad.  Remember always that your mental health is as important as your physical health – so practice ways to live well and be mindful.

Thanks for reading!

Be amazing.

Always.