05 – how to be happy

“Hi there! Good to see you. You look great. Is that a new haircut? How’s the family? Oh my gosh, I’m so glad we ran into each other! We’ll have to hang out again soon. I’ll text you!” – Me, awkwardly posting on this blog for the first time since December and then probably disappearing again for another six months

Lately, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on myself and my “journey”. I’m almost 24 (which is halfway to 48 which is middle aged OH MY GOD) and I am frequently struck with anxiety about where my life is headed, how I’m getting there, and what happens if things don’t go according to plan. This is a pretty common feeling (so I’m told) for twenty-somethings, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too badly about being a ship lost at sea. However, despite having my shit together in the most basic sense (townhouse – check; job – check;  4 digits in my bank account, not including cents – check) I find myself all too often focusing on what could be better in my life.51b7bdfdfa211aad3d30363dd35e37d7

Social media is a fickle beast; sure, it’s fun to connect with all your friends and family (lol) B-list celebrities at the touch of a button, but then you scroll too far and find yourself inadvertently sucked into the dark world of hashtags and creeping and and filters and…well, you get the idea. The problem with this is that people only broadcast their best selves. This makes it pretty easy to believe that your life sucks.

Well,  guess what, friends? I’m here to tell you that it probably does. You’re fucking twenty five. You drive a beater from the 90s, average 5 hours of sleep on a week night, can’t get rid of your hanger-on freshman fuckboy boyfriend and have considered wine coolers to be meals more times than you want to admit. You’re still knee-deep in student debt, you only call your parents when you need money and you’re really trying to ignore that awful rash that you should probably get checked out. You have no clue what to do with your life but you are certain that your social sciences degree would best be used as kindling. But you know what? There’s lots of awesome things about being young, too. Your hangovers only last a few hours, you can wear bralettes as shirts, and being unemployed means you have endless sick days! No one judges you for spending hundreds of dollars on the newest iPhone and ten dollars on ramen noodles because you’re just another irresponsible millennial. Existential doubt creeping in? No problem! There’s a cure for that, and it’s called getting blackout drunk and dancing on top of speakers til 2am.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is always a silver lining. It might be hard to see, and it might be thinner than those cheap boho shorts you got at H&M, but it’s there. Being young and dumb is about more than just debt and shitty serving jobs. It’s about having the freedom to be spontaneous and (sometimes irresponsibly) doing things that you love just for the hell of it, consequences be damned. So get out there and enjoy the life you do have. If things get rough, you can always just face-swap with Beyonce.

 

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04 – red cups

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This week, the most newsworthy event is apparently the Starbucks Red Cup outrage – at least, that’s what my Facebook feed seems to think. While I empathize with the plight of Christian coffee drinkers everywhere, I think there are some more important things we, as a society, should be upset about. Therefore, I give you:

10 Things for Self-Entitled Assholes to Be Pissed Off About Instead of the Starbucks Red Cups

  1. When you’re next in line at McD’s and the person in front of you can’t make up their mind. It’s okay, take your time; you’ve only been in line for the last 20 minutes with a giant fucking menu on the wall to stare at.
  2. When you hold the door open for someone and they don’t say “thank you”.
  3. When your lulu gift card only has $75 on it and your leggings cost $88.
  4. When a Netflix title is “currently unavailable” and you have to try again later.
  5. When you go to a café /bar/restaurant and they don’t have WiFi. It’s 2015 and my Snapchats are important.
  6. “I’ll have a diet Coke, please.” “Is Pepsi okay?” (It’s never okay.)
  7. When you order a Booster Juice and come across a hunk of pineapple while drinking it. I’m sorry, is this a smoothie or a chunky?
  8. When it smells like sweat at the gym. Seriously guys, ew.
  9. When someone asks if you’re sick, but you’re just tired. Thanks for telling me I look like shit.
  10. When anyone tries to breathe in your presence, let alone talk to you, before 10am. You’re lucky I’m awake.

03 – trudeau

4314536In light of Monday’s election, and seemingly the entire province of Alberta losing their shit, I thought it appropriate to compile a list of The Top 5 Things That will Actually, For-Serious-Guys Happen Now That Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister.

  1. Any attempts to boost our economy will be negated by the supreme laziness of our citizens, who become addicted to this newfangled “marijuana” drug that is quickly legalized. Unemployment will be at an all-time high although 100% of jobs will be available.
  2. JT is “just not ready” because he is literally an infant. No motions will pass in the House of Commons because no one is capable of distinguishing between his cries. Does he need his diaper changed, or is he just really upset about the state of our environment?
  3. In a giant hypocritical move, Albertans will side with Quebeckers and separate from Canada. They will form their own country and create a new breed of Canadian: the French Redneck (or “Fredneck”, as the media will say, because talking is hard and everything needs a nickname). It will be simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
  4. A new trend will sweep the nation and people will no longer fall down stairs drunkenly at parties, but purposefully (link). The resulting damage caused by these incidents will force JT to be the face of a PSA with the slogan, “We already legalized marijuana. Let’s not lose any more brain cells.”
  5. The oil sands will instantly evaporate and former rig pigs will be legally required to abide by a hippie lifestyle. The country will be covered with trees and planes, trains, and automobiles will run on sunshine farts and happiness. Because there is no way our economy can survive without oil, Canadians will instead engage in group spiritual exercises which “wish” the environment into generating money (but not against the environment’s will).

In all seriousness, though, I have never felt more embarrassed than when Alberta lit up as all blue on the CBC election broadcast. How an entire province can be brainwashed into Conservatism astounds me. Here’s to Trudeau!

02 – so basic

I breeze into my local Starbucks, oversized cardigan fluttering in the crisp autumn air. My black suede booties click against the floor as I shuffle my way through the ever present lineup of sleep deprived university students and stressed out white collars. While I wait, I pull out my iPhone from my Kate Spade handbag and reassure my bestie that her newest Tinder bae is “seriously sooo cute”. Then I scroll through my Insta feed, liking an assortment oBasicf photos by health fanatics, New York based stylists, and meme re-posters (you really get me, @oktweets). I even snap a public selfie (cringe).

Finally, I’ve reached the front of the line. By now I’m regretting my choice of legwear; these lulus are made for spring weather but I’m wearing them because black-on-black-on-black should be achievable without having to compromise comfort (and pants are ew). I order, wait longer than any human should have to for coffee, and slip back into the October air. As I sip my grande extra-hot, half-sweet, no whip, soy #PSL, I chuckle at the notion that there was ever a time in my life where I didn’t embrace my basic bitch-ness.

I suppose it’s sort of like when the “hipster” epithet arose in common culture. No one wanted to be branded a pretentious asshole who only likes things ironically. However, as time went on, indie bands signed to major labels, plaid appeared in every storefront window, and the rest of the world came to appreciate thrifting (thanks, Macklemore). PBR even became mainstream (god knows why). It somehow became cool to be a hipster, and now everyone from your 14 year old sister to your dad likes Arcade Fire. The “hipster” is no more.

This hasn’t happened yet with “basic bitches”. It’s interesting because at this point, there aren’t many differences between them and the modern hipster. Everyone likes Starbucks and 20something women who don’t live in leggings are probably clinically insane. I’m pretty sure “AF”, “bae” and “slaaaay, queen!” are being written into the new edition of Webster-Miriam as we speak. Yes, these things might be “basic”, but it’s because they’ve now achieved widespread approval, not because they’re for blondies without substance between their ears. Basics, like hipsters, are just everyday human beings with preferences that millions of other people happen to share. You don’t hear someone being called a hipster very often any more, but “basic bitch” is thrown around like a vegan hot potato.

The negative connotation still attached to this term is ridiculous. That’s what I’ve come to realize. Yes, I like pumpkin flavoured everything…because it’s delicious. I text almost exclusively with emojis to my friends because it’s fun, cute, and faster than stringing together sentences. lululemon makes legitimately high-quality, comfortable clothes that I wear inside and outside of a gym. Remind me, why are these “bad” things again? And what exactly about my preferences denotes me a “bitch”?

So go ahead: call me a basic bitch. I like what I like, and I dislike what I dislike. If that happens to align with a social category you hold near and dear, cool. If you, too, are a basic bitch, own it. It’s just like Queen Taylor says: haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

01 – introduction

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Hi! I’m Kristen. I’m so glad you’ve stumbled upon my blog. (And if you’re here because you finally caved to peer pressure via my social media accounts, well… thanks for humouring me.) I’m a 23 year old living and working in Alberta. I completed my B.A. in Psychology earlier this year and am already itching to go back to school.

Let’s jump right into The Coles Notes version of Kristen. When I’m not at my 9-to-5, I like to read, cuddle my cat, hit the gym, and log an obscene amount of hours on my couch watching TV/Netflix/YouTube. I also spend a healthy (?) portion of time Pinteresting recipes I will never make and fantasizing about my next vacation. I don’t have a lot of “favourite” things, but I will say I really enjoy coffee, Mexican food, the colour teal, indie rock, horror/thriller movies, and pandas. If I were the type of person to plan yearly goals, I’d say I’d like to secure job stability, travel somewhere in Europe with my boyfriend, and get a puppy by the end of 2016.

Since high school, creative writing has sort of dropped off the map for me. I can count on one hand the number of times I have sat down and written something other than an essay since 2010. And that’s pretty much why I started this blog. That, and the fact that although I am a pretty “stable” young adult (ew, I hate that phrase), I feel like something is…I don’t know if “missing” is the right word, but I am definitely creatively unfulfilled.

Until I find my niche, expect this blog to be a smattering of things I find interesting/ feel somewhat qualified to provide information or advice about. Expect some how-to’s for the school crowd, budgeting tips for the 20-somethings, free-form poetry that I think is better than it actually is, rants and raves, product reviews, challenges to socialized norms, and much, much more (are you sold on this blog yet?).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!