how to bring that glow of childhood back to life

This article is a follow up to the last one I wrote, which is about seasonal depression. If you haven’t read that one, you should go check it out.


Winter is coming and darkness is upon us. It’s that season where the sun goes down at 4pm, you feel miserable when you try to wake up in the morning because there is no light, and the damp Vancouver winter cuts through you like a knife. What a treat.

In my other article I was complaining about November and how there is nothing good about it and there’s nothing to look forward to. I stand by that statement, and I’m greatly relieved that December doesn’t have the same hopelessness. With December comes the holiday season.

We all know that Christmas had a lot of magic when we were kids. I get a lot of videos popping up on my TikTok and Instagram of nostalgic early-2000s Christmas compilations, and somehow the people who have put these together have managed to encapsulate the feeling of Christmas from those years perfectly. People have come up with photos that show a perfect image of what Christmas looked like to a middle-class suburban family in 2004. These photos have the exact energy and glow that exists in your deepest memories when you think of Christmas morning. I know you have this image in your head right now. Christmas was the same for all of us those days.

Some photos just have that old school Christmas energy. You know you feel it.

It can be really difficult to get excited about Christmas now that we’re older. Life seems so overloaded with responsibility, and it’s not the kind that’s really intense and then just ends suddenly, like when we were kids and school ended for winter break. Adult responsibility is unyielding. Our to-do lists are endless and the tasks regenerate faster than you can fulfill them. Growing up also means that we often start prioritizing our responsibilities over the things that make us feel good.

It’s common when you grow up to feel like everything has lost its sparkle. When you’re a child the world seems to have a certain glow to it, and with every year that passes, that glow seems to fade a little more. Adulthood brings a certain air of melancholy in the sense that realism has dulled the magic that the world once held. How do you bring childhood magic back to life as an adult?

I recently found myself involved with a group of people who made life feel like it was still glimmering with a kind of youthful radiance I hadn’t felt since I was a teenager. The group was composed of individuals who were morally questionable to say the least, so it didn’t last very long, but each interaction we had together felt like it was loaded with explosives in the best way. Every moment I spent with them had a sort of brilliance to it, like a star on the brink of supernova. Everything was more vibrant; it truly seemed like life just had more colour with them. It was like being attached to a defibrillator and jolted back to life. Despite having to leave it behind, I look back on my memories with that group fondly because they showed me that the spark we’re all looking to rekindle is still out there.

The thing that was so special to me about this group was that everything they did was completely different to what I normally do in life. Everything we did together was something completely new to me, and I had no familiarity with any of the situations I found myself in with them. I often felt very out of place and uncertain, but it came with a certain thrill that I hadn’t felt in years. For that reason I believe that magic we all used to feel is found in discovery and exploration.

I love when things make me feel the way fireworks look.

As children, we don’t have enough life experience to know what the outcome of any given situation is going to be. We haven’t seen the world from enough different angles to know what is going to come of any particular experience. Everything is fantastically unpredictable because you simply haven’t lived enough to have seen things from all sides yet. That lack of perspective means that there is a constant sense of wonder, and anticipation of the unknown; everything is a new possibility for something different and amazing and magical. I believe that right there is the secret to treat the dullness and monotony of adult life. We just need to mix in a little more of the unexplored.

To give this a bit more perspective, the Ancient Greeks said that the gods envied mortals because our lives are ephemeral. Human existence is fleeting, and we are subject to fate and chance. Meanwhile, the gods always knew they were immortal, and no matter what happened, there was never a chance of them dying. Continuance was just a guarantee for them, and thus the anticipation of the unknown was simply not feasible for them. The thrill of chance was absent.

It’s ironic though, because many adults also fear the unknown. Many of us form a bit of an aversion to the feeling of uncertainty, and we often find it uncomfortable. True excitement in life is born from that lack of certainty, anything that you are too sure about is going to lack spark. Magic exists in unfamiliarity.


So embrace the unexplored. Don’t let your obscene bucket list fall by the wayside. Go take risks. Do dumb stuff. Bad decisions make great stories. Your inner child will thank you.

I’m gonna go google some weird stuff to do in Vancouver.

Love you. <3

the seasonal depression demon is powerful

It’s that time of year again. The days are short, the nights are long, and everything is grey all the time. You know what I’m talking about. It’s November in Vancouver.

November is probably the worst month of the year, wouldn’t you agree? There aren’t even any holidays in November, not for Canadians who celebrate Thanksgiving in October anyway. All we have is Remembrance Day, and that’s more of a time for solemn introspection. It’s not exactly something that people count down the days for in anticipation.

Winter in Vancouver brings a sort of somber that is tough to shake. On a nice day this city is very beautiful, but in the winter the rain becomes incredibly frequent, and the grey skies have a way of casting a sort of dullness over the entire population.

Side bar. My laptop just went into night mode, signalling that it is officially “sundown”. It’s 4:37pm. That’s depressing.

They don’t call it Raincouver for nothing.

Which leads me into the topic of my article; I wanted to talk about seasonal depression. You know, the sadness and lethargy you feel when the days get shorter, and the weather gets colder. Growing up an athlete in Vancouver, I never used to be overly affected by seasonal depression. Rainy winters were a very familiar concept to me, and I spent the entire season running around playing outdoor sports in spite of the pouring rain and cold. As unpleasant as it was at times, I greatly exceeded my requirement for fresh air and endorphins. This got me through the dark months relatively unphased.

Now that I’m an adult and I’m no longer partaking in organized sports, the onus is on me to make sure I exercise regularly to keep the demons away. I’m very disciplined with my schedule, but now my exercise looks less like running around an outdoor field and more like lifting weights in the gym. It gets the job done, but in a bare minimum sort of way. The weight of the winter gloom is heavier these days.

Seasonal depression is a product of reduced amounts of sunlight. It messes with the body’s internal clock, which disrupts your circadian rhythm, which imbalances hormones like serotonin and melatonin which are really important to your emotional welfare. When these hormones are out of balance, it results in things like fatigue, inability to concentrate, and a loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy.

AKA… depression.

With the colder weather, you might find yourself with a sense of overall melancholy and introspection.  These feelings are also probably compounded from the fact that life in the summer is so bright and vibrant and warm. The descent from the highs of summer into winter’s dark somber is enough to give any reasonable person a decent serving of emotional whiplash.

Do you have a preferred remedy for seasonal depression?

I’ve been hearing more and more that the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself in terms of your psychological welfare is to get sunlight as soon as you wake up. 10-15 minutes of it straight up on the retinas. Morning sunlight does a combination of different things to balance your hormones and make you feel less crappy overall. It reduces melanin production, making sure you stay more awake throughout the day (without relying on caffeine to keep you vertical); it triggers serotonin release, enhancing mood and overall well-being; and it helps your body produce vitamin D. We all know about good ol’ Vitamin D.

If you’re like me, you might also find yourself reaching for cheap dopamine sources to put a [fleeting] smile on your face. For me this has been a really tough battle. I’ll find myself completely zoned out on the couch for hours, just scrolling on Tiktok, desperately sifting through content to find something that makes me feel a bit of a thrill. Does this sound familiar?



You already know that social media isn’t good for us emotionally, but you have probably also noticed that perpetual sensation of deep dissatisfaction, and an unshakeable lack of fulfillment that you can’t exactly pinpoint the cause of.

That feeling is a product of something called dopamine depletion.

Dopamine is a hormone that is produced naturally in the body, and when things like social media cause a really quick increase in dopamine levels, your body instinctually tries to counteract it. This is because the body is always trying to maintain a state of equilibrium, and when any of its hormone levels are out of balance, it does whatever it can to regain that balance. In the case of dopamine, it regains that equilibrium by emitting hormones that take you down emotionally. This is why reaching for quick sources of dopamine take you so high, and then leave you feeling so low.

Dopamine is getting a bit of a bad rap these days, and I think people just aren’t really understanding it. There’s good sources of dopamine, and there’s bad sources. The bad ones tend to be from things that offer quick and easy gratification. Cheap dopamine sources are abundant these days, and it can be really hard to avoid them. But exercising some discernment and evaluating how certain things and experiences make you feel afterwards can be a really valuable tool in determining what’s bad for you and what’s not.

If you need ideas for good sources of dopamine, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Sleep well, exercise often, eat nutritious food, don’t drown your misery in a bottle of wine on a daily basis… you know the drill.

Oh, also, social connection is important. It’s easy to get stuck in a habit of rolling yourself up in a blanket like a burrito and becoming one with your couch, but as cozy as that is it really isn’t beneficial for your mental health. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, because I love Netflix as much as the next person… but you really need to hang out with your friends more. If you think you get enough social interaction, that’s good, but I challenge you to add one more event in just in case.

I’m in this with you. Let’s get through the dark days together.

Love you <3




Opinion: Vancouver nightlife is not a vibe

How do you feel about nightclubs?

If you’ve ever been to Celebrities or Twelve West or the Roxy, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the nightclub scene in Vancouver is like. You may have heard that Vancouver is known as being a ‘sleepy city’ in terms of its nightlife. Compared to most major cities in Canada, Vancouver seems to be ranking on the lower end of the scale in terms of the overall quality of the experience. People generally have very mixed opinions on nightclub culture in general.

Vancouver at night.

First of all, let’s talk about the principle behind nightclubs. Why do people go there? Nightclubs have captivated the human spirit for years, providing an opportunity for vibrance and social interactions. In theory, there’s an undeniable allure to idea of a place where people from all walks of life can go to leave their worries behind and have fun. Nightclubs have been around since the early 20th century, but back in those days they were pretty much exclusive to the upper class. They were characterized by live music, upscale décor, and an elite, refined clientele.

Over the decades the culture behind nightclubs has transformed and adapted into one which is more inclusive and diverse in terms of self-expression. Nightclubs serve as an opportunity to see and to be seen. People who are interested in fashion often appreciate any occasion where they get to dress up and experiment with different trends. Since a lot of the clubbing experience is visual, you have a great opportunity to express yourself in ways that you may not in your everyday life.

Unfortunately, that is a bit of an idealistic description of nightclub culture. It’s not exactly a utopia, and there is an undeniable dark side to the experience.

As previously mentioned, clubs offer an opportunity to put on a visual show for other people. That’s great if all you came to do is show off your new outfit, but there is an overwhelming superficiality to the experience. Due to the nature of clubbing, it’s not uncommon to feel objectified in this environment. You’re in an arena full of strangers, and the music is so loud that you can’t hear yourself think, let alone speak to someone else. It’s nearly impossible to attract people with your personality. People who tend to seek deeper and more meaningful connections often leave this environment with a feeling of emptiness.

The nightclub culture normally promotes an image of endless excitement and carefree socialization, but it doesn’t necessarily feel that way. The experience revolves largely around grandiose displays of wealth and status, and with that it breeds an unspoken pressure to measure up. People will spend exorbitant sums of money on things like tables and bottle service and sparklers and signs with custom messages on them; these things are obviously unnecessary, but they send a message to observers that you’re wealthy enough to have money to blow on ridiculous things, so you must be important. If you take these grandiose displays of wealth too far, it’s easy to look like you’re seeking attention. And that doesn’t exactly project an impression of confidence, like, why are you begging for approval from strangers? It’s weird.

On top of that, it can get to a point where it just feels forced. People are forcing attention and forcing an image that they’re having the best time in the world, even if they’re not. It’s fake.

In my opinion, that’s the overall energy of nightclub culture right there. Fake.

Once you spend enough time in nightclubs you start to get a decent read on which types of people frequent these environments. They tend to be individuals with good social skills and large networks. If you read my previous article on social chameleons, this will sound familiar. Club people are usually masters at curating and projecting an image that is acceptable to large groups of people, but isn’t necessarily in alignment with their true character. In many cases, it’s hard to determine what their true character actually looks like. They’re at the club for one reason, and it’s not to find deep meaningful relationships.

The physical environment itself can also be very draining. With all of the flashing lights and loud music, it’s not hard to understand how substance abuse is normal in this culture; you basically have to numb your senses to the point that you dissociate from reality in order to stand it. The external stimulation can be completely overwhelming for some people, to the point that it causes full-on sensory overload. The atmosphere of escapism and hedonism can also encourage the use of drugs and alcohol, as many individuals are looking to enhance their experience… or to numb their emotions. If people are using substances as coping tools this can begin a dangerous cycle, which in worst case could lead down a road of addiction.

People sometimes come into nightclubs and abuse substances when they’re fighting inner demons, and that can manifest in really undesirable ways as well. It’s not uncommon to witness instances of fights, sexual assaults, and other criminal activity. Drugs and alcohol can impair people’s judgement and fuel their repressed aggression; this can turn the club, which is supposed to be a fun place, into a very dangerous environment.

In general, the social landscape in Vancouver has a reputation for being cold and difficult to navigate. I personally feel that this sentiment is reflected in the energy of its nightlife. When you go out to the club, you’ll usually find groups of 4+ friends attending together, and then not speaking to anybody else outside of their group. It really defeats the purpose of going out, which is supposed to be to socialize. But in Vancouver, it seems more like everyone is just there to look cool and maybe make out with a stranger. In a very loud obnoxious environment. While drinking overpriced low-quality alcohol.

This observation is coming from someone who spent a year as a university student in Calgary, and I found that my experience there was vastly different. Every time I went out in Calgary I had a great time with complete strangers, because they were friendly without having ulterior motives. It truly felt that everyone was just there to have a good time. The darkness of the nightlife culture was still present, as it always is, but it felt like a more genuine experience overall.

In contrast, the darkness of nightlife feels amplified in Vancouver. The venues can be quite exquisite, but it seems like the negative sides of clubbing are intensified here. The experience is reflective of the city’s overall vibration: beautiful and uninviting.

But I mean do what you want.

Love you.

luxury culture: the commercialization of Whistler

Whistler just opened for skiing over the past weekend. They currently are operating with ultra pre-season conditions: the current base depth of the snow pack is 59cm. For context, skiing is usually not even a great idea until there is at least 100cm of snow covering the ground. Until that point there’s a lot of hazards to avoid, like trees and rocks that pop out at you out of nowhere. In order for the skiing to actually be good, there needs to be at least 150cm to work with.

They were miles away from the generally accepted base level snow pack, and yet, this weekend the lift lines were still over an hour long.

How is that possible?

The answer is that Whistler is incredibly clever with their marketing.

Whistler has assumed a top position in most Vancouverites’ opinions of the best local ski resort. This is interesting because most avid skiers would know there’s nothing overly special about Whistler in terms of the skiing. Especially considering that Mount Baker is the same distance from the center of the city, it’s quite interesting that Whistler is regarded as the better option. The snow at Whistler is always a little mushy until you get up to the peak, and the peak is great if it’s a clear day; the issue with the peak is that there’s basically no trees up there, so if there’s a little bit of fog and the visibility is low, you’re not going to be able to see anything. It turns into a white out blur. Unless the conditions are picture perfect, skiing at Whistler isn’t really anything to write home about. On top of that, a lift ticket for a day pass at Whistler will set you back $299. Let that sink in.

Somehow, Whistler has managed to convince most of the population that they offer the best skiing, and that their obscene prices are justified. They have managed to market themselves as a resort which offers the highest prestige and quality. Does this sound familiar at all? It’s not unlike the way that luxury brands operate. They too have benefitted immensely from the perception of exclusivity and high-quality craftsmanship, despite there being an ongoing debate of the whole concept being a matter of smoke and mirrors. In fact, many people have started viewing luxury labels, with their excessive use of branding and grandiose displays of opulence, as tacky. Quite the opposite effect of what is intended.

Whistler Village is quite elaborate.

Through the same use of strategic advertising and psychological trickery, Whistler has become the luxury brand of ski resorts. They have spread the idea that their resort offers the best of everything. They say, they have 8,000 acres of skiable terrain [a lot of which is unremarkable], more than 200 marked runs [as do many other ski resorts], and a village at the heart of the resort [basically just gives it city vibes]. For people like myself, who ski at resorts outside of the city, we have a bit wider perspective on what kind of things the rest of the world has to offer. We know that underneath all of the aesthetics that Whistler promotes, it is largely indistinguishable from all of the others. As a result, we often view Whistler skiers as short-sighted victims to brand manipulation. It’s not supposed to be taken as condescending, as more often than not our opinions are based in objective truths. When you go to the lesser known resorts you get down-to-earth rustic energy, a community of friendly people, and less traffic (meaning less time in lift lines and more time on the hill). It also is usually just a more authentic experience all around.

This situation gives an interesting demonstration of the concept of ego morphing. People use brands to promote a particular image that they have, or want to have, of themselves.  Ego morphing is at the root cause of many of your unnecessary purchases; if a seller appeals to your ego, or convinces you that their product will make you feel better about yourself, you’re far more likely to buy into it. People will buy into practically anything if they can be convinced that it will make them better. We will rationalize just about any purchase if we believe that the product will solve our perceived inadequacies. It explains why there is such an abundance of luxury items that boast overt labelling and ostentatious displays of logo placement. If the consumer is buying into the luxury market so that other people will perceive them as being wealthy and high status, they will want a product that lets people know it’s worth big money. Some people are buying the most ridiculous looking items you’ve ever seen, simply because being associated with a costly label makes them feel good about themselves.

By creating an image of prestige and glamour, Whistler has curated the same energy as a designer brand. Some people believe that if you are a Whistler skier, you are in a league above the others. They use this curated principle to rationalize the unjust markup on every amenity that the place has to offer, which through the process of ego morphing, people are willing to absorb. Because at the end of the day, who cares if you’re getting ripped off left right and centre? You get to go home and tell everyone you know that you went on a ski trip at Whistler!

That seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? Does it make a bit more sense why out-of-city skiers feel the way we do?

A ski resort is a ski resort is a ski resort.

I don’t mean to rip on Whistler too hard. After all, I do think that it’s fantastic whenever you can get people outside and enjoying the magic of what nature has to offer. All I’m saying is that the commercialization of the place rubs me the wrong way. It seems superficial. But hey, maybe you’re into that kind of thing. I don’t know.

I’m just trying to make people aware of what’s going on under the surface here because this isn’t specific to Whistler. Once you understand this concept, it’s worthwhile to evaluate whether your inclinations and impulses are coming from a place of genuine desire or from a place of perceived lacking. If you’re making purchases based on your own perceived inadequacies, that means companies are benefitting from your insecurities and/or emotional void. That’s just not a very nice thing to think about at all.

Love you. <3

How important is authenticity to the world, really?

I can see how at first glance the title of this article could be jarring.

We’re often told that it’s always best to be yourself in every situation. Do what feels right, be true to yourself, we all know those phrases. I don’t necessarily disagree with this sentiment because the principle behind it is sound; if you lead with your true self all the time, you never have to put on a show. You can simply exist as you are. You’re more likely to stand out from a crowd because there is, and there will only ever be, one of you. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is something that is most often appreciated.

But is that always the case? I’m noticing more and more circumstances in which the opposite is true.


Looking at things from a wider perspective, humans are social animals. We naturally collect into groups or packs or tribes. We have religions, vast communities of people who actively practice the concept of creating an identical perspective within themselves as that of the collective. We instinctually seek out situations in which we are in the company of people who are similar to ourselves.

The idealistic view of authenticity is often synonymous with individualism. The principle behind it is saying that being an individual is a positive thing; however, this idea conflicts with our human nature.

You might be thinking; “Well yes, people form bonds based on their similarities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be identical in every way”, and I agree with that. In a close interpersonal relationship, some degree of polarity is expected, arguably even necessary.


But in the context of how we as humans interact with the world, we need to be able to blend in to a certain extent, in order to have the best chance of being accepted. We need to be capable of practicing compliance in scenarios in which it would be necessary. It’s one of the traits of being, as previously mentioned, a social creature. The antithesis of this behavioural pattern would likely fall into the category of what experts would regard as antisocial behaviour.

But how would this be possible if every person on this planet, all 8 billion of us, were to be living in our own individual honest truth ALL the time? To what degree would the common ground we would have with one another be nothing more than a coincidence? We are after all, incredibly unique creatures.


I’ve been exploring the concept of ego as of late, or in other words, our personal sense of self. Ego tends to have a rather negative connotation, even though everyone has one. Your ego is not necessarily a devil on your shoulder, in fact, it’s actually quite necessary for you to practice the behaviours that generally constitute being a ‘good person’. Without your ego, you would have no self-awareness at all.

The ego tends to seek out situations, or people, that make you feel good about yourself. Our ego exists to protect us, and it wants to feel safe. This means we naturally gravitate towards situations where we feel at ease; we generally try to surround ourselves with people who appeal to the way we want to perceive ourselves. We tend to feel this way in the presence of people who have positive opinions to us, or people who have similar perspectives to our own.

We seek situations that align with the way we feel about ourselves.

There are also a lot of people who are unaware of how much power their ego holds over them. Many people aren’t even certain of how to differentiate between their ego and their true self.

With this in mind, if a person was being ruled by their ego and wasn’t aware of it, they would be very susceptible to influence by anyone who understands the concept of the ego and knows how to play it to their own advantage. In theory, if Person A knew how to appeal to the ego of Person B, Person A would hold a great deal of power over Person B. And depending on the character of Person A, this could put Person B in a very compromised position. This concept is how many people have hopelessly fallen victim to the psychological manipulations of exploitative individuals, and it’s very helpful to become aware of this dynamic sooner rather than later.


Some people naturally understand this concept more than others do. These people are commonly regarded as social chameleons; their character is fluid, and can adapt to different situations depending on the company they’re in. They appeal to the ego of the people in their company and earn positive responses in return. A person leading with authenticity would likely label a social chameleon to be fake, possibly even manipulative. Potentially even sociopathic. This may not necessarily be false, but as disingenuous as the social chameleon may be, there are also distinct advantages to their behavior; people in this category tend to have vast social circles and networks. Connection is important in life, arguably even necessary. Connections breed opportunities.

The trade-off is, of course, the superficiality of the connections. It’s virtually impossible to build relationships with a large amount of people unless those relationships exist solely on a surface level. Once again, we are unique creatures, and it’s not easy to connect with an abundance of people in ways that are more visceral than what someone would relate to as a product of the general human experience. But despite that, a social chameleon with a large network is at an advantage. People who possess this trait, (perhaps it could even be regarded as a ‘skill’), tend to be more successful in social and professional situations.


I feel obligated to clarify that this concept is not something to be applied to your close interpersonal relationships. If you’re entering a relationship with the goal of making somebody like you, you may be successful in gaining that person’s approval, but if you aren’t showing up in your authentic character you won’t be able to sustain it. Nobody can pretend to be someone they’re not, and if you’re hiding behind a facade in a relationship, a genuine person will be able to sense it. Don’t enter relationships with the goal of making them like you to secure benefits. Now THAT is sociopathic. That’s just weird.

This concept is strictly something to be applied to your interactions with the outside world, ideally in a professional context. It would be very wise of you to identify the social chameleons in your life, observe them, and take a few pages from their book. Knowing when to implement their strategies is a very beneficial skill. It will also spare you the pain of having to learn how cruel the world can be if you’re naïve to it; learning this lesson the hard way changes people. Knowing when to keep your guard up is a form of self-preservation.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being soft and innocent, you just need to save your softness and your innocence for the people who love you. Showing up as a sheep all the time will only make you vulnerable to the wolves. The key is learning how, and in which situations, do you need to be the wolf.

You probably have burnout even if you don’t know it

For the longest time, I thought that I didn’t feel stress. I thought that I was immune to it. Even in moments when other people were felt uncomfortable and pressured, I couldn’t be less concerned. Eventually I realized that I had simply been operating in a state of low grade stress at all times; and it was so constant that I had just gotten used to it. It was just normal for me.

Since then, I have gotten better at identifying and managing my stress. But something that I haven’t quite learned how to treat is the burnout, or the result of excessive prolonged stress. Feeling generally overwhelmed for extended periods has left me with a really interesting form of underlying mental fatigue; I don’t feel tired enough to skip the gym or go to bed at 8pm every night, but my capacity for creativity and critical thought is at an all time low. It’s like I don’t have the motivation to think deeply about anything, and everything feels dull. It’s like I’m slowly losing my identity and my mind all at once and it’s terrifying.

I thought that our final day of practicum would be a great occasion to talk about this, because I know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been doing some research, and it seems like our technology addiction might even be exacerbating the burnout we’re all feeling from school and work. Ironically enough, even with our new smart technology that does so much of our work for us, we’re still not really getting enough opportunities to truly relax. We’re always connected to different forms of technology and bombarding ourselves with information every hour of every day, and we don’t ever give ourselves a chance to decompress from it. How bad does our collective burnout need to get before we change our habits?

I think I’m finally reaching the point in which technology has become more of a detriment to me than a benefit. I miss the times when I wouldn’t feel a constant urge to scroll through my phone searching for something new and interesting to look at. As much as technology has made our lives radically convenient, it’s also keeping me in a state of being constantly overwhelmed.

My plan for this summer is to unplug as much as I possibly can. The snapchat streaks will die, and some Instagram stories will go unwatched, but I think the mental reset is worth the FOMO. I recommend you try it as well; the less time you spend scrolling, the more you have to stop and smell the flowers.

You should watch the Twilight Saga again

The first time I watched the Twilight Saga movies, I was horribly let down. At the time I was an avid Twilight fan, and I still remember the feeling of disappointment when I realized how incredibly different the energy was in the movies from the books. It’s not like they strayed too far from the storyline, but it still just felt so different.

It’s not a secret that the acting is nothing short of tragic, likely as a result of the dreadful lines that were supplied by the writers. You can hardly blame the actors for their performance, when you take into consideration the material that they had to work with.



I recently re-watched the entire Twilight Saga with my cousin, approximately 10 years after the series was released, and I saw the films in a completely different light. After enough time had passed that I wasn’t actively comparing the films to the books, I was no longer filled with rage over the mismatch. I was actually able to just accept the movies for exactly what they are, which is completely ridiculous. When you watch the films through a lens of satire, it’s actually very entertaining. For example, there’s a scene in the first movie where Rosalie (who is a vampire) is sitting in the school cafeteria with an entire wheel of cheese on the table in front of her. *Acts natural*

Another change in my perspective was around the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate. After watching the series for a second time, I genuinely cannot fathom how there is even a debate about this at all. Looking at it now as an adult woman, the things that stand out to me are that Edward prioritizes Bella’s welfare above all else, encourages her to have strong boundaries, is a classical musician (how tasteful) and is even offering to fund Bella’s post-secondary education at an Ivy League University. In contrast, all I see when I look at Jacob is a man-child who hates wearing clothes and doesn’t understand that no means no. It’s like we’re comparing a CEO to a middle schooler.

Also, everyone is sleeping on Jasper. It needs to be said.


I can honestly say that even in the moments where it was almost painful to watch, I genuinely enjoyed watching these films a second time. If you just accept the ridiculousness of it, avoid asking questions like ‘what’s the point of the baseball scene’, and simply embrace the corny romantic fantasy, I’m positive that you’ll enjoy it as well.

Debate: Are rodeos unethical?

With the Cloverdale Rodeo coming up this weekend, many people are excited to attend and watch the athletes perform, drink some beer and eat some corn dogs. But whenever these kind of events roll around, the debate surrounding the ethics of rodeos is bound to arise. For every person in this world who adores rodeos and is excited to attend, there is also a person who is deeply averse to them. Many people believe that rodeos pose a detriment to the welfare of the animals.

In the past, it has been documented that rodeo animals have experienced serious abuse while being trained for these events. Some of the tools that have been used on animals include metal spurs, electric prods and bucking straps; these tools have been known to cause burns, injuries to tendons and ligaments and broken bones.

These criticism are met with resistance by those who engage in rodeo culture. Many people have been raised in families who have always taken an active part in the culture, so for them, it’s a very important part of their life. Barrel racers love and care for their animals deeply, and you can see that the horses also have a deep bond to their riders. In other events like bull riding, it doesn’t take an rigorous examination to deduce that the bull has a strong advantage over the rider. The question isn’t whether the bull will be able to hurl the rider off its back, it’s simply a matter how long the rider can hold on before the inevitable happens.

But other events, such as calf roping, can be a bit difficult to watch. The first time I saw a calf being wrangled and hurled to the ground as fast as possible, I will admit, I was unsettled. They’re just babies! And they look so scared!  In contrast to the bull riding where the animal clearly has the upper hand, this particular event rubs me the wrong way. I understand that wrangling calves is something that ranchers are required to do in real life for various reasons, but to turn this already unpleasant process into entertainment just seems unethical.

I’m on the fence with this topic because I can see both sides of the argument. But I will say that I think more thought should be put towards the nature of the specific events; perhaps in the future we will be able to phase out questionable ones while still allowing the rodeo as a whole to proceed.



The mental and emotional benefits of golf

I’m not sure if this is correlation or causation, but I have experienced noticeable changes in my life since taking up the sport of golf.

This game has a reputation for being frustrating, slow, boring, uppity, pretentious, exclusive, etc… and I honestly can’t deny any of those things. I have personally experienced every one of those characteristics at some point in my adventures. But despite all of that, golf is an activity which has the potential to be grounding, relaxing, challenging, and exciting all at the same time. It really is a paradox in every sense of the word.

Golf has had an enormous impact on both my physical and psychological fitness. Despite not being overly physically demanding, this sport requires a completely unique set of movements which I had to train endlessly just for it to stop feeling completely unnatural. The pivoting, weight transfer and spine motion in golf is unlike any other sport. Learning this new movement was a challenge, but once I began to grasp it I felt an incredible sense of achievement and reward. Since taking up golf, I have learned to love the process of gradually teaching your body to perform in new abstract movements, which led me to taking up yoga and pilates as well.

In order to stay focused on your game for a whole range session or an entire round of golf, which can be up to 6 hours long, you have to be able to remain focused on the task at hand and not get discouraged no matter what comes your way. In order to perform on the course, you need to know how to regulate your emotions and not let them get in the way of the task ahead of you. We’ve all seen the videos of people losing their temper and throwing their clubs in the water; the urge to do so is a feeling that every golfer has experienced, and the only thing that has kept us all from doing it is our differing levels of impulse control.

Golf is like its own form of meditation. You’ll undoubtedly experience an emotional rollercoaster along the way, but you also learn the power of consistency and perseverance. The level of focus required in this game has turned golf into a bit of a mental sanctuary for me; for the time that I’m at the range or on the course, I’m not concerned about anything but my club and the ball. Nothing else matters.



The Hobbit vs. Lord of the Rings: Which is superior?

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series are undoubtedly some of the most iconic movies of our time. Everything about them, from the imagery to the music in the soundtrack, are distinctly unique to this franchise. But is one better than the other?

To offer a quick explanation of these movies, the Hobbit is the chronological precursor to the Lord of the Rings movies, which according to the story takes place about 60 years prior to the great Lord of the Rings adventure, despite the Lord of the Rings movie series having been created first.

There is approximately a 10 year disparity between the creation of the LOTR series and The Hobbit series. Because of this, there is a notable difference between the computer generated imagery in the two series’. The Hobbit CGI technology is distinctly superior to the LOTR technology, which can be observed in virtually every aspect of the film, down to the appearance of the orcs. The Hobbit features a hyper-detailed depiction of the orcs, and because of this, the creators were able to make the orcs more unique and individual. In contrast, the LOTR orcs appear to be more similar to each other in appearance, and are noticeably grosser-looking than the orcs in The Hobbit. Slimy-looking, even. Some believe that the amount of CGI used in the new movies was excessive and they preferred the method used in the LOTR, which was a combination of CGI and prosthetics.

Another significant difference between the series is the development of the characters. It appears that there was more care put into the adaptation between book-and-movie with The Hobbit, as the characters’ personalities appeared to match their depictions from the book more closely. The wizard Gandalf also has much more wit and personality in The Hobbit as Gandalf the Grey as he does in LOTR as Gandalf the White.

Another difference in these films is the extent to which they incorporate the magic of fantasy. Being part of the fantasy genre, the theme is obviously present in both series, but the focus of LOTR appears to be centralized around themes of repetitive war and conflict. In contrast, The Hobbit’s story is distinctly more magical, with more supernatural additions such as the dragon Smaug, the shape-shifting bear Beorn, and noticeably more usage of magic by Gandalf.

It’s fascinating to compare and contrast the features and characteristics of the two series. Regardless of which is superior, this franchise undoubtedly remains a timeless masterpiece.