Non-profit


How does one blog when their mind is in a state of constant chaos? There are so many things going on in my brain, yet I don’t even know how to organize them well enough into written word to share. Moments like these, of overwhelming thought without means of expression, reinforce the fact that being a good writer is definitely a talent; blogging for the sake of blogging doesn’t really do it, despite what some may think. I feel as though my thoughts are meaningful, interesting and sometimes even humorous,  likely even things other people would like to read about, but I just struggle more and more every day to share them.

I think wherein the problem lies is that I have been mentally and physically stressed since 2012 rolled in. Coping with the grave loss and sudden responsibility that came at me all at once was difficult. Although things did work themselves out in a lot of ways, the year was one of deep internal struggle for me.

Despite knowing that I found much happiness throughout the year, my emotions feel like they were set to hypersensitivity mode. I found myself well into a new relationship which, although it made me happy, made me extremely anxious. I think at a certain point, once you have experienced so much heartache and you finally find something that gives you joy you are automatically programed to fear it to a certain degree. Why would you want to risk enjoying the way someone or something makes you feel, as good as it can be, when you know how bad the other end of that spectrum feels? Why enjoy something that you know could be very temporary?

My guard really went up after the fall of 2011, quite literally.

As much progress as I thought I had made by mid-year, it wasn’t long before I was derailed again. Two months shy of the one year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing my mother was diagnosed with the same deadly disease, Breast Cancer. I felt broken. Once word gets out everyone tries to give you some solace with their empty words, but what most of them don’t understand is that it only makes it worse. Why are YOU sorry to hear the news? Do you actually care how we feel? Damnit, why do my feelings even matter? How dare I feel hurt, I’m not even the one who has to go through this. But I do feel hurt. I feel heartbroken again and I haven’t even lost anyone this time. Am I allowed to feel this way? Why am I even thinking about me right now? The whole situation made me angry, the things I was thinking made me angry.

The idea of having to go through the same routine our family thought we would never need to live again made me sick. My paternal grandmother died of Breast Cancer when I was a toddler, my great aunt in 2010 and my maternal grandmother in 2011. To even fathom that this disease was rearing its head in my family again was nauseating, I can’t quite describe what the news did to me mentally and physically. I still don’t have the exact words, and I’m not sure anyone can really understand it, which is the worst part.

Although the diagnosis was completely different in stages, severity, etc., than my grandmother’s advanced case, or any of the other cases my family had experienced, I felt defeated. After the initial shock, my mom was surprisingly strong and positive however, much like my grandmother grew to be. This surprisingly positive outlook on the situation made me wonder how I could feel so negative. Does diagnosis put everything into perspective for the patient? Do they just magically realize that positivity is the best option? How much of their own internal struggle are they not sharing with me? Why do they feel as though they can’t or don’t want to share their true feelings?

I have so many questions, no longer about the physical consequences of the illness, but rather the mental consequences. Having gone through this a time or two, the science of what is going on, what chemo does to the body, how radiation helps, how the stages are classified, etc. is understandable. What I am having a hard time understanding is the mental struggle, the mental stresses this causes. I know how terrible being indirectly associated with this disease has made me feel but I don’t know if I will ever understand how they feel. Heck I still don’t really understand why I feel the way I do about it sometimes either. I have made a point to go to every chemotherapy treatment so far, and I will be there for the final one in on March 6th as well, but just seeing my mom go through it all kills me. I feel horrible knowing what the “medicine” is doing to her body, although it helps in the long run, and I feel even more guilty for not showing more compassion when my grandmother had to go through it. Is it possible that life is making me relearn this lesson in compassion because I didn’t learn it well enough the first time?

The guilt and pain I feel is so unbearable at times. Dear fellow bloggers and people of the e-universe who may read this, I hope you never have to feel the way I do, let alone the way those I love have had to in dealing with this illness. My loving boyfriend and some of my family are volunteering as crew for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer this June in memory of those we love and in hopes for those we will love into the future, if you care to donate please follow the link – Enbridge Ride.

 

Just a quick video to update interested people!

Kony 2012 YYC Update!

Cover the Night
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3125794335

CBC Homestretch radio spot
http://www.cbc.ca/homestretch/episode/2012/03/08/local-reaction-to-koney-2012…

Parfait Productions
http://vimeo.com/parfaitproductions

Twitter @kony2012yyc
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Kony2012Yyc
Email kony2012yyc@live.ca

One of the biggest warnings we seem to hear about seeking employment these days is how your internet activity may affect your image to employers. In all honesty, I find it rather hard to believe companies do in depth Google searches on their employees. Yes depending on the job there is probably a level of research they do on you, the internet making it easier, however I just don’t see an arm of any major corporation being hired Facebook pros who creep your profile on a regular basis. Blogs like this are probably included in the internet behavior warnings, but oh well, considering I have such a hard time finding a job in my field as it is why not write a blog about the BS I have had to experience in the process — couldn’t possibly make the hunt anymore difficult?

In prior rants about my challenges during my hunt for a career I may have touched on how difficult it was to meet the expectations one needs to meet for most of the positions: 5-10 years experience which is impossible for a new grad, 3+ languages, graduate degrees and the list goes on. What I have realized however is the most frustrating “demand” thus far from employers I have been researching does not include any of the aforementioned. What really frustrates me is after you have accepted that there is a need to seek further experience and you make the efforts to do so, ie: apply for an internship, it is still a daunting task. Since when can a new graduate who has accumulated 10s of thousands of dollars in debt during 4+ years of univeristy afford to up and leave for 6 months to live in New York and work for full time without a salary?

From all of the research I have done on employment in this “market” I have come to realize that it is not a tough crowd because of the “recession” or any of the other excuses that have been thrown around in the headlines but rather it is an ongoing problem. Even non-profit organizations who look to improve the quality of life for specific individuals are looking to attract a certain type of candidate, and from what I can tell is that they would be considered the “elite” in hierarchy of our society. Taking risks, giving chances and working to offer opportunities to someone determined and driven by your ideals are not options and never were. What the common criteria I am seeing  while hunting tells me is that employers, non-profit and and corporate alike, want people who university educated, financially stable (either from well off families or previous successful business experience) individuals who already now how to to work within the confines of the bureaucracy — in my opinion — people who they know are safe and guaranteed to follow the norm.

Although it isn’t always a bad thing to hire a sure and safe bet the extent to which these employers are recruiting and emphasizing these certain qualities tell me their motivation is beyond what we are all made to believe. In this type of “market” where does a university educated individual with a free, open mind ready to challenge norms and ask questions fit in? Smiling and nodding my way through life is not how I want to live, I don’t want to have to agree with everything that is put in front of me, I want to be a part of something bigger, be encouraged to make positive changes and evolve. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to go seek out a flipping masters degree and 30g more in debt just to land a job that isn’t some meaningless entry level meaningless position.

What gives?

For this job “market” to see improvement and more favorable for folks like me is not economic stimulus but rather a change in mentality among employers almost everywhere. Give us a chance, we aren’t so bad.

Listening to:
The Flatliners – The Calming Collection
The Flatliners – Count Your Bruises
The Flatliners – Eulogy
Bayside – Montauk
Alexisonfire – Keep it on Wax
Illscarlett – NTF

Last night was the big day, I am sure many will be happy to see  me finally cease to tweet, facebook and blog about the event. Despite the fact that the night I had long anticipated started out quite chaotically it turned out better than we could have asked for. It was great to see a line up of over 80 people before the doors even opened and it was equally nice to see people donating beyond the $7 price tag for a ticket. Needless to say we actually ran out of tickets and had to start recycling the old and therefore lost count of how many people were in attendance however it was definitely more than last year.

All the bands (Debra, The Shagbots and Fireside Riot) did a fantastic job, they definitely brought it last night and I am so happy they were generous enough to dedicate their time the way they did. We also had a great turn out of volunteers, so many in fact I ran out of jobs for them to do! It isn’t often that happens, but it was great to see! We ended up earning over $3500 for Save the Children Haitian relief efforts which will be doubled by the Government of Canada resulting in the event earning Haiti in total $7000! That is a fantastic figure anyway you look at it and again I thank everyone for making the night the success it was.



Obviously after last night I am in a music listening kind of mood, thus follows my current play list:
Cold War Kids – Against Privacy
Cold War Kids – Hospital Beds
Cuban Cigar Crisis – Wuthering Heights
Debra – Dr. Strangelove
The Shagbots – Kaolin met Kiln
Lagwagon – Falling Apart
Passion Pit – Little Secrets

Considering all of the FREE media and advertising support Save the Children U of C has received for our big event on January 30 I feel obligated to give thanks to all of those willing to help us out:

– Astral Media (Vibe 98.5, AM1060 and CJay 92.9)
– Amp Radio 90.3
– Calgary Herald
– FFWD Weekly
– Calgary Fashion
– CJSW
– Shaw TV
– NXEW
– CBC
– CTV
– Collectively Eclectic
– Humanitarian Coalition

Again I have said it before but it is amazing to see the way people come together for the right cause and many thanks to Fireside Riot, Debra and the Shagbots for making it happen!

…most of the time!

To follow up on yesterday’s entry about people actually paying attention I got a call today from the local TV station about airing our story!

I hope above all that these efforts and cooperation from local media will help us in only making this event reach its full potention in getting significant funds sent to Haiti to help the people there who are desperately in need. It feels so good to be putting something this great together, it feels even better when the results are great.

Reporting back when all this craze calms down!

Today is the day I realize someone actually is paying attention.  It doesn’t necessarily matter who is paying attention (unless it’s a creep or something) just nice to know every once in a while that you are being paid attention to; it is nice to know your efforts are not always for nothing.

After all of my efforts with this Haiti Indie Rock fundraiser things are starting to come together! We got published on the front page of today’s entertainment section of the Calgary Herald, on Vibe 98.5 and CJay 92.1’s public announcement section, CJSW’s concert listings and on the Save the Children website! It is super good news for us, hopefully all the free media help will aide in the turn out for our event!

On top of that my suggested Cuban Cigar Crisis song to Alan Cross’ “The List” made it!

It really is the small things in life…

Thank you to everyone helping us out!

http://communities.canada.com/calgaryherald/blogs/onthescene/archive/2010/01/18/calgary-artists-step-up-for-haiti.aspx

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