Busy

That has been my go to word these last seven months.

Too busy to meet with friends.

Too busy to read.

Too busy to do a triathlon.

Too busy to start a project.

Too busy to apply for school.

Too busy to call my parents.

Too busy to write.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I have lost count of how many times I have used the word busy as an excuse in the past seven months to not attempt or do something. And how many of us are like that in this millennial age?

The term busy bee used to refer to someone who worked hard to get chores done. In this day and age (and as a millennial), it has come to mean being so busy (achieving something) not having time to do anything else.

But what are we busy with?

Or what am I so busy with that I have neglected all my true passions.

I began a deep introspective dive. It started when I left the busyness of Toronto and went back home to Alberta for a month. In true Alberta-ness, blue skies, Rocky Mountains and wide expanse of the prairies shed some (sunny) light to my busyness and dug up all the feelings that came with busy.

Stress.

Anxiety.

Tiredness.

Frustration.

These describe feelings I am familiar with. But what I am not so familiar with, is when I feel them all at once. And why was that?

I had a good job, working with people I enjoyed.

I was back in the city I loved.

I was starting spin classes with SoulCycle.

I was meeting up as much as I could.

I joined a new church with an amazing church family.

But what I didn’t have, was quietness to think about why I was doing what I was doing and when was I going to prioritize things I wanted to achieve in life.

Does that sound selfish? Maybe.

But as part of my introspection, I was feeling busy all the time because I did things on autopilot. I thought I was building and growing myself, but in all honesty, I was only adding things to a to-do list. I didn’t feel like I was achieving anything. I ended up not doing anything I truly wanted to do and set goals for. I ended up not being truly present in anything I did.

Busy eventually manifested itself into exhaustion and anxiety. And for the first time ever, I had to leave my spin class because I almost fainted.

Over the last two weeks I have taken care to get more sleep, to say no to certain things, but most importantly, be more intentional about everything I do. I became busy because everything I did was for the sake of doing. Nothing was about living, building relationships and serving people.  It was a never ending list of tasks that I could never get ahead of nor complete.

2017 is more than half gone and I asked myself what have I done? In some sense, I have done a lot (hence being busy) but in other ways, I haven’t done much of anything. For the next five months, I am focused on being intentional; working towards my bigger goals – not just planning for them. Most importantly, I am working on removing busy from my vocabulary.

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Turning 25

It has been a long time since I have written here. I have neglected my blog and have left it to turn to dust…no longer! I am back and there is a fairly decent reason for my silence. 2016 has been a crazy year of change and so much has happened that I don’t even know where to start.

This is year is a major milestone for me, I am finally a quarter-of-a-century years old. I don’t know if this is a major turning point for everyone, but this year has been huge. The biggest decision and change for me turning 25 is moving to Toronto. Yup. I am back in the Big T.O. I quit my job, left my home (again,) and am back.

It’s insane. I’ve only been back for a one and a half months and I have a hard time believing I actually picked up and left Edmonton. To a certain extent it feels like I am on a prolonged vacation, but in other ways, this is very real. I am back in the city, I am in need of a full time job, AND I AM BACK IN TORONTO. There are days this feels like a dream and then days where I am back and have absolutely no idea what I am doing. All I know is that “Yay! I am back,” but I need to set up life here, I need to DO SOMETHING. And so for the last five weeks I have lived in a chronic state of ups and downs.

Yet…I know this is where I need to be right now.

Being back here has been amazing. I have reconnected with so many friends and family; I volunteered at TIFF; I have a part-time job; and I have gotten a taste of Toronto’s start-up scene. There have been so much I have learned about myself in the last five weeks I can only keep pushing forward and enjoy every second of being here, of being present.

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2013, The Year That Was

Good morning everyone, this is the mandatory look-back blog post on the year that was. 2013 was a massive year for me, filled with many blessings and milestones. All in all, 2013 was a fantastic year and I cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring! Here are my top moments of 2013.

  1. Hallelujah! I finally got baptized. Things have been very different for me since knowing God, my life sure has changed and things can only get more interesting the more I get to know him. This is a huge step in my life and ranks as THE moment of 2013 for me.
  2. After four years of Rotman Commerce, I graduated from the University of Toronto with a B. Comm. Specialist in Management. The past four years have been absolute bliss for me, meeting new friends, trying new foods, exploring new cities, there is never a dull day in Toronto. I hope to be back soon and hope my career will take me there.
  3. Jobs are difficult to find in this economy as a new grad, and while it is nothing permanent, I returned to Edmonton for a six month contract with the Government of Alberta. Work here has been interesting to say the least, and most of all, I have learned that I need to get myself into a branding agency.
  4. Our lovely family was blessed by the addition of two little twins! My nephews are absolutely adorable and I can’t wait to see them grow up.

    Good bye 2013, Hello 2014!

    Good bye 2013, Hello 2014!

  5. Finally….my trip with @MsRachelTeoh to LA has got to be one of the highlights of 2013. Even though it was a fairly cold week, it was an awesome week away from the pressures of school and work, out in sunny California just to have a bit of fun.

Those were some of my top moments of 2013, what were some of yours?

Bonus: My day with the Phelps Twins. Read all about it here.

Have a Happy New Year!

Have a Happy New Year!

Tea Thoughts: One Step Closer

It just hit me yesterday that I am GRADUATING! This is an exciting yet daunting thought. For all of this year I have contemplated and stressed over what to do after school. There is no safety net of more school, no security of a full time job, and no guarantee that I will even get an interview any time soon. I have probably cleared about 1/5 of my tea draw downing cup after cup of tea trying to figure out what path to take. But as graduation and the true near grows closer, I find that I am more relaxed and excited than anything else. Sure everyone left, right and centre has been asking me what I am going to do with my life. For the longest time I didn’t have an answer and I could see the disappointed look on some people’s faces and to some extent, some unimpressed faces. People just do not realize how much pressure graduating university students experience. I didn’t know either until this last year. Our parents are constantly asking what we are going to do about our futures; It’s time for their ROI to start showing as education is concluding; Friends who have jobs constantly want to know what you are doing; Profs are looking to see that their students are successful and have a job before school is out; Bosses and employers are all trying to help out. A lot of people are involved and it can feel like you are in a pressure cooker all alone ready to be cooked and eaten by the scary monster called “REALITY”.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

More than anything, I have learned this year that I know who I am, no one else does (though there are always a couple of your friends and mentors who will keep you grounded). All throughout life I always felt that I had to achieve things above everyone else. Everyone can see that I had ambition beyond belief (and I still do), and that added unknown stress into my life as I kept trying to chase after something that would eventually become unattainable. I still want to be one of the few female CEOs in the world, but now not for money and glory, but because I honestly believe the world needs more female CEOs and more examples of incredible leaders. Realizations like that made me see that if I listened to every one else, my life will become unfocused and I will lose sight of myself, values and true aspirations. As one of my profs said to me back in my second year, “take my word as a grain of salt.”

P2C FormalToday as I sit here reflecting on my university years, here are a couple of things that helped me keep grounded and real:

  1. Extensive support network: I am probably one of the most independent person you will ever meet, but that does not mean I do everything alone. I love figuring things out on my own and a lot of times it takes a lot for me to ask for help. However, if I did not have the friends, mentors and family that I do now, I know I would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I need mentors to bounce ideas off of, to help with job hunting, to tell it to me as it is and to keep my head screwed on straight. My friends are awesome amazing people who stick with me no matter how bad my temper gets, or how excitable get when I go to the ballet. They allow me to enjoy life and to see the world differently. We laugh, cry and live together. Most importantly my family loves me for who I am and they support me through every step and decision I make even though they might not always agree. They want to see me successful and being the “little princess” of the family they do not want to see me fall flat on my face. For that, I am grateful and so blessed to have the support that I do.
  2. Finding my passion: Throughout life I have always been a passionate person wanting to do everything, but it wasn’t until university that I found different ways to “decompress” and “destress” from the pressures of life and university. Too many times, I have heard that people live in the library and live for academics. Trust me, you will go insane and life will have no purpose or meaning for you any more.
  3. TEA: Every day I need a cuppa. I am probably a bigger addict to tea than most people to whatever they are addicted to. Tea has kept me going and my friends know when I do not have tea (I am cranky and non-functioning without it). Tea has also given me a gateway to the world. I talk about it online, to potential employers and I am even starting a company with tea as the foundation.

There are so many things to look forward to in life. I am in no rush to have my next years all planned out. I am excited to figure things out along the way and to see where life takes me. Ultimately, I cannot wait for all the new people I will meet, the world that I will see and all the challenges I will conquer.

Good-bye Vic!

Good-bye Vic!

UniversiTEA: The Experience

Today was the first day of class and there was much to look forward to-new classes, new professors, new classmates. However, like any first days, I was also a bit nervous-not knowing who was in my class and not knowing what to expect. It was also the first day that I have seen many of my friends in the new year. I was a ball of excitement and at the end of my two new classes, I was very excited for my future classes and to seek out what my professors had to offer this year. Up until that point, it was a really good day. And after, well, my day got even better.

I am part of a Christian campus ministry and on Tuesdays, we have weekly meetings where we meet up and have speakers talk about their faith journey (their walk and understanding of God). Today was the first meeting of 2012 and it was amazing listening to student stories about how God had impacted their lives during the holidays. After an hour of sharing, we went for our social hour at McD’s and I wasn’t expecting to stay long at all, but I ended up staying for over an hour just talking to my fellow sisters-in-christ about being in university and having faith in God-who knows what your plans are before even you do.

University can be a very frustrating time: the bureaucracy we have to face, the “I wish I knew” moments, the “what-if” moments, the “WHY” cries and so on. However, it can also be the most fruitful time in our life: we find life’s best friends, we find what we love to do, we find ourselves, and it’s a time where we build meaningful relationships all around-with the people around us, with ourselves, and with God. Realizing university can be more than a frustrating time in life, it really made me see things in a positive light, and with a coming of a new year, just a even more excitement with more things to come. Spending time with God and with my fellow Christians have opened my eyes to the bigger picture in life. Being a Christian doesn’t mean I am against everything outside the Bible, it doesn’t mean I persecute those who are non-believers, and it doesn’t mean I go around forcing people to believe that God exists. It is none of that and is instead, something much more better. Being a Christian means I have a heart to see good in the world, I have a heart to use my God given gifts(or perceived talents) to help people better and further their lives, it means I have a heart to listen to people and their stories and that I have a heart to serve other people and not to serve myself.

Coming to Toronto and having this message presented to me in the very beginning made me skeptical. However, three years after I took the leap of faith to believe in something not physical, it has got to be the best three years of my life. I have had ups and downs, but at the end of the day, knowing that there is something bigger out there, knowing that I do not have to rely on myself to solve all the problems of life, gives me a great sense of freedom to pursue what is important in life. I’m not saying I have become the non-sinning perfect person, but what I am trying to say is that once I realized I didn’t have to do things by myself and on my own it’s all about the adventure of discovering who I am. I am free from all worldly obligations and expectations and I realize that my God given gifts lead me to lead a more impactful and fulfilling eternal life.

Tea Choice: Three Wishes Tea

2012: New Year’s Resolution

I am not one for writing New Year’s resolutions, but as I sit here drinking my rose tea (all you need is rose buds, hot water and a bit of sugar!), I cannot help but think that my life needs a bit of organization. There are always things that I say I will do but would never actually do. This school year, I started writing lists and that has helped me achieve a lot of my daily goals. By sharing my New Year’s Resolution on my blog platform, I hope to actually accomplish all that I say I will. Keeping an optimistic mind, there are 366 days to accomplish all that I set out to accomplish in 2012.

  1. Post a new blog post at least once a week. This means that by the end of the year, I should have written approximately 52 posts in 2012.
  2. Have quiet time with God every night. Some may be asking why, but for me to grow further spiritually, effort and time needs to be spent reading scripture. Contrary to popular belief, things don’t come easy.
  3. Read one book every month. This is so my brain doesn’t turn into mush by the end of 2012.
  4. Sew two dresses to wear for an evening or casual gala function. Just because I can and haven’t done so in several years.
  5. Work in a communications office in Toronto for the summer. Anyone know anyone hiring?
  6. Improve my academic standing. Let’s see more A’s!!!
  7. Work during the 2012-2013 school year without sacrificing my school work. So I can save enough for a year end trip to Europe.
  8. Sign up for an actual Hart House exercise class. Even though I swim at least once a week, I want to keep my health fitness consistent. Good habits start early!
  9. Be more adventurous and go hang out with friends more often. To spend more quality time with friends and to also learn more about what is out there.
  10. Use Twitter more often as a networking platform. There are millions of users! If I can meet a footballing star, I can meet other people too!
  11. Expand my writing. So I am writing on other platforms, other blogs, and entering contests and competition.
  12. Be adventurous with my baking. Although dessert from a box tastes amazing, baking from scratch gives more possibilities.
  13. Listening better to other people. There is listening to people, then there is paying attention listening to people. There is so much to gain by listening to what others have to say.
  14. Write a business proposal. For my future business. It doesn’t matter if the business actually starts up or not, but I have to start somewhere.
  15. Find a learning opportunity in everything I do. No matter how much I hate what I’m doing at the moment.

Happy New Year!

That’s about all I have for now! There may or may not be changes to this. But as of January 1, 2012 00:00, I am going to accomplish everything on this list in 366 days.

What are some items on your New Year’s Resolution? Please share them on Twitter and link me(@YvoYeungGirl)! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tea Thoughts: Gimme some Lovin`

There are times when we all need comforting. Most the time, we would go for the materialistic things to comfort us. I know for myself, I use to think purchasing an expensive accessory would solve all my problems; that if I allow myself to indulge in spending money to gain materialistic wealth, that the satisfaction would hide my misery and stress. However, I have discovered that this is not to be so. That temporary satisfaction just means that the problem would manifest itself into a more hideous form later on, and I would have come full circle to face my problem again.

In the past couple of years, university has given me stress beyond belief. No one said it was easy, but everyone had failed to mention how difficult it was to deal with school-work-life balance without burning out. There are times when I am cranky, or when I am depressed and do not know what I am trying to achieve in life anymore. Tonight, my friend sat me down and talked to me about my attitude towards life. What he said really resonated with me. Not all of what he said has sunk in yet, but pretty much the message was: I worry too much and stress about all the things that are unnecessary; what is meant to happen, will happen. Now, this message has been repeated to me time and time again, yet it has failed to solidify itself in my head until tonight. To have a close friend who knows me so well tell it to me was a shock to my system. But it was much needed and was given at about the right time. Lately I have begun to start worry about my job position and how university is going to end. Without the stress of final assignments and portfolios, I have had more time to think about my situation, and it was not looking good. Having my friend tell it to me as he sees it, has taken a weight off my shoulders and have given me the motivation to do what I love to do most, write about tea.

Appropriate to the conversation and theme, Love Tea #7 (www.davidstea.com) has been my go-to tea all year as it always gives me great comfort when I need to stop my mind from racing nonstop. An aromatic combination of black tea, rose petals, strawberry and bitter chocolate, this tea never fails to give me the comfort I seek in stressful times. There is something about the combination of the tea that just makes me remember everything that is good about life. It makes me remember the amazing friends I have and the wonderful family who loves me. During stressful times, a little lovin’ is all we need to clear our heads and solve our problems. There isn’t much more I can say about this incredible mixture that DavidsTea has created. It is one of my absolute favourites and is a staple in my tea cupboard. A must have creation for everyone who needs a reminder of the more important things in life.

A little lovin’ is all we need to solve our problems and keep it real.

Thank you to Adnan(@AD_TO) for being an incredible friend and putting up with me all the time. Be sure to follow his incredible blog all about the theatre, film, art and stars: http://theartsscene.ca/

Made in Canada: A Love Story

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a major tea-addict and advocate. It may or may not be lethal to my health, ingesting so many cups of tea a day. I simply cannot live without tea, and I constantly have a craving to try out new flavours of tea from all over the world. Not only does tea help start my day off well, but it helps detoxify my body from any toxins that may be polluting my body and mind.

Point is, having a cuppa each morning invigorates and motivates me to start my day well. There is something about the smell of Camellia sinensis that gives the calming effect so that I can think clearly and process various business models and concepts 8 o’clock early in the morning. Paired with a morning sun salutation yoga ritual, I just feel amazing; I am awake for conversations and alert and in tune with my surroundings.

The combination of yoga and tea is a powerful formula that has worked miracles in my day-to-day life. Knowing I will be going into a crazy hectic industry in the very near future, developing this holistic lifestyle now will hopefully bring many health and life returns in the future. Usually I pair a strong morning tea like Oolong or Black Tea in the winter, and a lighter Rooibos or Green Tea for warmer days with an activity that will make you sweat. This combination always help keep the long-faced morning away.

Living in Canada may seem dry at most times, but two of the most incredible business success stories are born in the east and west of Canada. This is an example of how east meets west works out amazingly.

Lululemon Inc., born in Vancouver, BC, a company that created the female athletic lifestyle sector; and Davids Tea from Montreal, QC, that revolutionized the tea industry in North America, are seriously a match made in Heaven. For a canuck girl who loves both tea and yoga, having two huge Canadian corporations head their respective industries in the Great White North makes me swell with a certain humble Canadian pride. Both companies, although operating in different industries, are extremely similar and Canadian to the core. Both preach fun and openness, friendliness-the Canadian Way. Every single time I step into each and every one of the stores, I am greeted with smiling faces and people who genuinely want to help me find the best product to suit my tastes and needs.

Each company have soared with financial success in the past couple of years. Each boasting greater than expected earning, but even more importantly, greater than expected popularity. Lululemon has become an international sensation, and is looking to expand in Europe, whereas Davids Tea is looking to expand more than 50 stores across Canada this year alone, only in its 3rd year. Lululemon has allowed women (age 16-65) to show off their incredible bodies that they have worked hard to achieve through various forms of active lifestyles, while Davids Tea has allowed tea lovers to experience all flavours of tea imaginable to the senses.

Both these companies are a match made in heaven and is a dream come true for all holistic health enthusiasts. On top of the fact that they are both Canadian, there is much to boast about. Go visit their websites: http://www.lululemon.com/ and http://www.davidstea.com/ for  more information about the companies.

Disclaimer: This blog is written entirely of my opinion and I am in no way affiliated with either Lululemon Inc. or Davids Tea Inc., nor am I being paid to do this.

Hair Inspiration

While I was blow-drying my hair today, I thought of a wonderful idea. Since I love tea so much and aspire to one day own my own tea establishment, why not start by checking out the coolest and most original places in the city and start blogging about them? This will be a slow, ongoing process, but it is something totally worthwhile.