Welcome Back

After a 3 month hiatus, I am officially back!

So, where was I for the past 3 months? I was working. I overwhelmed myself with too many shifts in order to pay for my trip to Europe and had no time for anything except for eating and sleeping. It was a painful couple of months!

Then I went to Europe! I was gone for 6 weeks and if you remember my previous post, then you would see that we went everywhere and did everything! I had the most amazing time and came back with a lot of things crossed off my bucket list. However now, I’ve added even more things to my list!

I have so many things to tell you! So many tips and tricks, and places to visit! I’m so excited to share everything with you! If you follow me on Instagram, thanks for keeping up to date with all my stories and pictures from my trip! (If you don’t you, you can check some of the pictures out at Avenue23blog). I also have some more personal and lifestyle posts lined up as well!

Thanks for standing by, it feels good to be back!

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***

Hey Guys,

I’m coming back with another book review for you! Ok, this book is amazing and I’m going to go ahead and give it 5 stars right now! It’s like you don’t even need to read the review now… but seriously give it a read if you have time! It’s called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Alright this book has actually changed my mentality and how I look at things now that I’ve finished it! Mark Manson brings up some super important points in the funniest way! It’s like he addresses this big problem that relates to you and it’s kind of life changing, but you’re also laughing because it’s funny? You’re like oh this is hilarious and is also me and why am I like this?! I would probably starting crying if he wasn’t making me laugh!

Anyways, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am part of the group of people that just cares about the small things in life too much! I care about other people’s fights at work, I care about if some stranger yells at me, I care if someone is driving too close to my car, I care about all of these trivial things that don’t matter and shouldn’t be wasting my time on. So now, I’ve started to say F*ck it. It’s not worth my time to care about all of this. If someone doesn’t do their job at work, and leaves me with all this work, I say F*ck it and do my job. If some stranger yells at me (which actually has happened recently), I say F*ck it. None of these problems are in my control. I can’t control how other people react and what they do. I just do what I can and change what I can change, while also not getting worked up about the small things. Whose to say why that stranger yelled at me! I don’t know his story. Maybe he heard bad news about something, maybe he got fired from a job, maybe he hates his job and feels trapped. What I learned from Mark Manson is that sometimes people treat you a certain way because of their own insecurities and that’s what I think about now.

He also helped me with my future. As you heard in recent posts, I want to go to school to be a prop builder for theater productions and for movies eventually. All I’ve heard from people is how much money I’m going to lose going to school and how much I’m going to be poor forever. I shouldn’t bother me, but it creates this fear in you that you didn’t have before! What if nothing comes from it, what if I suck at it, etc. Well how will I ever know if I don’t try! I have this fear of failure, but you could fail at anything in life. You’re always going to have cons to any job you do. However, if the pros outweigh the cons and the struggles are worth it to you, then it’s worth trying! If you can’t except the challenges, then that experience is not worth it for you. Once I read this book, that anxious fear left me, because he’s right. We’ll always have problems, we just have to accept them and embrace them.

Mark Manson talks about a lot of different things like this. He talks about having strong values and gives examples of a weak value of trying to be the most popular at a party or on social media. This is something you can’t control. You can’t force other people to like you and how they feel at a party. And I get this way! Especially now with Instagram’s new algorithm! It sucks to not have people be able to see my pictures, but why is this one of my values at all?

The book is amazing and will make you thing back on your own life and what you can change. It talks about putting yourself out there into the world to get what you want. He talks about feeling emotions, having good values, and losing this sense of entitlement that people sometimes get. He talks about being afraid of success and working hard! I love that he brings up Buddha and talks about accepting that you’re bad at something in order to let yourself go to succeed

His book made me view my life differently. I actually took notes and am trying to practice what he preached!

Thanks for the good book Mark Manson!

Now I’m onto What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

Living in Italy

Hey Readers!

So we know in our other posts we briefly mention our month away living in another country, but today we wanted to talk more about that and what we did there, and all that jazz!

Kathleen and I decided last year that we wanted to get more working experience with our anthropology degree. We emailed professors trying to find sites in Canada that were more affordable and really could not find anything that interested us. We heard from one professor that she was taking anthropology majors to Italy to get some cultural anthropology experience, and we attended that meeting, but the professor was super boring and Kathleen was road tripping (see other article!) around that time so it wouldn’t have worked out. I had even debated going myself feeling desperate for any sort of experience, but then Kathleen mentioned  looking up archaeological sites online that seemed to be promising! After finding a reliable website, we decided on Pompeii at the scavi (ruins)!

Our month was one of the best things that ever happened to me! We lived with an Italian family and had lots of parties with them, and got to know them really well regardless of the language barrier. We lived with 5 other people in a basement suite and although we could drive each other crazy, we did everything together and had a lot of fun getting to know people around the world. One time we were grocery shopping and we would say something with our Canadian accent and they would say the same word with their British, Scottish, and American accents and we would stop and be like “Wait, how did you just say that” then get in debates about who was wrong. We travelled around Italy together on weekends, and worked together during the week. We had family meals every night and we all knew when to hang out by ourselves so to not drive everyone crazy!

The work we did in Pompeii was also very cool. We had a very strict supervisor, but I felt like I learned a lot. Our artifacts came from a bathhouse within the scavi, and for the first few days of the trip, we would wash the pottery and let it dry. We would have to weigh it, date it, mark it down with a number and try to figure out what kind of a vessel it was. Was it used for cooking, transporting oils… the list goes way, way on! Also, we would have to weigh it, describe it in Italian, and then they would get photographed and drawn later. The pottery was very cool and some pieces could be put together to make up a whole side of a pot!

I like to think I’m pretty used to travelling to new places, however, I didn’t really expect to experience so much culture shock in that month! Something so simple as finding taco seasoning became a guessing game, and the people who ran our dig worked on Italy time (aka being late means nothing). It was super interesting to compare what was expected of us in Canada, versus expected in Italy. Italians have an interesting nightlife, where all the stores and shops stay open until midnight or 1 am on Friday. Saturday, and Sunday. People dress up and spend most of the night hanging out with their friends, dancing, playing.and of course, trying to get the attention of the opposite sex. Plazas and town squares really facilitate these interactions, and its something I miss a lot about Italy! There is no designated meeting place in Canada. Young people meet in coffee shops or bars,which in themselves facilitate interesting interactions, they are just not as universal.  

Definitely a key component of this experience was knowing when to take alone time. It’s important to remember that we all need some time to ourselves! In the house we all took alone time after our day of work, sat on the couch if we wanted and cooked meals together if we wanted. If you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) as I do, it can be EXTRA hard to find the time you need for yourself, since there is always something going on! As long as you recognize that the party is not going to take off without you, you might be able to charge your batteries a bit! Cook some meals with your friends after and you’ll jump right back into the fun!

– Erin and Kathleen or Kathleen and Erin