Thoughts Gliding

I hope everyone has had nice Holidays so far, I guess I’ve been pretty busy between work and having a expanding social life… always a good thing. I’m going to go through some of the past events and then try to go through some of my thoughts about… just things.

Cold Earth

Cold Earth

I’ve managed to nab some awesome deals recently which is really cool, I finally got my free tablet from TD that they owed me for a while… it just took some nagging to the correct people to get things fixed. I’m very pleased with it as I don’t have to keep running to my computer to write emails or check out videos. I still don’t think I’d ever go purchase a tablet but it is an awesome free addition!

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The next great deal I came across was an amazing recliner from The Brick, this awesome reclining theatre type seating was in the clearance section and was still on the high end of my budget for getting rid of my futon. I returned about a week and half later knowing that if it wasn’t there it just wasn’t meant to be. As I was walking to the clearance section a lot of the furniture had been moved but I kept going and when I arrived the couch had been turned around so I hadn’t noticed it. When I took another look… the price had dropped a few hundred dollars! Right there I said ‘I’ll take it’, and off I went with a $1500+ couch for… $200!

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

I have decided I want to begin collecting Beatles albums (vinyl), mainly starting with the Apple Records albums. My goals is to pick up at least one a month which isn’t too bad considering I can find them for 15 – 30 dollars each. There is one album that I plan on scouting for a mint copy… that’s the “White Album” . I’ve been listening to the “Blue Album” for a couple of weeks now, I love the sound of vinyl there’s not much like it.

As stated before I hope everyone’s Holidays have been good, great, or amazing. As much as I consider Xmas just another day on the calendar I tend to be drawn into dinners and parties… I’m definitely not complaining about it… it’s good to know there are people with huge hearts out there. I did get some Christmas cards which was kind of cool… I’ve never really received any before despite living on my own in the past. I ordered some for a few people because I didn’t really get a chance to get all creative and make my own… unfortunately they are late and I have yet to receive them/ send them.

My work… well my colleagues and I decided to throw a party for the holidays and let loose. It was a pretty great night with finger foods, good laughs… oh yeah and a full-sized beer pong table which made for a fun night for sure! I’m not going to lie my head did hurt a lot the next day despite how much water I drank. I don’t normally drink alcohol, it doesn’t really have the lustre is did when I was in college… even then I didn’t drink as often as my friends had.

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For Christmas one of my friends Maria invited me over for Xmas dinner with her boyfriend and his kids. Maria so kindly accommodated my vegetarian diet which she has been helping me with for great recipes since the beginning. It was a really fun night of Yatze and there was even a dance show done by the girls! Even if I hadn’t been invited by Maria, Brent and Ryan my Hostel Mate neighbours invited me to their family dinner since they know my family is back in Ontario and they already had their big Xmas on the East Coast. It’s nice to know that there’s great people out there.

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Just when I though I was catching up on bills and such, in abundance I had to get my car inspected to pass for BC plating… I now have to do a bunch of work to my car which is going to cost me a couple hundred bucks and… make her ugly 😦 ; I have to take off the tint on the windows as it’s illegal in BC and change the lights on the front and back because they are both the incorrect colour? Oh well such is life so I will do what I can myself and get er’ passed.

It has been an interesting past few weeks as things in my life seem to be settling… which to me is good and unsettling for me. I’m usually in constant movement; it’s exciting for me as I am creating new adventures all the time learning new and exciting things about the world, people and most of all my self. I continue to try to get my business on track and stay on top of my game at work.

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Frosted Bush

Some days I find myself waking up and just wondering where I am in life, where I’m headed and what my next adventure will be. To see how far I’ve brought myself is exciting knowing the successes I’ve obtained and the lessons that were learned through mistakes and gut feelings. I find myself constantly surrounded by music and different types everyday, it’s a nice escape from the constant day in and out of work.

I’m really happy where I am now and things are slowly on the move in the direction I’ve been striving for, yet I’m still at a loss for words to convey how I feel submersed in my music. As I sit here writing contemplating my writing, smiling in-between pauses.

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Oh by the way apparently my girlfriend made me admin to being lame as my black board states

 

Take a moment to look at yourself now; close your eyes and breath in life, enjoy the air that fills your lungs. Every breath is the next step to a new journey. 

 

Connections

There’s much to catch up on as usual, many things have happened and many changes have come about!

Our beautiful moon

Our beautiful moon

Let’s start with work I guess; in November I managed to hit “Experts” level for selling phones. I really didn’t expect to reach it, my goal was actually only to hit 25 devices but I managed to nab the 35 (Experts) in one month. ‘Yeah big deal’, you may say but now I get personal business cards instead of having to write my name out every time on blank ones… oh did I mention I also receive benefits now ;). That’s the hype at work.

Our first bad snow day

Our first bad snow day

So it’s been on the to learn list for a while that I’ve wanted to snowboard… I’ve always been able to Ski but I wanted to be one of the “Cool kids” haha. It’s not really that I’ve always just been more intrigued by boarding. One of my co-workers managed to grab some cheap lift passes for only $20; I decided that the time was right to jump on the learning train.

Mariam & I

Mariam & I

It was a wonderful day to go great company and beautiful weather, I rented my gear and up the hill we went I was pretty anxious the whole time, despite having watched many… many YouTube video’s to hopefully aid the learning process. Caleb was the friend that was pretty much teaching the group, we all needed a bit of help; there 6 of us all together. Oh did I mention he was rockin’ an 80’s suspenders snow suit with a blond wig. I think I did pretty well, I didn’t stick by his side too much and I kind of did my own thing cruising ahead of everyone most of the time. I fell a whole bunch mind you and my butt was super sore… as Caleb put it ‘I’ve never seen someone use their butt as an anchor so much‘. I was picking things ups slowly… in my mind I was, but Caleb said I was doing exceptional for my first time. But there was something missing, everyone kept saying ‘don’t worry how fast you’re going’, my reply: “I don’t care how fast I’m going… I just. Can’t. Turn! And if I can’t turn when I go off that hill then I will be worried how fast I’m going”. 

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It was our second run… and our last because. We took ages to run the first one so it was almost closing time. I started off and wiped out twice and pretty darn hard! We hadn’t even made it to the lift yet.  I took some deep breaths held back from cursing and moved forward… to my amazement I hit some sort of good swing, I found the movement I was missing and it was all down hill cruising from there… pun intended. I was super stoked, I did it, I mastered… well figured out how to controllably turn and look like a half decent boarder, woohoo. We made it to the top of the hill for our last run and the fog began to roll in; I had finally made mega amounts of progress but now could see barely 20 ft in front of me at any given time, good news was I only fell maybe 4 times compared to the… oh I don’t know 45 from the first run.

The following day I was in so much pain I felt like I had been playing in a tumble dryer for a whole day prior. I was suggested to try this stuff called Arnica… and let me tell you it is works of magic. It comes in many different form but I go the sugar diluted 30CH, I took five 3X a day within two days I felt like brand new.

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Some exciting news, I’ve developed a great relationship with a girl named Mariam who happens to now be my partner/ girlfriend. She struck me as kind of strange at first the way she greeted me several months back, but there was a connection that just drew me to think of her more than I normally would when I meet a girl. We continued to talk for a few days with her resisting my charming self but eventually I cracked that wall and we began going on dates for a few weeks, and ever since things have been pretty good!

We went snowboarding together that day I had many falls ;). It was nice to have a caring gf around to make me feel better after the 10th, 20th… fall. Especially after I watched some guy do some cool tricks on ski’s which I can do; I think my exact words were ‘I should have just borrow a stupid set of ski’s *grunt*‘.1462939_10153564740475022_604131859_n

Mariam lives in the next town over so unfortunately we don’t get to spend as much time as we would like together but we make do… Skype is a wonderful invention :).

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Last bit of news and maybe the biggest, I’ve decided to change my diet and I am now officially a vegetarian. I’d say a few years back I could never see my self eating vegetarian, despite always caring so much about the world. I’ve grown a lot especially in the last year and I’m open-minded to learn almost anything. As my love for the earth has grown over the past few months I continue to research things online and watch documentaries, the thought of becoming a vegetarian was seemingly edging on the boarders. One day I had just had enough of seeing what we are doing to the earth and made the choice to fully commit to cutting meat out of my diet.

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I don’t want to get too much into it and no I don’t really have anything against other people eating meat, it’s their choice and everyone is entitled to live their lives how they please… well within reason that is. If there’s anything I’d suggest to the omnivore’s out there is look for free range and locally raised / produced meat products.

Thank you to all my followers, Jules is thankful for the support of her guest post and I want to invite others to email me/ hit the guest post tab on the left for your very own post to shine!

~ Everything is connected into the fabric of our lives; be respectful and you will reap the benefits.

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Who do you want to be?

Hello to all of Justin’s friends and supporters! I’m Jules, one of Justin’s long-time friends and colleagues.

I’ve been invited by Justin as a guest blogger and my topic of discussion today is something I don’t just feel but AM…creativity! It’s a burnt out opinion that not everyone can be creative and I fully intend on shattering that perception as long as I have breath in my body. EVERYBODY and I mean absolutely everyone is creative. Humans are a curious species by nature and we are all capable of taking something we think or feel on the inside and turning that outwards into a tangible item whether it be something you’ve written, said, painted, sculpted or engineered.

Art is more than just technique. It’s about feeling. It’s about expression. It’s about taking something that is purely YOU and getting it out into the world for other people to look at, interpret, and appreciate. I grew up in a small town of 3000 people in Southern Ontario and at age 6 my dad discovered my talent for drawing things to scale. We traveled to Florida a lot for summer vacations as a child and my thing was to get postcards and then bring them home and enlarge them on my sketching paper. At age 6 I could take a postcard of Mickey Mouse and the gang and enlarge it to the size of an 8×10 or larger purely from vision. I could figure out angles and measurement without the need of a ruler or protractor (something that doesn’t come easily to everyone). My father decided to put me into art classes outside of schooling. Naturally, I was totally averted to the idea as I was a REALLY timid child. But to art classes I went and surprisingly enough to me I stuck with it for 7 years. Art class became kind of “my special time”. I didn’t have the perfect childhood. Times at home could be very rough on me emotionally and art class was an hour and a half a week that I could just go and be with other artists to get away from it all. No talking was necessary. I just needed that time to go inside my own head and let whatever it was that I was thinking about or feeling come through those firing neurons down into my hand and out of my pencil or paint brush. Art for me was therapeutic, as is for a lot of other people. It’s a chance to express yourself freely without judgement or fear, and that is why it is so important to me to spread of the word, nay beauty, of art!

As I got older, teachers wanted an answer… “What do you want to be when you grow up Miss Monk?” My father pushed me to find something to do with my art. I can remember at 12 years old telling my father “Dad you can’t make any money being an artist”. Now I think, “how sad that the world we live in doesn’t encourage artists to believe in the importance and value of what they’re creating”. I sincerely did not believe I could ever have a life making art. I thought it was just something I was good at that didn’t matter. The years rolled on and I continued growing my knowledge and technique taking art in high school and finally venturing away from realism and into the surreal. Abstract. Wow! It was something new and completely different for me. For the past 5 years or so I’ve been focused on integrating my realist technique with portraits INTO an abstract kind of background or scenario for the character and my goodness what a challenge it has been. I’ve never had more fun than when I don’t know what I’m doing. It just goes to show you that in life, whether it’s creating a piece of artwork, or applying for a new job or a promotion at work, or going out of your comfort zone dating someone new…you HAVE to push yourself to attempt the unknown….you never know how you might surprise yourself and find something new that you absolutely LOVE that you didn’t think was possible or could ever happen to you.

After high school I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. My family thought medical would be a good idea. It’s a good job, with good pay and I was caring enough to be able to handle the stresses and responsibilities of nursing….yet I wasn’t convinced. I applied for a double major at the University of my Nearby City of Windsor and got it. Visual arts and communications…I wasn’t excited. It just felt like “the NEXT step”, you know? It was like I was following the succession of events that society has shoved down my throat as the normal thing to do. Go to school, get a job, find a husband, buy a house, have some kids…and then, well you know. I continued pondering what my life would be like. “Would I ever leave this area?” A lot of people would go to school and eventually follow those same successions of events and NEVER leave. That couldn’t be me. I thirsted for more. One day while lying in bed and watching “Whatever happened to?” it dawned on me, “It would be so cool to work in the movies”. A few hours later I had googled every school I think in nation for film. The next day would change my life’s path.

I got a call from my adviser at The Vancouver Film School asking if I’d like to be a part of their student body in the following terms. I told them I had thought about it maybe after 4 years of schooling at home in Windsor. They proceeded to ask me why not do it now? I couldn’t for the life of me think of a good enough reason to say no. I applied and got in. Then came the inevitable question…”how am I going to afford this?” It just so happens they had a scholarship for a FULL ride to their school. So I applied. It was an essay based off a few key questions like “Who inspires you the most? Who are you? And where do you want to be in 5 years”? I thought of all the b.s bluster they might WANT to hear and then thought…”I’m going to write it from the heart, because if they don’t like that then they don’t like me and I don’t need to go to school there”. Out of hundreds of applicants, myself and 2 others won. I would be going to school in Vancouver, for film, completely free. I couldn’t believe it. If it had not been for that curiosity provoked inside me to search for something more, to keep it creative…then I wouldn’t be writing to you today.

After school I came back to Ontario to work. That’s where I met Justin. I was his supervisor for the AM800 A team (a broadcast promotions team in the Windsor-Essex County region). We made friends immediately and began a friendship lasting well over 3 years now. Justin and I both have the same view of helping others around us whether it be locals in Windsor or all the way in Haiti, which is where we traveled next. As many of you know Justin traveled to Haiti for six months to live with Emily Hime, at Maison Ke Kontan Orphanage, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. What many of you might not know is that I filmed it. Justin and I spent about a year of our friendship fundraising and working for the orphanage in Haiti to try and make a small difference. After being in Haiti my thirst for travelling became even more insatiable and my next stint would become working as an international photographer on the high seas. For six months I traveled Alaska, Central and South America working as a photographer for a cruise line. I have a blog about it that I will post at the bottom.

Arriving back in Canada, just two weeks ago, I’ve been experiencing an array of emotions but mainly just being very thankful for this colourful life I’ve been living. One of my mantras is that “No one will fix your situation but yourself” and “If you are not trying to fix your situation, then you have no right to complain”. Before leaving for life at sea I was feeling stagnant and depressed. Living in isolation for six months has given me a profound appreciation for such things like driving my car, or watching a movie with friends which may seem mundane to the people who experience that on a daily basis but I promise you, every little thing you experience in this life is a blessing and do not forget it.

My life’s message and purpose, I’ve discovered, is to share my knowledge and creativity with the world and to inspire others to not become stagnant or unchallenged by life. So my challenge to you, whoever you are that is reading this, is to get out there and try something new. Apply to something you didn’t think you could get, try something you’ve always wanted to but were too scared to, go out and meet some new people, share some interesting conversation with a stranger, try new food, create something that is completely you whether it’s a song or a painting or a piece of furniture! If I can get one thing across to you it is that this life is short, it’s unpredictable and it’s both horrible and awesome at the same time so live life for the quiet moments you took for granted, don’t settle for a less than remarkable life and lead a life that will have you remembered long after you’re gone.

Peace and love,

J.

Please visit my photography website at www.jlynnphotographyart.com if you’d like to see what I do for a living and book a photo session. Capture those moments in life and have a tangible keepsake for years to come!

You can also check out more of my artworks and talks at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jlynnphotographyart and my blog: julialynnmonk.wordpress.com/!
There’s ALSO my youtube.com/julialynnmonk and my twitters at twitter.com/julesmonk and twitter.com/jlynnphotoarts.

Please do like, share and tweet my stuff if you enjoy my work as an artist. Help me to inspire others to keep dreaming and making those dreams a reality!