Friday, July 31, 2015

My name is Jess and I'm a Workaholic

I've been working since I was 14 years old, the legal age in Canada to obtain work. My first job was a cashier/server at Dairy Queen. Eventually I "moved up" from fast food and work comfortably.

That being said, I understand hard work. I work hard to obtain the skills I need to advance myself and my career, whichever path it is I choose. I work hard to gain the trust of management. I work hard to earn the paycheck I deserve.

At my current job, one that I adore a lot, one thing has been getting on my nerves: when my co workers tell me to "Stop working so hard." or "Don't take it so seriously. It's no point."

Right now, my manager is on vacation and prior to leaving, he and I talked about leaving the place for me to run as a team leader during the three weeks he's gone. I pretty much take care of anything that goes wrong - basically acting supervisor/manager.

I appreciate people acknowledging my hard work. I don't want to seek praises but when someone tells me how hardworking I am, I am happy someone appreciates it and sees it. So, they're not surprised when my manager asked me to take charge. They joke that my manager and I are "bffs".

I'm not insulted or anything but I do feel a bit of tension from some of my coworkers when they find out the trust my manager has in me. I worked hard to earn the trust of my manager and hell, I deserve his trust. I deserve to be put up higher than my colleagues because I proved myself.

It's in me to always work hard, regardless of the situation or workplace (unless I REALLY hate it there). I hate when people tell me to stop working hard because I actually find that insulting. It stresses me out because I feel like they're passive-aggressively telling me that I'm a workaholic.

It worries me that I'm a workaholic. I would choose work over school and friends sometimes. It's not the money that I'm after, it's something else that I can't explain. Growing up, my parents weren't home 90% of the time because they're always so busy running their business so I grew up extremely independently with not much of a close relationship with my parents. I lived a comfortable life because they worked and worked and worked.

I don't want that with my kids. If I'm a workaholic now, at age 21, at a job that is not even my career, what would it say about me when I do settle into my career and with kids?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Copper IUD Experience

*This post is most likely NSFW and TMI for those who are uncomfortable with sexual topics. This is my personal account with IUD and some readers may find it too graphical. I'm choosing to share my experience because during my research, I couldn't find much personal details/experiences of copper IUD aside from the typical medical summaries of copper IUDs.

It's been approximately two month since I got my copper IUD inserted in me aaaaaaaand.... I don't regret it all!

A bit about my background:

  • 21 years old and have never given birth

  • Been on the pills and depo shots since being sexually active

  • This is my first non-hormonal contraceptive

  • My body responds well to additional hormones from other contraceptive methods

  • My periods have always been light and lasts about 5 days. I rarely ever use heavy/thick pads or super tampons

  • I do not get cramps or mood swings when I'm on my period

  • No known side affects (eg. acne, tenderness, dizziness, etc.) when I'm on my birth controls (pills and depo shots)

Prior to this IUD, I've been on Alesse pills and depo shots. They're both great and gave me no side affects. Depo shots average about $45 and the Alesse pills about $15-25/box.

The copper IUD cost me $75CAD at Willow's Women Clinic and that would last me 5 years.

The depo shot would have cost me... $45 x 4 times a year = $180 x 5 years = $900 for 5 years!

Soooooo... you can see why I chose to get a copper IUD at only $75. There were hormonal IUDs available for $310 or $380 but at that time I didn't want to spend that sort of money whilst saving and I am still working on a few paper work to see if I can qualify to get it cheaper.

One hour before my appointment, I took one Advil painkiller. A lot of people recommend taking 2-3 pain killers before your appointment but I only took one.

They make you pee in a cup before they start to procedure. This is to ensure that you're not pregnant. A copper IUD can also act as an emergency contraceptive provided that you have in inserted within 7 days of your unprotected sex.

If you had a pap test, the first part of the insertion is really similar. If not, the doctor uses a few devices to open you up while she does the work. At first, the doctor would take an ultrasound to ensure everything is healthy inside. After using the clamps to open you up, she'll examine your cervix.

My doctor told me I have a smaller cervix than the average person. It could be because I have never given birth before OR because I'm just a small person and literally everything about me is small.

So, my doctor ended up poking (not literally) around my cervix until she realized it was smaller than usual. From here, she used a different method to accommodate my cervix. At this point, I just felt A LOT of pressure. It is not a painful pressure but more of an uncomfortable, 'I-feel-like-farting' pressure.

After inserting it into my cervix, my doctor trimmed the excess strings and pulled all the instruments out of me. The only thing that was nerve wracking about the procedure was hearing the clamps as my doctor adjusted her tools and everything.

This procedure will obviously cause you to bleed for the day (not heavily) so bring a pad. I felt cramping for the first few hours but it wasn't bad. On a pain scale, the entire procedure was a 3-4 out of 10. The cramping afterwards was about a 5-6 out of 10. Now, keep in mind, I've never had period cramps before so this "pain"/discomfort was new to me! And, if I say so myself, my pain tolerance isn't that high.

Since the insertion, I continued to have light bleeding for about 4 days. I wasn't spotting but it was enough for me to use a regular sized tampon or a regular pad.

This is where it got bad.

Hella bad.

On the 5th day post insertion I was bleeding HEAVILY. I have never bled this much before so I was panicking. I had to use heavy thick long/overnight pads AND my bleeding would completely soak the pad and onto my underwear/pants within the hour or so... so you can imagine how many times I took a shower and change my pads throughout the day. I was also passing clots... major big clots. I felt a small pressure between my legs and next thing I know, a massive blood clot comes out of me.

There was so much blood, if soaking through multiple thick overnight pads isn't enough, stream of blood would always trickle down my leg. When I was changing my pads, if I wasn't fast enough, blood would come down. If I raised a leg to put it through my underwear, it would come down. In the shower it felt fine but the moment you step out and rinse, it's running down your legs or soaking through your towel.

This heavily bleeding lasted for about 2.5/3 days. I went back to clinic and my doctor said this is one of the side affects and could take up to 6 months for my body to get back to normal.

On my last day, exactly a week after insertion, the massive bleeding stopped. Just like that, no more drops were coming out of me.

It took my body a full week to get used to the amount of copper in my system. I guess for some women, it may take longer. I was considered one of the "lucky" ones.

The first few days before the start of my first "IUD period", I was nervous. I was extremely nervous about the amount of bleeding I might encounter. I was scared that it would be as heavy as the first week. We're talking Kill Bill scene right here!

However, my period, with the IUD, was similar to my regular period. I didn't notice it being any heavier as most doctors have warned me. I didn't notice it being any longer either. Perhaps one day longer than usual but I can live with that. With an IUD, my period is about the same. I still use regular sized tampons and regular sized pads, even on the first few days where periods are supposed to be heavier.

I haven't encounter any spotting either. The only spotting I got was two days before my period started as a warning sign. One of the side affects listed was spotting until your body gets used to the copper.

Overall, while I don't enjoy getting my period, this was the cheapest and longest birth control option for me. I am looking into getting Jaydess because I absolutely HATE periods but I want to save the $300 and put it into my New Zealand funds.

Like any other thing, your experience with the IUD will depend on your body. Aside from those three days of heavy bleeding, all the listed side affects that came with the copper IUD did not apply to me. I am not complaining, I truly feel lucky.

If your period is light to begin with and your body is quick to adapt, your experience with the IUD may be similar to mine and not be a complete nightmare like what is described on the internet. If you're already having heavy periods, a copper IUD would only make it worst.

For any fellow Vancouverites reading this, I recommend heading to the Willow Women's Clinic to get an IUD. The doctors there are extremely helpful with any questions and concerns and friendly enough to put you at ease while you lie on the table. The nurses are friendly as well. They're much more flexible in terms of booking and would get you in and out of there in no time!

Friday, July 24, 2015

100 Days Shopping Ban Challenge

Earlier this year, I've made a resolution to develop better financial habits and get my finances in check. If I'm being honest, I think I'm doing very well compared to my habits last year. I don't do impulse shopping anymore, surprisingly I survive on $200 per 2 weeks and hell, I haven't touched a penny in my Savings Account since I started it for New Zealand (the old me would splurge on something big)! Also, I'm paying off my credit cards faster than ever.

To further challenge myself and reconsider all the useless items I have accumulated, I've decided to embark on the 100 Days Shopping Ban Challenge. This may be the start to a minimalism lifestyle but that's a whole different story.

So, starting today, July 24th, 2015 and ending in 100 days on November 1st, 2015, my challenge includes...

Banned Purchases:

  • Books, magazines, stationery, notebooks, etc.

  • Electronics (unless my laptop or headphone breaks during this challenge)

  • Cosmetics

  • Facial cleansers/shampoo/conditioner/body wash (unless I run out during this challenge)

  • Gym attire

  • New clothes (unless required for work/interviews)

  • Accessories such as handbags, scarfs, hats, etc.

  • Canucks or any NHL items

  • Household decorations

  • Starbucks!!! :(

  • Junk food such as chips and chocolates

  • Pampering appointments aka salons, massages, etc.

What's Allowed:

  • Gifts for special occasions

  • Groceries

  • Once or twice a week sushi (because, let's be serious, I would die without sushi)

  • Tim Horton's coffee ONLY on days I work (which is 4-5 days a week)

  • Printer paper (and ink) because university is a biiiiitch

  • Alcohol and taxi cabs on those nights I go out with friends

This challenge occurs during my Alaska Trip in which I MIGHT put a pause on this ban because I would love to grab some souvenirs while I'm in Alaska.

On top of this challenge, I would also try to meet the monthly limits I've set for myself on Mint, particularly on dining out and coffee shops.

I would also want to clean out my closet (again) and get rid of A LOT of accumulated stuff over the years such as little plastic figurines, pictures of people I no longer talk to, DVD collection, etc.

This challenge would not only challenge and reduce my spending habits, improve my financials, but also allow me to reflect on the materialistic items I've "wasted" money on.

I'd be sure to keep you guys posted along the way! This list is just a few thoughts on the top of my head - I'd be adding more bans or exceptions as the challenge goes on!

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Ways to get over Jealousy

Jealousy, envy, whatever you want to call the green-eyed monster, it's all part of life. We all experience this negative emotion at some point in our lives and for some, they might experience it more than others do.

Lately, I've been hit with envy in the cruelest way possible... via images on Facebook.

Oh, what fun social media can bring to your life. Without going into details, I just "stumbled" across some photos of a guy I had feelings for getting cozy with a girl.

In the past, I've always pride myself of not being the jealous-type and I still do. When I'm in a relationship, I seldom get jealous because I have trust in my partner. However, when something isn't mine, I get jealous/envious.

And, the feeling suck. I hate having a negative emotion linger in me for a long period of time.

So, here's 5 ways I beat jealousy/envy:

1. Remove yourself from the situation

Simple as that. In my case, I ended up blocking the guy I had feelings for on Facebook and refrained from visiting the girl's page. Think about it: if you're feeling bad about a photo, why torture yourself and constantly visit that page? Do whatever it takes to remove yourself from the situation weather it be deleting/unfollowing someone, blocking them, or walking away and "avoiding" them for a while until your feelings are gone.

2. Don't compare yourself

Never compare yourself to another. Why?

Because there's nothing to compare with. Each person is different - we have different ways to talking, walking, hobbies, interests, etc. You can't compare yourself to someone that's entirely different and think you're no better than her because of how different you two are. Sure, she may have something you want or like but that doesn't mean you can't have the same, you know what I mean? She has your crush? Get over your crush and move on to someone that would take interest in you.

3. Talk about it

Sometimes, we jump to conclusions on things we don't fully understand. Why not talk about it and get the real picture? Get the story from his side. Sometimes, things aren't always what they seem. Some friends are closer than others. Some girls are generally just chirpy and not flirty. Talk it out with that person to clear the air and get straight to the point.

4. Treat yourself (and trash talk)

Battle your negative emotions with positive ones. I like to treat myself to a Frappucino or sushi whenever I feel negativity. And, if you're in the mood to hang out with your girlfriends, trash talk the girl, LOL. I showed the cozy pictures to Sara and she instantly started criticizing the girl. I know it sounds harsh and it's almost comparing yourself to her, but having your friends support you is a good healing process. You're a bigger person when you know what your friend said is untrue but it still feels nice to hear positive things about yourself rather than the person you're envious of.

5. Motivate yourself

Jealousy in an insanely powerful emotion. Use that to motivate you to succeed in life and reach towards a goal. So, your person drives a BMW? Work your way to a BMW. The girl has a nice body? Hit the gym 10x harder than she does. Curbing jealousy by transforming it into energy and motivation is the best thing you can do to get over your jealousy. I'm using that jealousy of seeing those photos to motivate me to get my ass over to New Zealand. You're wondering... how do those two even match? They don't. But, the boy left me some somewhat bitter memories of some parts of town and I'd rather get over him and not see him by moving away from my city.

Jealousy is life but it shouldn't affect you so much. It's often easier said than done to get rid of some emotions. If you learn to control your emotions, it gets easier. The best way is to not focus on negativity.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I've Gone Pink!

I've always had colour in my hair so whenever I feel my hair is lacking colour, an urge inside me tells me to hit the salon, asap. I made an appointment with Blanche MacDonald student services again because of the great experience I had with them last time. The last time I got my hair coloured at a student services was with VCC and it was horrible!

I originally wanted pink ombre on the ends of my hair, however, once I got to the salon, my stylist, Kelsey, told me my hair was way too dark to get that bright pink I was talking about. You know, the pink that's in season this summer?

She told me I would have to bleach my hair to a level 10 blonde, but the lightest my hair would go would be about an 8. Anything more would either damage my hair or cost waaaaay too much.

So, Kelsey and Renata came up with two tones of pink/purple that compliments each other and dyed my hair with those two colours. So, instead of the pink colour I wanted, my hair has different tones (especially since I had color prior to bleaching, those strands of colored hair turned out lighter after the bleaching). It's a mix of pink and magenta.

I love the mix and tones of the two colour, but a part of me is still bummed out I couldn't get the pink I wanted. It sucks having black hair - I feel colour options are much limited or harder to achieve.

During the process, I got a glimpse of how I looked with bleached blonde hair aaaaaaaand, I've always thought Asians with bleached blonde hair look trashy buuut damn... I wouldn't mind trying it out for a while, haha.

I figured since this is my last year or so before committing to a professional career, I mind as well have some fun with my hair before I settle for plain black or a more neutral shade of dye :(

Channeling my inner Nikki Wong from 6teen.

Seriously, that show was amazeballs.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Chasing Your Dreams is Scary

I'm constantly talking about moving to New Zealand and pursuing my career and dreams halfway around the world and everyone looks at me like I'm a brave soul with a big adventure ahead of me.

And, you know what? I probably do have a big adventure ahead of me.

... if I can get over the initial fear of chasing my dreams.

I'm more afraid of chasing my dream career than moving to New Zealand, to be honest.

Which is funny, right? I mean, leaving the city behind is more scarier than trying to fit into a new workplace.

Recently, I was given an opportunity to pursue my dream career. It's not a guarantee but it's a big open door to getting my foot into my career field. I talked to my manager about getting a (HR) job in a hotel and it turned out that my manager's sister is actually an HR Manager in Fairmont Hotel, one of the biggest and prestigious hotels in the world. He told me when the time comes, apply online and he'd talk to his sister about my application. And, because I'm still a full time student, my manager is willing to talk to her about my hours as well.

Otherwise, I can continue my employment at the gym as a receptionist/representative.

Reality is, I'm afraid to apply online and tell my manager to e-mail his sister. I'm afraid of pursuing my dream career. I'm afraid of getting my first "real" Human Resources job. Hell, I'm even afraid of getting a front desk job at a hotel. Anything that's related to my dream career/job industry, I'm afraid to get.

I'm making excuses to tell myself that being employed at the gym as a reception is the best. It's extremely stable (in terms of hours) so I can still balance school. I'm comfortable with my manager and my co-workers. A receptionist in the gym's front desk is related experience to a receptionist as a front desk. I won't get stressed out. Longer employment looks great on my resume, etc. etc.

Then I started criticizing myself. What is I'm not professional enough? What if I don't possess any professionalism in me? What if what I learned at school isn't enough in the real world?

I'm at that stage in university where I have three semesters yet - about a year until I can apply for graduation. I'm at the stage where I should consider my career, but at the same time, I'm being inspired by so many people to drop everything and travel the world. To get a working visa and work in various cities and get culturalized.

Everyone is telling me, 20s is still young. You have years to build a career.

I'm being told that 30s is the new 20s - 30s is the start of your career, a serious relationship and family. 20s is still time to explore and have fun. A time before settling down for your life.

I've never worked in a hotel before so I don't even know if I want to pursue a career in hotel management/tourism/hospitality. I've never been exposed to a HR career but yet I'm pursuing an entire degree in Human Resources and hoping for the best.

Everyone makes graduating to be fun and it probably is but I don't think I've been more scared in my life than at this moment.

Dreams are so scary.