Editorials

2016, A New Chapter

new year 2016

Tonight marks the end of the holidays. I am a little bit sad vacations are already over, but very happy on how I spent the last few weeks. I spent a lot of time with my family and friends, I celebrated the end of my bachelor’s degree, I was lucky enough to have four different Christmas dinners with people I love, I moved into an amazing new apartment and I kicked off the new year at an awesome party. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

As you may have seen on my snapchat (@candidlyjulie), I moved last week during a snow storm into my new apartment. It was quite an exhausting day to say the least! I had never moved before and I expected it to be easy and stress-free but boy was I wrong. It’s a lot more planning than I thought and the actual moving day is very demanding mentally and physically. I couldn’t wait to go to bed that night! Now that I have moved, I have to say that it does feel a little strange to be living in a brand new apartment and neighbourhood after spending four years in my last place. During the past few years, my place downtown Montreal really felt like home so now I need to adapt to this new chapter of my life. The fact that I’m also starting my master’s degree tomorrow enhances this feeling and makes it all seems surreal. It’s very similar to the feeling I get when I am about to leave on vacation, but I don’t believe it until I’m sitting in the plane. I think I’ll have to be sitting in class to really feel like all of these changes are happening.

All in all, I am sure 2016 will bring a lot of new challenges. Today I had an interesting conversation with my boyfriend when we went for brunch. We talked about life goals and positive thinking. My argument was that when you have a general idea of where you want to end up in life and always keep it in the back of your mind, it is very likely it will happen. Although Xavier was not as optimistic as me, we did agree that positive thinking definitely helps. I think that when you have a goal, as general as it may be, all the decisions that you take will be aligned with that goal whether you realize it or not. Therefore, in 2016, I will continue to keep this general goal of mine in the back of my head and put my heart and mind into things that are aligned with it and that make me happy. I believe resolutions are good all year round, but reminding ourselves of something important like this is a good exercise at the beginning of a new year.

I wish you all a happy new year – health, happiness and lots of accomplishments!

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Happier as an Ex-Fashion Blogger

ex fashion blogger

As you may have noticed, I have not been an active fashion blogger for a few months now. My heart was not into it anymore, and I thought I should stop if it no longer inspired me. Over the years, just like everyone else, my passions and goals have evolved. I have to respect the fact that I am continuously growing as a person and I can’t stick to a recipe that no longer works. Personally, as I grew up, taking photos of my outfits and writing posts about fashion felt more and more like a chore rather than a hobby. I felt that I didn’t add anything of value to this world and it was a little depressing.

Since I have stopped blogging about fashion, I have spent a lot less time on social media or online shopping for the newest trends. This means that I have had a lot more time to explore other passions. I’m slowly getting back into reading as well as getting into artsy-oriented activities. For instance, I have bought a coloring book on Amazon and it is so much fun and relaxing – you have to get one, it’s a must! By exploring new hobbies and focusing on real life instead of spending countless hours on the internet, it’s almost as if I have rediscovered the real world I’ve been missing out on. Now, I take the time to actually enjoy the moments instead of focusing on taking good photos.

I admit it can be extremely difficult to put my phone down and not obsessively look at what’s going on on Facebook or Instagram. However, I also find that the less I do it, the easier it is to stop. If I force myself to shift my attention to other things, it turns out to be very beneficial. In the end, when I do things like reading, running, drawing or writing, I feel a lot more fulfilled and happy. It’s much better than looking at pictures of fashion bloggers and models on Instagram and then feel bad because I don’t have the perfect tan…

Overall, it really is a fantastic feeling to focus on the real world around me. One of the reasons I am writing this post is to reach out to other current bloggers who may feel the same way, or other people who spend countless hours on social media. Recently, I came across an article in which the writer wrote about a model who quit Instagram and all other social medias after realizing it was taking over her life. The model wrote something like “I can guarantee that the people who will accomplish something great are not on here right now”. Although that is not necessarily true in my opinion, I do agree that if we focus too much on looking at what other people are doing, we lose track of what we want and what really makes us happy. So yes, let’s put our phones down and focus on what’s around us.

The older I get, the more I want to add something of value to this world and the more I want to enjoy what life has to offer. I want to be there for the people close to me, I want to take art classes, eat good food in good restaurants, drink good wine, travel, smile and laugh a lot, accomplish myself intellectually, etc. So taking pictures of what I wore during the day seems very unimportant at this stage. But I guess that’s just me getting old… 😉

In the end, I have realized that I am a lot happier enjoying the world around me instead of focusing on the number of likes my outfit will get on Instagram. I have to admit that it was hard to let go of something I have put so much effort into, but I think it’s worth it if it buys me happiness.

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Why I Don’t Ever Want to Stop Working

 

Even today, a lot of women choose the path of becoming stay-at-home moms, although most of those women have a high degree of education. Sometimes it is a choice because they want to be at home with their children, other times it is for financial reasons as a lot of families do not have the means to hire someone to take care of the children or pay high daycare fees, and other times it is also because of tradition and social norms.

As a woman, this family-career dilemma is something that I inevitably think about, even if I am nowhere near facing those types of decisions (I do sometimes over-think). Personally, I have come to realize that I never want to stop working. I have seen my mom make a lot of sacrifices for my brother and I, and as much as I respect and I am grateful for all of those choices she made, I never want to make those sacrifices myself.

To be happy, I believe all of us need to feel accomplished. We need to do something with our life that makes us proud and I find that it has to go through a career or a business endeavor. Although I am positive children bring a lot of happiness and fulfillment, once they leave the home to start their own lives, the stay-at-home parent might not have a lot left and might feel unaccomplished. I have seen it and I have read about it, and I definitely do not want this for myself.

Today, especially in Canada, we finally live in a society where so many laws are in place to make it possible for the mother to have both a successful career and a family life. Other generations before us did not have that chance, and I think it would be a shame to not take advantage of this fully. Also, if I ever have a daughter, I want to show her that it is possible to “have it all”. I believe it is very heatlhy for a girl to grow up in that kind of environment where a mother is both successful at work and in the home. Of course, I am sure aiming for both also has its own sacrifices, but I am a lot more comfortable with those.

The picture I chose for this post is one of Jessica Alba, co-founder of The Honest Company, as well as being a mother of two. Women like her inspire me to aim for self-fulfillment in all aspects of my life. I am sure her life has its own set of ups and downs, but I am also sure she feels fulfilled with all of what she has accomplished and that is an incredible feeling that nothing else can replace. After all, who doesn’t want to feel powerful, challenged, smart and important?

I am writing this post as I’d love to hear your comments about this subject. It’s something I care a lot about since those kinds of decisions have such a high impact in our society and the way we perceive gender roles. I do think it’s changing and more and more women will stay in the workforce even if they decide to have children. Although I respect both decisions, I am a strong believer that when both parents have a good career, they are both happier at home, which also impacts the children (and it’s also a fact, I read it in Lean In which is my bible). Besides, I’m already excited to get a fashionable corporate wardrobe! 😉

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week! xx

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