Work For Your Dreams, Get Paid Later

It’s better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left? – Jim Carrey

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far this year is that you can experience real joy when you have to work hard for something without getting something back for it. I know what you’re thinking — you need money to survive. But until you’ve had the opportunity to be a part of something that helps others even if it means you don’t benefit financially from it… until you’ve had that experience, you won’t truly understand what I mean.

I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of several internships and free work projects. Admittedly, some of them burned me out and left me passionless and tired, but others made me feel so fulfilled that I couldn’t part with them. It might be due to the fact that I work with such awesome people on these projects and it might be because they allow me to do the jobs I want to do in a positive environment. Whatever the list of reasons may be, I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in participating. It gives me purpose and drive, constantly reinforces and builds my skills, allows me to network with all kinds of great people, and looks great on my resume.

The principle of giving without expecting anything in return really applies to me right now, more than it ever has before. There’s something wrong with this Western view that we deserve things. We deserve our rights and we deserve to be paid and we deserve to be happy. Truth is, we don’t deserve anything. We’re given a life and we’re responsible for how we spend the time we’re given. There are consequences to how we choose to live, but that is our choice. In my opinion, it’s better to live life earning good things, not expecting to get them out of a misguided sense that we deserve them.

New blog!

Hey guys,

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while! My latest blog posts have been on my HM Magazine blog and you can check them out by clicking here. I’ve been working online with the editor and CEO of the magazine, David Stagg, to write music news articles. I’ll be moving onto new activities in the near future so stay tuned, I’ll eventually update you. ;) Thanks for sticking around and I’ll do my best to get some more posts in here soon.

God bless you all!

- Sarah

Sarah HM Front Page

Active Love + A Renewed State of Mind

The one day this week that the train was on time, I got to the station late because of the snow. But this is why I just let God have His way: I made a new friend! A really nice family man with a lot of positivity and good stories to share about his life in Nigeria and England before moving to Canada. Honestly, why hide yourself in a quiet zone when you can be open and share who you are with strangers? Why not show a genuine interest in the people you see on a daily basis and make new friends everywhere you go? Why ignore our nature to love and be loved, to comfort and inspire, to share and to listen?

I recently had a tragic and sudden loss in the family. On Friday January 31st at 7:10am my mom phoned me as I sat on the train. Crying, she told me granny Sylvia had passed away. Immediately I burst into tears over shock, confusion and desperation. A thousand thoughts ran through my brain…. How did this happen? Why now? We just saw her… I won’t see her again? It all came rushing down and out. It took a few days before I could really find understanding, acceptance and eventually peace. There’s a confidence in my heart of who she was and a reassurance of her return Home that makes this easier to deal with. Despite the immeasurable sadness of her not being in front of my eyes, or no longer hearing her voice or never again getting to holding her hand, there is a joy in my heart that where she is now in the Place where there is no more fear, pain, worry, depression or discomfort. How could I ever express the joy I feel when I imagine her with her biggest Love, her Lord? In His arms and reunited with loved ones… Seeing more, feeling more, experiencing more. There is such comfort in that thought. It’s where she lived her whole life in pursuit of — where she always wanted to be.

Considering that and applying it to my life changes my perspective and inspires me to behave differently. Life is short so there is no logic or sense in keeping to yourself, being prideful and selfish, taking your blessings for granted, being unaware of how much you have, mistreating your family and friends, abusing the ones who love you, using people, hating people, complaining, being negative, “ranting,” fighting and arguing, going after what you want without any consideration for how it would affect others, the list will forever go on.

When I walked into work with tears in my eyes that Friday, I could see the sorrow and compassion my team had when they saw me, knowing what had just happened a few hours ago. Without caring about politically correctness or possible embarrassment or anything, one of my team members stood up, walked over, gave me a big hug, and told me “Go home to your family. You don’t need to be here right now.” I will never forget that compassionate gesture. The next few days my Facebook was flooded with kind words, sympathies, words of encouragement, prayers, and support from family who were sharing the same loss and friends who never met her. My family received cards, flowers, and phone calls offering comfort, and my whole church shared our sadness. I am forever grateful for this affection and that’s why I think it’s so important to be loving like that all the time.

There is only time to love, respect, share, learn, listen, honour, cherish, believe, CHANGE for the better, observe and be aware, be gentle, patient, kind, consider others as more valuable than yourself, look ahead but learn from your past so you don’t repeat the same mistakes… and so on.

From the moment I open my eyes in the morning I make the decision to thank God for letting me see another day, I kiss my parents “Good morning,” I fill my mind with positive thoughts and I head out to the day knowing that anything could happen that could shake me but I will never lose hope and I will always do my best to love actively. Not because I expect love in return and not because I want to be more popular. Only because I understand that every individual is valuable and because I know I am strong enough to be the person who doesn’t let the hardships of life turn me into a monster.

Best to you all and with love,

Sarah

A Desire for an Unwanted Season

Sitting in the living room of my aunt’s beautiful house in Trinidad and perusing the photographs and music recommendations of a much favoured musician of mine, a thought occured to me when I came across a particular image. There was a man walking towards the camera… head down with a slight smile across his face, his expression disguised behind thick-framed glasses. Snowflakes littered his slick hair and shoulders as he glided through the wintry air. The monochromatic photograph — a moment frozen in time — made me miss winter. In that moment the season, so often taken for granted by Northerners, became something tranquil and beautiful. Perhaps it’s my current location (a warm, breezy island in the Caribbean that I dearly love) that has me longing for the dusting of snowflakes and chilly, ice clean air… but I can see winter as a cold wonderland rather than a frustrating, unwanted season. When I came across the photograph a sense of love overwhelmed me and I am ready to return from my warm, blissful vacation to my frosty, white home. To a country blessed with four seasons (possibly to offer residents spontaneity and appreciation for each of them): Canada, in two & a half days I will gladly greet you.

- SD

Trinidad: My Sweet Home. January 2014

Las Cuevas Beach, Trinidad

It’s been a gorgeous week so far in my home islands Trinidad & Tobago. Since January 2nd, my family and I have visited relatives and friends, had amazing reunions with delicious food, went swimming and best of all, had a beach day in Las Cuevas. The air is moist and cool with the ocean breeze drifting inward. Warm rain showers that fall daily bring life to all the lush plants and flowers around the country. This is truly a place like no other. Full of paradisiacal views, calming weather and cheerful island residents, Trinidad is the perfect place to return to to begin this new year in my life. I am so blessed to be able to spend 17 days in my birth country and I thank God for working everything out so my whole family could be here.

I bought a Canon Rebel t3i DSLR camera to capture moments from this vacation and temporary return home, so if you want to see why I am so in love with this place, check out my gallery HERE.

I’m full of so much joy right now!

Cheers everyone,

Sarah xoxo

Singing in the New Year!

I’m sitting in my bedroom — it’s all tidy and organized after a few hours of really late spring cleaning. The family is getting everything ready for our flight tomorrow night to go to Trinidad! We haven’t been back there since 2009 so it’s long overdue. I can’t wait to spend time with my extended family, grandparents, cousins and relax in the sun. There’s a pool at my aunt’s house so I’ll be a mermaid for three blissful weeks. Thanks be to God for making this trip happen for my family — somehow we’re all available to take the time off at this stage in our lives. It’s the perfect way to bring in the new year.

As for tonight I’m jamming out to the voice of Hayley Williams, the singer of Paramore. Each of the songs I listened to today brought me back to a different moment in my life. It’s nice to see my journey so far in retrospect.

In a couple hours my best friend and my boyfriend will be arriving to chat about some resolutions, play some games with my family, maybe even watch a movie until the countdown begins.

I am so thankful for everything that happened in 2013. I graduated from my post-grad program in Journalism, interned at Tribute Entertainment, survived gallbladder surgery and spent quality time with my grandmothers, diligently worked at my second internship – Trend Hunter, got hired after my four month session with them, and all that’s left is this amazing night and a great trip that will begin tomorrow night. I made great new friends, held onto treasured old ones, challenged myself and achieved my goals, and trusted God the whole time. I’ve improved on taking risks, I’ve become more self-aware and conscious about the kind of person I want to become.

Every year you live can be wonderful to look back on. Think of your life like a story book and every year is a new chapter. This book is about you and the story you tell will be read by the people in your life, every time you write a new page.

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, ’cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” – Will Smith

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” – Erma Bombeck

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

Many people believe in the power of the mind, but I believe that it’s God’s power and greatness that works through us. We have the amazing gift of being in control of ourselves, the decisions we make and the way we think. This power we have can be used with negativity to tear people down and ripple into an ugly storm, or it can be used with hope and positivity to bring people up and be the light in the lives of others.

I hope you spend tonight reflecting on last year and that you set some goals for yourself for the new year. What do you want to be like? What do you need to change? Who do you need to treat better and how can you show love to people who need it?

Have a great night wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Smile as the clock strikes 12 because this is another year where you have life and you are loved.

Cheers my friends! Happy new year!

xoxo

Sarah

Quote

“Speaking from experience, anger is a lot like the alien from Alien. It begins as an attack. Something terrible happens (facehugger) and it plants something in you (chestburster). You wake up, thinking everything is fine despite the attack. Little do you know, you are now host to a growing parasite. That parasite gestates inside of you, eating you up. You feel all the negative symptoms before it bursts out of your chest, spawning an unimaginable beast. In Alien, you can’t stop it, but in real life, you can fight it.

You can either be Tom Skerrit or Signourney Weaver about it. It’s your choice. (Just dont be Winona Ryder).”

Jake McDowell