Monday, May 28, 2012

i don't even know who I used to be .

Woah, I just read some old posts on here and scared myself. Who was that girl who used to write about exercising and weight loss like it was her job? Who was that girl who thought the only part of herself that mattered was the part of herself that people saw and pretended to know?

Okay, we all know that girl was me...and still is me some days...but this time, it's not me every day.

Every time I come back to this blog, I start a post with how sorry I am for not writing more. I'm mostly sorry because I used to keep up this thing more than anything. I loved this blog. I communicated with my followers, got to know some followers very personally and used this blog as a form of writing to cope.

The reason I'm back here today is because I was writing a blog post about writing to cope for Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR), a grassroots, registered non-profit organization that provides early intervention and support for people who may need it as well as for families and friends. I'm working for EDOYR now as their Events and Communications Coordinator. Fancy, huh?

I love my job. I get to do what I've always dreamed of doing: Tell stories about things not a lot of people know about, spread eating disorder awareness, help to fight against misconceptions of body image, manage the organization's blog, Twitter, and Facebook AND I even get to plan events.

Our next event is Rock for Charity 2.0, a benefit concert where all proceeds will go to EDOYR. I suggested the idea as a friend of the organization (way before I started working) when I was writing for the Richmond Hill Liberal. I came across a press release sent by my now executive director about EDOYR's new "Friend-Raising" campaign that encourages people in the community to volunteer and help the organization raise money so they can continue to keep their doors open. I thought, "Hey, I've always wanted to plan events, I love spreading eating disorder/body image awareness and I love music...Why not suggest a benefit concert?' The first concert in the series was a hit. We raised over $2,800 the first time around and now, we're hoping to raise even more. The second concert in the series is on June 21 at the El Mocambo in Toronto.

When I was writing my blog post about writing to cope, I wrote about how therapeutic it is to go back and re-read old journal entries. Then I thought, why not do that to my blog? I have to be honest and say that I could only read to a certain point because I'm shocked at how under confident and alone I used to be, even though I had so much. I guess what they say is true: "All your friends seem like enemies when you're broken down and empty." By "they" I mean City and Colour. Dallas Green remains and will always be my world, thus why I refer to him and the band as "they."

A lot has happened since my last post. I feel like I say that all the time, but by "a lot," I seriously mean a whole lot.

I'm not doing my Masters in Journalism in the fall anymore. Yeah, I just said that. Instead, I'm going to Humber College's Post-Grad Event Management program. It's a year long and I'm quite possibly moving out in the fall. The commute from my current house (where I live with my parents and brother) is four hours a day (two hours there, two hours back) and I am not going to do that everyday while also juggling six to eight courses, a placement and a (cross your fingers with me) hopeful part-time job somewhere so I'm not completely broke. I told my mom that I need a place. She then told my dad. He said he didn't know what he wanted me to do. Too late, though, because I've been searching for somewhere to live. I've already made up my mind.

It's not that I don't want to be at home, it's just that in the past little bit I've found exactly what I want. And a huge part of what I want is my happiness. I love my family and would do anything for them, but I need to know what it's like to live on my own and fully make my own decisions. Living on residence gave me a taste of that in my first and second years of university, but it sure as hell didn't give me the full picture.

I've realized where I want to work: I want to do communications and event management for an organization like the Canadian Cancer Society or Sick Kids Foundation. I've realized that not only am I a lot different from a lot of the people I've been friends with for years, but that I am also more than okay with that. I've realized that I am not the size of my jeans or the colour of my hair. Sure, I still work out daily and try to eat as healthy as I can...but I'm doing that this time around for my health. And, I would be lying if I said I don't have desserts on a weekly basis. Yes, the word "desserts" is a plural one.

I've also become a lot more confident in the past while than I have ever been in my entire life. About a year ago, my former boss full out asked me why I wasn't confident. It made me want to a) hide because I thought no one knew that but me, b) cry because other people were seeing that I wasn't confident and c) try and figure out the answer to that question myself. And so, I stopped my freak out and decided to focus on option c.

I wasn't confident because there was so much negativity in my life. A lot of it came from me, but a lot of it also came from the people around me (I'm not going to name names, but I just wasn't happy with some people). And so, I started anew. I let nature take its course and end things where they needed to be ended...And then I felt this huge relief. I seemed to be a on a roll. I seemed to finally be figuring out why I wasn't confident.

I also wasn't coping with my lack of self-confidence very well, either. Instead of just writing down my thoughts or even booking an appointment with a counselor, I ate away my worries, screamed at everyone and compared myself to all the people around me, which--even though I still do sometimes--I try to avoid like the plague.

I was putting my happiness on the line and for what? Because I felt I had to change (my appearance more than anything else) to be confident in myself? And for what reason? To please the people around me? Hell no. I had to be confident by and for myself. That is what I proceeded to do.

I'm almost there. I'd say if this journey was 100km in length, I'm about 70km in. High five to that.

Anyways, I am writing this at work and really shouldn't be. So, I'm going to go. I don't know if I'll be back soon. I'm not making promises I'm not sure I can keep.

Hope all is well with you!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: when i learned to defeat my enemies with success .

Every year on Dec. 31, I find myself thinking about all the things that could have happened should I have made different decisions or said better words. This year, though I have similar thoughts, I find I have experienced a lot of both good and bad situations that make me very different today than I was a year ago.

On Jan. 2, 2011, my now ex-boyfriend and I were celebrating our four-year anniversary. That would mark the first time in a long time that I thought things were taking a turn for the better. I guess you could say they were, in an abstract way. Eight months later, we broke up and though it has been an interesting afterward, I have never been happier.

I learned that some people, no matter how much you care about them or worry for their happiness, may want a hand to hold, but just not yet. I learned that sometimes even the individuals who have had the hardest times are the ones who play the silliest games, not because of you but because of their own insecurities. But most importantly, I learned that no matter who comes into my life, or who decides to run out, I have one person to rely on and that person is me. I am very lucky to have the people in my life that I do and not once have I, my best friends or family members turned their backs on me.

I also took a leap in the right direction to jump starting my journalism career when I completed a six-week internship at The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. To this day, I have kept in contact with the connections I made while at the corporation. The lessons learned and experiences gathered there are irreplaceable. I have never been more proud of myself than I am about the things I was able to accomplish while interning. I am still doing some volunteering for The CBC for events and whatnot, and with every event, I shake a different hand.

This year, I also decided to apply to Carleton University in Ottawa and Ryerson University in Toronto for my Master of Journalism. I am almost done my applications. Four years ago today I would have never guessed I would be aspiring to fulfill an MJ.

Just this past semester, I wrote a 25-page thesis on the relationship between gender and race in Cinderella, Mulan and The Princess and the Frog and how young female audiences are affected by the consumption of such media. I read a number of articles, skimmed through several books and managed to write a paper valued at a grade of 85 per cent. I never thought I'd see the day...

Writing this paper helped me narrow down exactly what I want to do with my Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies, Journalism Diploma and hopefully the soon-to-be-mine Master of Journalism: Investigate the ways media consumption impacts the ways females develop emotionally, psychologically, socially and physically. I'd love to write a book on the topic and perhaps produce a documentary following the life of a few girls struggling to find what it means to be themselves in a world where beauty has been stolen from the eye of the beholder.

I am also in the process of planning a benefit concert for the Eating Disorders of York Region, a non-profit organization, called Rock for Charity! in Toronto. All proceeds will go toward helping the organization host workshops that will support people in their fight against eating disorders.

My perceptions of my very own self-image have changed drastically, as well. Earlier this year, I gained a bit of the weight I worked so hard to lose back. Stress and other factors probably weren't a great help to my already practiced emotional eating tendencies. It took me until the summer to realize that I can't spend the rest of my life worrying about every calorie I consume, every pound I weigh or whether or not I can make it to the gym. Instead, I need to worry about my own happiness. If I want a piece of chocolate cake just because, well then I should be able to enjoy that piece of cake without feeling guilty. I aim to eat as healthy as I can and be active as much as possible to ensure my own happiness, because those things themselves help me attain it. I've stopped weighing myself because it only adds stress to my life. I work out three to five times a week, every week, and I eat healthy 85 per cent of the time. At the end of the day, I have to live my life and there is no room for guilt or regret. I go by how I feel and I feel great.

So tonight, when I am at the dinner table with my big, traditional Italian family eating an abundance of delicious food and when I am dancing with one of my oldest and closest friends at a local bar, getting my drink on, the only thing I am going to be thinking about is the transition I have made from this point last year. This year was insane, but it was crucial. Tonight will kick off a new chapter of my life, a chapter that is completely in my control.

2012, I think I can handle anything.

Friday, December 16, 2011

a day (and night) out on the town .

Yesterday I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Sounds of the Season event. I manned the line for a meet and greet with Peter Mansbridge, the host of the "The National." Doing so lead me to taking the photograph to the right. I may or may not have given Mansbridge a thirty-second crash course called, "Leviana's resume," but hey, in school we learn that good journalists have to be a little bit pushy. Regardless, it was nice to finally meet the man my family has been watching on television for the past I don't know how many years. And, it was also great to leave my name with him. You know, since I aspire to be working in the same field in t-minus three years.

After the Mansbridge meet-and-greet, I got to talk to CBC's local news team (see them in the photo to the left). Dwight Drummond, local news host, (on the far left) remembered me from my internship this past summer, even though I only saw him once in an elevator ride. Michelle Leslie, weather reporter, (to the right of me) and I caught up very briefly, too. I met her when interning, as in the news room, the weather desk is right behind the arts desk. Anne-Marie Mediwake, another local news host, (to the right of Leslie) wished me good luck and shared some words of wisdom after I casually mentioned my goals and dreams for the future.

Before my shift started, I went up to the fifth floor of the building to visit all my former coworkers from my internship. It was great to see them again! And, it most certainly made me wish I didn't have one more semester of school left. Even though I want to do my Master of Journalism starting next September, having a secure job would also be amazing. I guess I just have to continue being enthusiastic, optimistic, a little bit pushy and overall very positive.

In fact, those four characteristics were what one gentleman said I was last evening, only after meeting me for under half-an-hour. I was asked to join the CBC's weekend news team's holiday party at the Rivoli in Toronto. I mingled with some former coworkers, got to meet several new people, shook a number of hands (firmly, I assure you) and had a few drinks to boot.

Yesterday's events were a much needed confidence boost. The past few weeks have been interesting to say the least. I felt I was going to make it in life only because of the people around me. But, I realized that even though the people who I associate with will help, in the end all I have is me. Me, myself and I. I have to trust that I am moving in the right direction. I've devoted so much time and effort to my experiences and my education and I am happy I am pursuing my dreams for one person and one person only: ME!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

an attempt to reconnect.

For a while now, every time I want to write a blog post, I feel the urge to start it with, "I am so sorry that I haven't written in ages." Well, I'm over that. I'm actually over a lot these days.

Since the last time I've written a lot has changed. My boyfriend of four-and-a-half years is now my ex-boyfriend. We broke up about a month-and-a-half ago. I was horribly distraught at first. But now, I am actually a lot better, a lot happier than I ever thought I would be.

I guess the reason I was always so down before was because I was unhappy in the relationship I was in. I'm not saying that the person I was with for almost five years is a bad person. He isn't. We just kept making excuses. We kept telling each other that we were in it for the long haul, but that long haul would have probably been the death of us. Literally.

Instead, I'm focusing on me and surrounding myself with people who bring a smile to my face on the regular. It's great medicine.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

florida here i come!

This week I found out I am going to Florida form July 21 - 28. I am so excited. I haven't been on a vacation in three-years.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

an interesting, but wonderful, evening.

I went out for frozen yogurt with one of my girlfriends tonight and while we were chomping away on our delicious concoctions, we ran into someone from high school we hadn't seen in ages. A lot has changed since the last time we spoke to this person, not all of it has been good, but I'm very glad we ran into each other.

Having this experience took me back to a place when I was very unaware of anything harmful, anything that could change the future for better or for worse. And now, seeing this person has giving me the opportunity to look back and for the first time in a long time miss the friendship we once had in our grade eleven year. I hope we can keep in touch now even more so than we had back in the day.

Also tonight, my girlfriend and I got out of our rut. At least I think we did. We had a large hiccup but I think the air has calmed on both our ends and we are ready to move forward. I'm in a really happy place right now.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

my little success story.

I haven't blogged in a super long time. I'm sorry. I am in better spirits since the last time I wrote, though. I've really given a lot of thought to what I want to achieve this summer and that's success...but on more than one level.   

Firstly, I want to successfully complete my internship course, in which I am almost done. As I've discussed in earlier posts, I did a six-week internship at CBC Toronto. Words cannot express how fantastic it was. But, the latter part of completing this internship includes putting together a portfolio, writing a paper, and submitting a supervisor's evaluation of my skills and work ethic. I'm working on the portfolio as I write this, will get around to writing the paper, and I've done my part of the eval. I'd like to say I'm in good shape.

Speaking of good shape, I've lost six-pounds. And, during this weight loss I am challenging myself not to focus on the numbers but instead on how I feel. I'd like to say I'm also succeeding in this aspect. I've been eating well, sipping on some peppermint tea, working out regularly, and trying to smile more. I'm trying to be me again. I think whatever I've been doing is working.

The trick I'm using is something called music. Earlier this week I went to a free City and Colour concert. As you know, I not only adore the man behind the band, Mr. Dallas Green, but I also love the way his voice chimes to every beat. He came out with a new album. And ever since the free show and the new album became my own, I've been happy. All the time.

I'm learning to live my life because we were only given one chance to do it (thanks Ashlee). And so, when I received an e-mail the other day from my local newspaper asking me to write a story, I said yes even though I was super swamped with work already. I got good feedback and it's in today's Richmond Hill Liberal.

In other news, I'm going to Montreal on Canada Day long weekend with my girlfriends. I am going to treat myself to a party (or two), bagels, chocolate croissants, poutine, and every other treat I can get my hands on. This weekend to come is essentially my summer vacation this year and I'm going to live it up. I'd like to think I deserve it.

I like where this summer is going. I can't believe it's almost halfway done, but I like how the end looks. And when the end comes, I'll be entering my fourth-year of university. Major WTF right there, but I'm excited for the memories, the tears, the stress, and everything completing my undergraduate degree and diploma have in store for me.


little hell by city and colour.

What if I can't be all that you need me to be?
We've got a good thing going, we have some promises to keep.
But my diction, it can be such a detriment.
Please believe in this my dear, I am more than penitent.

What if everything's just the way that it will be?
Could it be that I am meant to cause you all this grief?
My warship's a-lying off the coast of your delicate heart,
And my aim is steady and true as it's been right from the start.
[ Lyrics from: ]
There's a degree of difficulty in dealing with me.
From my haunted past comes a daunting task of living through memories.
If we could just hang a mirror on the bedroom wall
Stare into the past, and forget it all...

So when we leave it'll be a quick midnight escape.
We'll disconnect ourselves from all of yesterday.
I'll dig for water and fashion our very own wishing well.
Then, we'll throw our coins down hoping to rid us of this little hell.

There's a degree of difficulty in dealing with me.
From my haunted past comes a daunting task of living through memories.
If we could just hang a mirror on the bedroom wall
Stare into the past, and forget it all...

Will we get out of this little hell?
Will we get out of this little hell?
Will we get out of this little hell?
Will we get out of this little hell?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

who do you think you are?

I'd just like to warn anyone who reads this post that it seeps very deep into the pit of my heart, my gut, and my soul. I've needed to get a lot of the following off of my chest for such a long time and I kept forgetting to do it. So, here it goes...

I think I have a problem. I'm always stressed out. I'm super moody. I feel disgusting. I've lost four pounds since I've been off of school, and I'm happy about that, because I've only been off school for four weeks. A pound a week is healthy and I should be happy but instead I'm not. Why? Well, because I'm retaining so much water, I feel so uncomfortable with myself, and whenever I go for a run or a long walk (and I try to do that every day) it literally feels like I'm being chased by my feelings and that if I don't walk faster or run harder I'm going to get swallowed up into this deep, dark hole called my unconscious mind. 

I've concluded I feel this way because I don't have as much me time anymore. Last summer, I had the months of May and June to really focus on me. I lost ten pounds, got into shape, got a super nice tan, and really liked myself. It was the first time I could actually look in the mirror and say "Hey, you look good" and believe it. I had never felt like that before. And, I think it's gone. 

It's depressing but it's the truth.

Part of the reason why I don't feel happy with myself is because I have become such an emotional eater, more than I already was. So, whenever I get in that, "Eugh this is so bad" mood, I eat. It has been happening less and less, and I'm happy about that, but when I do get in this emotional-eating-state, it's very hard to get out of it. I tell myself, "Stop eating that you're not hungry" but I physically cannot put down whatever it is I've decided to munch on. Like I said, this hasn't been happening as often, but when it does it feels like my emotions are eating me up. Pun intended.

I need me time. I really do. I mean, I haven't even been able to get through To Kill A Mockingbird and it's been sitting on my bedside table for weeks. That's not like me. I love reading...Or at least I used to.

And so, today I started my day with a book, sitting outside in the sunshine. Then I went for a walk to visit my grandmother. My little cousins happened to be there and they mean the world to me. They're simple, they laugh at everything, and they give me hugs all the time. We played soccer and ate some homemade pizza (thanks to my grandmother). Then I walked home and that leaves me here...Typing away.

I don't know what's going on with me. I hope whatever it is comes to an end quickly. I don't like the person I am when I feel this way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

new hair!

I decided to cut my hair yesterday and I actually love the new style so much. My hair has gone from long and limp to long and stylish. Thank you new hairdresser Melissa! Now let's see if I can keep it up to par...Err...

Have a good day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I just went for a walk in the rain and it felt fantastic. While doing this, I rekindled my love for Soar by Christina Aguilera. It used to give me something to look up to when I was younger, thus it made me smile today.

What is it in us that makes us feel the need;
to keep pretending?
Gotta let ourselves be.

Don't be scared 
to fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door.

See in your hands the world is yours.
Don't hold back and always know,
All the answers, they will unfold.
What are you waiting for?
Spread your wings and soar.