An almond croissant that made me hope

Almond Croissant

You know how I would always complain that no city is perfect? For instance, Vancouver is awesome fir its infrastructure and weather (duh!); yet, being from Ottawa, I (personally) haven’t been able to connect with people here as much as back in the capital… Not to say that the quality of people here is lower – it’s just that the belief system of Ottawa’s people works better for me in particular. In fact, there is only one person I really connect with here, but even that person moved here from Ottawa.

Another thing in which Vancouver would always yield to Ottawa in my eyes is almond croissants. Back in Ottawa you could find those in every coffee shop – my personal favorites could be found at Second Cup at uOttawa’s library as well as the one at the corner of Dalhousie St. and Rideau St.; and at Moulin de Province in Byward Market. Those almond croissants were to die for!

Here in Vancouver almond croissants aren’t as popular. I kind of found a substitute (Whole Foods Market‘s almond cookies ), but this could only work for so long.

One day (Friday, January 26, 2018 to be specific), I found the almond croissant you can see in the picture above. First of all, this delicious almond croissant from Bao Bakery on Joyce St. (I wish they sponsored this, but no, this isn’t sponsored) looks exactly like the one from Second Cup. Second, it tastes very similar to my lovely Ottawa’s croissants. Not exactly the same (there’s significantly less filling), but hey, it gives me hope!

I want to believe that this almond croissant (that, of course, by now has long been eaten) symbolizes the people in Vancouver I am yet to discover. I refuse to believe that in a 2.6-million city (GVA population, data as of 2016), there is no person who would be like me (smart, bold, ambitious, positive yet sarcastic… very modest). It is not about geography; it is about taking the time to find them – just like that almond croissant. And once you find them, you stick to them. All jokes aside, I just ordered 5 more almond croissants from that bakery 😉 .

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How to spot an introvert

Being close to someone  introverted can be challenging. I know that because I hear that from my loved ones: my parents, my (more extroverted than myself) friends, my partners from the past. Everyone is unique when it comes to their reactions, decision making and dealing with stress, but certain things are common to most (if not all) introverts. Being aware of those will help you understand your introverted loved ones better.

1. We are more comfortable worrying by ourselves

When I am upset, frustrated, worried or stressed, my extroverted friends would often say Let me know if you want to talk. I always feel bad turning that offer down, as I know my fellow extroverts genuinely want to help by offering that. What they don’t know is that talking about problems only makes me dive deeper into them. In all honesty, I am better off spending a couple of hours by myself, either getting lost in work, or – better- with a glass of wine and maybe a journal. I need to find my inner piece before I let my worries out (if needed, as, often, my worries would just fade after some Me time).

2. We prefer communicating in writing

It is safer, allows for processing before delivering, and does not require immediate feedback.

3. Our best ideas are born when we reflect,

not when we brainstorm out loud because, again, we need to finalize our inner conversation  before letting our thoughts out. Same goes for problem-solving and decision-making processes. This is why sometimes we would request a rain check on an important conversation, or ask for a meeting agenda in advance.

4. We are more concerned about self-development, self-reflection and self-tracking

We are focused on our inner world, this is where we draw energy from. Hence such activities as journaling, solo workouts, reading, wearable activity trackers (the data from which you are unlikely to see from our Social Media accounts). Since we tend to constantly reflect and re-evaluate our own words/actions, we may sometimes exhibit delayed reactions such as apologies or thanks. If ever you hear from a friend reaching out with an apology for something that happened weeks or even months ago, you know for sure that this friend of yours is introverted.

5. We don’t take initiative as eagerly as extroverts do…

…but if you do see us taking initiative, rest assured that the cause is super important to us.

6. Our sense of self-worth is more autonomous than that of extroverts

We are more concerned about internal validation and do not seek validation from external sources (for the most part). This can be a good thing in a sense that we do not consider every single opinion someone expresses about us; yet, when taken to the extreme, this may lead to an inadequate level of self-confidence.

7. You will not find us in a crowd…

…or, if you do, we would be completely zoned out or engaged in a one-o-one conversation. Once we find ourselves surrounded by more than 2 people, we get  shut down quickly and become more likely to remove ourselves from the situation. Conversely, if you are well aware of our introverted nature and find yourself engaged in a private conversation with us, you know we feel safe and at ease around you (aka you managed to win us over 😉 ).

 

 

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On labels

Labels: Child-free, Single mother, alcoholic, boss, slut, jerk, gay, ADD

Let’s talk about labels, shall we?

Labels can be comforting

They give us sense of belonging and help us classify people

Married, student, father

Labels can be the most convenient excuse

They help us victimize ourselves and soften people’s expectations of us

ADD, OCD, sociopath, introvert (my personal favorite)

Some labels take a lot of work and effort to get and are worn with pride

Athlete, PhD, pioneer, CEO 

Labels are often subjective and therefore open to interpretation

Beautiful, happy, successful and so many other labels can be interpreted differently based on one’s experiences, preferences and even cultural context.

Labels can be limiting…

…when used as a judgement tool. Once you label someone an asshole, you limit yourself to seeing only an asshole in them and miss on so many wonderful things that person can be. Although, I admit, in certain contexts those limitations can, again, give us comfort: for instance, when we break up with someone, it eases our life to see them as an asshole and disregard the good things about them.

As a linguist, I believe like anyone that labels are fascinating. They allow for endless discussions and journeys into other people’s minds. And as someone who dedicated years of her life to proudly wear the label “linguist” I encourage and bag you: when labeling people or ideas, please proceed with caution. A well-structured explicit definition attached to a label goes a long way and prevents so many communication issues from ruining our love lives, friendships and work partnerships.

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For my love of the Spanish language

Tattoo La Fortuna Favorece a Los Valientes on ribs

 

I barely speak it, but still hope one day will be fluent. My love for this language is almost mysterious, there is no clear explanation as to why I am such a big fan.

The best explanation, perhaps, would be this one: in my ecstatic-when-it-comes-to-Spanish mind, if freedom had been a person, it would have spoken Spanish*.

*Eсли бы свобода была человеком, она говорила бы по-испански.

*Si la liberté avait été une personne, elle parlerait espagnol.

*Si la libertad hubiera sido una persona, hablaría español.

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If everybody likes you

If:

  • nobody ever disagrees with you
  • you never make a mistake
  • nobody ever hates you

Then you are probably no one, think nothing and live nowhere.

It is okay to be hated sometimes or judged. Even a slightest shade of another person’s thought about you, positive or negative, is an emotional or energy investment in you. Thank that person for feeding you with that energy and focus on all things love in your life.

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Love yourself first

…because you can’t give it to anybody else if you yourself do not have it.

The idea seems simple. Can you ever give anybody money if you yourself do not have it? Somehow, the answer to this question seems obvious.

I am one of those who believe that money is energy. It can also be viewed as a resource.

Let’s take a look at other existential forms of energy and/or resources:

  • love
  • trust
  • confidence
  • joy
  • kindness
  • food
  • beauty
  • wisdom
  • … and so many more!

Now, similarly to how it works with money, would ever be able to give love and care if you yourself do not have enough? It suddenly makes sense why people say first learn to love yourself, then the love of others will come. I.e., the healthy selfishness I love so much to talk about now has substantial grounds to exist.

Another important principle regarding the act of giving has to do with needs. You want to give another person something that satisfies their needs. For example, if you see a starving dog, would it make sense to give him $10? Probably not, eh?

So, if your mom wants to talk to you, would it be enough to just send her your picture? Or, if your employee has a need for position that would give them more authority (and, not so much for money, although I admit these days it is quite rare), why give them a raise?

Once again:

  • before you give it to someone else, make sure you have given it to yourself. Then, when you have enough to share, give out!
  • when giving it to someone else, make sure this is what they need
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Gratitude and resourcefulness

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

Aesop

 

Gratitude makes you feel resourceful.

So many people talk about focusing less on what we don’t have and focusing more on what we have – and yet, so many still complain and get annoyed every single day. I must say it does take some effort to resist that annoyance of real life and force myself to find time every day to focus on things I am grateful for. But it is totally worth it.

My way is to write down 3 things every day I am grateful for (as part of my New Year’s resolution). That’s it. I have no idea how it works, but it works! I somehow started feeling less hungry (yes, even physically) and, again, more resourceful.

Sometimes things get silly. I mean, seriously, yesterday my list looked like this:

  1. Thanks for +6 C outside on the 4th of January
  2. Thanks to the tabata instructor for calling me petite
  3. Thanks to the past version of myself who bought that wine currently sitting in my fridge (a side note: I am pretty sure the future version of myself will thank the current version of myself for not having finished the bottle last night).

And suddenly I just felt amazing (and the wine might have contributed to the feeling, I admit).

Let’s re-discover all things in our lives to be grateful for. Let’s let that gratitude warm our hearts. Somehow I feel if we do it more, the world will become a better place.

 

 

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