Monday, 24 November 2014

Failing the Balancing Act

If work life balance were a class I’d be flunking it like it was a talent of mine. I have worked the past 14 days straight, and I will continue to work for a total of 25 days in a row. I will have one day off and on that day off I am certain I’ll spend half of it editing all the photo shoots I need to finish editing. I am pretty bitter about the situation.

I get that I’m young and when you’re young you have to work your ass off… but I also hate the struggle it is to wake up in the morning. Sure I am still getting 8 hour sleeps, but that’s not enough when I’m working every damn day. I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. I want a break and Christmas is just more chaotic than it is a break when it comes to working a job at the mall.

I also get that I could say no to people when it comes to working, but when I’m in my first year of my Photography business saying no is the last damn thing I should be doing. Therefore I juggle my schedule to accommodate clients and support my growing business. Business has been booming but with how busy I am …I’m almost bitter towards how successful I am becoming. I should be celebrating how great things are with my photography, but instead I’m stressed out and hating how all my down time is spent in front of a computer screen.

Maybe one day I’ll have a life and a career and all this grumpy bitterness will be a thing of the past. I really just need a day spent curled up in a ball feeling sorry for myself, otherwise a day will come and I’ll have a meltdown crying to my parents about how life sucks and it’s not fair and I hate my narcolepsy lalalala.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Advice; Take it or Leave it

I got a lot of questions from parents with kids about college and I did my best to answer how my experience was; I figured I would sum it up here and break it into the advice I would give you. My college experience was amazing; it was one of the best things I did for myself. Moving away from home, playing soccer and pursuing my interest in photography. For as great as the entire experience was I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have trouble managing my narcolepsy. Ask my mom or dad how many times I called them crying. She probably won’t remember the number but it was tough for me to balance school, soccer, health and a social life. I can’t say it was ever in a perfect balance, I felt that a lot of days I had to pick 2 and hope the other 2 wouldn’t suffer too much. My parents, each time listened and sympathized with me and at the end of the conversation they said. “No ones requiring you to do all that you are doing” It was always a reality check for me. I didn’t need to get an A in every class, I didn’t need to be on the starting line up for every game, and I didn’t need to be out every other night being social to maintain friendships. I was the one holding myself to this high standard and when I didn’t reach it, I was the only one who was suffering or who was disappointed in myself.

Apply for disability.
            If you don’t think you need it, step back reevaluate and think of the worst possible situation you might find yourself in and then go and file with the disability office. You might never use it, but your teachers will have a better time understanding you missing something, needing extra time or falling asleep if in their eyes you have always had narcolepsy. If you end up needing it and you’re not filed as disabled then you will look like you are just making up some random excuse when something does come up. Also note takers can be a huge saving grace for studying, reviews, and just as a general help to you doing well in class.

            Some teachers are sadly no longer interested in their students’ education let alone their health. After the first day of every class I registered for, I took my professor aside said something along the lines of… My name is Sarah, I have a rare sleep disorder called Narcolepsy. It’s a medical condition that can cause me to fall asleep randomly. I am hoping it’s not going to be a problem in your class, however if I am to fall asleep during class I want you to know that I’m not doing it to be rude or disrespectful. I would like to be woken when I do sleep, but would appreciate your help in making sure it’s not done in an embarrassing way. If you have any questions about it or concerns please feel free to ask me about it at any time.
Usually my teachers were extremely understanding, asked a few questions and then moved on. However I did have the odd teacher that just blew me off and it was like K sick, kind of busy here. Not much you can do about those teachers, it will cause you more harm and disappointment trying to educate them on something they are choosing not to come to terms with.

Meal Plans (If you’re away from home)
            If your college has an option for a meal plan, even if it’s not the full meal deal but so many things per semester I would highly recommend it. I found I was so exhausted in between practices/classes and homework that I would pick napping over eating and I was rather unhealthy. Having the meal plan option could ensure you are eating on days where it’s just not physically possible to make yourself a sandwich.

Smart Schedule
            If you’re not a morning person and that’s where your main struggles are, do yourself a favor and don’t sign yourself up for the 3 hour 7am class. You’ll never make it consistently and you’ll waste your money. Don’t schedule classes from 7-5 with no breaks if that’s not a time frame you’re ever able to stay awake for without naps. I took a few evening classes to help with having breaks for soccer practice/naps and maintaining my sanity. I also took a few online courses so that I had the luxury of having a day off in the week for catch up.

            I know it’s common to go to college right away and figure out what it is you want to pursue, but I highly recommend that you don’t go unless you have a motivating factor. You’re not going to want to do your homework let alone show up to class if you feel like it’s not something you’ve got strong interest in. I wanted to play soccer, and I loved photography as a hobby. If I didn’t show up to class or got bad grades, my coach was getting an email from my professors and I wasn’t going to play. I was beyond motivated to get those grades so I could play in every game.

Social Life/Party Life
            Parties are fun, drinking is fun, being social is all part of the big college experience. However it’s not a requirement and can really set you up for failure. That party where you stay up till 4am will all be a blur years from now, but that class you don’t show up for because you were out late will stick with you forever. I’m not saying don’t party, don’t be social but pick and chose your nights and you can go to a party for an hour, not drink, and leave. If they’re friends worth keeping they will be happy you showed up and will be understanding of your choices. Be smart about whom you drink with, whom you party with and how much you do it. It really takes a toll on your narcolepsy.

            For me this was a huge one, I moved countries to attend school so if something came up I couldn’t do much of anything until I was home for the summer or winter break. My doctor was a gem about it all, sent me with a letter explaining my diagnosis, and also a complete copy of my sleep study. That way if I got into an emergency situation etc I had a copy of my sleep study, a copy of the meds I take and of course a letter to contact my doctor etc.

All these factors are in no way shape or form rules you should follow, they’re just more or less things I found helpful in my college experience. Some things work for people that don't work for others, figure out what is best for you. I had much success despite the struggles I had with narcolepsy. I graduated Photography with a 3.6 GPA and also managed to get a certificate in business management. On top of my academics I was an All American athlete two years in a row. For anyone who doubts being able to finish college, I’m living proof that finding the right combination of everything related to your narcolepsy can leave you having success.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Narcolepsy Network Conference Denver

“I love my narcolepsy. It makes me unique and it’s kind of hard to be different in today’s world” Said by a 17 year old guy, and honestly he sounds like the male version of myself when I was his age. It’s been a spectacular weekend full of conversation that uplifted me and verified why I came.
I had forgotten how much chaos there was leading up to my diagnosis and how funny certain moments in my life have been. It’s been a good reminder to continue to laugh at myself, my narcolepsy and this blessed life I am living.
I’ll be completely honest, for how many seminars were going on I managed to get my ass to the bare minimum. I think I sat down for a total of 3 actual guest speaker related seminars. The rest of the time I was off meeting other young people with narcolepsy, exploring Colorado or enjoying a beer with a new found friend. I don’t think I really came to the conference to sit in and listen to people talk about what it is I have. I don’t have that many questions in my current life. I don’t think I was looking for any confirmation that what was happening in my body was happening in others. I just wanted to meet people, relate to them and enjoy conversations about life and where we are headed. I got more than what I expected out of the weekend. I’m walking away with more friends, friends who might experience things before me, talk me through the highs and lows of my future and all around just get it.

So thank you to all of the wonderful people I met, connected with and shared the experience with. Chances are high I’ll be in attendance in Minneapolis next year.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Denver Narcolepsy Network

I went from being extremely busy to being ridiculously busy. I picked up Jinx on Tuesday the 7th and have had the best 10 days with her. Yes I have to wake up throughout the night to let the little 9 week old bundle of joy go to the bathroom. Yes I have to wake up early to feed her and yes I literally can’t leave her unattended, but no…no I am not annoyed by her or inconvenienced by her. I love that little puppy more than I ever thought I could love something. I am certainly going to miss not seeing her for the next 4 days.
Narcolepsy Network Conference is in Denver, Colorado this year. I managed to find a reasonable flight (Canadian flights are never that cheap) and I saved a few pennies over the past months as it’s something I really wanted to do. I can’t really find a definite reason as to why I want to attend, I’m really not in any dysfunctional time in my life or time of needing support.  Sometimes I almost feel guilty even writing this blog because I know how many people haven’t found the right meds, right job, right friends, and sadly don’t have the same supportive family as I do. I have what I would call a damn near dream life. I have my dream job, my meds work near perfect, my bad days really aren’t that bad, and my friends and family get it to the best of getting it abilities. My major concerns are within financial goals, but I’m only in year one of my business. It’s not like I am unable to afford rent, food, transportation or any of the necessities. A lot of what I read on the support group are people in desperate times, losing jobs, unappreciative doctors, bad combinations of medications, and horrible experiences. I feel awful for each and every one of them because they’re in such a negative place and I was once in that place too… only I experienced those dark times and moments when I was 13-16 years old. I was given the opportunity it figure my narcolepsy out at a much earlier age and at an age where I wasn’t supporting anyone or even myself.
I suppose what I am getting at is I am feeling rather indifferent about this conference. I think it will be amazing and uplifting to meet others with narcolepsy who are older than me, younger than me and especially around the same age as me. I am excited to attend the seminars to learn more about this crazy diagnosis we all seem to be stuck with. I just suppose I am a little worried it might be a negative experience if most of the people have a negative feeling towards their narcolepsy. I am in a good place in my life right now, and I guess this conference is more for me to support others with their narcolepsy than it is for me to get support in my life.
Excited to meet you all!


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

I Bought Myself a Best Friend

I could explode with happiness and excitement. I’ve picked out my Bestest Best Friend and I get to pick her up on Tuesday! She’s a baby boxer, just the cutest little gal you’ve ever seen. I’m a little biased but I will post photo’s of her and I’m 99% sure you won’t be disagreeing.
I’ve always grown up with dogs, boxers to be exact! I love the breed, honestly couldn’t imagine a life without them and now I don’t have to. We currently have Puma, she turns 8 years old in a few weeks. She’s a complete gem and I love her to death. That being said she is clearly my Mamas dog. Rightly so because as a puppy my Mama did all the work with her and I just played with her! This new puppy will be mine to work with, which excites me. It give me a dog to work with in agility, a dog to call my own, take me out for walks and climb into bed with me for nights of Netflix. I’m ready for the long nights of kennel training, the early mornings to feed and walk and the amount of PICTURES I get to take. Seriously this is every photographers dream. Haha. If people thought I took a lot of pictures of Puma, they should be concerned for my new puppies future in front of the camera. ;)
Anyways, I’m off to go visit her out at the farm…

Meet Jinx.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Crushing Goals;

This summer has been the best one yet, not because I went on the most trips, got the best tan or had some kind of great story to tell everyone. Mainly it’s been the best summer because I accomplished and crushed so many goals I had set for myself. At work we have goals up on the wall, 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. I’ve had to rewrite them twice since May. Rewriting goals because your life changes is mediocre, rewriting goals because you crushed and accomplished them prior to a set deadline is fun and rewarding!
I’ve photographed my first wedding; I’ve built a portfolio that is better than I imagined it would be two years post College. I’m super excited for next summer and next wedding season. This fall and winter will be full of advertising of myself and ensuring my next summer is full of weddings and families.
This fall I’m hoping to get some photo shoots in, a few more couple based shoots than my regular family. I may have to do some free shoots for couples and have them dress a certain way etc so that I can add those to my portfolio.
Needless to say I am excited for my business and the way it is going. They say it takes 5 years to create a successful business. This January will be 1 year since I really started charging, and 2 years since College. I feel like I am right on track to be more than successful in another 3 years time.
I’ll share some images below, but you guys can also check out my website to see more pictures etc!

Look forward to meeting some of you in a month at the Narcolepsy Network Conference!! Hooray!

Friday, 29 August 2014


I’m turning 21 on Sunday. It’s apparently a milestone birthday and it’s to be celebrated bigger and better than previous birthdays… or that’s what my friends past 21st birthdays and social media has told me. Everyone wants to know when I’m headed to Vegas…apparently it’s just the “trip” you take when you turn 21. I have zero interest in it to be quite honest. I think after 14 countries and many drinks with many different people… the Vegas vibe has me a bit turned off. The city doesn’t offer much other than shows, shopping, booze and gambling. I’m not a big shopper, drinker and I’ve never actually gambled.
Needless to say I’m not totally stoked on this birthday, for me 21 means getting your shit together…and being on your own. Not being on your own in the move out kind of way but in the how the government sees you. You’re no longer attached to your parents’ healthcare benefits; you’re no longer under your parents name in a lot of ways. You’re a full-fledged human being and let me tell you people…it’s expensive. Healthcare is not cheap and with Narcolepsy I cannot afford to ever not be on healthcare. Thankfully for me I was under a certain health care provider while I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy so they cannot deny me coverage so long as I never leave them…this means never miss a payment, never remove myself from their plan, never screw this up or I’ll eternally screw myself over. At $70 a month it’s not an overly expensive plan however my meds per month are about $80. That’s just for my daily med that keeps my narcolepsy in check and my life the way I like it. $150 a month is a lot when you’re broke, trying to start your own business and trying to move out. $150 a month is doable, but what if I get sick…it seems to happen often. Anyways that’s all what turning 21 means to me, and makes me a little less excited about being this glorious fun filled age. Haha anyways.

Looks like I’ll be headed to the Narcolepsy Network Conference in Denver this October, will I be seeing any of your beautiful faces there?! Hope so.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Finding time for me;

House sitting has given me tons of time to relax, I don’t know what it is and for how busy I’ve been I’ve found time every night to come and sit by the dock, sometimes paddle board around, sometimes read. It’s almost like I am on vacation however I have responsibilities. I feel that maybe when I am at home it’s easy to get caught in front of the tv, or take the things my own has to offer for granted.
The past three days I did a Juice Cleanse. Why? Well honestly I felt obligated to use the juicer that this house has but had no idea what to juice. That lead to juicing my brains out and a three-day cleanse. I didn’t nap once while doing the cleanse and I didn’t feel starved like I thought I might. Did I find all the juices tasty? Not at all, some I even had to plug my nose to down. However I completed it, feel amazing and am shocked at how much energy I had on it. When I really think about it though, eating clean and healthy diets has always influenced my narcolepsy in a positive way.
I’m going to do my best to eat better over the next couple weeks since this cleanse is done. I’ll see what I can do for my energy level via food.
Anyways, it’s time for a little more photo editing and then off to bed before some more photo editing tomorrow and then work in the evening. This is the life I signed up for though, so I’m more than grateful for the fact that I even have photo’s to be editing. Let alone paid jobs of photo’s to be editing. Night! ;) 

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pura Vida;

I'm extremely saddened to be coming home, but I'm going home with a happy heart.
"The cure for all is salt water; sweat, tears or the ocean."
I will stand behind that quote till my dying day. It really is the truth. I feel a thousand times better after the gym, after a good cry or vent with a friend or my mom. And the ocean has to be the most relaxing and rejuvenating thing we got on this planet. I may have grown up in the mountainous area but I am an ocean girl at heart. The quote may direct you to think I was in a bad place when I left or I was in need of a cure. That's not true, I was however not completely happy. I didn't feel alive with what I was doing on the daily. I have goals and dreams of traveling and I need to look more at working to achieve those than simply just existing to get by.
It's always been a toss up as to what country I've been to that's been my favourite. This trip kind of cleared the air on that subject, Costa Rica is it. It's that country, they've just got it all. They're happy, they're positive and they really take advantage of all the land has to offer. It's a gorgeous country, and the people I met on the trip made it a thousand times better. It's not just about where you go or what you do it's half as much about who you meet and who you experience things with. The three girls I roomed with on the trip were the people I needed to share these experiences with. They wanted to run out in the thunderstorms just to feel the rain just as much as I did. They wanted to drive around on ATVs pretending to speak Spanish for a whole day. They wanted to drop in on waves that destroyed us, go for runs that turned into walks and go skinny dipping even when the guards to the pool said no. They wanted to stay up late to talk about the serious stuff, our dreams, our goals and our pasts. They told stories that captivated my attention and made me feel what they felt in those moments. They're my kind of people and I'm lucky we all crosses paths. It's amazing how much you can get to know someone in 2 weeks time, it's remarkable how much I've laughed in the past two weeks because of them. I'll surely be seeing them this summer, or at least chatting with them!

Pura Vida!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Atv rides with the wild one

Had a time and a half today acting like a wild child with my friend Jen. We rented an atv and went motoring around roads that lead to no where, trespassing signs and anywhere but where we wanted to go. We giggled ourselves stupid the entire time and sang songs we didn't know the words to. It was awesome and well worth the $10 we each paid.
Surf was mediocre today. I got slapped around silly. Caught a half dozen decent waves and then called it a day. It's exhausting trying to paddle out past the current. Consider myself stronger. Also I've gone six days without burning. Unbelievable. Absolutely crazy for my white complexion. I always burn. Even ask my mama! Well so far I only have a burned nose and hair line. It's pretty amazing especially compared to my peers and how badly burnt they have gotten!
Tonight's a live band after the NHL game. I'm less interested in the hockey while on vacation and more interested in the beer and good company that comes with it.
Surfing tomorrow morning and probably evening, super stoked at how much I've improved and how fun these people have been to be around.
Squeezing in a nap before dinner so I can stay out late with the crew! And by late I mean past 10pm. Haha!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Oddest reunion and other things

Everyday I'm reminded of my trip to Europe and everyday I'm reminded why I love meeting new people. Mainly meeting people who love to travel.
Yesterday I had the craziest moment. I was taking pictures of sunset and out walks a guy whose looking at me funny. Immediately I'm thinking I know this person, and before my brain figures it out I'm blurting out "oh shit that's rick". Hahaha as soon as I said it my mind went back to u12 soccer when I was 9 years old. My mind was boggled, how am I in Costa Rica and seeing someone I haven't seen in my own hometown in 6-7 years plus. It was great to see him, hear about his life, the yoga, the foood, the life and the dream he is living.
Today we got a surf lesson and were out on the ocean for 2 hours. It was a blast, caught some good waves. Wiped out a bunch and added to my collection of sore muscles and bruises! We will be back out by 4pm for another session and then stay for sunset!
The people on this trip are awesome, we got drinking and playing games last night. It was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs.
My napping has been often and timing hasn't always been great. I napped after dinner last night and came back out for drinks. Not ideal but you gotta work with what you got.
Anyways, time to tan. :)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Battle bruises and people

I'm alive! Napping like a champion and generally kicking ass at life. I'm feeling invisible but my bruises say otherwise.

My trip into Costa Rica was awesome, after meeting the one couple I later then met an old man. Great guy, great story and such a cheerful person. We got talking, he's lived in Costa Rica for 2.5 years, going to move to Belize and was headed back to Costa Rica to collect his things. He had never been married but he has a dog ginger bear and she passed away so he got up and left the next time, sold everything and decided Belize was the new destination. He was 80 some odd years, healthy and extremely happy. He's been to 130+ countries, owned modelling agencies signed by the playboy mansion and Hugh Hefner was a personal friend. He's dated hooters girls; as in the 2002 hooters girl of the year. Flew for an airline for 30 years and was in the army. He had stories like no other and his passion in telling them was phenomenal. He offered me his first class ticket for the flight to Liberia which I kindly rejected. I told him I couldn't take something he's earned and he said he would send back a drink to my
section. When I landed he made sure to find me and give me a hug and make sure I had a ride because it was late and he worries about the young in this country. It's old people like this that I absolutely love. They make my travels amazing and they honestly have the best stories. I love hearing how happy old people are and when they tell stories about "that one time" and their face lights up and they stop to chuckle to themselves before finishing the sentence. It's these stories and these people that make me want to live the life I have to the fullest. I want those stories and I want those moments. Bob was a great guy, and I'm so happy he coincidentally asked me for the time so I could ask him about his life.
I love hearing stories and it's the main reason I love travelling.

There are many reasons why me and people who speak English as a second language aren't best friends. The main reason being I am a sarcastic asshole and that's not often translated in people who speak little English or English as a second language. It's hilarious when they take things so literal and try and you try and explain that no no it's not like that. But it's also awkward as all hell.
This trip there's a bunch of French girls and I think I'll have to learn to shut up or forever be an asshole on their mind. I'm sure they have another word for me, I'm certain I won't understand it. Haha.
Either way, Costa Rica is amazing. It's gorgeous, it's hot and it's waves are crazy. Tamarindo has murdered me. I've got bruises beyond belief and it's been one full day here.
Some idiots, didn't hold onto their surf boards in the water and well my shin got stabbed so good it's a green welt. I also took some ones board to my right ass cheek and have a blue bruise/welt forming. It's like walking with a Charlie horse. Needless to say I've learned to avoid said idiots when it comes to surfing.

New city tomorrow. Night pretty people.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Misconceptions or Ms.Opportunities;

I’m not sure I am on board with all of my fellow narcoleptics. I’ve seen how upset they’ve gotten over the recent Modern Family episode that talked about narcolepsy and then the Black Box episode. I get it, it sucks that a show aired to millions of people and got Narcolepsy “wrong” or misinterpreted the sleep disorder. But are we all really that negative these days? I mean narcolepsy was aired on popular shows that spiked awareness of it even being a condition in the first place. Can we not see the good in it; we at least got past the ever so famous “rat race” interpretation.
I just feel like the narcolepsy community needs to take this opportunity to educate people who talk about the episode and say, “Hey no it’s not exactly like that, this is how it is”. Don’t like talking about the condition or don’t like educating people about it? Then sit back and watch it get misinterpreted. You can’t be upset about something you’re not willing to change…and getting upset and mad is a waste of energy that won't change peoples opinions about Narcolepsy.
It’s like the Facebook forums where we are suppose to get support…if you take it all seriously damn rights you’re going to be depressed and get thinking it’s the end of your life. But you have to see the good in it all, people post what works for them and that may not be what works for you. Flip side it could be the ultimate game changer and improve your quality of life. Everyone’s narcolepsy is different, it’s not even fully understood. So why do we sit here and get upset about misinterpretations when these misinterpretations are allowing us to educate and change point of views.
We are not the ONLY people who have an illness that has misconceptions…there are plenty out there and ultimately they all had to start somewhere too.
I understand the negative comments, the negative feedback, the person who thinks they have got the cure are all discouraging. People suck, people aren’t perfect and that’s the bottom line. Narcolepsy is going to be misinterpreted at times and it’s going to be dispiriting but I think we just need to take the time to be positive. If you’re letting people get you down and you’re fuming over these interpretations then you’re wasting your energy. Take that energy and put it towards telling someone what it’s really like, educating someone who wants to be educated. Ultimately at the end of the day, no one is going to “get” it or completely understand it unless they have it. You can bet the people who wanted to educate themselves on the condition hit up the Internet after the episodes and got a dose of what it potentially could be like. As for the others who laughed it off or think it’s stress related… let them think that. When someone wants to learn they ask or research and they have an open mind. Let the close-minded people be close-minded…they aren’t worth your time.
Of course with the post…I’ll say this is just my opinion. My humble opinion on how negative society as a whole is these days. I may not post much these days, I may not comment on much in blogs, facebook or twitter…I do read it all though. I read it all and I don't let it alter my outlook or alter who I tell about narcolepsy.
Stay positive people, and start taking these moments and turning them into opportunities not bitterness. The more we focus on the bad the more bad we will see… and I’ll leave it at that. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

It's OK to be Grumpy;

Just a few more weeks of this crazy work schedule and I’ll be curled up in a ball on the couch, in my mom’s bed or at my boyfriend’s doorstep sobbing about narcolepsy and how frustrating it is trying to be a normal functioning human being. But is this life I’m living normal for a human being? Most would say probably not. Now how bout we look at the issue of money; the cost of living on your own, food expenses, owning a car, and the general fact that living is fucking expensive. How does one ever expect me to move out again from my parents place? They can’t possibly expect me to work sane hours and be able to live like I’m not dying or not fearing the next time I’ll fall asleep at the wheel. They just can’t have these silly irrational expectations of me; the girl who is supposed to nap daily…how is she to ever work enough to financially support her own self and be happy.
Balance; yes I’ve heard it plenty lately. You need to find the balance between work aka money and your health, your life and your general happiness. You know what? I think it’s a lie when you’re young and starting out, and a lie when you’re narcoleptic. I’m both of these things, young and narcoleptic and I have a theory that I can only pick TWO of these options. It was happiness and health these past 3-4 months. However my bank account is screaming at me and my ambitions of seeing the world and achieving the big dreams I have are slowly becoming unrealistic because I simply have money to pay for my car insurance, the gas that goes in it and the rent that I pay my parents to keep a roof over my head. Now with a second job, technically a third if you count my self-employed photography as a job…I am questioning which two options I’ll be picking. Work is the one option; now do I pick health or happiness? But in all seriousness…how does one stay happy with no social life and how does one stay healthy if I choose to have a social life? I work so much or at odd hours in comparison to my friends…therefore I rarely see them and it’s a lack of quality time. I just want all the answers and I want the answers to be simple. I just want to fast forward 2-3 years from now when I hopefully am using my Photography as a MAIN source of income. It is then that I truly believe I’ll be able to pick all three options. Work won’t be work, it will just be money from doing something that is contributing to my general happiness.
As for all you normal non-narcoleptics reading this…I get it. 43-hour workweek ain’t shit for you and your perfect health living off no sleep. I’m glad that your biggest worry when you sleep for 4 hours is the bags you’ll have under your eyes the next day. Good for you, I’m actually jealous of you…much like you are jealous of my “convenient” excuse for napping.
Lets see how miserable this 43-hour work week can make me. And to answer your question…yes…yes I am being a bitter negative Nancy currently. And no…no I am not trying to be rude…I’m simply expressing how I feel to prolong the fetal position and tears that are to come in the following weeks. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Happy New Year & All That Jazz

It’s that time…I owe everyone a blog update and I owe myself the tranquillity that the writing brings me.
Things have changed since I last blogged, but my life is always changing and that’s why I love it! My photography is still slow going and will be a continual work in progress, however I have met up with a Wedding and Event Planner! It was a great coffee date that went in nothing but the right direction; we will be working together this year on building both of our portfolios! I am super excited and although it might be work that’s not paid…it will one day all pay off!
I am still working in retail at the children’s clothing store Ivivva and honestly love my job there. The company is really inspiring on the basis of goal setting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always had goals in the back of my mind…but writing them down, showing the world what they are, and making a “by when” finish date makes the goal seem more achievable. I’ve got some goals I’m aiming to complete in 2014; I will share one from each category personal, career, and health!

Personal: Scuba Diving Certification by August 2014
Career: Shoot one Wedding as the main photographer or second photographer by December 2014
Health: Have my percentage of body fat at or below 20% by July 2014

My only complaint is since Christmas I haven’t been getting enough hours. This one complaint has me on the lookout for another job, one that’s flexible!

Recently I was in Hawaii with a friend from College…She conveniently decided to run her first marathon in Maui. Also convenient that she had no one tagging along for the adventure! I gladly stepped up to the plate and so happy I did. I had an amazing time in an absolutely gorgeous place. If you haven’t been I highly suggest you put Maui on the list. It’s incredible and warm and perfect and I want to be back there!! We got to go surfing, snorkeling and kayaking. I have a soft spot for surfing, I find it incredibly fun and have now been three times…and can’t wait to go again. I hadn’t been kayaking before so I found it fun and the spots we stopped to snorkel were neat! I swam with some turtles, literally could have touched them if that wasn’t frowned upon! We also lucked out completely and had the luxury of being present to a baby humpback whale and it’s “playtime”. I couldn’t believe it, probably 20 feet away from us out popped a baby whale slapping in the water, twisting, turning and just having a grand time. You could see the shadows of mom and dad under us…absolutely massive animals. It was impressive and truly a unique experience! I’m a little sad I am already back home in the cold, but these trips are the ones that give me the motivation to save my money for more travelling!
My life is full of workouts these days as I try to lean out and build upper body strength. Since summer I have lost about 20 pounds and feel better about myself and happier in general. I have a great friend who works out with me 6 days a week at the Universities gym. It’s a huge help to have someone to go to the gym with, it’s motivation to finish the workouts and to stay on track. My social life is rather boring, everyone is back in school and broke…actually we’ve always been broke we just pretend we have money during winter break and the occasional weekend. Funny enough on one of those “pretending to have money” weekends back in October I ended up meeting a guy I am now dating. Turns out boys don’t have cooties; a lie I was told in kindergarten only to find out at age 20 that some guys are pretty all right. My dog seems to like him and he’s been rather kind to me so I’ll keep him until given reason otherwise. Haha.

In the world of narcolepsy and meds…
Slowly but surely cataplexy has entered back into my life, nothing of the collapsing sort or the disabling type. Just the face weakness I remember from high school. It could be from the simple fact that I find myself and my friends to be hilarious… or the actual and pure fact that I am tired. It never seems to happen in the day, but usually at night and late and it’s usually from reading a ridiculous text from a friend, joking around with someone or just plain funny things. It’s almost as if I go to giggle and laugh that my face lacks control and causes me to frown. It’s like cataplexy hates laughter or seeing you happy and it’s got to let you know…either way it’s not debilitating or anything and I am perfectly fine.
I did however get a new prescription yesterday. I’ve always taken 54mg of Concerta…occasionally I’ll take 72 mg or low doses like 18mg on days of naps and no driving. It’s been working but I’ve been also feeling like I don’t realise that I need the 72mg until it’s too late in the day. Since Concerta is 12 hour medication I can’t really take it past 10:30. It’s been between 12-4 that I’ve noticed “I might not make it to the end of the day”. Medicating with Caffeine isn’t ideal because of the crash I feel after and the broken sleep it causes on an already broken enough sleep. All this being said my doctor has prescribed me the regular short acting Ritalin. Just the low dose of 5mg…hoping it helps and I am able to make good use of it on the days where I am struggling at noon! Will keep you posted on this in future!

Last but certainly not least I wanted to introduce a new blog I have found. It’s just up and running recently and I’m inspired and happy to see a young narcoleptic taking the time to blog. His family is helping him; clearly doing a great job at supporting him with school and extra activities. Normal is all we want in our lives, especially when we are young and trying to fit in. I wish him nothing but the best in his journey and look forward to reading the blog!

Enjoy your day!