New Beginnings

Hello my beautiful friends,

I decided something today as I was grocery shopping. (Yes, I do adult things occasionally). I have decided to become a healthy eater. Now, I don’t mean I’m going to jump on the fitness train and become some body builder. But I do intend to slowly cut out the bad things in my diet.

Now, let me start off by saying I’m not a huge meat eater in the first place. And it’s not even because of the killing/torturing animals thing (sorry to all you vegans out there) I just simply don’t like the taste. SO, I don’t eat meat. I have chicken every once in a while but nothing crazy. I’m educated in other ways to obtain my protein and iron that you get from eating red meat, so no worries there.

What I want to do, is slowly cut out things that aren’t good for you – sugar, too much salt, high fat foods, processed foods, etc. I’m considering cutting out dairy if I can come up with a good alternative to milk. I do love my milk. I bought Almond Milk today, so I’m going to give that a go.

I do want to have a more raw, plant based diet. I’m open to trying just about anything. If it ends up with me being a vegetarian or vegan or whatever, then so be it. I just know I need to change my diet. I have no energy all the time, my insomnia is out of control, I’d like to lose a few pounds, and be more lean. My goals aren’t unrealistic and actually quite easy to obtain. I just need the self discipline to do so.

Now, I did have a gym membership with Goodlife, and I went maybe 3 times out of the whole year. Now that was a waste of money, so my plan is to start with some at home workouts that I’ll do 3x per week and see how that goes. If I keep it consistent and keep up with it – then yeah, I’ll go ahead and get another gym membership, but I’m not about to waste all that money again. Lesson learned.

So today, while grocery shopping I bought a lot of fresh fruit, veggies, protein powder, gluten free snacks, Quest bars, Special K cereal, frozen fruits and veggies (good for smoothies in the morning) and other things along those lines. When I was looking through the aisles, I actually took some time to read over the ingredients. I’m cautious about the amount of sugar and the amount of sodium & the fat content. I’m okay with the good fats, not okay with the bad fats.

I plan to really increase my daily water intake, especially if going to the gym becomes a regular thing. Luckily, my dad and stepmom are really into nutrition and health so they’ll be able to send me in the right direction. I can ask them any questions. And before I get any comments, my stepmom is actually trained in this stuff. Plus, I really like their routine and I like the results both of them have had with their diet and exercise routines.

So, best of luck to me. I’m going to start lightly integrating such healthy foods into my diet this week, but since it’s Wednesday night at 11:06 PM EST, I’m not going to go hardcore. I’m still going to enjoy pasta while I can this week! But starting next Monday, it’s showtime. I know I’ll have off days and days that definitely do not go well but I have to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this dietary change won’t happen over time.

Wish me luck friends.

Time to Say Goodbye

Hello my beautiful friends,

I’m currently sitting on a VIA train heading home from Brampton. Let me tell you, taking the train was bizarre on Friday considering I haven’t taken it in honestly YEARS. I used to take it all the time because it was easier then having my mom & dad meet halfway in London, do a child swap and then drive home.

Sidenote: I found train tickets from 2011 in my nightstand at my dads, just goes to say how long I’ve been taking the train.

Anyways, I used to hate packing up and hustling for the train every Friday and then the same deal on Sundays when I went home. Now at the ripe age of 22 I have a new appreciation for the train. Now, I wouldn’t want to take it every other weekend again, but I do find it relaxing. There’s no stress of driving, using gas, possibly getting into an accident on the highway (transport trucks make me paranoid) and I don’t have to worry about staying awake. I can nap all I want. The trip is about the same amount of time, 3 hours. So why not enjoy it once in a while? It’s obviously way cheaper for me because my dad books & pays for my train which I’m appreciative of.

VIA has stepped up their game since I last took the train. It seems they’ve made it more organized. There’s now assigned seats. When you book tickets, you get a car number and an assigned seat. If you are someone like me, who needs a window seat, it’s nice. When you book, they ask your preference. Oh, by the way, I need a window seat because I get to claustrophobic in the aisle with people always walking around me and not being able to stare out the window. I’m not just some stuck up girl who NEEDS something just for the sake of sitting there. Same goes for planes, I always ask for the window seat. I definitely could not sit in the middle seat on a plane. I already have to take Gravel to knock me out on a plane, imagine what I’d need for the middle?

Anyways, I figured I’d take advantage of the WIFI on board and type up a quick post for Sunday. School’s coming up soon, I’m okay with that. It gives me a structured routine. I’ll have to post an update for sure after my first week. I’m ashamed to say I’m actually repeating this coming semester because I had to leave last year for personal reasons I’m not willing to disclose at the time.

Okie doke, I’ll post sometime within the next 2 days.

Have a fantastic week!

City Life

Good afternoon fellow Bloggers,

I’m sitting in my family room at my dad’s house in Toronto, well Brampton technically, and I’m just enjoying the day. It’s 12:20 PM EST and I couldn’t be happier. Yesterday, we had the whole family over in order to celebrate my dad’s 52nd birthday.

Fun Fact: I always know my dad’s age, he is exactly 30 years older then me. So it’s my age, plus 30. Easy peasy.

Anyways, it was wonderful having my whole family over. It’s not something that can happen often. All of the kids, 4 of us, are all aged 20 or above so with our work and school schedules, it’s difficult to get us in one room together. My aunt and uncle have 2 kids, which are 12 & 13. They have busy, busy schedules as well. They also live in New Market which is about 50 minutes away from my dad. The point is, it’s difficult to get us all in the same place together. SO, when it happens, it’s nice. We all catch up on the latest events in everyone’s lives.

My dad & stepmom ordered Italian food and we feasted. At some point, we bring out the Limoncello and do shots. (It’s good for digestion, don’t worry). My aunt eventually starts dancing, and no, she’s not drunk, she just likes to dance. It’s safe to say she’s the life of the party. My grandparents catch up with all of the grandkids, and tell us to behave and do well in school. Everyone left around 10 which was nice, we were able to hangout for several hours.

This morning, I was awake at 10 and stayed in bed till about 11, took a shower and came downstairs to make my breakfast. Breakfast was a massive plate of fruit with two little desserts from last night. Now, I’m sitting and relaxing.

Whoops, my dad just got home. Talk to you later.

Life Stresses

Let’s start with the obvious: Life is full of stressors. There are so many ups and downs in life and most are unexpected.

I sometimes wish there was a way to view your future based on the decisions you make. For example, which university to go too. What if I choose Western? BAM. Flash of future. What if I choose Brock? BAM. Flash of future. Get what I mean internet family?

I’m sitting here at 12:54am EST and I’m freaking myself out with all of this research I’m doing. Maybe I shouldn’t of waited till the middle of the night to do it. Oh well.

As mentioned in the “About Me” post, I am going to be a lawyer. Notice how I said I AM? That’s because there is no alternative. No back-up plan. This has been what I’ve told myself and everybody in my life that I want to be when I grow up. Well, now I’m all grown up (for the most part) and it’s time to get serious about planning for that career.

Let me tell you something important first: LIFE DOES NOT WORK OUT THE WAY YOU WANT OR EXPECT IT TOO.

I wish I had of taken that advice more seriously as a youngster. I had a life plan: graduate high school, go to university, go to law school, do lawyer stuff. Of course, having a family and all of that was mixed in there but the main goal was: do lawyer stuff. However, as you can probably guess…. life got in the way. I made the decision to go to Brock University based on my boyfriend at the time. Notice how I said AT THE TIME? That’s because we broke up, obviously. We had dated for a year prior to me going, and dated for 3 more years after that. It wasn’t a waste of time, and I don’t regret going there at all. The reasons I dropped out of Brock had little to do with the breakup. Yes, of course it was a small part of it. I’d say about 15% of the reason I dropped out. Again – not going into that story. (No, I’m not all heartbroken either, this was at least 2 years ago now).

The point was: I dropped out of Brock and decided to go back to school, but at a college level. I’m currently attending Lambton College. Which is great, no complaints about it. Here’s the kicker: You need a BA (Bachelors Degree) in order to go to law school. In college, you don’t get that. You get a diploma. So that’s my current dilemma right now. I remember in my first year at Lambton, my teacher mentioned a program my school offers that will ultimately allow me to obtain a BA. It was a partnership program with a university in Alberta. I can’t remember the details, so I’m trying not to stress myself out about it too much until I speak with my teacher in September.

This is what I’m talking about wishing I could see the future based on SOME of my decisions. Like I wish I had of seen the consequences of dropping out of Brock. I will still go to law school, it’s just going to take longer and cost more. Which was not part of the plan. I honestly don’t regret dropping out of Brock, it was such an amazing experience being there and I met my lifelong best friend there. I’d redo my 2 years there in a heartbeat – except I’d stay, not drop out.

Another big stressor goes along with school and that’s the cost. The cost of post-secondary education is ridiculous. Yes, I know there’s OSAP available, bank’s offer loans, lines of credit, there are bursaries and scholarships. But with OSAP and bank loans, it’s scary to think about all the debt you get in just so you can be a functioning adult in the world. In today’s society, you can’t even be a garbage man without a college diploma. Sure, college is cheaper then university. For example, I paid $3200 (approx.) for Lambton versus my $6500 (approx.) at Brock, AND THAT”S TUITION ALONE. OSAP is reasonable with their repayment plans, even if they only get $100 a month, their happy. BUT here’s the catch: you get interest charged every month (I think). So, if you have a $30,000 loan and only pay $200 a month at an interest rate of 3.5% (based on OSAP website info and basic math) it would take you 16.5 years to pay off. SIXTEEN FLIPPING YEARS? SERIOUSLY? That’s a load of bulls*t. What if a person can only afford $200 a month? I mean, that’s a prime interest rate considering most loans are way higher than that but still. The thought of taking 16 years to pay off a loan just so I can get a job is crazy. (This loan information isn’t my own, I just plucked a random number out of my head.)

No wonder people don’t bother with university. It’s even more stressful for someone like myself who plans on graduate studies like Law school or Medical school. Depending on the case, law school can be upwards of $20,000 PER YEAR.

Blah, even typing all of this is stressing me out. I need to take a break. I’m gonna have an anxiety attack or something, haha.

Goodnight internet fam.

Trying to be brave…

How do I pluck up the courage to share my blog with people? I get discouraged writing blog posts because I have such low stats. Nobody looks at my posts, blog or anything. I love writing and I’m not going to stop – but feedback and views would be nice. Know what I mean?

I don’t plan on becoming “blog famous” or anything like that, I just want to connect with people all over the world. I have a serious case of Wanderlust. But aside from that, although I’m only 22 years old, I’ve been through a heck of a lot for someone my age and I feel like I can make a difference in somebody’s life who’s going through something similar. If my words can help brighten just one person’s day, I’ll feel good. And no, it’s not just a confidence boost for myself. I’ve always wanted to help people.

So I guess I have a few problems:

  1. How to become brave enough to share my blog even on my Facebook?
  2. How to get my blog noticed? How to attract readers?
  3. How to prepare myself for possible negative feedback?

To anybody in the Internet world, please feel free to give me a shout.

The Truth

I’ve never really been one to mess things up. Since I’m such a meticulous planner and organizational freak, I always think at least one step ahead. I might not always do so, but I try my best with each decision that I make.

So, let me give you a back story here….

Rewind to last summer, around July 16th. I received a message on Facebook from a guy I went to high school with. He was wishing me a happy birthday. After the niceties were exchanged, he had asked me to go out for lunch/dinner with him to catch up since it had been 3 or 4 years since we’ve seen each other blah blah. I had a major crush on this guy in grade 9, so i absolutely accepted. Better late then never right? Anyways, he drove about 20-30 minutes out of the way to come pick me up in Wallaceburg and everything. I thought this was rather sweet. So, we went to a place in Chatham called Rice & Noodle (if my memory is correct) and we caught up. We talked about high school and university and blah blah.

Now, we were never really friends in high school. We would have classes together, be partners occasionally, exchanged hellos in the hallway, but we didn’t hangout. So, after dinner that night I was mildly confused as to the whole “catching up” business, as we had nothing much to watch up on. I later realized it was a ploy to get me to go out with him, and it worked. (His words, not mine). Anyways, after that we saw each other several times.

One day, as we were exchanging text messages, he accidentally sent me one that was meant for someone else. Now, up until this point I had no idea who his family was, never met anybody in his family, all that jazz. Although I can’t remember the exact wording of the message, it mentioned something about his mother being sick with cancer. I immediately knew the message wasn’t meant for me and to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. So again, if my memory is correct, I simply said that I didn’t think that message was meant for me. And I was right, it wasn’t. But at that point, the cat was out of the bag. We didn’t talk about it, and I never bugged him too. I figured he’d talk about it if he wanted too.

Shortly after, I was invited to dinner at his parents house. This made me absolutely nervous. His father is a lawyer, mother a doctor. I had no idea how this was going to go. I knew him, and he wasn’t some spoiled rich kid, but I know sometimes parents want the best for their children. Regardless, it went well. I met his sister that night as well. I liked his family very much. They were kind and respectful. To be honest, all I wanted to do was pick his dads brain about law and being the Crown Attorney. (I know, it’s awful but that is my dram job right there).

So fast forward a few months, we continue to hangout and get to know each other. It became clear there were feelings involved on both ends. Now, here is when my inner jerk comes out. It’s been quite some time since my last relationship and without going into detail, it broke me. After that ended, I wasn’t the same person anymore. Regardless, with this guy, I wanted to try. I wanted a relationship with him. He made me happy, he kept up with me, he is well spoken, intelligent, funny, hardworking. He’s honestly the entire package. We would have made quite the lovely couple.

Back to where we left off, now Internet world, try not to judge me to harshly. This was some time ago and I’ve grown up since then. BUT, at that time, it honestly scared the hell out of me that his mother was dying. Pathetic right? I was all hung up on HIS mother dying. How selfish of me, I know. I was scared that I couldn’t be there for him when he needed me. I was scared that I would only let him down at a time he relied on me the most. I was scared I wouldn’t know how to react if his mother passed away. All of these feelings and thoughts were selfish. I couldn’t put aside my own issues to help him.

Listen, I know how I am in tough situations. I couldn’t imagine being his rock if his mother passed, when I’d be a blubbering mess myself. I get attached to people easily, and the more I got to know his mom, the more attached I got. So, I did what I do best – and I pushed him away. Not on purpose, but little things here and there. They add up quickly, I learned.

For example, he asked me to be his date to his sisters wedding in February. I could of easily said yes. But no, I used my surgery as an excuse. I was scheduled for surgery on my wrist in December and was going to be in a cast well into February. It had been rescheduled once, so I said something about the possibility of it being rescheduled again and what if I’m in pain? I can’t remember what BS I used at the time. I never really gave him a straight answer. So, he waited. When I finally got the operation, he asked me again – rightfully so, his sister needed to know if I was going to be there or not – DUH. I gave him some BS excuse probably. Long story short, I did not go.

A bunch of other little things happened, like I’d get annoyed if I couldn’t see him as often as I wanted blah blah. Looking back, I realize how much of an as*hole I was. His mother was dying for God sake, of course he was going to spend as much time as possible with her. It’s one of those situations where you don’t realize the mistakes you made until you make them.

I’ve never really screwed up a relationship before. I’m always the one that sticks around until the bitter end no matter how many times I’ve cried, how many fights we’ve had. I always, always fight for the person I want to be with. This situation was the opposite. I let him go, and it sucked. For the first time, EVER, I was crying because I had made a mistake, and I had screwed up what would have been an amazing relationship. I have no doubt in my mind that if I had of said yes when he officially asked me out, instead of just staring at him like an idiot, we’d still be dating today. But no, I had to go and be the jerk that I am.

I learned a lot from it, which is nice I suppose. Just a little to late for this guy. We still talk, in fact I saw him Tuesday. We drank wine and went in his hot tub and swam with his dog. But I never know what he wants from me, we never talk about it -even if I try. He claims to have forgiven me for being such an as*hole, but I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like I’m pulling teeth to get him to consider hanging out with me, even then he’s usually drunk when I see him.

I don’t know. There’s the truth Internet Fam. The one time I actually mess up a relationship and a year later, still think about it. Anyone have any advice out there for me? Do I confront him? Leave it in the past? Try and start over?

Rainy Days

Good afternoon Internet,

As I’m sitting in my living room watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, listening to the rain outside my window, I’m feeling inspired to write a blog post.

Have you ever just sat and listened to the thunder and watched the lightening and become mesmerized? I have. I personally love thunder storms. I find it to be relaxing and calming. I always have the best sleeps during storms. I’ve always been this way. Even when I was younger, I’d ask my mom and dad why the sky made noises. Back then, my parents would tell me it was God bowling. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone was told at some point in time.

I remember once when I was young, I was with my mom in Ohio visiting some of her friends. It was during hurricane season. As we were approaching our time to leave, the weather got worse and worse. Next thing you know, we’re stranded in Ohio because of a hurricane watch. At first, I remember being scared. A hurricane is a scary thing for someone who’s only a child. I knew they were dangerous. But, I came to love it. The wind was insane and the rain was awful.Thunder and lightening was a constant. The very first night, I had a hard time sleeping, but after the first night it was great. For a few days, it was amazing to listen and watch the weather change so dramatically.

I’m just reflecting on some of my younger moments today, I should go and do something productive now.

Enjoy the rest of your day Internet!

Life’s Rough

Hello Internet world,

I’m one of those people who likes structure. I like plans. I like routines. I’m very organized and I plan my days well. I budget like every college student, I pay my bills on time, always. I have back-up plans and room for error. Some may say I’m psychotic, but that’s just how I am. I guess that’s why I’ll make a good lawyer.

So, when life throws me a curveball I NEVER saw coming, it can be stressful for me. For example, today was a good day for me. I felt well enough to go out with my mom and grandma. We got pedicures and decided to go out for dinner. Everything’s going great.

WAIT, back up…. I should probably mention that I JUST paid off my credit card. As in, a few days ago. I don’t like to have a balance on my credit card but sometimes things happen and I have to use it for emergencies or something.

Continuing on, so I get text alerts when my credit card is used because a few years ago, on Christmas Day, my card was compromised and there was a $250 dollar charge that I didn’t authorize. No big deal, you call the 1-800 number on the back of the card and poof, problem solved. It’s a hassle to call, and have a new card mailed to you, etc, etc. It’s all relatively easy to fix, just tedious. ANYWAY, I’m sitting at a booth in Boston Pizza when I get a text saying there was an authorization for ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Yes, you read that right, $1000 big ones. I immediately started freaking out because who on Earth spends that much money in one place? When I get these text alerts, it tells me where the purchase was made. I immediately clicked on the link to find out it’s some place in Toronto. I was livid. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me AGAIN. (And of course it had to be on a day when I was feeling good and actually was able to leave the house). I got on the phone right away with Scotiabank to get this sorted out.

The first man I spoke with was very helpful, aside from stating the obvious “Yes, Miss. Longo is seems you’re card is compromised.” Well, no sh*t Sherlock, considering I’m in Chatham and this purchase was in Toronto, I’d say it was compromised. He then transferred me to some Security department. Again, the lady was very helpful. She listed off 3 or 4 authorizations on my credit card that I had NO IDEA about which was rather unnerving. They have cancelled my credit card, my case is getting sent to a Case Manager and they are mailing me a new credit card. Luckily, this was rectified easily. I clued in later, and found it strange they never sent me a new card the first time this happened a few years ago. They just reversed the charges and I kept my same card.

Regardless, it was an easy fix. I panicked at first because that’s a lot of money. I think I panicked more because it’s crazy that this kind of stuff happens ALL THE TIME. It’s insane how easy it is for people to just take somebody’s credit card information and use it. With technology being such a prominent thing in everyday life especially in a first world country, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. There’s always going to be those people who prey upon others and steal their information. It’s pathetic and ridiculous but it’s part of life nowadays. I truly find it sad that people feel they need to steal things from others. I know it’s just a credit card scam and my problem was easily fixed, but it really makes one think.

How easy was it for this person to get my information? How easy is it for them to do it again? What if it was more then just my credit card information? How often does this actually happen? Going through this situation again really makes me nervous. It made me feel so vulnerable today. The fact that some stranger, three hours away from me used me information and got away with it is scary.

If anyone’s reading this and would like to share their story, please leave a comment. How did you manage to feel secure again?

Goodnight Internet.

Welcome!

Good evening Internet world,

This is my first ever blog post. I’m completely new at this. I was inspired by a YouTuber that I watch, Polina Beragova. She has recently started a blog as an outlet to connect with her subscribers on a more personal level. Although I’m not a YouTuber, I have no significant social media presence, I was inspired to start my own blog.

There are many things going on in my life at this moment and I truly believe sitting down a few times a week to write a blog post will do me some good. Now, I’m not going to go into detail quite yet about the roller coaster that I call my life, because who knows how long I’ll keep this up for?

I’ll give a quick about me:

My name is Marina Longo. I’m 22 years old and I’m studying to become a lawyer. Law is my passion and I’ve wanted this career since I was 13 years old. I’ve been through some pretty awful things in my life but I believe they have all made me a better person. I always excelled in English and I’ve always loved writing. I truly never believed I had a talent for writing, and never thought I could write a book. But I’m not trying to do that now am I? I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario and when I was about 13 I moved to Wallaceburg, Ontario. My parents divorced and that’s how I ended up from a big city, to a village (dramatic I know, but that’s what it seemed like at the time). I graduated from Holy Family elementary school and went on to Ursuline College for my secondary years. Those years were a roller coaster, a story which I can write a whole post on. From UCC, I went to Brock University to study Honours Psychology & History (double major, ambitious, I know). After spending 2 years at Brock, I ended up having to leave for personal reasons (I’m not going to share just yet). I ended up at Lambton College where I’m completing the Law Clerk program. Although my life plan didn’t quite go the way I wanted, I’m still on track to attending law school. I’m in my final year at Lambton. I currently work two jobs, one full time and one part time. I work throughout the school year, so I guess you could say I manage my time well. I have one child and his name is Loki, yes he is a dog. He is 6 months old and I love him to the moon and back. He is so spoiled and he’s only a dog, imagine if I had a human child? Phew.

I live at home with my mother and my grandmother. My dad lives in Brampton with the rest of my family, and I try and visit as often as I can. I also have a brother who lives in London with this girlfriend and is currently attending Fanshawe college. By the way, he’s younger.

I love reading and watching Netflix, going for walks and spending time with my family and friends. Reading would be my number one though. If you give me a good book and I’ll probably finish it within a day. For example, I read the entire Harry Potter series in 1 week, maybe 6 days. I’m an extremely hard worker when it comes to school and my employment but I do have my lazy days just like everyone else.

I’m not sure how much the Internet world would like to know about me, but there’s a good start. It’s almost midnight here and I should probably be getting to bed. Hopefully this blog works out for me, I need something in my life at the moment where I can just write. Turns out, I have horrible writing and a pen and paper just looks like chicken scratch.

Goodnight Internet, talk to you soon.