Before the Future was Female

 

1cdfe582fd28f2f810c7285312ad152b.jpg

I was a woman before my body was represented as a pear and the space in-between my legs was drawn as a peach.

I was a woman before we marched and cheered and screamed and found our voices.

I was a woman before time was up.

I was a woman in a small town wanting to take a “boys only” grade ten weight lifting class.

I was a woman when they told me it was only for boys and to try photography.

I was a woman when I was picked last at recess.

I was a woman when I was the only female on the field.

I was a woman before it was okay to yell.

I’ve always yelled.

90f3ecabc0d8b0bce723d20b9d204a93

I was a woman before I had mentors and heroines of my kind.

I was a woman before I was a #Girlboss, honestly, I think I’m just a boss.

I was a woman before the future was female.

I was a woman before Instagram told me to post about it, before Facebook encouraged me to share.

I was a woman when I first learned things aren’t always going to be fair.

I was a woman before I was harassed for the first time.

And second.

And third.

And fourth time.

I was a woman when my dad taught me how to throw a football.

I was a woman when my grandfather taught me about the stock market.

I was a woman when my brother taught me about computers.

I was a woman when my ex boyfriend told me not to correct his sports knowledge in front of his friends. LOL YA RIGHT BUD. FIO.

Now, we celebrate.

We celebrate every woman, no matter if she was or wasn’t one last year.

We celebrate every woman, no matter the colour of her skin.

We celebrate every woman no matter who she lets into her bed.

I was a woman before I knew all the wonderful, beautiful, and powerful meanings of being one.

Happy International Women’s Day to all my queens.

 

9808c439eb506b22e0d8dc79dfcfcbec.jpg

 

Advertisements

The Definitive Ranking of a Selected Assortment of Croissants in Toronto

croissys pic1.png

 

It’s that time of year again, where I bless you with all the hard work, research, and eating I’ve done the past year to give you the Definitive Ranking of a Selected Assortment of Croissants in Toronto.

Last edition of this was inspired y a Miss. Natassha Cruz after asking me where the best croissants were around where we worked- King and John. Any snack lover will tell you this is not the best food area in Toronto. Luckily, this past March, Syd and I moved to snack mecca of Toronto- Dundas and Ossington. The increase in walkable great snacks has had a direct correlation with an increase in happiness. Most places featured on this list are in around home base but others are listed that I’ve just come across- no croissy is safe.

Below please see a selection of shops and restaurants serving croissants and all relevant information- including address, availability, over ranking and comments.

(Yes you have to zoom in. Sorry- I’m not a developer, I’m a snacker.)

croissys 1croissys 2

I hope you have a very flakey, buttery, beautiful day.

Missed The Morning Pulse

 

bagel

 

I know, I’ve been quiet for a little bit. Well, at least online anyways, I don’t think I’m ever quiet in real life.

However, I am trying to change this.

I want to write more, and the best way to do that, is to just do it.

So hi! Me again.

Update on life: working three (and a half) jobs, all part time, all helping me fulfill different goals in my life. A little lost, but inspired and energized as well. Today really helped with the energizing. I head to Chicago in three weeks with my twin flame. Stay tuned for Chi Flames edition. If you know about Los Flames (Angeles) or Sassfransisco, you know it’s going to be a wild time. Luckily, the 3.5 jobs allow me to take this mini weekend getaway.

Job #1: Equinox- Why not work for one of the best and most recognized brands in North America? I love the community and the people especially- really inspiring and very motivating in helping achieve fitness and health goals. I like it. I have a trainer and he helps me ~schlurpppp~ – which is Claire-speak for tighten. He gets me.

Job #2: La Palma- Trendy and hipstery restaurant on Dundas W. V cool and delish spot. I support. No really, that’s the title “Support” I essentially do everything- but take orders. Yes, I would rather be getting that server guap. But for now, this does the trick. Great people, a little mundane with the tasks, but there’s very little stress and the ability to come and go and book time off is the best thing about service. I’m also doing my best to learn about wine so hopefully will be serving Perseco and selling flat irons all damn day soon enough.

Job #3: Giftgowns- A meaningful and great opportunity presented to me by my cousin, Katie. I work doing influencer outreach, cold calling, and every odd job in between to help get this start up to a scale up and beyond. We work out of the DMZ at Yonge and Dundas, today was my first full day in the office- errr space. It’s going.

So for the first time in about 5 months, I was up at 7:30, I got out of bed a half hour later, and was out the door and grabbing a bagel at Schmaltz Appetizing (see pic [new location Dundas and Oss WHATS GOOD?!]) by 8:30, office by 9am via Dundas 505.

In the time I have been absent from the morning commute, I almost forgot about the pulse. I missed it. I missed the pace of the mornings in the city. The hustle. When you work off hours you lose the beat; you miss the steps. Today, I got that feeling again.

To go get it.

I did work all morning.

I grabbed my lunch at the Eaton’s Centre. Well, my banana and oat bar from Starbucks- still full from bagel.

Worked all afternoon. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. 

I made plans for after work- meeting Maria at Patois then the Nicolas Jaar concert.

Little things- the routine of it all.  I forgot how much I missed it all.

I rescheduled my training session tomorrow for 9:30am. I wanted to feel the morning pulse again. The traffic of rush hour doesn’t bother me much. It means people are working, the community is thriving. Flourish. One time.

Oh, you want to know what the half job is? I’ll get back to writing about it soon, I promise.

When the Desert Feels Like Home

I went to Coachella.

However, by venturing into the desert I actually went home.

the-weeknd-and-nav-performance-coachella-2017-billboard-1548

The talent at Coachella is second to none. There are definitely aspects of the festival where improvements can be made, but in terms of artists, I don’t think another festival holds a candle to this line up.

So how do you choose? How do you choose between staying in the beer garden with friends, grabbing food and running into the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen in VIP, Skepta, The Belleville Three or anything inbetween? Well, for my first Coachella (as I constantly had to repeat) I decided to go home.

I made an effort to see Toronto acts. Why? I know I know. I could see them at MOD club, or beg this person or that person for a ticket, but I wanted to see how Toronto was received on the international scale. I went to see Nav who brought out the Weeknd, and Future who called out the best or worst thing to happen to Toronto (depending on who you ask), Drake. I ventured into the Sahara tent for Tory Lanez, and caught the middle part of Majid Jordan’s performance.

In short: Toronto was received well. Really fucking well. The talent and popularity of Toronto artists could not be overlooked and to witness that was pretty rad.

drake-future.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x719

I saw groups go absolutely wild when Drake was brought on stage and then recite “Gyalchester” in its entirety.  Yes, when living in Toronto it’s easy to overlook the celebrity of our current pop stars. It’s easy when we are constantly exposed to a new OVO merch drop, radio show or label signee from around the 403W but seeing these artists at arguably the biggest festival was something special. People went wild wild for them. When the Weeknd came out people rushed over to the tent, simultaneously exposing the up and comer, Nav, to hundreds of new fans.

I’m proud to live in Toronto, and if these stars prove to be a reason why someone takes a second glance at Toronto and contemplates visiting, then yes, let the kids sing.

Of course I mixed in the acts I deemed unmissable- The xx, Nicolas Jaar, BANKS, Stormzy etc (as well as a Day 3 bacon grilled cheese en route from the magical healing Rose Garden to Lorde at mainstage- duh).

Going to Coachella and in turn the desert was such a wonderful experience, but to be able to feel a sense of home while standing in the middle Indio, CA was truly heartwarming, and a little emotional- just like Toronto likes it.

Art-_Andrew-Jorgenson_Coachella_E001210

The Girl Walking in Front of Me

Let me tell you about the girl walking in front of me.

You could tell she had had a long day and the damp Monday night was getting to her. It was dark, as it is at 7:45pm in early March. She was walking with a pace; like she just needed to reach her destination. She carried what looked like a very heavy work bag, you know the one- the bag that carries everything you need from 7:30am- 9pm. Probably just leaving the office,  it was obvious she worked hard, hustled, and had put in her time. You could tell. Her trendy, long, wool coat and oversized scarf kept her hair in place. She wore dark jeans and black sneakers. She had a don’t fuck with me aura. I loved it.

I imagine she’s like all the other women I know. She’s handling her shit and taking life a day at a time. I imagine she works her ass off during the day, and enjoys a cocktail or two with her girls or her boyfriend after work. She tries to call her parents often and visits when she can. She has friends living overseas and across the country who she misses very much, laundry to do, a book to start, a presentation to work on, so all-in-all her life was just a bit overwhelming sometimes. But she keeps going, keeps pushing ahead, taking deep breaths and even when she messes up, she figures it out.

Let me tell you about the girl walking in front of me, and how in her I saw all of us. All the women in my life.

I saw the women at my nail salon that I had just left who work for seemingly endless hours, working and smiling and doing their best to provide for their families.

I saw the women I work with who help me, motivate me, and keep me grounded all at the same time.

I saw my selfless mother, who I would sincerely be lost without. I saw my cousin who has dealt with so much shit, and yet still focuses on helping others. I saw my best friends- the women who I know will change the world.

Let me tell you about all the women in my life.

These women inspire. These women are the ones we raise our daughters to look up to- not the ones on a screen. These women aren’t women. They’re humans. They aren’t categorized by sex. They’re categorized by their brains, hearts, and souls.

Let me tell you about the strength of women.

It’s infinite.

The world is ours. The future is female.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 9.06.19 PM

We Were Here

What is home? When did you change the most, when did you become who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow? Where did you learn all of life’s shitty lessons and all the magical ones as well? Where did you fall to your knees and cry and where did you stand on the counter and sing? Where did you become you?

I could tell you about where I lived. It was for 3 years and 10 weeks. It was with three remarkable woman- each occupying the other bedroom for some time, while I lived in the other. Living with every one of them helped me become a better version of myself. It was two noise complaints- one shy of being told to leave instead of leaving voluntarily. It was answering the door in a fur coat at 4am. It was countless movie nights, uberEATS, after parties, pre parties, birthday parties, festival parties, and a few fucking legendary new year’s parties. One year of school was squeezed in there somewhere too. I could tell you about where my heart was broken and where it was mended. I could tell you about the nights I would stare at the CN tower and be terrified I was losing my way as easily as I could recall the days where my best friends and I would sing Fleetwood Mac while cooking breakfast. I cherish all the memories equally.

People have come and gone from the unit on the corner. They have travelled the world only to return to the same place where we had last seen each other. If these walls could talk, they could tell you a few stories, and they could name a few names. But please, don’t ask.

Broad-Services-if-walls-could-talk.jpg

As I move the last few things out of apartment, I realize all these stories are because of who was present. Who was inside those walls. The stories don’t require the parking spot, dishwasher or the en suite. Yes, I liked having all these things, but it’s the company I kept and continue to keep that made my first place in Toronto insanely special, and so I can’t wait to see what’s about to unfold. I am going to be in a brand new neighbourhood with so much to discover and love. But for now, when someone asks me about where I became me, where I learned who I was, I’ll tell them about The Fort.

Meet the Bad with the Good

dark2

Today wasn’t easy. Neither was yesterday. Example: I just spilled the remainder of my Diet Coke.

Some days are just harder to get through, right?

You know, when things aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just hard. It’s hard to get out of bed. It’s hard to find your focus. It’s hard to find your rhythm.

It’s on days when there aren’t any croissants left at my coffee shop by the time I arrive; when I get handed an extra project at work when I have a million tabs open already.

It’s on days when I wake up with a feeling that I’m losing my way; when I don’t see my friends, or talk to my family.

It’s on days like these that I try to be the part of someone else’s day that I’m missing in mine.

I’ll compliment a girl waiting beside me at the Spadina/King St light.

It’s on days where I can’t seem to do anything right when I’ll make sure to tip my barista a dollar extra- it’s not their fault I’ve started a croissant revolution and now people are recognizing that they’re the most lit snack/pastry/food group. Ever.

I remember being told in countless basketball huddles how a really good player wouldn’t let a poor offensive day ruin their game. A really good player would focus on hustle, defence and on making their teammates stronger. So this is what I do- I try to ensure someone else has a great day. I look to sports in most situations- like how I organize my closet like a team bench- first string jeans, franchise tshirt, third shift leggings- they have a hole in them, but come laundry day they the real MVP), but lifting others up when you’re down is a metaphor I’ve always believed to hold some truth.

So maybe the best way to change your mood and your mindset is to focus outward and not on what you can’t control. Some days will be bad. Some days will be good. And most of the time, what makes the difference is your mindset. So change it. Believe in your strength. Meet the bad with the good.