Dear Future Me

Last night I had a really great time hanging out with one of my best friends Ukulele Misfit. I love hanging out with her because we always have the best conversations. Last night we spent a long time talking about our intentions for the future, where we see ourselves in 5 years and the various creative projects we’re working on (I also helped her do a wardrobe purge, using the Suitcase Test! More on that later!!!). When I left her house to take the Spadina streetcar home, I felt really inspired and excited. Since I didn’t make an official New Year’s Resolution post at the beginning of the month, I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about some of the things that I have planned for 2010.

This year I decided to take the lead from one of my favorite bloggers, Jess at Makeunder My Life and create a list of “intentions” for 2010. “Resolutions” are things we WANT to do (and may never do) whereas “intentions” are actions either concious or otherwise that we make to shape our environment.

Instead of making a list of my intentions (because really, does this blog NEED more lists?!) I decided to do what she did: Write an Annual Letter to my Future Self. The idea is that you write a letter to yourself laying out how you would like your life to be a year from now and all the things you would like to accomplish. You write the letter as if all of these things have already happened. Then you put the letter away & bring it out at the end of the year. The intention of the letter is that it acts sort of like a self fulfilling prophecy: if you put your intentions out into the universe & you will do these things. (If you need a corny movie reference to really get you going, think Field of Dreams: “If you build it they will come!”). At the end of the year you open your letter to yourself and read it to see how far you have come.

This is supposed to be a somewhat intimate exercise however, with the hope that I might inspire some of you to do the same thing, here are some excerpts from my letter:


“I am working in a career that I really enjoy that involves PR/Communications/Digital Media or Writing. I really enjoy what I do because its fun, fast paced and allows me to be creative on a daily basis. My job is very challenging but in a good way. Everyday I am at work I’m learning something new, growing, and moving forward in a career that I can actually see myself doing long term. I’m really proud of where I work and get up in the morning looking forward to interacting with my colleagues. Now that my career is on track I have a bit more financial stability. I am actively saving money and putting it aside for my various financial goals (pay off student debt, travel fund, general savings/retirement). It feels really amazing that what I am doing with my life is in sync with my ambitions”


I’m still writing Skinny Dip and its going better than ever! I love writing and sharing my life with my readers. SkinnyDip’s readership has grown exponentially since 2009. This is due to a couple of things: I’ve finally got the hang of how to use Google Webmaster tools to my best advantage. Also Skinny Dip has a much stronger social media presence (via a FB fan page, Twitter, You tube, BlogHer and 20sb). I’ve added personal photographs to the site, which has helped me connect better with my readers (As BF said earlier in 2009 “It’s not really Skinny Dipping if they can’t SEE you”). Don’t worry, even though the blog is called Skinny Dip it still doesn’t include any nude photos (sorry dudes) but I have included more personal fashion content and snapshots from my daily life. I’ve also faced my camcorder-fright and added some video content. I’ve brought “The List” to life and have made a few short video clips based on various dating Do’s and Don’ts, that have been received favorably.

Through all this I’ve made some really great connections with other bloggers, some of whom I’m now collaborating with on guest blogging & other web projects. I’ve also been keeping busy writing freelance articles for other websites whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’ve started brainstorming ideas to turn some of the stories from Skinny Dip into a book. I’ve been able to accomplish these things because I have stuck with my initial intention for the blog: to write content that is always HONEST and true to myself”


I’m still living a healthy lifestyle, eating well and working out. But, to mix things up a bit I’ve added in a dance class to my usual routine. I love being involved with dance again, even if its only once a week”


“The empty space in the North-West corner of the living room is now my office space. My office area looks a bit like this. It includes a white parsons style desk, a desk lamp, a vintage globe, a mid-century modern chair. Above the desk I have some framed artwork and a bulletin board where I post things that inspire me. I use this space for my blogging and for making jewelry”

Life & Celebrations:

“One of the highlights of this year has been turning 30. As a birthday present to myself, I took a long-weekend trip to Miami (or another cheap & sunny destination) where I spent a few days sunning myself, enjoying good music, eating Cuban sandwiches and drinking Mojitos with BF and/or a few close friends. This little getaway was the perfect closure to a decade. On my actual birthday I had a big, over the top party where I danced the night away surrounded my the people I love most. 2010 has been about seizing opportunities and living life to the fullest. Getting out more, dancing more, challenging myself, doing things I love, making new connections, and nurturing the relationships I already have”

What do you think?

I admit that when I first started writing the letter I felt like a bit of a dork but, by the time I finished it was amazing to see that I actually had a solid vision of how I want to experience the next year of my life. I can’t remember the last time I felt like this.

If anyone is thinking of writing their own letter, be sure to check out –a service that willl email your letter to you in the future. You can even send regular updates to yourself throughout the year.

So, who else is going to write a letter to themselves for 2010? And what will it say?

Oh Hello, Grown-up

Yesterday morning I took a VERY early flight from Victoria back to Toronto. I made it back safely and now have a few observations to share:

1) Late nights watching Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7 with your family are awesome but don’t exactly mix well with 4:30 am wake-up calls. While on my 6am flight, I actually fell asleep IN THE MIDDLE of ordering a breakfast sandwich. I was awoken by the flight attendant prodding my shoulder with the sandwich asking “Ma’am are you OK? MA’AM?!”. Somewhere around the time we were flying over Winnipeg I finally figured out the source of the scratchy, itchy sensation along my neckline. It was the label on the dress. My dress was on backwards and had been for the past 4 hours. I think this deserves to be classified as a Liz Lemon moment.

(Funnily enough, right before I passed out mid-sandwich order I had been watching the 30-Rock episode where a very medicated Liz is on a flight to Chicago and mistakes the person next to her for Oprah. With that said, things could have been a lot worse. I could have fallen asleep while eating the sandwich, or tried talking to it. I’m really glad I didn’t take that muscle relaxant after-all.)

2) People only ever ask me what I’m reading, when I’m reading something that I really don’t need people to know I’m reading. For example, when the wide eyed girl sitting next to me (who had just finished telling me about how excited she was to be returning to Bible College) asked me what i was reading, I saw her jaw drop when she saw the book was “FAST GIRLS: Teenage Tribes and the myth of the Slut”. This was followed by another awkward exchange where she said she thought my Slut Book looked “really neat”.

(And in case you were wondering, the book is actually quite amazing. My sister handed it to me the other day along with the comment, “This is really good. I think it would make good material for your blog”. She was right)

3) Sometimes feeling “old” is a good thing. After BF came and met me at the airport we took the subway home. On our train there were a group of 12-13 year old boys. They were loudly play fighting, pushing each other from one side of the car to the other, so that they kept crashing into either set of doors. One of the boys was using the overhead grips as monkey bars, and kept yelling out “Hey look, I’m Jackie Chan!” as he swung his body back and forth. This was all happening while the train was moving. In other words, they were acting like jack-asses. People were starting to get nervous. When I saw Monkey Bar Boy almost kick someone in the face, I nudged BF. He told the boys that they should knock it off. Then I piped in and said in my most authoritarian voice possible:

“Yes. Stop it. This isn’t a playground. It’s a subway”

The boys grew quiet. Then BF whispered to me,

“Wow, that sounded so grown up. Did saying that just make you feel old?”
“Yes, but I’m OK with that”

And I am.

(Of course I also said under my breath that I thought they were acting like a bunch of retarded monkeys and later made a crack about how “there must be a Ritalin shortage in the GTA“, but luckily they didn’t hear me)

4) I have the feeling that 2010 is going to be full of lots of other (more exciting) grown-up moments ie. paying off debt, getting my career on track and maybe even starting the saving process for a house.

5) No matter how old I get or how my life progresses, I don’t think I will ever get used to being called “MA’AM”. I just don’t feel like a “Ma’am” and I don’t think this will ever change.

Has anyone else had a moment recently that made them feel grown-up?

The Suitcase Test

This probably sounds strange but, I actually kind of enjoy living out of a suitcase. I think this is because whenever I’m getting ready to go somewhere I put a lot of thought into what I am going to pack. The things I chose to put in my suitcase are always the clothes I love best and are the most useful. When I arrive at my destination I love the feeling of opening up my suitcase and seeing all the clothes I love to wear, all in one place. 

For my trip to BC I packed pretty light (knowing I’d probably be bringing back some stuff). The past few weeks I’ve basically been living in the pieces that I’ve tried to illustrate in today’s collage: a pair of skinny dark J Brand jeans, an identical pair of jeans in black, a couple of different T-shirts, a Cowichan sweater (sometimes worn as a jacket on warm days), a long black cashmere-silk blend cardigan, and either my Converse or motorcycle boots. For accessories I’ve been alternating between a couple of different scarves (for color and texture). For a purse I’ve been using my black Longchamp bag . An easy packing choice–its by far the most versatile and practical bag I own. Maybe I am just someone who thrives on restricted choices, but I’ve been loving my limited holiday wardrobe!

[ I also brought one dressy “Holiday Outfit” –a violet colored skirt & a lace tank top. I was going to pair these with some high heeled oxfords  and my vintage LV leather clutch if I had to go out everywhere. Funnily enough, this outfit hasn’t been worn yet. I haven’t had an event or a purpose to wear it. West Coasters just don’t dress up that much– And that’s actually kind of refreshing. I’ve barely even worn makeup during the past three weeks]

Because of how I pack, getting dressed while I am on vacation is always quick and painless. Often when I look back on my vacation photos I think “I actually look quite pulled together! Why can’t I look & feel like that all the time?”

Good question!!!

I’ve decided that I am  going to apply my “suitcase” philosophy to how I organize my clothes for 2010. There is no reason why my everyday wardrobe can’t be as workable, as the “mini wardrobe” I brought with me on this trip. So, when I get back to Toronto next week– before I even unpack my suitcase– I’m going to go through the clothes that are still hanging in my closet and put everything to “the suitcase test”.

I think its a good exercise to take each item in your wardrobe and ask yourself “Do I love it? Would I choose to pack this in my suitcase?” or even better “Does this piece of clothing fit with how I envision myself dressing for 2010?”. This is what I plan to do, as part of my on-going “Wardrobe Makeunder“. Everything that doesn’t make the cut is getting put aside. My intention is to have a big clothing sale in 2010 and give whatever is left over to the goodwill.

It may sound superficial but I do believe that how we feel is connected to what we wear. Keeping items in your closet that aren’t loved, used or that don’t make you feel awesome every time you wear them creates stagnant/negative energy. I want 2010 & beyond to be all about feeling confident, pulled together and comfortable with myself. Everything in my closet that doesn’t make me feel this way is GOING BYE BYE. I already feel really positive and excited about 2010 and I think getting rid of this extra clutter is going to make the start of the year that much better. 

Has anyone else been thinking about doing this kind of thing in honor of the New Year? 

Here’s to a Decade

I wanted to post this earlier this week but I’ve had limited access to the internet the past few days. Today I decided to head out to the coffee shop around the corner from my Mom’s place and low and behold…they have free Wi-Fi. Game on!

I feel like I really needed to write my last post as a preface for this one: a toast to the last ten years.

I started off this past decade as a 19 year old girl who had just moved to a big city. At the time the city seemed seemed so large that it threatened to overwhelm me. I was actually terrified of the world but liked to pretend I wasn’t. In order to prove to the world how unafraid I was, I jumped into everything head first and did a lot of reckless things for the sake of “the experience” even if these things were potentially harmful to me. I was so open to new experiences and I wanted to suck life up with a straw. I desperately wanted to find love and be loved. I unabashedly wore my heart on my sleeve for everyone to see. I trusted people so easily and saw the good in them, when really I should have been paying more attention to the bad. I thought love meant committing emotional suicide, jumping off a cliff, losing yourself completely in someone else. I didn’t really understand the concept of self preservation, therefore these experiences sometimes left me not feeling that great about myself. My heart was my guiding compass, and I followed it even when it resulted in crashing and burning. When my heart got hurt and became a tattered bleeding mess, I’d keep re-pinning it to my sleeve in hopes that I would get it right the next time.

During the last ten years….

+I have been a brunette, a blonde, a red-head and several variations in between. I have partied a lot over the years and can honestly say that no particular hair color has more fun than the other (although I think I definitely got in the most trouble as a redhead)
+ I have been fortunate enough to see most of my favorite musicians and DJ’s live at least once (Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Basement Jaxx, just to name a few) and have even met a few of them in person.
+ I’ve graduated university and worked at my first “real” job. I worked very hard at both of these things.

+I’ve traveled to France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, NYC, Boston, Quebec, Montreal as well as back and forth from Toronto to the West Coast more times than I can count.
-I’ve partied in South Beach, swam in the Aegean Sea, walked the cobblestoned streets of Florence,
relaxed on the beach in the South of France, and snacked on crepes with the lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. These are all things that I always dreamed of doing and when I finally did them it felt amazing.
+ I have realized that although I have made lots of mistakes, I can look back on the past 10 years with pride and say:

I have lived.

Now, ten years later I am a 29 year old woman. I still live in the same big city but it feels smaller and smaller all the time. I’m no longer terrified of the world, but I also no longer feel the need to prove this. I enjoy taking care of myself and being good to myself. I still have a few inner demons I need to conquer but I try to love myself as much as possible. This gets easier and easier as time goes on. I’m very careful when trusting people because I’ve learned that sometimes people don’t have good intentions.
I’ve learned that it’s important to listen to your heart, but also to use your head. Decisions based solely on your own whims & desires aren’t always the most practical and can sometimes hurt other people. My heart is no longer the raw thing that hung off my sleeve as a nineteen year old. These days I’m a lot more guarded. I think this is partly good and partly bad. Sometimes I wish I could still be as carefree and open as I was 10 years ago. I spent my early 20’s looking for love and I thought once I found it everything would just fall in place. Once I finally found it I came to the realization that the search wasn’t the hard part. The hardest part was opening myself up enough to allow that person to love me. I’ve discovered that tearing down some of the walls that I’ve built around myself is infinitely more scary than all the emotional clift jumping I did when I was younger. And that being with someone sometimes means letting go of your pride a little bit and letting them call you on your BS. That relationships can’t run on auto-pilot and like all living things need nurturing, care and maintenence. But, if you take the time to do these things the pay-off is pretty amazing. And lastly after ten years of dating, break-ups, hook-ups, crazy escapades and falling in and out of love, I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what, the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself.

If I could go back ten years and tell that 19 year old girl anything I would say this: work hard at whatever you do and take time to focus on YOU. Then I would give her a big hug and let her know that everything is going to be OK. That bleeding mess of a heart, although it hurts at the time, it heals and grows up.

In the 1980’s I was a child. In the 1990’s I was a teen. The 2000’s have definitely been the decade where I’ve had adventures, stumbled, got back up again and eventually become an adult.

Here is to another crazy, amazing, ten years!

{Photo: Me– Hopefully one of many in 2010}

How do you feel you’ve changed over the past 10 years?

Party Like its 1999

New Year’s Eve 1999.

I think the reason this New Years was stranger than most was because it was Y2K. If you’re from the future and you’re reading this, Y2K was the year that everyone thought something cataclysmic would happen when the clock struck 12. People partied extra hard to make up for it. In reality nothing happened that wouldn’t have happened anyways. Y2K remains the biggest thing that never happened.

Ten years ago tonight I was ringing in the New Year (awaiting the end of the world) at a house party, somewhere deep in the suburbs of Victoria. I had been living in Toronto since September and was home for the holidays. I was 19, I had frosty dirty blonde hair and was going through a reckless phase. At that moment I was nursing a tumbler of off-brand Irish Creme liqueur. It tasted like Bailey’s but the bottle said something else, Beeley’s, Feeney’s or Hailey’s— I can’t remember but it was cheap. Robbie Williams’ “Millenium” was playing in the background. I was in the middle of a conversation with a guy I had just met. I was debating whether I should stay at this party or head downtown to meet some other friends at a club. He replied;

“Why are you debating?”
“Well, I want to go to the party downtown, but I’m afraid if I do I’ll want to do drugs”
“You do that kind of stuff?”
“Because it feels good”
“You just don’t seem like the type. You seem like such a nice girl”
“You don’t know me that well”
“I think you should stay at the party”

As the Backstreet Boy’s started singing ain’t nothing but a heart break, I took this as my cue to leave. I kissed my friends goodbye and headed out the door. One very expensive cab ride later, I was downtown standing in front of Victoria’s lone “underground club”. Tribal Techno music spilled out onto the street. I handed the bouncer $50 for the cover and hoped for the best. I was totally not prepared for what I would find inside.

Have you ever been to a rave sober? Probably not. And there is a reason for this. There is a reason people take drugs at these things. Take drugs and alcohol out of the equation and things start to seem a bit grotesque.

Were all clubs this filthy and scary looking or had I always been too bombed to notice? Was the music always this terrible? I looked around and took inventory of what I saw: dirty dilapidated couches, a guy throwing up in a corner, ash and roaches covering every surface, a suspiciously wet floor, and of course the pulsating sweaty mass of people. Everywhere I looked there were people dressed in phat pants or weird hippie outfits gyrating with glow sticks. On stage there was a girl in a tie dyed body suit grinding against the DJ booth. Off the dance-floor, I saw more people with glow sticks massaging other people with glow sticks. I felt a drop of water land on my shoulder and realized that the walls were dripping with condensation. A guy bumped into me and his sweaty arm left a wet stain on my shirt. I went into the bathroom, only to discover another guy barfing, two girls making out, and the counter tops covered in white dust. Also there was the smell. It was B.O mixed with weed and something else (mold? the smell from the dirty old couches? moth-balls? The guy selling tofu dogs out front?). The bad tribal techno raged on unrelentingly. Where the hell was I?!

This couldn’t possibly be what Prince was talking about when he said lets party like its 1999.

Just when I was about to give up on locating my friends in the sticky, funky smelling neon mass, I bumped into a girl I used to go to school with. When I knew her, she was a straight A student. Standing before me, she and her boyfriend had pupils the size of quarters. She grabbed and hugged me:

“Oh my god Simone! What are you up to? Have you tried E? It’s like SO amazing. I’m like SO high right now. We can massage you if you want!”

HUH? I wanted to say to her “Hey, didn’t you used to be a Math-lete?!” but I didn’t. Instead, I managed to slink away just as her boyfriend was getting ready to start massaging my shoulders.

My desire to get messed up was fading rapidly.

When I finally found my friend, I wrapped my arms around him & kissed him on the cheek.

“Oh my god Simone!!! I’m so glad you’re here!!!! I dropped 4 tabs of E tonight!! There is a 5th one that we can share!! Oh yeah I can feel my heart!!! I really can!! Feel my chest!!! Hey, have you noticed the walls are melting?”

At that point I decided, for the safety of myself and my friends, I would be spending the rest of the night completely sober. I grabbed my friend and said “We’re getting out of here”.

A bunch of us ended up walking to someone house, where we sat around listening to drum and bass records until the sun came up. The people who were sober (like me) ordered a pizza while the people who were high came down off of their drugs, took more drugs or debated with the rest of us whether we thought they should take more drugs (“Probably not a good idea”).

When I took a cab home at 7am, the sun was shining and I came to the following conclusions:

I was very confused.The partying I had been doing in Toronto probably wasn’t good.But what my friends were doing here also wasn’t good. I had no idea what I was doing with my life, who I really was, or where I really fit in.
I knew something had to change but I wasn’t sure where to begin.

Little did I know, it would take me a few years to figure this out.

That was 10 years ago. Thank god, a lot has changed since then. Last year I celebrated the New Year with BF. We walked in the snow, swigging Moet straight from the bottle, and finished the night dancing the night away to Osunlade at Revival. 2009 started off with a blast, but definitely got worse before it got better. This year, I’m keeping things quiet: staying in and watching movies with my Mom because I have faith that 2010 will only get better! Happy New Year Everyone!

PS. You can now Follow my blog with bloglovin!

Do you remember where you were 10 years ago?

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