Hey Gen Y’ers: Don’t Forget to Live

There have been a bunch of articles circulating lately about Generation Y and how lazy, entitled and deluded we are. I happen to be apart of Gen Y, and I also happen to be unemployed, which gives me the time to read all of these articles that scream at me what a useless, snobby, lazy person I am (oh joy).

I have to say, these articles aren’t exactly the best confidence booster as I struggle to look for a job, and I will admit that I am floundering at the moment to figure out what I want to do. You see, I have this dream that I will be able to find something that gets me up in the morning with a smile, something that makes me feel like I’m making a positive impact in the world and something that uses the education that I worked for six years to obtain.

But maybe all those authors are right, and those conditions are FAR beyond anything I could possibly deserve. I mean, it’s not like I deserve happiness and fulfillment in my life, right?

While you can perhaps deduce my feelings about these articles, this blog is not actually meant as a rebuttle. Others have done that really well and if you want to read some, check this out, or this. What I’d like to do instead is to share some advice I got last week from one of my oldest friends.

While you have time, give yourself a break and have a few adventures. Explore your town/province/world while you aren’t busy starting your career. Make time every day to enjoy your freedom.

Now I know what you’re thinking: you don’t have the money for that. And frankly? I don’t either. But since she said that to me, I’ve been making a point every day to do something to explore Victoria. Maybe that means collecting beach glass or driftwood on the beaches near my house. Maybe that means riding my bike to a friend’s to go for a walk on the ocean, and maybe that means biking to the nearest place that I can go for a hike and hoofing it up the mountain. I’ve yet to spend money on these adventures, but I’ve sure enjoyed doing them.

When I look back at how I spent my time unemployed (in the hopefully near future when I have a job), I’m certain I won’t regret the hour each day that I took to have a little fun.

This is your world, get out there and EXPLORE!

This is your world, get out there and EXPLORE!

On Mountain Running

I live really close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Which means that I live really close to one of the best training grounds in the country, one of the biggest, most beautiful, most exciting playgrounds our country has to offer.

While I’ve always said I’d rather live IN the mountains than near the mountains, school ties me to Calgary for four more months. While frustrating, I take solace in getting on ‘mountain time’ every chance I get. But lately I’ve been struggling with safety in the mountains; specifically safety while running, snowshoeing or hiking.

Hiking Yamnuska (with friends) in September

Hiking Yamnuska (with friends) in September

Unluckily for me, I do most of my running on my own. My ‘running friends’ are strewn all around the world, and I only have a few friends that are just getting into trail running in Calgary who aren’t ready to do the mileage that I do. I don’t really mind being on my own, per say, because running for me is me time; time that I get all to myself to daydream, to plan, to relax, to meditate. Like so many others, when I’m running my soul is about as exposed as it gets.

But since I run on my own, it means that I don’t run in the mountains. I have four months left of living a stone’s throw from one of the best training grounds in the world (did I really just make that claim?!) and I don’t currently use it!

Here’s why: I have a very healthy fear of bears and cougars (and grouse!) and have been taught not to go to the mountains alone (and no my imagination doesn’t count as a buddy). But the force drawing me to the mountains is so strong that I’m feeling huge frustration. While I have ample hiking buddies, skiing buddies, and snowshoeing buddies to escape with, I really need a running buddy. Or some courage. Or both.

Hiking in Yoho (with friends) in October

Hiking in Yoho (with friends) in October

What do you think about the safety of running alone in the mountains? Bears aren’t TOO much of a worry right now as most, if not all, are currently hibernating. But cougars are the ninjas of the wilderness and some of the most mysterious, and deadly animals out there. And while both the cougars and bears would rather avoid humans altogether, we have barged in on their habitat making human-animal interactions unavoidable, however rare.

So here I am in Canmore, sitting in front of the fire, trying to figure out what to do about my desire to run in the mountains. Today I did my hill repeats at the very base of Lady MacDonald mountain, barely half a km out of town. I made tons of noise and was on full alert (NO headphones allowed!!!). But I was on edge the whole time thinking about who might have been watching.

I really need a running buddy. Or some courage. Or both.

If you are a runner in Calgary or Canmore or Banff who is also missing a running buddy and some courage, GET AT ME. We need each other. I’m not fast, but I like to go far. I’m a pretty good listener, but don’t mind not talking. I have been known to get way to excited about just being outside, and sometimes it’s overwhelming for others. Oh and I’m pun-ny, really roll your eyes pun-ny. There are just so many adventures to be had and I don’t want to miss out for another day!

One of my best ever cakes, which I have been known to make for friends (this may or may not be a bribe)

One of my best ever cakes, which I have been known to make for friends (this may or may not be a bribe)

*Disclaimer: My lack of courage reflects both my fear of being attacked by an animal as well as my fear of making new friends; both of which aren’t immediately obvious upon meeting me.*