Halloween Fun

Every so often you put your face out on the Internet…

And TELUS uses it as inspiration for… online… halloween… pumpkin… carving… or something to that like.

This afternoon, this was posted on TELUS’ Facebook fan page:

Hey Jillian Walker,

When it was mentioned that you were a pretty amazing fan, Danny the Installer whipped out a pair of wire clippers and a hex crimper and carved this pumpkin in your likeness. 

By the way, has anyone told you that you look stunning in orange?

… with the below photo:

Uh huh… no joke.

Instantly I was tagged in a Facebook post by my buddy Brett, with a “you’re famous.” I clicked on the notification and burst into a laughter.

Thank you Danny the Installer. You’re truly amazing.

You know what I love about marketing in this era? Just about anything goes. Well done TELUS! You made a whole pile of us laugh, used just the right amount of humour and targeted just the girl who looks shockingly beautiful in orange. ;)

5 stars.

Happy Halloween everyone. Stay out of trouble tomorrow night.

PS – The original headshot was taken in Calgary by Madi at Of Storms Photography

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REVISED – OCTOBER 31st

This afternoon a courier arrived at my condo — with a massive box. He asked if I needed help carrying it as it was 30 lbs… I looked at him strangely… I hadn’t ordered anything online lately… what could it be?

I opened the box to find this:

I was absolutely overwhelmed.
Danny the Installer… carved my face into a pumpkin. And it wasn’t a joke (!!!).

Seeing as I’m 28, I don’t trick or treat anymore. I also live in a locked down condo building, so I didn’t hang out candy. Around 11pm, I decided to light my pumpkin. I sat cross-legged on my floor staring at it for quite some time…

So funny, yet so bizarre.

Rather remarkable don’t you think?

The War with Yourself

Some say that copying is the best compliment. Or imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

I don’t know if I buy it.

I think it’s one thing when someone says — OMG, I like totally love that –– and I’m clearly going to buy the same thing / do the same thing / etc etc. It’s a whole different story when someone just creeps on you and starts taking the things that define you as theirs.

A story…

A few years ago I was casually dating this guy. The relationship ended on good terms and we both continued on being friends. A few years later he started dating a girl who was clearly a nut bar. Their relationship ended on bad terms and she continued to demonstrate her crazy side. She knew that he and I were friends — and was extremely threatened by relationships that he had with women. It was evident she already thought he was shady and I can only presume thought he was interested in these other women more than he was interested in her. Likely some truth to that!

Anyways, although I had never met her, I learned a lot about her over the time that they dated… and because of the world of social media, I knew what she looked like. We were two different people. We were interested in completely different things and to some degree, opposites. Soon enough, I spotted her at my usual hangouts. I’d run into her on the train. She would consistently favourite my tweets. She requested to follow me on Instagram time and time again.

We didn’t know each other. She knew of me. I knew of her. But we weren’t friends.

Every so often she had so much of a presence in my life that I would get curious. I’d peek at her photos or read her blog.

What I found was a young woman eerily similar to me. She picked up running. She signed up for the same races. She booked trips to travel to the same countries. She stayed at the same hotels. She raved about my usual restaurants — and favourite cocktail {French 75 by the way…}. She preached about eating local, the farmers markets and being utterly in love with this beautiful city.

Do I sound like a crazy person right now? Yeah I was thinking the same thing… It’s easy to pick up on people who aren’t being true to themselves. We can all tell when someone is being fake.  I’d flip back to her blog a few months prior and she was entirely a different person. All of her ‘new habits’ seemed forced. It seemed like she was desperately trying to be liked or fit in.

I read her posts and felt overwhelmed. All I wanted to do was shake her shoulders and say — he doesn’t matter. 

Not too long ago, I was an entirely different person. In high school I was quiet and introverted. I was super academic and would consume myself in books. I could never figure out where I ‘fit’ and bounced around social circles as a follower. In 2003, I walked away from everything I knew, started a new chapter and decided I would figure out who I was.

In the past 10 years, I have completed 7 years of university {including a Diploma and Degree!}, worked for three companies, read an obscene number of books, dated 4/5/6 guys {I have no idea}, danced my heart out, travelled all over the world and learned a hell of a lot about myself.

I have evolved as a young woman through experience and the ins and outs of life. Over time I have learned the power of — surround yourself with who you want to become. I followed the lead of others and continually learned from the best of the best. I owe a lot of thanks to so many people — everyone from… Doris, who originally saw potential in me… Dawn, the best work friend I could every ask for… Dani, who gave me my first speaking opportunity… Lesley, who supported me when I was totally in over my head as a first time Supervisor… my Mom, who gave me a kick in the pants when I was placed on academic probation {and the list could go on and on}.

I remember what it felt like to not know who I was… hell I still have those moments of confusion time and time again!

What I’ve learned is that regardless of the decisions you make in life — it’s important to be you. 

Yep, the world wants you to be you!

Make mistakes. Learn from them. Embrace your strengths — and your weaknesses. Some people will like you and love you — others will hate you. The goal is to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are.

A friend recently told me, none of us are perfect and that’s a-ok. Just keep on working on being the best person you can be. {… I was like uh huh… ok there, you psycho. ;)} Lots of truth to the statement — thank you D.

Learning from others is no big deal. Buy the same nail polish as your friend, identify with an article someone has written, copy someone’s rituals, whatever.

Just don’t consume yourself in being them.

Figure out what’s important to you and then don’t lose sight of it.

I used to be a follower. I used to think the same as others. I used to be in the shadow.

I know that was a complete disservice to myself.

Accept you for who you are. Shine. 

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.” ~Andre Gide

Chin Up Buttercup

One of my favourite quotes is…

“Never let the things you want, make you forget the things you have.”

Tonight this came across Pinterest — and I loved it.

I am thankful for…

The taxes I pay because it means that I’m employed.

The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

A lawn that has to be mowed, windows that have to be washed and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

That lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

The huge piles of laundry and ironing because it mans my loved ones are nearby.

The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.

Something to keep top of mind.

Chin up buttercup.

Nightmares, My Normal

Wanna know a secret?

I get nightmares.

Yep. Lots of them.

I don’t remember when they started, but I know that it was a long time ago. For years I would wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat. The dreams were always vivid; often I woke up thinking they are in fact, reality. Car accidents. Running for my life. Raped. Falling off buildings. Falling into traffic. Falling off a bridge. Aliens. Bad guys. Murderers.

One might say I’ve been around the block when it comes to nightmares. :)

Over the years they’ve calmed down but never gone away. I rarely dream of good — I nightmare or I sleep.

I’ve never begun to think through exactly what causes the nightmares, but something must. For a long time I just thought everyone got nightmares… but the more I talk about how frequent I get them, the more I know I’m different. What’s frightening to me about my nightmares… is that I’m used to them. They rarely come as a surprise — they’re my normal.

That is until last week…. when I woke up being stabbed to death. Yep… stabbed. to. death.

I remember waking up, looking around my room and being like — whoa.

Who dreams this shit? Being stabbed to death took my nightmares to a whole new level.

Usually when I wake up I can remember the highlights of the nightmare — but very few details. As the morning goes on, I only remember the action and as the days go on, the nightmares all blur together. This time, I remembered the details. Almost a week later, I can still live the nightmare.

So what happened?

I arrived at my condo with another person {no idea who it was} and found my front door ajar. There were no lights on inside, just the daylight streaming through the windows. I opened the door and realized I had been robbed. I was talking a million miles an hour at the person I was with… just losing my mind that someone had robbed me. 

I walked through my condo realizing all that was taken from me. The place was a mess and everything was scattered. I walked into my bedroom, looked around and let out a sigh. As I continued through my place, I made my way to the bathroom. When I walked in and turned on the light, I spotted a gold wedding band on the floor by the door. I looked down at it and said that’s his — that’s his. I continued to mouth off frustration to the person I was with — I can’t believe this happened to me. 

I pulled opened the shower curtain and there he stood — the man who robbed me. He had a kitchen knife in his right hand — and he proceeded towards me. I fell back, landing on the floor and he stabbed me. And stabbed me. And stabbed me.

… and that’s when I woke up. Startled, obviously.

I was very taken back. Lots had already gone on last week — being stabbed to death in a bad dream was icing on the cake. I went to work, re-told the story to my coworkers and they all looked at me like I was a crazy person. In the afternoon, I posted the following on my Facebook:

“Still thinking about how I was stabbed to death in my dreams last night. Debating if I should pay a visit to a psychic — or psychologist. Normal people don’t dream of being murdered… at least I don’t think so.”

A number of friends responded… everything from “you’re a crazy person” to “watch happy movies” to “normal is overrated.” Tara led me to a dream dictionary that said being stabbed in a dream relates to betrayal, loss of trust and being stabbed in the back.

Relevant to my life. Relevant to my week.

Dreams aren’t usually literal, they’re symbolic.

Don’t run away from your dreams. Think them through.

Until the next one…

VanLOVER

Vancouver, we love you [the t-shirt project]

I love this city.

Like love it to the moon and back.

I talk about my love for Vancouver all the time {yes I spam the interwebz with the #VanLOVER hashtag}. Every day I am grateful that I have the privilege of living in such a beautiful city.

Last week a Twitter follower sent me a private message asking:

“Are you happy in Vancouver?”

I responded with {in capital letters, please note}:

“The best decision of my life was leaving Calgary. I love this city with all my heart. Never been happier. Even when life is falling apart, I still love it every single day.”

Seems a little emotionally charged — but it’s true.

I love Vancouver.

I love the easy access to both the ocean and the mountains.

I love that I can lay on the beach and do the Grouse Grind in the same day.

I love to get swept up in the sunset while running across the Granville Bridge.

I love that I can train year round and that my local Lululemon has just the right running rain gear.

I love the rain-filled winter and sunshine-filled summer.

I love spending days reading and sipping tea at Cafe Milano.

I love working from the picnic tables at English Bay.

I love big box shopping on Robson Street and boutique shopping in South Granville.

I love  that I can walk everywhere I need to go.

I love Granville Island, the farmers markets and community gardens.

I love brunch at Abigail’s Party, lunch at the Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe and wine nights at Uva.

I love cocktails at Hawksworth, burlesque at the Keefer and late night dancing at the Roxy.

I love tacos at La Taqueria and coconut smoothies from the Juice Truck.

I even love Tsui Hang’s at 5 in the morning.

I love that I can’t think of a single restaurant that I hate.

I love the vast amount of festivals, events and things to do.

I love that Whistler, the Gulf Islands and interior BC is just a quick jaunt away.

I love that people are genuinely excited to visit this spectacular city.

I love the incredible people I’ve met and new friends I’ve made.

I love that Vancouver always leaves me itching for more…

This city oozes with beauty, culture, activity and good vibes.

It’s been 10 months and I’ve barely touched the surface.

There is one thing I know for sure…

Vancouver, I’m proud to call you home.

The Things You Miss

The things you miss when you decide to skip out of real life!

If you haven’t read these yet… you must:

Also topic of discussion… Zuckerberg IPO, marriage {who knew he even had a girlfriend?} and his missing smile in the wedding photo. … who cares. Instead check out the beautiful Michelle Phan! She launched a jewellery line last week: Ever Eden.

PS – I wouldn’t have known about the above unless I had stalked a few of my favourite people… Pete Williams, Tara Hunt, Shannon Ward and Guy Gal. Thanks for keeping me in the know team. xo