Turning the page…

Over the better part of this past year I’ve had the chance to grow a lot professionally, and the experiences I’ve gained at Palette PR and energi PR have been invaluable. As of last week, my time there has come to an end, and so I will soon be moving on to the next chapter in my career.

I’ve had the chance to work and become friends with some great colleagues and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’ll miss the many laughs, the loud rads, the in-house coffee, and every time I hear the Subway jingle I’ll think of you (but mostly about grabbing a meatball sub).

As I mentioned, I have grown a lot professionally in my time there, so here are a few highlights I thought I would share:

  • I’ve had the chance to put in to practice a lot of the traditional public relations I wanted a better understanding of when I first decided to join Palette
  • I learned to manage working with different clients, each with different sets of expectations and demands
  • The merger from Palette PR and Communications MECA to energi PR was a huge experience that I’m glad I was able to have early in my career
  • Having the opportunity to take part in social media planning and business presentations meant a lot to me
  • Most importantly I feel I have mastered (though not grown to love) timeslips

There are of course many other experiences I could list, but I wanted to keep this somewhat short. In closing, I am eager to get started on that next chapter, and will keep you informed on here (and twitter, of course). In the mean time, anyone free for a coffee? 🙂

Reflecting on the old; looking forward to the new

A lot of exciting things have happened to me in 2010. Some of the bigger ones included making my first real job change after leaving Rogers and joining Palette PR (now energi PR!), which was both sad and exciting; I was reunited with the girlfriend who was off in Calgary teaching for a year; finally, I made the big change and moved out on my own for the first time.

I was fortunate that, for this past year, the positives outweighed the negatives, and I think it has largely to do with having a positive outlook on life, which is the mind set I’ve had over the last few years. If something gets you down, don’t let it take hold of you because you end up wallowing in it, and missing opportunities to grow and therefore become happier.

Looking ahead to 2011 I can’t quite predict what it will bring, but here are a few things I look forward to:

  • Getting more accustomed to living on my own; it’s been a great experience the first two months in, but I still have a lot to learn;
  • Connecting more with the people in my life – I haven’t done enough of that this year and would like that to change;
  • Doing some kind of travel, whether it be within Canada or abroad;
  • Carrying the professional experiences I’ve gone through in 2010 forward into the new year with a better understanding of what I want out of my career.

Do you look forward to anything in the new year, or are you just happy to see the current one end?

Welcome to the new apartment

I’ve been meaning to write about my big move to my first apartment for quite some time now, but I guess three weeks in is as good as a few days.

For quite some time I’d been ready to move out on my own for a number of reasons. I finally decided to do it because I have a solid career, good (enough) savings, and I was ready to have that independence that can only come with moving out – oh and living in Scarborough and working downtown was taking its toll.

For months I’d been searching online for postings and contacting ones that stood out to me the most. Those got nowhere, so one day I went out with the girlfriend to physically look around for vacancies. We spent a few hours combing through midtown Toronto and saw a few places. Most (not surprisingly) were out of my price range, and offered too little in terms of space. Eventually I came upon my eventual apartment and though it was a basement (not my first choice) I really liked the space, location and price – it all worked.

After a bit of discussion I gave the landlord a call a few days later, and eventually that lead to a second, more detailed visit, then eventually me signing the lease and getting the keys. Within about two weeks, I was moving in.

Since this was my first apartment, I clearly had nothing to move, but of course I needed a lot of furniture, appliances, utensils.. the list goes on and on. For those two weeks my credit card got a workout unlike one it’s ever seen before. I’ve never spent so much time shopping than I did for this apartment and I am so happy it’s over.

While I don’t own the place, it’s a great feeling to have something of my own. Living so much closer means I have time to a) sleep, and b) live a little. I spent too much time on transit and it was draining. Now I spend time in the kitchen making food which I didn’t have to do much of before, but it’s much better being at home for so much longer.

Outside of moving out for school, what was it like getting your own place for the first time, and why did you decide to move out?

An afternoon at The Word on the Street

Yesterday I made it out to my first Word on the Street festival with the girlfriend and her cousin. I’ve intended to go every year, but for some reason or another haven’t made it out.

I would’ve liked to have seen more books to choose from, but I understand it’s more for Canadian authors and magazines to showcase their works, where they wouldn’t normally have that opportunity. Much of the time I wasn’t into the subject matter of the books I was reading, so I guess that’s where I was disappointed. That being said, I was still able to find a few tents with subject matter I could enjoy, though everyone else must have had the same taste because those tents were packed.

It sounds like I’m making it out to be a terrible day, but it really wasn’t. It was nice being out in the great weather with a bunch of bookworms looking for good reads. I also had the chance to listen in on Neil Pasricha, the writer of the blog 1000awesomethings.com. He was talking about how his blog began as a way to cope with a friend’s suicide to now sitting on the best seller’s list as The Book of Awesome. Any blogger who enjoys what they do would’ve found his session interesting. One of the tidbits I took away from his talk was how he separates his week (168 hours) into four buckets:

Bucket 1 – Sleep: Sleep takes up 42 hours, or 6 hours a night on average.

Bucket 2 – Work: He accounts for his trips to/from Mississauga; again another 42 hours.

Bucket 3 – Life: Everyday activities like hanging with friends, cooking, etc.

Bucket 4 – Blogging: 15 hours of his week is spent working on his own blog, the rest is spent taking in other people’s content.

Obviously this is a bit of a stretch to ever think it would work out like this, but it’s a good framework to show how much time you need to spend to be great at your craft, for it to succeed.

Next up in the highlight reel was meeting a childhood idol of mine. I grew up watching Polka Dot Door on TVO, so seeing Polkaroo was all kinds of awesome. It was also great to see a bunch of kids still interested in this crazy muppet creature that’s much older than I am. It’s pretty sad but getting my picture taken with Polkaroo was probably the highlight of my day. We had to be really quick with it, so that’s why it’s a bit blurry and overexposed.

Original Polka Dot Door intro:

Rest in Peace: Angel – 1999 – 2010

Early Friday morning one of our three dogs, Angel passed away after being sick for a while now. The bright side is that she’s no longer in pain. She was just over 11 years old and for a small dog that’s not a bad lifetime. Being the most energetic of the three (the others are her brother Hercules, 11, and mother Pepper, almost 13) we thought she’d outlast them all, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

To everyone who shared their thoughts and their own stories I want to say thank you again.

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