You would be so fucking proud of me. So proud. For speaking up. For taking my voice back. For finally fucking writing and not being afraid. I love you dearly because I know now that you said you were doing me a favour because you did not want to hurt me. Because we love each other dearly.
We are not equipped to love people. We are not equipped to share feelings without breaking down and we fear showing someone a side of us that in turn they won’t want to deal with. We hate to burden in fear of someone throwing in the towel.
Our feelings are a carbon copy of how we feel inside and we feel everything the same way. I know this because I did the same thing to you. I prompted a conversation knowing it would push you away because I love you and didn’t want you to give up on me. You think you’re doing me less harm by staying away and in turn protecting yourself but know that we’re both hurting immensely.
Unconditional love is knowing that you can and will do wrong because nobody is perfect. But love is about working through the bull shit. Trudging through those awful times to come out on top and celebrate the triumphs together.
I love you. I miss you. You gave me this strength. We aren’t friends but you told me I had a voice and you told me I could do anything, just like I tell you. Because we believe in each other.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the person you are. We are perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I hope you’re well. I hope you find this strength and courage on your darkest of hours knowing I’m still in your corner and always will be. I miss you more than anything. This is for you. For me. For all of us.
If I told you that I make money from another person’s garbage, would you believe me? Better yet, if I told you that I picked up the once TV unit above from the trash and made $120-dollar profit from two hours work, would you keep reading? Good. Keep fuckin reading. Now the truth of the matter is if you’re reading this you either want or need more money. Whether you’ve lost your job, want to be your own boss, pick up a new hobby that you can profit from or save for that next vacation – we all want more. I’ve found the way. The life-hack. The ultimate DIY and the best thing of all? Anyone can do it.
Something you may not know about me is I live in Downtown Toronto. Canada’s very own New York City. People from all over the world migrate to this city with dreams of a better life. We currently have the fastest growing housing market in the world where the average single-family home can easily sell for $60,000 over asking price. It’s insane. The cost of living is increasing drastically and our pay rates are staying the same.
What does that mean you ask? What does one have to do with the other? Guys it means I’m fuckin poor. I’m barely scraping by and this to me is just unacceptable. I used to accept this but I’m done.
Fact: the average millionaire has seven sources of income.
Do you know how long I’ve spent working a 9-5 job miserable just to come home, watch TV while stuffing my face just to do it all again the next day? Since my first office job. It sounds pathetic because that’s exactly what it was. It was fuckin pathetic. I have been living the life of a robot and I refuse to do this any longer. When you realize that life is about progression and working towards goals and aspirations and that you can achieve ANYTHING you put your mind to then you will not fail. You will have set backs but you will learn from them and understand that they make you stronger.
Okay I know you’re all thinking “Lindsay, get to the point. Tell us how to make the $$$$$$.” Here it is:
- Find your driving force
My driving force is the criticism I receive and my current position in life but understand that my driving force is different than yours. It takes time to figure it out so don’t beat yourself up over this. Like everything, it takes time.
- Analyze and assess
I don’t pick up just ANY piece of furniture I see. I take a moment to assess it. You must know what you’re getting yourself into. Yes, the furniture is free but how much work does it require? How much money do I have to put into it before I make a return? How will I fix it up? And most important: Would I buy it? I’ve gotten this assessment down to two minutes. Don’t bull shit yourself. It either works or it doesn’t.
- Find your target audience
I say to myself during an assessment “Would I buy this” because I am the market I want to target. I want to appeal to people in their early 20’s up to mid 30’s because I have more knowledge on styles and trends they tend to follow. This allows me to apply it to the project at hand for a maximum return.
- Find your platform
This one is fun because the options are endless. There are many ways to sell the furniture you’ve restored and you can use as many as you need when you’re first starting out. A few of my favourites are: Facebook Groups, Craigslist, Kijiji, Etsy and Instagram. Now don’t forget about step 2 when finding your platform. There are many things to take into consideration. How much is shipping? How much will it cost me to deliver? How much will I profit? Remember these questions are crucial to your success.
- Get to work!
I loved this project because I knew the moment I saw it I wanted to turn it into a seating bench. My original assessment was no more than .5 seconds long. I wanted to paint it white and make some seat cushions. I wanted to market it as an outdoor bench. I began sanding it down and when I grabbed my paint I noticed I had teal. A light bulb went off and I changed my approach. I’ve always wanted a nice statement piece in my house. A rustic piece of furniture in a random colour to make a room pop. I want people to walk in and go “OU! Where’s that from!” so I decided I’d go with an antique TV stand. I couldn’t be happier with this split-second decision.
- Stage. Stage. Stage.
I cannot reiterate the importance of this step enough. Drill this process into your brain and you can send me a thank you note later. The rate in which a product will sell is dependent on many factors and one of the easiest factors to fuck up is staging. People underestimate how much faster a house will sell if is staged right. What do I mean when I say staging? I mean making it livable. Functional. You want your audience to look at it and think “that would look great in the living room!” or “That’d be perfect I never thought to use it for that!” You must share your vision for it so others are able to picture it in their own space. People need visuals. This gets me every sale. Every time. I pick a couple different ways in which I think it could be used and decorate it accordingly.
I originally set out to stage this as a TV stand or coffee table but while staging it as a TV stand I couldn’t help but wish I turned it into a bench. Another light bulb! I went for lunch the day prior at a cute little restaurant and sat on the patio. The reason I share this is because I remembered they had wood benches with a pillow behind it. I ran to my room and grabbed every pillow I had and started playing around with it. I couldn’t have been prouder of the outcome.
- Final assessment
Final step!! Assess your work! Consider the quality. Consider the time and money you’ve put into it and decide on a price that you find to be reasonable and that you yourself would be willing to pay. This assessment took me two minutes. I spent a couple hours on this project sanding it down, painting, staging and posting it. I did not have to spend money because I had the paint but I was damn proud of this shoe bench and would have been happy to keep it for my home. I wanted my price to reflect that. I decided on $120 and posted it just to have it sold and picked up three days later.
I sit here with this question ringing in my head since a friend so bluntly asked me this on Friday.
“I don’t know.”
I sat there struggling to find words because I realized I have no idea. I continued to tell him that I don’t know if I will ever feel happy again. I explained that I may appear happy, angry or even sad but I don’t feel it. I don’t feel it inside. I feel nothing. I feel like an empty vessel. I think if you shook me I would sound hollow and the echoes would carry on forever.
I began to sob and without thinking he pulled me towards him wrapping his arms around me. We sat there for what felt like a lifetime in silence while I sobbed on his shoulder aching to feel something. Anything.
Think about how much farther we can go if, instead of competing against one another, we work together. How powerful we could all be.
When we rang in 2016 we collectively decided we’d all have an amazing year. The past year was now behind us and it had made our family stronger than ever.
We were wrong. It was not amazing. It was exhausting, frustrating and everything in between. I was down, so down. I hit bottom but I’m thankful because from there I was able to climb back up. Regroup. It took SO long. I’m still working through it but I’m thankful for the struggles I went through because they’ve just made the wins that much sweeter.
So cheers to you, 2016, and twenty-five. You were not the kindest but you taught me a lot about myself. You made me stronger, and have given me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned. Twenty-five things I learned the year I turned twenty-five, and am still reminding myself of today:
- Life doesn’t follow anyone’s plan. The Unexpected occurs all the time and the minute you think you have your shit together everything can change. That’s OKAY. It’s a journey, not a race.
- It’s nice to be nice. As a woman, I know first hand how cruel we are to each other. We preach equality for women but we’re still taught to compete and shut each other down. My favourite thing now is giving people compliments. You like their jacket? Tell them. Their lipstick is on point? Tell them they’re rockin’ it. That little comment from you takes zero effort and will stick with them for the rest of the day.
- Find hobbies. Do not get stuck working the 9-5 grind just to go home, stuff your face in front of the TV and head back to work in the morning. Don’t fucking do it. Life is about progression. Working towards something. Learning and enjoying new things.
- Stop apologizing. I spent so much time in the past apologizing for how someone made ME feel. As if their happiness/comfort was above mine. No. I will not apologize for expressing how I feel.
- Forgiving someone doesn’t make you weak. You’ll find it makes you stronger.
- Never remain friends with someone who doesn’t ask how you’re doing. Life is too short to spend it with people who don’t care about your well being. Stop putting in effort with people who don’t take the time to inquire about you.
- We wake up in the morning with two choices: we’re going to have a good day, or a bad day. The decision is up to you.
- Stop overestimating that a person is capable of changing. You do not have the ability to change someone.
- Stop underestimating that you’re able to change yourself. You’re capable of anything you put 100% effort behind. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get it.
- Time is relative. Someone you’ve known for 24 hours could very well have better intentions for you than someone you’ve known for ten years.
- Our biggest problem is we believe we shouldn’t have one. I learned this one from my friend, Tony Robins. Understand that when you go through hard times it’s propelling you to the life you’re meant to live.
- The time it takes to break someone’s trust is not proportional to how long it’ll take to earn it back.
- Misery really does love company. We project our negative feelings towards other people because we’re unhappy with our own situation.
- Knowing a lot of people isn’t important. Having a handful of ride or die relationships is.
- There will always be ignorance surrounding mental illness. We fear what we don’t understand. Do your best to understand.
- When you send positive vibes out in the world, when you build people up and help people in times of struggle it will ALWAYS come back to you.
- Trust your gut. If someone makes you uncomfortable, it’s for a reason. Not everyone has the best of intentions.
- If we want to live life to the fullest we must live life in the moment. Having anxiety, I worry about the next 20 steps in front of me. I work out every possible scenario. Life is about experiences. Not everything is meant to last forever. If you stop worrying about what may or may not happen and enjoy what you’re doing I can guaranteed you’ll be much happier.
- Constructive criticism helps us grow. Check your ego and understand when you receive feedback at work, in life, etc. it’s being brought to our attention so we can learn and expand on what we already know. They’re not putting you down, they’re trying to build you up.
- Listen to your body. I spent three months with severe stomach cramps, headaches and heart palpitations not thinking anything of it. It was anxiety.
- Love is not meant to be forced. Going above and beyond for a person who is unhappy in their own life will not make them one day wake up and choose you. Bending over backwards for someone who walks all over you doesn’t make you a good person, it means you’re being taken advantage of.
- We only reflect on past relationships when we’re sad and lonely. Consider that.
- Don’t worry when someone brings an issue to your attention. They’re bringing it to your attention because they want to work through it with you. Bringing it to your attention is great, it means you now have the means to fix it. It’s when people stop raising concerns that should worry you.
- We all have a breaking point. Everyone’s breaking point is different. What breaks me may be very different from what breaks you. But let’s respect that point and how it affects each other.
- Think about how much farther we can go if, instead of competing against one another, we work together. How powerful we could all be.