Yesterday, I fell. A year in recap.

There’s still a month left to 2017, but a period isn’t strictly book-ended by dates. The year isn’t finished yet, but yesterday, I fell, and today I felt its impact. I think it’s worth sharing.

Yep – a little wordplay for you for a cheesy segue into life lessons learned this year by yours truly.

Yesterday, I went indoor bouldering again after a few years since the last time I climbed. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing on large (artificial, in this case) boulders without the use of harnesses or ropes. Bouldering follows a grading system: in the case of Aspire Climbing in Milton, ON, similarly colored “rocks” were marked with white tape to dictate that it was of the easiest level; and then yellow; and then blue; and so on. I cleared the white-marked courses fast enough.

Hopping from one foothold to another, feeling the muscles in my arms tighten, shifting my weight – I felt good. I felt empowered. I felt capable, and challenged.

“I felt good. I felt empowered. I felt capable, and challenged.”

Onto yellow. I cleared two yellow courses with difficulty and a lot of break time in between. I semi-completed the third.

My energy was fast depleting, but I wanted to clear another yellow set before stopping for the night. I eyed a course of blue rocks marked with yellow tape on the wall. I climbed. I jumped down 3/4 of the way up, short of two moves from clearing the course.

After resting, I stood on the deeply padded floor, looking up at the 16-foot tall wall. I planned how to navigate up the wall. I exhaled, and climbed.

The bottom half was fun and easy enough, but it was still challenging.

The latter half of it was difficult because of a 2-meter convex column on the wall, which pushes your body away from the wall while you tiptoe on a 2-inch foothold and reached for the last two grips. I was determined to complete the course, but I was terrified of falling.

I feared my arms would give up. I feared my knees would buckle under my weight. I feared that I would scrape the whole front of my body on the jagged grips. I feared others would see me fall, and laugh.

“I was determined… but I was terrified of falling.”

I reminded myself that the floor was padded, but the fear of falling from that height doesn’t listen to reason.

I was one move away from completing the course.

In the couple of seconds before my fall, several things happened at once: I could imagine and felt the energy in my arms drain from my wrists down to my elbows. My right arm shook. My right knee, which supported most of my weight, shook. My left hand desperately clambered at the black, downward grip. I watched my left fingers falter on the artificial rock. I felt a pang of pride; I was so close to the top.

Then, I accepted my fate. Read More

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Samples: Print Marketing Collateral

Below are samples of my work designing and printing print marketing collateral.

A non-profit organization’s main and primary communication material is the annual report. It illustrates the numbers reached by an organization and tells the story that numbers can’t. It validates the organization’s existence and, ultimately, its rightful claim to government and private pockets.

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Beyond the annual report, event flyers and program posters, documents like the very targeted booklet below demonstrates the work of Ecosource across Mississauga. This particular booklet highlights the environmental programs’ reach in Ward 9 of Mississauga, with statistics clearly laid out for the reader (e.g. local politicians, Ward 9 citizens, school board trustees overlooking this area).

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From brochures to posters to vinyl banners, my eye for design, creativity, and technical know-how of Adobe Creative Suite let me produce visually compelling and informative materials.

Get in touch if you’d like to see these and other pieces in person! Thank you.

Growing Peel’s environmental leaders!

In a series of quick approvals and tight timelines, Ecosource and Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA)’s Earth Month campaign came to be. Ecosource’s first attempt at a completely digital fundraising campaign utilizing the online power of the youth network, we used a new online platform, fundrazr.com; produced the video below (by yours truly); and asked for the assistance of PEYA’s executive team members and supporters to drive the campaign and raise funds.

Though unable to reach its goal of $2,500, the campaign succeeded in:

  1. reaching new people to add to Ecosource’s list of donors
  2. foraying into the new wild world of social campaigning
  3. teaching me opportunities for improvement and where and when to take risks.

Holiday Fundraising Drive E-mail Sample

December xx, 201x

Dear Joe,

Did you know that for every $1 donation, we can distribute food for 3 meals or 75 meals just from $25?

On behalf of the neighbours that you feed through your valuable and wide-reaching gift of a few bills to This Food Bank, thank you.

We hope that you celebrate the season over hearty meals with loved ones and that you spare a moment to celebrate what charity can achieve: more families enjoying holiday dinners thanks to the generosity of neighbours, co-workers, and friends like you.

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Ball of Energy at Rest

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One of the duck crossing sign for one of the paths that ducks crossed at the Uxbridge Manor and Spa.

Last year in August, I took my first trip alone ever. I stayed two nights and three days in the “Majestic Room” at Uxbridge Manor and Spa, a charming and friendly breakfast and bed with two medium-sized ponds on the large property around which several families of ducks and an impressive pair of exotic birds with shiny feathers lived – along with two cute puppies! I drove to Uxbridge with my partner since I was still a novice driver and this would have been the farthest distance I’ve traveled.

My room was furnished with a king-sized bed and a large flat-screen television mounted on the wall. An electric fireplace warmed me while crackling quietly at night. After instilling enough envy in my partner over my gorgeous room and after an afternoon out in the adorable downtown core of Uxbridge, I drove him to the nearest Go station so he could go home.

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Classy plate setting for my waffle breakfast at the Uxbridge Manor and Spa.

Each morning, I ate delicious breakfastthick, fluffy waffles topped with berries and whipped cream on the first morning and scones served with five different fruit jams the next paired with yogurt parfait and coffee. Each night, I made a deliberate effort to enjoy a warm bubble bath in the sunken Roman tub in my en-suite bathroom. What a perfect way to start and end days in the small, quaint town surrounded by breathtaking nature.

On the second evening, I enjoyed a half hour massage from the manor’s owner and masseuse; I felt so relaxed! On my last day, I endeavored to sit on every bench available on the property while reading a book. There were too many comfortable, shaded seats around the place for me to sit on!

I had a great time. But before the breakfasts and spa massage and bubble baths, I was crying on my drive back to Uxbridge from the Go station where I dropped off my partner. Not because I  missed him or because I was upset over anything in particular, but because I was scared to be alone.

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