Dear Diary

A New Quarter

After seemingly endless celebrations and special treats (with more still to come- hello One Direction!), the big day is finally here. Today is my 25th birthday, and to be honest it feels altogether different than I ever imagined it would.

Last year I remember reading Kelly from Studio DIY’s post about turning 25, her “goal age”, and feeling like there was no way I’d be able to accomplish everything I wanted the way she had in only a year’s time. Last August I was totally broke, in denial about being in a relationship that was very obviously coming to an end, and really lost as a person in general. I knew that I had dreams of starting a family, of owning a home, of building a career that I could actually live off of, but I had no idea how those things would ever materialize on the path I found myself heading down.

For the first time in a long time, I couldn’t really visualize what my future would hold, and it absolutely terrified me.

The past year, it turns out, has been my most challenging, exciting, and intense year ever, and though it came with a lot of very high highs, I’m pretty excited to be turning the page onto a very promising new chapter. It feels like the past 12 months have been on fast forward, with so many massive changes: I ended a very long-term relationship, started living alone after relying on my partner for support and company for 3 years, and got to the point where I was so depressed and penniless that I started to make plans to move back to Vancouver. I was eating terribly, barely making it to workouts, and things I had always loved, like snowstorms and Christmas started to lose their lustre. I tried to get back into dating, and after 6 years I opened myself up to the possibility that I might have interest in cisgender men, but the whole idea seemed really scary and out of reach. I went on a few dates, signed up for Tinder, and even asked my friends to set me up, but every disappointment left me feeling more lonely and unwanted than ever. Essentially, I let my self-worth, my confidence, and the amazing life I’d built slip away. I almost completely gave up.

But then something shifted, and it all turned around.

As a last ditch attempt to save everything I had built here in Toronto, I started freelancing anywhere I could, signed up to work with an agency to help me get blog-related jobs and partnerships, and pitched myself to a tea company as their new social media manager (a position that didn’t exist until I came along.) Once I had successfully done one partnership on my blog, more and more inquiries started to show up in my inbox, and after only two months I graduated from my job running one social media account for the the tea company to my current job at Deck Agency where I get to run accounts for some of the most followed bars and restaurants in the city. As I became a little bit more comfortable with my life in Toronto again and started to pay off the massive debt I had created trying to stay afloat, I fixed up my apartment, started going out on more dates, and forced myself out into social situations to make friends.

Somewhere around January things started to pick up speed at a rate that I never could’ve imagined, and since then I feel like I’ve been running nonstop on a hamster wheel trying to keep up. I’m an energetic person at my core, but I just have so many ideas and plans and dreams, and being the most impatient person I know, slowing down has yet to really seem like a valid option… that said, I really wouldn’t have it any other way! I have the most incredible girl gang of friends behind me, my first RAOP “employee” (who also happens to be one of my very best friends) helping me keep this colourful world turning, and most importantly, I get to do what I truly love every single day. I get to live in a magical, sparkly, pastel world where dreams come true, love can last forever, and anything is possible. Sure, there’s still a lot on my to-do list, but those plans and dreams keep me going full speed ahead, and if this much can happen in 1 year, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 3/4 of my life.

Thank you all so much again for your love and support- I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I’m so excited to kick off another colourful year!


  • I can’t believe you just turned 25!!! I’ve been following you on XOvain for a while because I love your style. You always seemed so put together and mature I just assumed you had to be older than me! I just turned 25 in June and lost my job in August. I’ve been working since the day I turned 18 so it’s so weird for me. This post was incredibly inspiring!! I hope the future brings you amazing things!!

  • congrats, Alyssa! I am a year younger than you and reading this gave me hope. I’m feeling daunted by money and career prospects, after taking a little bit too long to finish undergrad, I see all my old friends and classmates finding “real jobs” and getting married, and I’m still grasping at straws. I have some great opportunities, like grad school, but it scares me because I could end up in the same place I am now, with tons more debt. Thank you for revealing the not so perfect parts of your life, because it really does seem like a fairy tale otherwise. You are a beautiful person.

  • Awe, happy birthday! I have had those moments in my life and wanted to move away but it always works out in the end.

  • Watching you grow up and evolve for the past 25 years has been such a delight. You have accomplished so much in your short life and I am very excited to sit back and watch how far you go in the next 25 years to come. Being stopped in Vancouver and asked ” Are you RAOP’s mom?” is just very amazing to me.

  • wow – this is so inspiring. Congrats on everything you have achieved. Everything sparkly and pastel for the next 25!! xo

  • Oh cool! What is the name of the agency that helped you form blog partnerships? That sounds like fun!

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