Growing up is Optional

Can you remember the time when you were a kid and living a carefree life, without a worry in the world? As I sit here and contemplate life – which I do a lot by the way – I often wonder what it’d be like if we carried those attributes along with us in adult life.  I mean sure, there are probably lots of people who are actually carefree and don’t let things bother them, but adulting eventually gets the better of us and we cave to some sort of pressure. Whether it be a family issue, something going wrong at work or a spat with a friend. We eventually lose the whimsical livelihood we thrived on as kids and take a step towards becoming older. And we can’t help but wonder if our youthful days are behind us.

I can honestly hear most, if not all of you reading this, rolling your eyes through the screen. I can just hear you say, “Taryn, you just have to let it go,” or “Taryn it’s definitely not that hard to be carefree when you’re an adult.” But let me tell you something: for me, it is. I’m an obsessive worrywart, who tends to overthink absolutely everything that happens in my day to day. Whether it be the weather suddenly ruining plans, or something I said and  find myself constantly looking back on it and thinking, did I really say it that way?  Even now, as I sit here typing this post out on a snowy winter day (which, by the way, ruined my plans), I’m wondering if I should even be writing this. I mean I know you’re already rolling your eyes at me, so you must be secretly judging me too right?

I mean, my logical side of the brain eventually kicks in but it’s not until hours, if not days of over worrying and wondering if I did the right or wrong thing in whatever situation. I’m not entirely sure if maybe that’s the reason I hold onto my love for Disney and Harry Potter as tight as an iron grip. The two things that I identified with in my childhood are really the only two things left I can associate with and love with full confidence. They’re the two things I can wholeheartedly say I don’t have any doubts or misconceptions about. If someone asks me about tips and tricks about heading to a Disney resort, I light up and can talk about it for hours. If someone asks me about the Harry Potter movies, I answer obligingly. I have no doubts in my mind that people understand my passion for those two things!

In any case, I’ve come to the conclusion that feeling like this is completely normal, and a little bit irrational. – let’s be honest. So after some overthinking and re-typing, I’ve decided to take a page from Mr. Walt Disney’s book and keep the whimsical part of my life the most prominent. With all the things I already worry about, why not keep the two most important things right beside me as I navigate this adult world?

“Growing old is mandatory,  but growing up is optional.” – Walt Disney


2017: A Year in Review

The first of the year is always a fresh start; a clean slate to start over and try something new. Whether it be to start that project you’ve always wanted to do, looking for the dream job you’ve always wanted, travelling to somewhere new and exciting or just re-evaluating your health and/or relationships. No matter what the task at hand is, January 1st is a special day that’s full of endless hope and possibility. I wish nothing but the best for everyone in my life (and those who chose to leave it) in 2018. May you get everything you wish for, everything you work for and receive all the love and kindness – because let’s face it, the world sucks and we always need more love.

As we grow older,  it seems as if time speeds up and days and weeks disappear in a flash. I find now that we’re getting older and finding our our place in the world, it’s when you begin to cherish the special moments  that make up your life. Whether it be a new adventure you finally went on, or spending time with those who are important in your life, things start to matter more. It’s also a time when you begin to come to terms with who you are as a person and what you are capable of. And while I myself still have a lot of figuring out to do, I learned a lot about myself and others in 2017.

2017 in a list:

  • Turned 31.
  • Started up with writing my novel again.
  • Travelled to California and spent ten days in the sun exploring Disneyland and Los Angeles, enjoying every moment with my west coast family.
  • Went to an endless amount of concerts (my favourite!).
  • Gained confidence in my cake, and cookie making skills.
  • Lost a battle (again) with the gym. I WILL CONQUER IT EVENTUALLY.
  • Became a Godmother to the best little girl who never fails to make me smile.
  • Watched my friends go through the worst tragedy imaginable and still come out with a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts.
  • Adopted a pupper who’s had a tough start to life – first as a rescue from the Korean dog meat market, and then from an owner surrendering him.
  • Learned who my true friends are.


2018 in a list:

  • More concerts to make memories at, starting with: Niall Horan, Ed Sheeran and Boots and Hearts. I’m certain there will be many more.
  • A trip back to Florida to spend time with my good friend and have some fun in the happiest place on earth.
  • Continuing to write (and hopefully finish) my novel.
  • Spend more time with those who count the most.
  • Open up an Etsy shop.
  • Getting on track to bettering my health – sticking to healthier food, less takeout, going to the gym even when it’s cold as balls outside, and taking my vitamins.
  • Write in my “One Line a Day” journal to keep tabs of all the good things happening in my life.


In a nutshell, there were good times and bad times in 2017, and I have no doubt that 2018 will be the same.  We can never predetermine how our lives are going to go. We can only take what comes at us with a smile on our face and hope in our hearts that things will get better. So whether you started your year on a good note or a sad one, be thankful for what you have, and remember you always have the support you need – you just have to ask. If I don’t talk to you much, or haven’t seen you in awhile, please note you’re always with me. Every single person I know is beautiful on the inside and out and I am thankful that you’re all in my life, even if it’s from afar.


Sometimes I find myself crawling through the mud, barely able to inch my way forward,
Struggling for breath.
But today, I feel invincible.
My superpower?
I’ll walk with my head held high, chest puffed forward, and eyes straight ahead.
I’ll pretend my insecurities are invisible in my mind – even if they’re shouting for attention.
Unsettling thoughts are trying to rip their way through my self-esteem,
but I won’t let them.
Today is my day to shine.

Love Trumps Hate: A Poem

I look at the world around me,
And wonder what it has become.
People are fighting, children are crying,
And a general unease has begun.

Hate seems to be a predominate word,
And all forms love looks to have disappeared.
We’ve all taken a step back from the progress we’ve made,
And gone way back in time.

Our ancestors would be shaking with anger,
And wondering what they could have done.
It’s hard not to be scared for humanity,
And what it has become.

There’s no way of knowing if we will survive,
And that’s a scary thought to most.
What we all need to remember, is love TRUMPS hate,
And that we all need to stick together in this hellish time and place.

Our world is OUR world,
And nobody should be denied.
We are all HUMAN in the end,
And it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.



The Warden

A howling wind surrounded the antiquated Victorian style house that sat atop Cherry Hill, overlooking the tiny hamlet below. From the bottom, the abandoned house looked as if it were an ominous presence staring at those who dared to step outside of the safe confines of their home. It stood silent in the night as dark storm clouds tore through the sky like a riptide in the once calm ocean. Thunder and lightning clashed as the wind whipped and whirled around the house. The wind and rain gravitated towards the house as if it was their master beckoning to them. The house seemed to be alive and created an eerie feeling to anyone who dared to look.

The house used to belong to one of the meanest wardens of the state penitentiary down the road. He ruled with an iron fist and had no tolerance for anybody disobeying him. Anybody who ended up having to serve time for their wrongdoings always prayed for their souls if they were placed at Hawthorn Penitentiary. It was as if they thought it was an automatic death sentence – not that they were wrong.

He was one of the oddest looking men you would ever meet, and the least expected warden on the planet. Tall and gangly, he always wore an ill-fitted suit, and mismatched tie. Physically he had an oddly shaped head and a hook nose. He wore wire-rimmed glasses that covered piercing blue eyes that he always managed to look over when speaking to you. And while he was frail looking and awkward, he still managed to create an uneasy presence whenever he walked into the room.

He did not tolerate disobedience of any form. If you were a prisoner and did not abide by his rules, you were severely punished – no exceptions. It was said that he liked to take misbehaving prisoners into a separate and deliberately secluded area of the prison to “talk”. Everybody knew it was so they wouldn’t be heard, but nobody really knew what he did with the prisoners in there.  What they did know was the prisoners never returned.

Rumours penetrated the walls of the prison and into the surrounding towns. They began to fear what they didn’t know, and it only got worse as the stories became tall tales. Some stories say the warden implanted a chip in his prisoner’s brains, trying to erase all erratic behaviour. But because the product was untested and virtually illegal, most “patients” ended up going insane. Others believed he was a mystical creature, forcing himself to change to his true form and revealing himself to the prisoners. But because this magic was so unbelievably gruesome, they reverted inside themselves, too scared to face the true horrors that were before them.

Statistics showed Hawthorn as having the highest number of unusual and/or unexplained deaths in the country. Prisoners would go missing, or be taken away due to mysterious illnesses. Guards would stop showing up to work, only to be found they checked themselves into an asylum the night before. No visitors dared step foot into the joint either, all fearing the consequences of coming across the Warden.

Until one day the Warden didn’t show up for work. In fact, nobody heard from him in an entire week so they stupidly began looking for him. The most logical place was the house he called home – the Victorian on Cherry Hill. What the search crew found though wasn’t what they expected. The Warden’s body was emaciated like you couldn’t imagine. It was as if the life had literally been sucked right out of him. Thin cuts covered what was left of his body, and the sockets of his eyes were hollow. He didn’t even look human.

The rumours spread once again. Some believed he was murdered by some prisoners who managed to escape the confines of hell, while others believed he left his celestial body to haunt over the town for the rest of time. The house was never lived in again after that. It remained empty and haunting, overlooking the troubled town. You would think the townspeople would try and destroy it, start over with something new. But strange things happened every time they tried to step foot on the grounds that once belonged to the Warden.

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017


I don’t know about you but 2016 was pretty much a gong show when it came to stuff happening all around the world – but let’s be honest, it’s nothing new. As we start a new year, and another year older, I decided I would look back on the good things that happened to me this year instead of focusing on the bad (like the soon-to-be inaugurated president, Donald Trump, numerous natural disasters, and multiple terrorist related attacks – just to name a few).

I realize this list isn’t overly long, and may be rather mundane to those who lead extraordinary lives, but it was pretty great to me. Why you ask? Read below:

  1. I guess the first thing that happened to me in 2016 had to be when I reached a milestone year in my life. No longer am I considered a “young” adult, turning 30 wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. In the end it was just jumping another year ahead and kicking off another era in my life. I know 30 may not seem like such a huge accomplishment, but if you think about it – even a 100 years ago, reaching 30 was a big deal.
  2. I started a new position at work. Going back to high school and university, I never planned on not getting a job in the career I spent so much time, money and effort into achieving.  And while I never intended for my life to turn out this way, I am literally seeing what it takes to build something from the ground up. I have somewhat of a game plan now and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make that plan happen! That being said, I’m still nurturing my passion of writing by keeping up with this blog and writing for online magazines in my spare time.
  3. I kicked off my 30th year of life by following through on a trip that I’ve been dreaming about for as long as I can remember. Travelling to Ireland (and England) has forever changed me. Spending the first half of my trip with my mom, it was something both she and I will never forget. And getting to visit a close friend and her fiance in England was so much fun. I can’t explain the feeling, but all I know is that I was being called home to a place I never stepped foot in until this year. It’s been 8 months and I still can’t help but think about it every day and wonder when I will be back – and I WILL be back sooner rather than later.
  4. I came to the realization that being “friends” with fake people isn’t worth it in the end. A stupid “quiz” post on facebook gave me my untold story the other day and they quoted me as “sacrificing myself to make others happy”. And while I know it’s  fictional in essence, in reality it’s actually quite true. I am always focused on being on everybody’s good side that I tend not to notice the way they treat me. I know I have a big heart, and I love to make friends and it upsets me when I find out that others are nice to my face but think and say differently behind my back. I still have a long way to go in fully accepting this, but I’ve come to realize that it’s not worth the drama.
  5. I became closer with the few friends that I know are truly loyal to me and accept me fully for who I am – faults and all. I know I may not have all that many, but the ones I do have, I love with all my heart. They may be near or far but they’re always close to me at heart. I’ll admit that I’m a horrible person at keeping in touch with. I may be a social media guru but when it comes to text messages and phone calls, I’m never usually the one to pick up the phone first, but will always answer it on the first ring (if I hear it – haha). 2017 is definitely time to focus on keeping those connections. And to those reading this, you guys know who you are (I hope!).
  6. Lastly – and I believe this to be the most significant (other than Ireland) thing that happened this year – is the generosity of my co-workers, family and friends. If you read my previous post you’ll know that they came together and helped to raise a significant amount of money to help me purchase much needed hearing aids. I always see the generosity of others so I know it’s out there, but I never expected it to be directed towards myself. I know that hearing aids will make my quality of life so much better, it’s not life-altering or life threatening. So when they came to surprise me, I was moved to tears. You sometimes forget who has your back, and how much you are actually loved until something like this hits you in the face. I’ll be forever grateful for their love and support, and I can’t wait to start the process to get these new aids!

As I said before, this may not seem all that thrilling or exciting to you, but it’s something to me. As I get older, I think I’m beginning to understand people when they say “it’s not about the things, it’s about the experiences”. Things come and go, but the experiences are what tell you you’ve had an interesting and fulfilling life.

Here’s to 2017 being full of experiences, opportunities and hope for a brighter future. I know I sound like a futuristic ad, but in reality, hope is what gets us through those tough times. I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring and I look forward to sharing them with  all of you!

Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart


How does one express gratitude of something so monumental it’s hard to put into words? It’s been a few hours now and I’m still at a loss and unsure of how to express how thankful I am for everything that has just happened. I sincerely have some of the best friends and family a girl could ask for and I’m not entirely sure how I’ll ever be able to pay them back for their love and support. And after having a rather horrible week last week, I can honestly say this made up for everything.


I’m never one to expect anything. I’m always the one giving with the full intention of making people happy and seeing them smile. Never did I think the tables would be turned and definitely didn’t expect something like this would ever happen to me. We all know 2016 has been a rough year for everyone in the world and in my mind, my need for new hearing aids seemed minimal at best. There were just more important things going on that needed attention. I’m just a girl who – who may gripe here and there about not being able to afford them – was okay with what she had because others had a lot less.

Tonight I was not only surprised by my IPC family and friends with a cheque to help fund the purchase of new (desperately needed) hearing aids, I was also given the opportunity to work with Starkey Hearing Solutions to get the best products I need in order to be able to live life as normally possible. I will be able to finally have hearing aids again that will allow me to fully engage in conversations without turning my head, asking people to repeat themselves, or hearing something completely different than what they just said. And I honestly believe these new products will help boost my confidence, which has always been something I’ve struggled with ever since I was a kid and I first had to wear them.

So I say this: to all the people who donated, THANK YOU. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. As I sit here and type this with tears in my eyes, my heart is overflowing. Sometimes you forget how many people actually have your back until moments like this arise. I work with some of the best people on the planet and I am forever thankful for your love and kindness. And to my friends who have always accepted me for who I am and looked past what I considered to be my disability and took me as I am.

But I have to say a special thanks to Alison Collins for organizing this and making it happen. You truly are the best and I appreciate everything you did from setting up the plan to the execution.

“Gratitude can turn common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into Blessings” – William Arthur Ward


(p.s. as if this couldn’t get any better, I found out today I passed my CIFC exam on the first try! 2016 is going to end on a sweet note!)


Do you see me, standing over here?

Do you even notice what I’m wearing, or that I curled my hair?

I tried extra hard to make myself stand out, because I knew you were going to be there.

Who am I kidding though, I don’t have a chance. Not with that tall leggy blonde hanging onto you at every chance.

I bet you don’t know this, but I actually care. I’m not interested in your social prowess or your perfectly coiffed hair.

We used to be close once upon a time. I was your best friend, and you were mine.

I stupidly decided to tell you I liked you a little more, and instead of responding you walked out that door.

Did you even care? Did we even have a chance? Or was the love I felt just a case of happenstance?

I still love you now, as I loved you then. I just wish we could go back to what we had back when.

Back when we were in love and the world fell away. Back when we just cared about the two of us and nothing got in the way.

I hope you know I see you, standing over there. Don’t think I didn’t notice you put on a nice dress and that you curled your hair.

You look beautiful tonight, and I so badly want for it to just be the two of us here.

I bet you notice the blond hanging off of my arms. Don’t worry darling, I won’t be leaving with her alone.

I can tell you’re worried, that you’ve lost all hope. But I can also tell you right now, she’s nothing but a joke.

She’s a cover-up, she’s there to disguise. She’s just a stand in for the woman I desire.

I’m not over our friendship, our love, and our lives. I miss our laughs, our serious talks and good times.

You were more than just a friend; I was yours, and you were mine.

I wish I could tell you, just how much I miss your sweet face. I wish you could feel the love I struggle to express.

I’m downright unhappy and an outright mess.

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