Overcoming My Fear

It is no secret to most, that I love to write. It is, perhaps, a secret of mine, that I do not like to share my writing. Not because I do not want to share what I know, not because I do not want to use my gift. The reason, I do not like to share is- fear!

Imagine always wanting to do something, your entire life, and holding back, because of fear. I knew I would be worried about ridicule, constructive criticism, whether or not I could take it okay, and well, the mean people on the internet.

I put aside my dream for so long because of these reasons, never mind the possibilities that could come along with sharing my writing. Meeting and networking with new, wonderful people, possibly producing a new income, and sharing my ideas with the WORLD!

Below, I will share some ways that I overcame my fears.

1)I Prayed. I would suggest giving this an honest shot. I asked God what he would have me do and to give me courage. (Here I am).

2)I asked for feedback and advice from friends and family. I asked thoughts from the people I loved, and it was a huge encouragement.

3)I did positive self-talk. I told myself all the positive things I had heard from others about my writing, and also encouraged myself, by saying that I can do it.

4)I challenged negative thinking. I told the naysayers in my mind to get lost, essentially and basically. I challenged the negative thoughts with logical thinking.

5)I just did it! There comes a time in life, when we need to overcome our fears, and that is precisely what I did. I had to get over my fear, and put myself out there. I knew if I ever wanted to do what I loved and share my dreams and ideas with the world, I would have to get out there and do it. SO I DID!

Please share this article via your own social networks, and also let me know in the comments below a fear of your own and how you over came it!

Challenges of Spina Bifida: Wife’s Perspective

I love my darling husband, and he shows me how much he loves me on a daily basis through many different ways. Acts of kindness, grace, and love, among other things. However, today I am going to mention what I have noticed are some challenges of living life unable to walk, from my perspective.

I will, in no way, shape, or form, be able to explain the truest picture of what it’s like to be the one living with this disability. My aim here is to show some of the struggles that come along with living with it and loving somebody who does.

Travel is a challenge, finding accessible washrooms, and even rooms you can get into becomes difficult.

Going for a stroll, is daunting, especially in winter, when side walks are not plowed, full of ice, and the lips of the curb are often not even in a spot where you can get off off.

Movies, sporting events, shows, and other entertainment venues, do not allow for you to attend with more than one individual. This is because they only reserve one seat for you and a guest, when purchasing tickets, in the accessible seating.

Constipation is a struggle, leading to many uncomfortable days.

Stairs, stairs, stairs! They are every where! Why are there stairs every where you go. I’ve come to learn that I believe…stairs…are…stupid! Many-a-times have we been unable to attend certain things due to the stairs.

Accessible. I actually have come to despise that word, not because it is not important, yet because nearly every time we go some where’s we have to pose the question “are you accessible?” At times the answer, more often than not, is no.

People are often so quick to assume things as well. Not every disability is the same, and my husband is more able to do things than people realize. Assumptions are often made regarding his abilities, and this can be frustrating, at times.

My hope is that there would be more ramps built, and put more emphasis on educating the public on disabilities and how we can better support those with them.

There are quite a few more struggles involved with the challenges of having this type of physical disability, and would love to hear about any others that you may think of and any solutions you may have to solving the world or non accessibility.

Saint Awesome: 89 Things to Do in Saint John, New Brunswick

Grumble, grumble grumble, I often hear about our beautiful city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. In this grumbling, I am usually hearing that there is nothing to do in Saint John, and that, well, quite frankly, “it sucks.” Therefore, I chose to set out on a mission to find several reasons why Saint John is wonderful. I found 89. See the below article for details:
The many parks of Saint John:
1)Irving Nature Park
This park is complete with a beautiful beach, a driving trail, and several amazing hiking trails, in a couple of locations, there are even look outs to look into the Bay of Fundy.
2)Rockwood Park
This park has several different beaches, a play ground, a horse stable, that some times has pony rides among other things. There is also a driving/walking/biking trail that takes you around the provinces/territories or Canada. There are several hiking trails as well.
3)Tucker Park
A beautiful beach
4)Dominion Park
Another beautiful beach with many activities
5)Little Reservoir
A beach with a play ground and a beautiful walking trail.
6)Martello Tower
An amazing historical place built for the war of 1812, playing a significant role in conflicts until the second world war.
7)Harbour Passage
A wonderful walking path, where people can be seen skating, roller blading, jogging, bicycling, etc…
8)The Boardwalk
This is where people can go to see all of the wonderful entertainment the summer has to offer such as Saint John Idol, Country Idol, and the list goes on.
9)Breakout Saint John
This is a place to put you puzzle skills to the test, trying to break out of an escape room
10)Offline Cafe
A board game cafe
11)Restaurant’s
The city is filled with amazing culinary experiences.
12)City Market

The city market has beautiful scenery as well as many different places to sample.
13)Brunswick Square
An amazing shopping opportunity, with a pretty awesome fountain.
14)Market Square
There are several floors of shopping to see here.
15)New Brunswick Museum
The museum is packed full of history facts and has a display of how high the tide is.
16)King’s Square

You can often see bands playing on the bandstand.
17)Queen’s Square
You can sit in the square or even visit the farmer’s market on Sunday’s during the summer months.
18)Cherry Brook Zoo
A zoo to visit many of the animals.
19)Stonehammer Unesco Global Geopark
A place where people can go to get all kinds of information on fossils, and city history.
20)Wolastoq Park.
A beautiful place to sit and enjoy the sunshine. Bring a picnic!
21)Mcallister Mall
Complete with several stores, restaurants, kiosks, etc..
22)Art galleries
The city is packed full of amazing art.
23)Barbour’s General Store
It is a cute little store near the cruise ship terminal, worth checking out.
24)Port Saint John
See the many cruise ships come in at Port Saint John.
25)Fort Howe
Look out over our beautiful city, at this beautiful location.
26)Light House’s
There are several light house’s surrounding our city.
27)Saint John Jewish Historical Museum
Check out this museum and take in some history.
28)Saint John Police Museum
Look at the exhibits at the museum.
29)Old Number 2 House Museum
Check out the fire house, one of the only buildings that stood their ground, after the great Saint John fire.
30)Loyalist House
One more building to withstand the fire, built between 1817 and 1820, it serves as a reminder of our British Heritage.
31)Church’s
The city is full of beautiful, historical churches, that are mesmerizing to the eyes.
32)Phoenix Dinner Theater
A wonderful place for the musical theater.
33)Harbour Station
Take in a Sea Dog’s Hockey game or a Mill Rats basketball game, or just as well, enjoy the many other events that take place here.
34)Cineplex
Take in a movie, laugh, cry, scream, or whatever other emotion you may be feeling.
35)Ferries

Take a boat ride on a ferry and feel the waves crash upon the boat.
36)Bowling Alley’s
Bowl the lanes at the nearest bowling alley over a bowl of nacho’s.
37)Car Show
The city holds car shows every so often, many of the proceeds going to charity.
38)East Coast Games
Enjoy a variety of sports during the East Coast Games.
39)Public Gardens
See the beautiful gardens, the picture speaks for itself.
40)Hatheway Labour Exhibit Center
Look at the history of our city here.
41)East Point Shopping
There is yet another place to shop in our city, and also, at times has a market, and would not be complete without my favorite store “INDIGO!”
42)Loyalist City Ribfest
Enjoy some mouth watering ribs at the festival.
43)Timber Top Adventures
Attack nature, playfully, at this place.
44)Kayaking/Boating at Lily Lake
Take a leisurely kayak ride, or paddle boat, or many other things, along the lake.
45)Movies in the Park
Movies take place weekly in the summer time at the park.
46)Zipline over the Rapids

Thrill seekers try this out!
47)Aquatic Center
Take a swim or enjoy the fitness center at this place.
48)Freak Lunchbox
Satisfy your sweet tooth here.
49)Hotels
There are many beautiful ones in this city.
50)Oasis Trampoline Park
Get your jump on here!
51)The marina
Enjoy a meal sitting by the water here.
52)HMCS Brunswicker
Take a pic by the cannon here.
53)Loyalist Burial Ground
Take a walk through history in the beautiful uptown Saint John.
54)Saint John Arts Center
Take a look at the art of our city here.
55)Bunk Hauss
A newer hostile in Saint John.
56)Reversing Falls

Take a daring jet boat ride over the rapids
57)Live music
It’s happening all over the city
58)Uptown
There is actually so much to see and do uptown, I could never capture in it in a blog post. Take a look around and see what you can find!
59)Yuk Yuk’s
A comedy club for a good laugh.
60)Chop Chop Week
Every year, restaurant’s participate in chop chop week. They serve specialty meals at amazing prices and a portion of it goes to a charity.
61)Art Down on the Wharf
I couldn’t honestly think of what to call this, yet there is this beautiful painting down by the boardwalk done by a Hawaiian, in order to raise awareness about Global Warming.
62)Big Book Sale
There is a big book sale put on by Big Brothers & Big Sister’s Canada. Always some great finds.
63)Sunday Jazz Night
They have a jazz night each Sunday at the boardwalk.
64)Walk N’ Talk with David Goss
Learn from a local author during this walking tour.
65)Night Market
There is now a wonderful night market an evening during the week.
66)Galley Hops
Sample wine and food as you take in the artists work.
67)Jogging/Marathons
For the fitness enthused, take a jog or enter into one of the marathons.
68)Karaoke
For those not ready for the big stage, or even if you are, try out some karaoke.
69)Beer Tasting Tours
Self explanatory
70)Walking Tours
There are many, just a simple google search and the possibilities are endless.
71)Imperial Theater
Take in a play at this beautiful theater.
72)Fair
Each June enjoy rides and cotton candy at this fair.
73)Saint John Exhibition
See the shows, do the rides, eat all the junk, enjoy!
74)Saint John Library
Looking for a quiet way to relax? This is it.
75)Rhoda’s Flea Market
Each Sunday, peak through the vendors tables, and find treasures you may not have ever found.
76)Yoga at the Lake
They do yoga for anybody at the lake.
77)Irish Music at O’leary’s
Enjoy live music here.
78)Second Spin
Looking for an affordable movie to watch? Try this second hand movie/record store first.
79)Heroe’s Beacon.
A nice spot for the comic book buff.
80)Loyalist City Books and Coins
Interested in seeing what those old coins are worth. Check out here.
81)Dave Shoot’s Bookseller: Rare Bookseller
The name speaks for itself.
82)YMCA
You could always get a membership here and swim in the pool, exercise on the equipment, shoot some hoops, etc…
83)Horse Racing Track
Self-explanatory.
84)Uptown Sparkle’s
During the winter there is a wonderful celebration, where there is a Christmas tree lighting, hot chocolate, and so much more.
85)Canada Day Festivities
Enjoy face painting, cake, flea market, bingo, and so much more.
86)Graffiti Alley
A must see in Saint John
87)Arts and Cultural Park
Only a few minutes out side of the city, in Quispamsis, go skating, take in a movie, walk around the paths, etc…
88) Q- Plex
Also in Quispamsis, swim in the pool, or take a walk on the walking track.
89)Day Trip’s
Take a trip from Saint John: St. Andrew’s, St. Stephen, Sussex, Moncton, St. Martin’s, Fredericton, etc…

Reverse Bucket List: 10 Things I’ve Already Done

I got to thinking (often a dangerous task when you are me), but this time I was safe. In my thinking, I discovered I would
like to compile a list of things I have already done, that would have been on my bucket list had I not. So many times people are so busy trying to create a list of things they wish to do, that we forget to appreciate the things we have already been amazingly blessed with. These are not in any particular order.

  1. Getting married. I married my best friend. We laugh, we cry, we embrace, we do nothing and enjoy it blissfully, we do life together.
    2)Disney World. I got to go to Disney World with people I love. I saw many incredible things including the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. This made such an impact on me because as a young child, I LOVED to read and recently had read the book. I also found my thirst for adrenaline in Florida.
    3)Kayaking. I have been kayaking a total of three times, and while I got eaten alive by dear flies (though not quite literally, I’m still here), it was an amazing experience. It’s amazing to feel the wind blowing through my hair, as I am mere inches away from sitting on part of God’s great creation, the water.
    4)Sailing. I actually sailed for a few summers as a cadet. I have flown on a spinnaker, I have capsized with as much grace as possible (and nearly drowned once), I have hiked the waves with strength.
    5)Scotland. I traveled to Scotland, where I saw so much history, and also saw the Queen who attended the Scottish games. It was an incredible experience.
    6)Being a mom. While he drives me crazy at times, I love being a mom to my handsome nine-year-old.
    7)Starting this blog. I am excited to have started a blog and am looking forward to seeing where it takes me, and my readers!
    8)Putting my faith in Jesus. If this was in order, this would be number one. Without His love, my life would be like- an absolute mess!
    9)Being published. I was published in a couple of poetry books, solidifying my career as a writer.
    10)Sharing my story to help others. Each and every day, I am blessed with the opportunity to embark upon a journey with somebody experiencing similar things to what I went through.

I would love to hear some of your reverse bucket list ideas, in the comments below. Please feel free to share!

Recovery is Possible

People have often asked me what do I do to stay so well. While it is true that I have ups and downs, like any illness, I stay most well because of my faith. I agree that the normal things that I am told to do are beneficial, such as medication adherence, hard work, proper diet and exercise (a struggle) and good sleep hygiene.

With that being said, without faith in Jesus, who has seen me through many times, good and bad, I do not know where I would be. I remember in my lowest of lowest moments, Jesus was there when I cried out to him.

I tried to do life without him, and it was a miserable time in my life. I am not saying life is perfect now, because it is not, however, I know that I am loved by Somebody much greater than I.

There is much I could say about how Jesus has helped me to overcome. When people did not believe in me, when people believed I would suffer from the symptoms forever, I knew I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I knew I was not destined to be there forever. Still, I believe I am destined for greater things, and the best is yet to come!

First Blog Post:Mandi’s Voice Explained

I am beginning this blog as a way to express myself through my written work. I am hopeful that any individual reading this will find some pleasure in doing so.

Writing is a passion of mine and it is one of my greatest desires to inspire others through doing so.

I will be writing about a variety of subjects I am interested in and hope you will too. They will range on topics from mental health, faith, the beauty of earth, the not-so-nice things of the world, and the list will go on.

Many people are aware I live with a mental illness, and aim to live a fulfilling and productive life. I have a large family, love them dearly, and am a mom to a 9 year old. I also am in love with somebody with spina bifida, he is my husband. Perhaps, you may see some entries on these items.

I believe I have some things to say, that I would like to share with the world, hence why I am not just keeping a journal. That is why I chose to start this blog.

I would love to connect with many more people who have interests in the same topics as I do.

I hope to reach a large following over the course of the next year, and am aiming to make a difference in the world, by speaking to the minds of my readers.

I will be blogging at the very least weekly.

Perhaps, I will be random at times with what I write about, but element of surprise could be wonderful. Enjoy!