Ok, in case you didn't know, I'm a red-blooded Egyptian woman. So the sun and heat just run through my veins.
My friends used to call me "Sunflower Nadine" because I was like a vulture to the sun. I chased it wherever it was.
Rarely would you ever see me sitting in the shade.
So I wasn't feeling too quaint with the idea of moving to Toronto because of the blistering cold.
I hit up an old Google search: "how cold does Toronto get?" - an astounding -30 degrees celsius.
The most winter I've ever endured was a solid 15 degrees and I would be bitching the entire time too!
There are very few things I complain about in life, and in this order exactly:
Lack of women equality
The fact that Nutella isn't considered a meal
But it was either Canada or the United States, and we all know how that turned out with the current Commander in Chief, Donald Trump, who's obsessed with orange self-tanner and grabbing women by the (you know what).
And so Hratch and I upped our very comfortable life in Egypt, packed our entire livelihood in 2 lonely suitcases and made way to the Antarctic *ehem* I mean Toronto *ehem*
Then followed a year of despair.
If you think I was a bad-complainer in 15 degree weather, wait till you see me in anything below 0 degrees. OH BOY!
I WOULD NOT STOP COMPLAINING!
I was as mopey as a hungover college kid looking for a goddamn cure.
And wait till you've seen my reaction when I found out that winter in Toronto extended over 9 months long!!
9 MONTHS! Like mother nature here is a pregnant woman waiting to birth the summer sun.
Nadine was not happy - not happy at all!
I only feel bad for Hratch for having to put up with my excessive winter complaining conundrum. But he's still hangin so I couldn't have been that bad right?
And so led an entire first year of misery.
I was miserable when I was putting on my coat. I was miserable when I needed to head out. I was miserable having to cloth myself in a million layers that I end up being the female version of the Michelin man.
I hated the colour white.
Nothing good is ever white!
White corrector - something that's so heavily reliant on you making mistakes
A white flag - a symbol of defeat
The Ku Klux Klan
bland vanilla ice-cream (so boring!)
It always felt like Toronto was bombarded by a sea of angry birds that just shat on the city, leaving trails of white blankets (but not the cozy kind).
And soon enough, I went down a spiral of hating on Toronto.
I blamed Toronto for everything!
Blamed it for my lack of network, lack of social life, the fact that it was so horrid for me to climb up the food ladder - everything and anything you can think of.
It was Toronto's fault!
Why would a Master's Degree holder, highly educated girl like myself suffer that much?
So hold the phone, things wasn't going to get handed to me on a silver platter?
Oh God! What a little entitled spoilt brat I was.
I was playing the victim - no, wait scratch that - I was playing the very-cold-needs-a-heated-blanket victim.
That was until I made a complete mindset switch.
I stopped looking at Toronto as a temporary living situation and accepted the fact that this is where Hratch and I were going to build a life.
I'm now a girl who lives in a country where the weather hurts your face.
I just had to acclimate.
So I stopped acting like the cry baby I was, put my big boy pants on (along with the inevitable winter coat) and started adapting as best I could, much like a camouflaging-needs-to-survive chameleon.
I got out of my hibernation hermit shell - although my couch still suffers from that dented-ass-print (but it's cool, I've been told I got a nice booty).
I chose to be here. I chose this life. I chose to live in a cold country.
And you know what? I started to just fucking own it.
Weather too cold?
Good, then I have an outside all-day-round fridge to keep my drink cold.
Snow too horrific? Good, I became thankful to have it act as a go-to-ice-breaker when I was stuck in awkward small talk.
Not feeling too confident for the day?
Awesome, now I have layers of clothing that will cover up my belly-fat as a result of binging 4 Nutella jars in a single sitting.
Now no one will ever know!
So why am I telling you this?
Ever since I made that mindset switch, everything in my life started to align.
I stopped being the movie damsel in distress and started acting like the protagonist of my own damn life.
I WAS IN-FUCKING-CHARGE! NOT YOU SNOW!
"Winter is coming" - my ass.
Far too often, creatives and business owners create these little comfortable lies rather than taking a hard look at themselves on why they are where they are.
"I'm not getting followers because of the Instagram algorithm"
"She's getting more clients because she was lucky. I'm not as lucky as her"
"I can't create good quality photos cause I don't have a fancy camera"
Ever caught yourself saying any of those things?
And it doesn't have to just be related to business.
It can be in all areas of life.
I mean have you ever looked at celebrities who've undergone these massive body transformations and thought "well, they're paid to do that. If I was handed that kinda money, I would have a body like that too".
These are all-too-familiar-and-comfortable lies we tell ourselves and it becomes justified as the voice of reason.
NU-UH!!! REALITY CHECK TIME!
Wherever you are TODAY is a direct result of your choices, habits and most importantly YOUR MINDSET.
And yes, I know, sometimes we have very little control of what the outcome or the circumstances are.
But what you can control is your attitude! That my friend, is 10000% on you!
Let's say you're in a competitive space, whether you're a photographer, hairstylist, whatever...
Comfortable lie = I'm not getting clients because it's way too competitive
Ok, let's dive a little deeper.
Instead of having the mindset of feeling defeated because the competition is fierce, look how powerful this reversed wording is...
"It's very competitive. What can I do to make myself stand out?"
And BOOM - just like that, your language and mindset opens a door for problem-solving.
So just like I was a big drama queen when it came to building a life in Toronto, I soon realized that it actually presented a lot of hidden gems.
I was blinded by my own "comfortable lie".
But once I got my 'comfortable lie' glasses professionally cleaned and by adjusting my own attitude, I started to see the actual opportunities all around me.
Now it's your turn? What's something you feel has been holding you back? Did you hate winter as much as I have? Comment below.