Reflections, Uncategorized

August 25, 2021

Dear Liv,

girl on her graduation day
I'm WillowjakMama!

My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. Now it's my favourite place to be.

hey there

(and every young adult beginning a new journey at post secondary programs,)

As a high school teacher, I get to watch young people grow from an uncertain 14 year old to a young adult at 18 with the world before them. This is when my job ends. Now as a young adult, you are leaving home and joining a new school (or program, or even a new job). It’s a time with new friends, new opportunities, new adventures. It can be overwhelming and exciting. 

I’m sure you are nervous. Heck, I remember how nervous I was starting university in a new city with new people and a new school. I remember saying goodbye to my family and boyfriend, I remember trying not to cry. (I don’t think I did very well with that). 

I remember thinking this was it… the track for my life had begun. I learned a few things along the way. For me, post secondary was not so much about becoming the career I wanted, but discovering myself. I sure didn’t end up where I thought I would. I changed programs and universities – I got married and took part time studies so I could work more and took 5 years to complete a 4 year program. But looking back, it wasn’t about finishing as quickly as possible or making the most money. It was about living life.

Keep your loved ones close.  Back in my day, (haha I’m old!) we had the internet with ethernet cables and phone lines that plugged into the wall. There was no Zoom or FaceTime to keep in touch. I spent hours on the phone with friends and family, and mostly, with my boyfriend (now husband).

As things progressed, I ended up realizing I was a homebody. I changed schools to be closer to loved ones. I followed a passion instead of a job. That passion brought me to a job I love. So, with that I give you the old cliche – always follow your heart. It’ll never lead you astray. Don’t be afraid if your heart leads you in new and different directions. 

Liv mentioned in her blog all the “other” things she wants to talk about other than school. Keep those things close. They will get you through long days and nights. 

(Read Liv’s post Let’s Talk About *School* Baby)

Remember to enjoy your favourite coffee or tea and take a quiet moment to yourself each day. 

Learn recipes from home and cook them at your own place. Comfort food is real. 

Remember to watch those favourite shows and laugh your head off, or cry your heart out, or maybe scare yourself silly. 

Incorporate your hobbies and interests into daily/weekly routines, for these will keep you grounded. 

But also try new things. When I was in second year university I took a scuba diving course and certification because it was something I always wanted to do. It was a bucket list item before bucket lists became a “thing”. 

And finally, remember your roots. Remember your family and community and friends who are behind you every step of the way. You are never alone. 

Liv- I’ve known you through church and through your moms’ stories for the past six years. You should be proud of the young woman you are. I’ve watched you grow up. Keep being you. Dream big. 


Marilyn R.

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Hi, I'm Stacey.
Welcome to the
Willowjak Blog 

My blog started as a way to document my journey to wellness, but turned into a place to be inspired by others through our collective messy & authentic stories. We chat about themes that are often ignored and voices that aren't often given a chance at the mic. Now it's my favourite place to be. 

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