This is the September 2015 issue

#YoungerMe: You Are One in a Million

Dear 18-Year-Old Me, You are one in a million. Believe that. I want you to know that being yourself is essential to your happiness. You will change, you will grow, and while others (even those close to you) will doubt your ability to do so, soldier on. Prove everyone wrong. The next 10 years will bring more changes and more challenges than you could ever imagine. Embrace your younger years, but keep moving forward. With that said, I leave you with these words: Keep writing. You have loved writing since you were old enough to put pencil to paper. Do not take your passion for granted. Use it to express yourself in all kinds of ways. Use it in your personal life. Use it at work. Writing is an invaluable skill you can always improve upon. Write even when you don’t want to. Most importantly: KEEP EVERYTHING. Your diaries, notes between friends, school projects, and musings on scrap paper are precious. They’re part of you. Let love in. You are going to experience loss in …

Breaking Gender Norms as a Millennial Male Nurse

Finding acceptance, encouragement and success while pursing a challenging career. There was a time, not long ago, when gender played a big role in the career you picked. For millennials who grew up with parents telling them they could achieve whatever they could imagine, it seems unthinkable, but for the generations that came before us, career choices were by and large limited by your gender as much as anything else, unless you were willing to be a trailblazer and put up with all the detractors, that is. Of course, all this is changing, but it takes time, and while in most professions the old norms about gender roles may have been long overcome, they leave a long trail. Nursing is one of the professions often associated with traditional gender roles. In modern Western history at least it has been a career path mostly taken by women. The 2001 Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey found only 10 percent of nurses in the country are men, the rest – a full 90 percent – are women. So …

Fill Your Bag With Timely Tech

My elementary school career began in 1989. I was four years old. In March that year, Tim Berners-Lee would submit his proposal for a distributed system at CERN, laying the foundation for what would become the Internet, and changing the world forever.

But it would take a while for the future to make it’s way to Bracebridge, Ontario, so for much of the 90’s I was filling my backpack with books, pencils and maybe a calculator. It was a heavy bag.

Today, I could replace everything I used to carry in my backpack with an iPad. And you know what? I would. Technology has changed everything since I was in school and aside from a few concerns about information retention (more on that later), I think we should embrace it. And since this month’s theme at The Reply is Breaking the Norm, let’s check out some school-worthy tech that you might not usually give a second glance.

The Allure of Pyramid Schemes

My father-in-law has sold Amway for decades. He attends weekly meetings and a few times a year travels to weekend conferences. However, despite his commitment I have yet to hear about him making a liveable income. But, he is unwavering in his belief that this venture will pay off. His blind tenacity reminds me of when I worked at a pharmacy that sold lottery tickets. Like clockwork, every Friday certain customers would buy their tickets. They also believed that this payout would succeed in the end. The statistical improbability did not phase them.

Once my father-in-law was asked if Amway was a pyramid scheme. He answered loudly and defensively, “If there’s a product it’s not a pyramid scheme!”

Perhaps he’s right. These businesses are fun and profitable for a lot of people. If you are outgoing and social, the parties are enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon or evening. But, often the impression given is the products will sell themselves. What a tantalizing idea! How wonderful it would be to be part of an organization that virtually guarantees profit.

Are You Sacrificing Today for a Better Tomorrow?

The idea of spending your days practicing yoga on the beach with the sea breeze blowing in your hair sounds like a life most people could only dream of.

Or perhaps it’s something you plan to do upon retirement, after slaving away at your desk for the next 40 years.

After all, we have bills to pay and a nest egg to build; we’ve all got to do our time, right?

Maybe not.

Less than two years ago, Lindsay Adamson led her life by exactly this mentality. She was living in Toronto, Ontario, working seven days a week, and logging 16 to 18-hour days. This was her fourth year living this way, after getting promoted to the role of National Sales Director at a company she had been working with for eight years.

“I missed everything in my friends’ and family’s lives,” she says in an interview with The Reply. “Weddings, showers, birthdays – although I always made it home for Christmas. But I was so addicted to trying to be successful.”