I actually wrote most of a blog post on my way home from Australia, but this finalized version looks almost nothing like the bizarre, poetic version I had in my head at that altitude. A lot of that one had to do with getting older, meditation, my relationship with my mom, and Cosmos, but this one makes way more sense as a first entry in such a long time.
I had an adventure-packed few months down under with lots of time spent on self-reflection and practicing the art of enjoying life in the moment. For a while the novelty of choosing a non-traditional career path had mostly worn off and was replaced by phases of uncertainty and self-doubt. The money I had made in poker seemed to have all been an illusion, and opportunities had become scarce, but somehow I continue to find myself with insurmountable gratitude for my life situation and all the doors that poker has opened.
When I was young I was driven and excitable with big aspirations. My family started with virtually nothing in a foreign country like many immigrants of the time, and I am so much of who I am today because of that internalized resiliency. When I first started making significant money from poker (for my investors) my main goal was to allow my dad to retire early from his manual labour job as soon as possible. I was thrown into a crazy world of high returns, high expenses, along with the lowest lows. I became filled with anxiousness that revolved around wanting to be successful by having the coolest experiences in the shortest amount of time, and being able to provide my family with experiences they never had. I made huge financial mistakes being overly optimistic about the game and many industry promises that I am still paying for today. Having said that, I’m also thankful for the eyeopening lessons that have forced me to look objectively and grow to be comfortable with who I am now. Today I hold myself to a very high standard with everything I do, and like to think that I no longer waste my time being agreeable, unconsciously hoping to be liked by as many people as possible. Like many females, I fought against impostor syndrome in many facets of my life, and I’m done not feeling like I’ll ever be good enough for the impossible expectations we face, both internal and external.
After making the tough decision to leave a rewarding three-year relationship and beginning to feel like I was stagnating professionally I started asking myself the hard questions again. I am now studying poker frequently and focusing my introspection on what I really want for my future, ignoring external pressures. Since doing so I’ve dyed my hair to suit my mood, have largely ignored what people could think about this and that, and had a solid 2015 with almost $200k in live cashes. 2016 is also off to a great start after a decent Aussie Millions and being drafted by the Montreal Nationals in the first season of Global Poker League, and in April I will be filming “Girl Got Game” with seven other fierce poker ladies. The upcoming weeks I will be home in Toronto preparing for my real estate exam to rebuild my roots here, getting started with various games on Twitch, and making myself available for coaching. All these things seem pretty cool for my ego, but they really are dwarfed by how content I feel inside. I’m also going to do a better job of not letting the media stuff get in the way of time that should be spent on actual progression and growth.
One last thought: I used to think the world was SO unfair, and have really enjoyed feeling like the mainstream has finally caught up! The equality debates are pretty heated now – feminism, racism, class, political correctness, and although I would love to jump into the ring for all these issues, I simply do not have the energy or see a lot of value in doing so in most formats. I used to defend the bullied, the passive, even those who were not present or didn’t want my input indiscriminately, but I have learned that it’s almost always hopeless and ill-advised to present rational arguments to radicals who don’t have critical thinking training. It can even be counterproductive if you inadvertently make them feel less intelligent in the process. We all have vastly different perceptions based on our unique experiences, and the opinions of some will only shift when they are ready. Ultimately we all just want to love freely and be loved in return, so be nice to each other.