Thursday, April 28, 2011

Your Story

Hey Guys,

Something I have gotten often is people commenting on that I blog because that is just who I am. That is kind of true for the majority of my life I have always been the one to share what has gone on my life. Especially once I have gone through something like depression, failure or feel inadequate.  I wanted to share it. However this is not the case for everyone, not everyone wants to share or feel comfortable sharing about there life. That is the thing I am starting to realize. It is this, we all have a story, we all have something to share but you do not have too. Certain people are meant to share to the world, some people are meant to share to one person and that is there comfort reason and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that by any means. I think that is something we do in our culture and something that I do personally which is glorify the person who shares more than the person who keeps their personal life to themselves. It is sometime hard to realize for me that why would people not want to share? Often I am called blunt or straight forward because I will ask some of the most directed questions ever. That is because I share therefore everyone should share right? Wrong, not everyone feels comfortable with sharing.

To my point which is this, everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something in there life that is a 'touchy' subject. Even for me there is still parts of my life that I do not like to talk about. Everyone has a part of their life they do not talk about. That is something we and I need to remember everyone still has a story. As we go about our day we see hundreds if not thousands of people and it is easy to group people together. But we should not everyone has a a different story, a different childhood and different experiences. 

I guess that is what I have to share and what I am learning is never underestimate someone and what they have to share with you. I am learning alot everyday from different people in my life because they all have something to share. Take the time tomorrow or the next day to find out about someone and what they have to share with you!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Male Eating Disorder

Hey Guys,

A lot has been going on this week between going to Pender, Easter and also finishing up my last final. This was a blog posted on the Libero Network which really peaked my interest. Often we categorize certain disorders to different genders because that is the 'roles' we place in society. Scott here suffered from an eating disorder which usually we set as only a girl problem. Which is 100% incorrect. As I am starting to realize, age and sex does have an effect on you but does not eliminate you from different disorders. Just because you are a male does not mean you cannot suffer from depression like I did or ED like scott did.

Scott’s Story

It’s hard to say when an eating disorder “started.”  I think it is more of a progression from the disordered thoughts, to actions, and then to diagnosis and treatment.  If I had to pick a time I would have to say mine “started” in 2006/ 2007 when I started bicycling competitively. In my drive to be competitive, I decided that in order to be faster I had to weigh less. I read how famous cyclists like Lance Armstrong measured and weighed every single thing they ate and I thought that sounded like a good idea. So I started doing that. I also began broadening my very limited diet by eating more vegetables and varied foods.

My favourite foods were pizza and pasta (butter, no red sauce) and white bread with lots of butter. 

As I began hearing that these foods weren’t “healthy” I stopped eating them.

I vividly remember visiting my sister while she was a freshman in college. I chose to eat a stir fry because I thought it was the ‘healthiest’ option – this is where my disordered thoughts surrounding food really started.

I became obsessed with food, while at the same time not allowing myself to have it. I started collecting cook books, and reading Cooking Light and other weight loss magazines. It quickly consumed me. I started cooking for the family and packing my own lunches to control what was going into my body. Not only would I restrict ingredients I “wasn’t allowed,” but I also served myself smaller portions than my parents, because I didn’t want to eat more than an adult.

I convinced myself, as well as my family, that the cause of my weight loss was increased activity combined with not eating enough. I went to a nutritionist who recommended some ways I could gain weight; so I attempted a weight-gain plan, but that didn’t work – mostly because I wasn’t following it. I had a bunch of tests done, everything from GI scopes to allergy tests and they all came back as normal.

Amidst the testing, I was suffering more than I even knew; I was so numbed by the eating disorder that I didn’t realize how poorly I was really doing. I felt dizzy getting out of bed or out of a chair, had trouble climbing stairs, and was struggling to bike. I was a mess.

We didn’t know what to do. Nobody had even mentioned the possibility of an eating disorder. My parents realized that what was wrong with me was not physical, because they got me to see a couple of psychologists. However, this didn’t get me anyways because none of them specialized in eating disorders. We were lost.

My sister came to visit me and showed immediate concern for me. To be honest, I don’t know what I would have done without her; she knew what was wrong long before me or even the doctors did. She insisted to my parents that I see a therapist she had found online who specializes in eating disorders. My first appointment I sat blank faced – not really knowing what was going. I think of it as a kind of ‘eating disorder haze.’

Dr. H (the therapist) diagnosed me as anorexic. I was in shock. In the car I asked my mom how that could even be. I didn’t have an eating disorder did I?  It didn’t help matters that I was a guy, and didn’t think guys struggled with this. I sat in the car on the way home, tearfully thinking about what this meant.

Then began the recovery process.

I saw a few dieticians until I found one I liked, and was seeing my therapist every week (along with my parents and my sister when she could make it). During my first few sessions, they took away my cooking privileges, and I was devastated.  See, my cooking obsession had gotten worse, and I thought that not knowing what would go into everything I ate would kill me. Dr. H suggested that it was my eating disorder causing me to obsess about cooking; I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. I was convinced she was just taking away the one thing I liked because she wanted to make me miserable.

I came home from each appointment more depressed than the last I felt as though all my privileges were being taken away and it wasn’t fair. I now recognize that it was actually my eating disorder that was depressed; he was losing control and hated it.

During one appointment we discussed a bike ride I wanted to do: Ride Across Indiana.  I had done it the year before, and I was excited to do it again. When Dr. H recommended I not do the ride (and my parents agreed) I was devastated. Up until that point, I had moved forward in my recovery because I knew that I would only be allowed to do the rides I wanted once I gained weight. But now I had gained weight and I still wasn’t allowed, and it seemed totally unfair.

The next major speed-bump in my recovery was the death of my grandfather. I had a great relationship with him, and seeing him suffering from lung cancer was really hard. Looking back at it now, I feel bad at how empty I felt – at my lack of emotions. I think that my eating disorder numbed me to so many things. The worst part? I didn’t know I was numb. Emotions are just another thing ED takes away from us.

Eating disorders are not about the food, they really are not. 
So where does this leave me now?  I am at a healthy weight, but thoughts still rattle around my head every once in a while. I would like to say that a full recovery is possible, that there will be a time when I have no thoughts of ED whatsoever, but I don’t have an answer as to whether or not that is possible. However, I will work towards full recovery and do my best to get there nevertheless.
One thing I do know is that through this eating disorder I have learned so much about myself and about my family. I now value the love and support of my family more than I ever did before, simply because I know where I would be without it. I know myself better, I understand that it is okay to not be perfect, and that there are certain things that I simply am not meant to do in life – and this is okay.

So why am I writing this?  Well, because I know I felt like there was nobody that had gone through what I was going through. Other guys with eating disorders? Nonsense! I was just weird.  But I was so wrong.  Through blogging, not only did I find other guys suffering through the same things I was, I also found more support than I could have ever imagined.  For me, having other people to talk to that have gone through the same things I was going through was extremely helpful. With these people I don’t worry about being judged because I know they understand me in a way not many people can. It is definitely not a replacement for support from the people who are in your lives every day, but having an online support system from the “blog world” who really understand the struggles of having an eating disorder truly is so helpful.

There is support out there for each and every one of you, no matter how hopeless you feel.  You can do this, you can recover, and you can be happy again.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Hey Guys,

This will be a short little post as I will be leaving in the morning for pender island and will most likely not have Internet. I wanted to post about change and what it kind of means. We are all going to face change in our life from time to time. We are all going to have to face changes in our life, big and small. It might be like me where there is a change between school and summer or a change between jobs all these are small changes that we are going to face for most of our life. There is realistically three ways to deal with change and I have tried all three. Not wanting, apathetic or accepting. Not wanting usually entails putting up a fuss about the whole thing. There is being apathetic which is just absolutely not caring. Then there is accepting and working with it to have the best outcome. But again it is always a choice of free will on how you want to deal with change. The choice is up with you but for me as I look towards what is going on I think I might accept some changes!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Hey Guys,

As it turns out I am a planner, I love to always know what is going on, when things are going to happen and I like to have control with them. Even today after I wrote my final, which by the way if anyone was concerned why there have not been many updates is because it is final exam time which means I have less times to write blogs and also have a life. Finishing strong ( right? I have one more tomorrow night and then there is freedom. But back to the point is that I believe as humans we life to plan in our nature we like to plan and be in control. Some more then others me especially love to have plans at all times. Just recently I have started to write them down but for most of my life I can remember being a dreamer and a planner. It is only recently though I have learned what a `life plan`actually looks like and what a realistic plan is like.

First is a `life plan`often a lot of my goals were fixated around accomplishing something with a job, or money or gaining something. It is only recently I have tired to change that, that there are more important things in life then a fast car, or being rich or anything along those lines. Second is also a realistic plan, I am a long term focused person, I love to dream about what things will be like on day. I love to dream about what it would be like to have that job, or freedom or a family etc... and never look at what it takes to accomplish that.  That is the difference between dreaming and a realistic plan is that you know what it takes to accomplish it.

Just a quick small post but think about it as for some of you students summer is coming up, what are you plans and goals? How about those graduate where do you see yourself in a few years?

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Hey Guys,

This blog is not from me (you will notice less spelling mistakes) it is from a friend of mine and a fellow blogger named Lauren Bersaglio. As some of you maybe have read up on the Libero Network tab, she is the founder of the Libero Network. She is the founder and director of the whole operation and if you want more information please check out her website/blog at

On Self-Love

"To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don't wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now." ~Alan Cohen

We’ve all heard it; it’s the Golden Rule: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” What we seem to forget is that the ‘love your neighbour’ part is really only half of it. If nothing else mattered, then the rule would have ended at just that. So why the ‘as yourself’? St. Augustine says, “When it is said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ at the same time, it is clear that love for yourself is not omitted.” Obviously the second half of this Golden Rule holds some importance.

In the early stages of my eating disorder I had no desire to change. I didn’t care that I was harming myself; I didn’t care that I was killing myself slowly. I simply didn’t care. And the problem is, when you don’t care, there is no drive to change.

Why didn’t I care? Because I didn’t have any self-respect, any self-value, and I didn’t yet realize that I deserved better. Bottom line: I didn’t love myself.

The sicker I got, the more enslaved I became. When I was over-exercising, starving, cutting, I felt like I was treating myself the way I deserved to be treated. To stop made no sense.

I didn’t feel like I was missing out on life because I didn’t think a good life was something I deserved. So my eating disorder behaviours continued and the worse they got, the more guilt I felt for abusing my body, and that guilt further fuelled my self-hatred. It was a vicious cycle.

I was led to a place where I had to make a choice: change or die. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live, but I knew that I didn’t want to die.

So I decided to enter into recovery.

In recovery I learnt that my eating disorder behaviours (as is the case with the behaviours of any addiction) were not the problem, they were the symptom. In order for me to remove the symptom, I had to deal with the root issue: I had to learn to love myself.

See, the thing about recovery is that you will not want to change unless you feel you deserve to change. You have to know that you deserve a better life, a good life. You have to believe that you are worth it.
I will tell you straight up that this is not easy. Learning to love yourself requires reaching in and pulling out all the things holding you back – guilt, shame, insecurity – and then rejecting each one. You have to tell yourself you are beautiful, and you have to forgive yourself. And then, you have to fill yourself up with the truth. If you don’t, then you will be left with a void that will only leave room for more lies to enter in and root themselves again.

It can be difficult at first to believe the good about yourself, so start by surrounding yourself with people who love you, who believe you can change, and who tell you you’re worth it, and over time, these things will start to sink in and will fill you up, leaving no room for the lies.

And as you do this, as you weed out the old – the lies, the guilt, the hate – and you replace it with the new – self-acceptance, forgiveness, truth – you will begin to love yourself. And then, once you begin loving yourself, you will begin to see that not only do you want a better life, but you deserve one. No longer will you choose to stay alive because you don’t want death; you will choose to stay alive because you want to be alive. And you will begin building for yourself the type of life you know you deserve – the type of life that in the past you’d only wished for your neighbour – a life of happiness, health, and, most importantly, love. Suddenly the problem will begin healing and the symptoms – the depression, the addictions – they will begin to disappear.
You’ve been loving your neighbour, now it’s time to start loving yourself. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

Give yourself heaven. Choose to love yourself today and you will live now.   

~Lauren Bersaglio

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Hey Guys,

There is no controversial topic today, no crazy life story or anything like that. Today is about the appreciation of life, of the small things and the things we take for granted. 

The reason this was in my head was at around twelve I felt like going for a walk, needed time to slow down from the day. The moment I walked outside it felt like everything slowed down for once in a long time. I took in a deep breathe of fresh, clean, crisp air and started to feel relaxed. After walk for about a minute I got to the main part of TWU's campus which is the cherry blossoms. I stopped for about ten minutes and just took in the beauty of the fully blossomed trees. 

It made me think how we tend to forget to appreciate those things in life. For me tonight it was just the appreciation of some peace and quiet, some fresh air and nature. As it is now Sunday (which means I like to do some self-reflection) I thought to myself do I appreciate everything I have? Well the simple answer is no.

First is this appreciation of life, if anyone has been following my blog for a while knows I struggled with depression and suicide. After coming out of that I have had a new found appreciation for life. But even now I still from time to time forget to remember everything I am blessed with on a regular day to day life. I look back and see how much I took my life for granted. 

Second is the small things in life. These are the things that we tend to over look. I especially overlook a lot of the blessing in my life. Tonight it was the smallest thing that I appreciated which was simply the air, a clear night sky and the cherry blossoms. 

Third is the aspects we forget to be appreciative of. My parents will be the first to admit that I am not always the most appreciative. It is because I forget. I think that tends to happen in our culture a lot which is forgetting to be appreciative of the things we are blessed with. We often fixate on the negative and forget to appreciate everything we are blessed with.

That was just a little bit about what was on my mind today which was appreciate all the things we have on a regular occasion. Especially friends, family and our surroundings. There is always something positive to appreciate. I think. 

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Libero holds no opinion regarding whether homesexuality is right or wrong, what we do believe is that all people deserve to be loved by others and by themselves regardless of their beliefs or sexual orientation

Hey Guys,

This is something for some reason has been brought up on my blog in the comments and I wanted to just touch on this quickly. I am no expert in this subject, I do not pretend to know all the answers and this is just my opinion. My opinion is not one of judgement but one rather of love and acceptence. Homosexual or not we will all face struggles in life how come we get so fixated on this...? I and the Libero Network try and express love or hate and acceptence of judgement.

It should be night and day right? It should be right or wrong correct? Wrong. The deeper debate that comes up is this, is homosexuality and choice or something you are born with. I can guarantee that if you are reading this half of you said born with and half of you said a choice. So what is it? Realistically there is no actual 100% irrefutable proof either way. I know I am probably offending some people here but there is none that I know of.  By the way, yes I have friends that are 'homosexual', I have worked with people who are and frankly they are the same as every other human being. 

I do not have the answers, no one has the answers to everything. Hence why we form our own opinions on so many matters. What I have to say is this... Does it really matter? The bible mentions all the sins that will affect our entrance to heaven, why do we fixate on one more then all the others? Furthermore it was ruled by the Canadian government that it is none of their business what goes on behind close door. Why do we make such a big deal out of it. Ultimately every just wants to be accepted, some people fake being gay to be accepted, some people fake being straight to be accepted, it goes both ways. I believe we spend (and including me) way to much time debating if it is wrong and over look that the bottom of the line they are humans just like you and me. Do they not suffer with loneliness, depression, anorexia, stress, fitting in problems, being bullied, and the list goes on. Why do we get so caught up if it is wrong or not instead of trying to treat everyone equally. Ultimately I believe in a forgiving and merciful God who loves, why do we not do that same? The bible tells us not to judge, and above all to love one another so why do we not follow that? Even if you do not believe in the bible or God doesn't loving one another sound a lot better then going around and hating? 

Maybe I am wrong here, you not what I seem to be wrong a fair amount of the time but hear me out of this. Leave you opinion, keep it clean anything doing with judgement, vulgarity or pure attacking comments will be brought down.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Friday, April 15, 2011

Guys, Girls, Friends?

Hey Guys,

Something that has been on my mind lately and has been on my mind since probably grade 10 is this idea can guys and girls just be friends? Now, before I start I do believe there are people who can be friends with no problems what so ever, who can just be friends. For me however, I have had difficulties just being friends with girls. I do not think that it is impossible, it is just difficult for me. The reason I think it is difficult for me and for most guys and girls is because of a few reasons, the natural physical attraction that happens, the comfortably that happens and the longing for companionship. This is just my experience and basically what I can pass on.

First, is this idea of physical attraction. I know that may seem extremely basic and self-explanatory but from what I have learned physical attraction is almost always there. Whether there is a large amount or just a minor attraction there is almost always a level of physical attraction even between friends. Especially at the beginning of a friendship. Over time I would like to believe that physical attraction goes away but at the beginning there is definitely the attraction. This is normal however I would find it  weird if there was zero attraction. I believe as us just being human if we are friends with someone there is going to a level of physical attraction. 

There is also a level of comfortably that happens with being friends. This is a good and bad thing. It is good because you want to be comfortable with you friends and share what is going on. Maybe it is only me but I also feel more comfortable with sharing with girls. This is not always a bad thing though, it does allow me to talk to people. My fear and what has happened in my life already is this feeling more comfortable with my friends as girls and limit my willingness to open up to my girlfriend. I am slowly becoming a firm believer in not having a large amount of girls as friends while being in a relationship. This is my fear in a way if guys and girls can be friends because eventually one female or male will have to be your one person. Someone once ask me what is the point then of even being friends if in the end you will just end it when you get a wife? Well I am starting to think like all friendships they need to change over time. But this is something to figure out what you guys individually think. Do you think guys and girls can be friends and stay friends through everything?

Lastly is companionship I think the reason that guys and girls have troubles being friends is that in some way or another we all long for companionship. This is a problem I have which is a long for companionship, I hate being alone I would rather have someone by my side. The healthy way would be to deal with my problems, get in a healthy relationship and then fill the void that way. However my problem is a try to fill that with different friendships. This is just me and why I have troubles with girls and guys being friends.

I am not saying guys and girls cannot be friends. I am saying though with me I have troubles especially in my past just being friends with girls. I am getting a lot better however. Especially in my small group at church I am learning how to just be friends with girls. One tip, hang out in groups not one on one. This is just me and my thoughts about guys and girls being friends. I am positive some people out there are better at being just friends then I am. Hopefully that is right. Do you think guys and girls can be friends and just friends?

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning to be Accountable

Hey Guys,

Something that I made public in my goals for 2011 and have talked about it a few other times, is this idea of staying accountable. There are a few different levels of stay accountable, to oneself, to the people around him and to the actions he does. I believe that accountability can be broken down into those three categories and probably into a thousand others but in my life those are the three main groups. I am wishing that learning to be accountable was as easy as saying it. Unfortunately something in my life I am noticing and something I have noticed with the people around to is it is hard to keep people to something, even more keeping yourself focus on one thing. The thing that I find the hardest is to find a way to feel like you let yourself down in a healthy way when you do not stay accountable. If anyone has been reading for a long long time will know I suffered from depression and one of the reasons I did was because I blamed myself for all the mistakes going on and kept them inside. Well now I am trying to learn how to keep yourself accountable to getting the job done, getting the paper done or just getting your life in order. There is a difference between feeling like a failure and feeling like you let yourself down. For example if I one day start feeling down and stop telling people what is going on I feel like I let myself down, where as before I would have felt like a failure. Let me try to get my thoughts out here...

First is staying accountable for your actions. This is probably the easiest thing to do simply because it is easy to monitor. Usually this one at least in my life requires someone to point out what is going on and if changes are actually happens. We always see our life through our own eyes. Even I do with all my recent self-reflection still see my life through my own eyes. I think that is the biggest prohibitor from keeping us from being accountable for our actions is the fact that we see our actions through our own eyes. How should you stay accountable for your actions? I do not know. For me it has been asking and getting people to watch your actions and help you see what is going on. This does not mean someone everyday judging you on your actions but watching and seeing where trends are forming and how things can get better. 

I am going to tie this into the second group which is staying accountable to the people around you. This is because they are very similar which is you need to find people you trust want to see you get better from what you are facing. It is difficult to be accountable to other people because it requires you to be vulnerable to people and to open up when you are facing things. I recently wrote on justifying actions and such. This will be a big thing you face while trying to be accountable to people is justifying anyway that your actions are fine. That you do not need to be accountable to people. Unfortunately (well maybe it is just me) when there is no one to keep you accountable you start to convince yourself that what you are doing is not that bad or even alright. Whether it be stealing, excessively drinking, drugs or anything you will slowly convince yourself they are fine.

Last is being a accountable to yourself. This is something I am learning each day and still am far away from 'mastering' which is how do you stay accountable to yourself? When getting over your struggle the technique right now which seems to be working is an extrinsic reason to stay accountable i.e. giving up something. When you are facing something like an addiction (using as an example do not worry) it is hard to give it up and usually requires more then just yourself saying I want to stop it. There needs to be a reason to stop. I am trying to figure out how you eventually change it so that your intrinsic motivation and decision making changes. I will tell you when I get there.

That is just what I am trying to figure out right now is how do you learn to stay accountable? It is something much easier said then done. I guess I am still learning and hopefully you guys are too!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hey Guys,

Something that has come about a fair amount lately in my life has been this idea of justifying your actions, your mistakes and everything along that sort. I was talking with a solid group of guys tonight and it came up how much we justify our actions. We also dilute the truth or the actual severity of our actions. It is in our human nature to try and rationalize our actions. We look at what has happened in our lives and the damage we have done and justify it through 'rational' arguments. For me I happened to make a mistake and then justify it by saying the actual actions and severity was not that bad. That what I had done was not as mad as it could have been. Rather then accepting my actions I justified them through rational ideas.

Why do we do this? I believe it is human nature to make things easier to deal with. Rather then to have to deal with the real problems we face is we dilute them and rationalize them they are easier to deal with. Facing problems in life is difficult and if we make excuses for them they are much much easier to deal with. I talked about this earlier about my stats class and how they were justifying cheating. It is the same sort of thing we will face in life, we usually make excuses. I am not saying blame yourself for everything but stay away from lying to yourself with saying things like, no one will find out, no one is getting hurt and that there will be no effect. Maybe this is just me but what I have seen in my life is the more we justify actions the more we will be willing to push the envelope later.

What I am trying to get at is this, try to stay away from justifying actions by diluting the severity. I do not want you now to go out and believe everything is wrong and then everything needs a super punishment. But do not try and push away your problems and mistakes by saying they are less then they are. It will effect you in the long wrong more then you can imagine. Within my own life it has allowed me to push boundaries and over look falling shorts because I was justifying my own life. So be careful!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Positive Self-Reflection

Hey Guys,

Too keep with some what of a routine I like to take Sunday to just reflect on my life, and where things are going. Today is going to be a little bit more of a different self-reflection. Often when I talk about self-reflection I am a little critical of myself and evaluating everything in my life. Today however, has just been an amazing week that has encouraged me a fair amount. First off there is something I want to talk about. Well not something someone. As much of you have noticed and hopefully had read up on is this thing called a Libero Network. A friend of mind started it up and works extremely hard almost everyday to try and make an impact on as many people as she can. Her blog is this: it is focused around eating disorders. The reason I just wanted to do a plug from her is because of the amount that she does for me. She not only has helped me with my blog and give me pointers but also encourages me. Next to my parents, she is one of the top people who encourages me to continue blogging and sharing what has gone on in my life. I would just encourage you guys to check it out. She just did her one year vlog post and you should all go check her blog out and give her some encouragement back.

Onward to self-reflection, I think the reason I am feeling great today is for two key reasons. One because of the community supporting me and two the feeling of accomplishment. First is this weekend has just been an encouragement I got plugged into a Church in Langley here and have been apart of a cluster. Basically it is a large group of getting together to have some fun, hang out and help each other not kill everyone. Then the other thing is this feel of accomplishment. The reason I am feeling accomplished is simply because I am starting to see the effects of the decision I have been making. Decisions to stay away from drinking, to try and be less arrogant, to do what I say and a multitude of others. I know there will be a few of you sitting there and reading pointing out all my flaws still and yes I know I still have them and always will. But today that does not bother me, because just as Lauren did talking about the last year I am thinking about where I was 4 months ago and looking at the changes today!

I think it is easier for me to look where I was 4 months ago because I can go back and look at my blog posts and see the tone of my writing. This is my encouragement and challenge for anyone reading this, keep a journal and watch your progression as a person. Track the decision you are making and you will see the change. That was just a little self-reflection today. Hope you guys are having a great day too!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Live and Learn

Hey Guys,

For anyone that has been following me for a while you will have noticed I have change the name of my blog. There were a few reasons for this, one was thinking I was egotistical for having my own name up top, to try and take the focus off of me to focus on the objective of my blog and to try to find a name that represents what I am trying to do.

As I was up last night thinking about having a blog named Christian Sawka I realized one thing, that, that seems quiet arrogant and egotistical. It creates this I am better and know all the answers to life's problems. When truthful I do not know all the answers for life. As I will talk about later what the purpose of the name is. I want to do everything I can possibly to take away things that make me seem overly arrogant instead of confident.

The reason I named it Live and Learn. The reason I named it this is because that is what my whole blog is about. I always joke around with my family that in order to learn anything I must live it. My dad's response is the same thing every time can you not just learn from other people's failures? That is the purpose of my blog, whether it be writing about depression, reputation, simple life lessons or anything like that is to tell you about the times I made a mistake and failed. I do not want you to do the same thing. I want you to be able to do something that I could never do and maybe one day will which is something I struggle with but learn form my mistakes. I have been trying to share different areas in my life I struggle with, I have made mistakes in, I have failed in and ways I think that you can avoid them hopefully not have to go through them :)

That was the reason I changed the name and for anyone new that is the reason I still write!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Friday, April 8, 2011

Changing a Reputation

Hey Guys,

Today I was reminded of what some people think of me and the reputation I hold with them. It was an interesting conversation, because it was between two people. One was commenting on the reputations her sister told her about me and the other girl was kind of surprised. The surprised girl asked if those comments or what people thought about it bugged me. She said if it was her she would probably go to her room and cry. I told her I have dealt with it long enough now that it does not phase me anymore, and that it never did..... This is the first time in a long time I can remember telling and absolute lie to someone. It did phase me quiet a bit to hear from someone who never even gave me a chance to have a first impression or even get to know me to think a certain way. My first encounter with her was, "Hi my name is Christian", "I know who you are" was her response. It was difficult. I do not cry myself to sleep every night but you do sure feel negative about yourself after an encounter like this one. Something I have learned this semester is the power which words have. I am in a public speaking class where we are shown how words can inspire or manipulate people and I am in a consumer behavior class where we see how words can manipulate for sales. We are all guilty and me especially is guilty of using words to bring people down, to hurt people and to be negative. I am trying to shut my mouth and speak positively because I have now seen the power of words first hand. You can shake it all off until those words get into your head and change your thoughts. Tonight reminded me why we need to shake off words because that is all they are.

Back to the main topic that was an intro story, changing a reputation. This will be a short one as this is a simple task to do:

If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me.
Dwight L. Moody
I know the only way I will change my reputation ever is to take care of my character. This does not mean just talking about changing my character but actually following that up with actions and a change in lifestyle. Character is usually what defines our reputation. Unfortunately it is usually our character flaws that end up defining our reputation. I mentioned before that gaining a reputation can take one act and changing it could take years. This is what way to change it. It is not pretending to be something else, or acting a different way it is through taking care of your character and then the rest will follow. Actions will always speak louder then words ever can and that is what I am learning and was concreted into my head tonight. No matter what is said, or the reputations that have been built up. Taking care of my character and solid actions will speak louder. That is my encouragement for you guys. If anyone of you is worried about your reputation or anything like that let your actions speak louder then your words or anyone else's ever could.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting a Reputation

Hey Guys,

This is something I have been learning about a fair amount lately is how you get a reputation. It is probably one of the easiest things to get in the world. It can be as simple as a one time thing or a complex as a series of events or actions that cause you to gain a reputation. The craziest thing about a reputation is how long it sticks with you and you can never seem to shake it. A great saying is this:
A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment.
- Ernest Bramah
This still rings true today and will probably ring true for the rest of our lives. Most of the reputations I have of people and the reputations I have seen of others have been created by a singular event. Whether it be an act of annoyance, losing your temper or being competitive these acts create a reputation for you. When I look at my own reputation I would like to believe it is a reputation of good but I would be a idiot to believe that. 
It is a sign that your reputation is small and sinking if your own tongue must praise you.
- Matthew Hale
That will ring true also. I am not going to try and say that my reputation was created based upon nothing which is unfortunate. I am going to be writing on if it is even possible to change a reputation. I dream it is because I do not want my reputation to be the same as it was 2 years ago, a year ago or even 6 months ago. I had a good talk with a smart guy a few days ago who told me that the only way to change a reputation or how people view you is not through words, but through actions. I told him I was trying and he responded saying 'that is good' but that is still not enough and not enough people are seeing. 

Back to the point which is getting a reputation. It is an extremely easy thing to do, it only takes a matter of one action to gain a reputation that is going to stick with you for a long time. I worry sometimes that what I write on this blog will create a reputation for me, not just a reputation with people who know me already but for anyone who is reading this. To anyone who has never met me before in life, hi! 

My encouragement and challenge for anyone reading this is think about your reputation, think about the actions you are taking and what that means for your reputation. Think as you are getting a job, meeting knew people, what your first impression is going to be and what reputation will you build. My dad always tells me you can only make a first impression once. He is right. You can only make the first impression once and that first impression will last with you as a reputation, and it takes a long time to change a reputation. So make sure you make the first one count because you do not want to have to try and change you reputation. Do it right the first time.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka


Hey Guys,

Something that was brought up and something that has always been on my mind has been this idea of reputation. I am still thinking through everything right now and will be trying to understand a few key aspects of what a reputation means. Over these next few days I am just going to be thinking and look at what makes up a reputation, what a reputation means for you and how can you change a reputation. These are pretty big things especially for the age group in which I live in. We tend to spend so much time thinking about how we are thought about from other people. It is something in a lot of ways plagues our society. Think for a second about some of the actions we do, does the fear of what people are going to think change those? I am not saying that being concern about what other people are going to think is always a horrible thing but when it stops you from doing the right thing it is something wrong. The reason I have been thinking about this more and more is that we have been studying social psychology in my psychology class. It brought up some very interesting ideas regarding how people change their thinking depending on what the people around them are thinking. Whether we like it or not we do get molded around what other people think. I guess the question I am going to be figuring out or trying to make sense of these next few days is does our reputation mold us or do we mold our reputation?

I am also not saying every reputation does not hold merit because as I am well aware they are not based on nothing. Usually they are over exaggerated and embellished to the point that the original conclusion is no longer the truth believed. I had a teacher back in grade 8 that always told me that it only takes one event to create a reputation for you, and it will take you 4 years to change the reputation. I am kind of hoping she is not right but I am starting to think she is. Something that I have experienced is how a reputation can affect you. I am not saying mine is unjustified but I am wishing it was not so hard to change.

Hopefully you will follow this little series and that you will comment and think about the reputations you give other and what that means.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Hey Guys,

A friend of mine today said this and it got me thinking, "Knowledge is power". This definitely made me think for a second what does that actually mean, knowledge is power. A few quick things ran through my mind which was school, life and experience. There are a few ways you can gain knowledge I am finding it is either though learning or experiencing. I am in school and we are taught everyday and we gain knowledge on business, english, politics and everything in between. In like we learn and gain knowledge through experience. We do not necessarily have to experience it ourselves to gain the knowledge of something. True, we will never know something for sure unless we experience it ourselves. But think for a second, if I tell you stealing is bad do you have to try it yourself? I know the is extreme but that is an example of when knowledge from someone elses experience can be transferred. So what does it actually mean knowledge is power?

I am taught every day knowledge, sometimes I think some teachers teach me more then others but none the less I am given knowledge each day. But what is the power in that? It took me a while to start to realize this but the knowledge we gain here today will help us in the future whether in be in our major or just the simple fact or gaining the experience on how to learn. Learning how to learn will be knowledge we will use for the rest of our lives. Something that we are told is that the knowledge we gain in school will separate us from the rest of the working force. That the little degree saying we gain the knowledge in this aspect separates us. You know the great thing about knowledge is that once you have gained it, it takes a while to lose it. You are probably thinking, what about those classes I took that I cannot remember. Well I guess you never gain that knowledge!

The next thing is sort of my main topic is gaining knowledge about yourself and your struggles. For me where I am gaining the most knowledge right now is to start to understand my downfalls and weaknesses. That is something we tend to over look a lot is trying to figure out and gain knowledge about ourselves. When we were talking about knowledge is power is was in the context in struggles. For me something I wish I would have done a lot more was read about depression, read about what was going on and gain knowledge how what steps to take. In retrospect it is a lot easier to think, here is the fix to depression is step to step process:

1) Talk to your close friends and family
2) Get professional help
3) Read about everything and understand
4) Continue 1-3 until better

If it was only that easy at the time right? During something we always forget to read about what we are going through and to gain knowledge as to what our downfall is. What I am learning is that the power of getting better is in the knowledge of understanding what is wrong. You can never get better without understanding what went wrong. 

Knowledge is power, I stand by that. In everyday life you will see that too. The person who gets ahead, the person who wins the argument, and the person who seems happy about life is that person who has knowledge. Whether it be as simple as knowledge in a school subject or as deep as knowledge in ones self and their down fall. Knowledge will give you power over these.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Monday, April 4, 2011

Finishing Strong

Hey Guys,

Something my dad has always told me and has beaten into my head, time after time, after time, after time. I think he has told me anytime I have ever come to the end of something in my life. Whether it be sports, school or anything that had a dead line. Every year I am getting a little bit better at finishing stronger then I started. But there is a lot of truth in the mentality. Something I have noticed in my life and what I have noticed in the people around me is that we and I tend to phase our near the end and not FULLY end what was agreed upon. Something that will come up a lot in our lives is long and some what meaningless tasks. Or at least they will feel meaningless. As I am rounding out the semester I am starting to get these feelings like my classes are useless. When the end starts to come it when you usually start to loose all motivation as though there is nothing really to push on towards. The thing we forget is that there is always something worth finishing strong for. It could be as shallow as getting good grades or as I just read as tough as trying to stay alive through cancer. 

When I started this blog I was thinking on a small scale talking about finishing strong in school  and what that means. But I am starting to believe there is a lot more truth in finishing strong then to just finishing strong in school. My dad always tells me it this way, you have started strong, you have done well so far, now end even better. He always tells me this in December and in April when school starts to end. I am starting to wonder will he tell me the same thing when I start working? When a eventually get my own family? What will the age-old advice be then? Hopefully it will be the same thing just maybe not the ending part. But rather this, you have had a good start but now is the time to keep going, and then end strong. 

Way to often in my life I have either not started well, not done the work during the time but especially not ended well. I have been learning a lot about speeches lately and it has gotten me to think about this type of analogy. Life is like a speech it first begins with this great idea. Whether that be a focus, a goal or an objective we all start with an idea on where we want to grow. Like life and like a speech the next main part is developing that idea, it is not letting that idea die in the middle. Often in a speech and in life the idea loses its support in the middle whether something happens or a distraction arise we stop support that idea. Like in life we go through it and usually something happens along the way that will stop us from achieving our original goal. Lastly and the toughest thing in life and a speech is how do you end it. I am not going to pretend like I know what I am talking about for a conclusion. The only thing I know is what a man called Forest Gibs told me which was 'it is what you pass on'. 

I do not know if that makes any sense at all, or if that analogy helps in anyway. But here is the summary, as things are winding down, do not forget to finish strong. A whole lot of time can be lost my simply losing focus right near the end. The same goes for life, even though if seems like there are meaningless tasks right now thing about your original goal and how they help you get there. Above all never forget to continue to develop that goal/idea your whole life to become who you want to be.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Hey Guys,

Something that has been on my brain alot has been MONEY. Now I know for a lot of people reading this that is probably no surprise that money would be on my mind because it is starting to come to that time. That time where summer jobs are coming up, where we have to look at our bank account and go OH CRAP and start thinking about a future. I have had this fixation with trying to figure out how to get rich. It is not even to get rich so I can buy stuff, or so that I can have that new item. It is rich so I can feel comfortable. But is this now where it starts? I have heard and read so many times people talk about money and every time it is the same thing with deal with money and comfort. JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE and I will feel better and more comfortable. JUST and extra ten, twenty, hundred, thousand, million?  What I need to understand that I am struggling with right now is being comfortable with what I have and living within those parameters. I sometimes live beyond my means, try to be that person who always has money. It is a fun life style to always feel like the rich guy in the crowd that can afford anything. Maybe that is where my fixation is coming in.

I enjoy buying things and it is not computers, or TV, or cars or anything like that but I love to buy food, go out for a meal, take some friends out and do that sort of stuff. I am a long term dreamer, I dream and focus on the future instead of looking at today. But there is one thing I do not dream to live in this HUGE home, or the FASTEST car or the most 'toys' as my parents all them. I dream of helping people, or creating a place to help people. I am not perfect though and I would be lying if I did no dream of having a few nice things but ultimately it sucks being broke. Now I mean I am broke, I cost more then I make, I spend more then I have. I still rely on my parents for support and that is tough. Hence I am broke. 

My thoughts have been scattered in this blog but I will leave with this. Money is what makes this world run. Everything we know for the most part can be broken down for simple power and money and wanting more of them. Money can be a great thing for change and can also corrupt like non-other. Something my dad always tells me is this "hard work" all things in life is hard work which I am starting to find. Same thing with money, sure you can slack off and get by but to get those dreams or your goals it is going to be hard work. I am twenty and I am slowly learning what hard work even means!

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

By the way would love it if you followed on Blogspot, liked on Facebook, share this and above all comment I would love to hear what you guys think.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Making a Difference

Hey Guys,

Something that has been on my mind lately has been making a difference in peoples lives and also changing this world in which I live in. I wrote in my goals for 2011 (can see them in the pages above) that I wanted to change one persons life. I am a dreamer. I always like to envision myself making an impact in people's lives. But one can always dream but it is making a change day to day not only in other people's lives but in your life. I am critical of myself and feel like I am not doing enough to be a support and help to the people around me. I like to believe that everyone in some way wants to help other people and help them grow in their life too. So I have been thinking to myself now that all my major papers are done and everything else is finishing up. I have been thinking am I doing enough to positively impact the people close to me, the people around me and the people I have yet to meet?

First the people closest to us is the hardest thing because you always seem to forget about them, or maybe that is just me. The people I generally over look the most is my parents and my sister because they have always been there. I often over look how I am actually treating them and the impact I am having on them. It is a weird concept to think about but have you ever thought what impact am I having on my parents? My mom has been talking to me more and more recently and I am realizing I worry about my actions to everyone else except my parents. Difficult thing for me to wrap my head around.

Second is the people around me, this includes no only my friends but also the people I run into on a regular occurrence. What impact am I having on them? Am I someone who is uplifting and a positive impact or am I taking away from them? Ha it is not even Sunday and I am being reflective. I know for a fact that I have not been the greatest this entire semester and there is no excuse for that. I am trying more and more each day to not make excuses for my actions and taking responsibility (reference I am my own worse enemy in alot of ways that I push myself to know end to always try and do more. But one should always look back and examine what impact are they having on the people around them? 

Lastly, the people am I going to meet. Am I have enough impact to be and influence on people I do not know yet? Something that I have been talking a lot about lately has been living your life above reproach which basically means living a life beyond judgement. And I guess that is my question for you, are you living your life above reproach? I am trying but like most things it takes time and I am working on it as much as I can.

I do not know if I am doing enough, but I am going to continue to try to make a impact everyday. Starting with the people closest and then moving on from there.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

By the way would love it if you followed on Blogspot, liked on Facebook, share this and above all comment I would love to hear what you guys think.