Annie Buscemi’s uplifting and life-affirming messages delivered via TikTok videos have become a daily must-see ritual for some of her 10,800 online followers.
Buscemi, an Iqaluit resident who was born in Kimmirut, regularly greets her fans with an enthusiastic: “Ullaakkut! Good morning!”
As of Feb. 17, she had delivered 116 days-worth of reasons to stay alive, many of them with Inuit-specific references.
On Day 49, she encouraged people to keep living for the glorious sight of a vibrant orange and yellow sunset that looks like it’s on fire, which also means tomorrow’s going to be a beautiful day.
On Day 70, she encouraged her supporters to remain alive to write in their journals so they can later look back and see how much they’ve grown.
Her positive dispatches also caught the attention of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, who named her the organization’s first Young Inuk Woman of the Year award winner on Feb. 11.
“Buscemi’s engaging and encouraging manner incorporates aspects of Inuit culture into her daily affirmations,” Pauktuutit wrote.
Because Buscemi knows some Inuit youth who are struggling with their identity, she seizes the opportunity to “point out aspects of our culture that we can find strength in.”
She began the positive practice after an injury sidelined her pursuit of completing her apprenticeship as an electrician.
“It was really tough in my first month of my injury. I was really hard on myself,” she admitted in regards to being forced to take time off of work. “It was a little bit scary… but I have a lot of support around me that kind of helps keeps me calm and reminding me that healing isn’t linear.”
Buscemi receives numerous messages from followers who thank her for her constructive tidings, but she also fields requests for advice from struggling individuals.
“I usually respond from my heart. Sometimes I tend to internalize a lot of things like that, so usually I have to debrief after I have a conversation with someone,” she said, adding that she also has a list of links on her social media for contacting professional resources. “It is a little bit overwhelming sometimes.”
Despite that, she said she’s usually in a good mood because she’s grateful to be alive – although receiving mail, dancing and coffee give her an extra boost.
“It’s fun making different kinds of coffee drinks. I love coffee,” said Buscemi, 23. “It makes me feel calm and it makes me feel happy.”
Most of her inspirations come from within, although some are sparked by conversations with her grandparents or friends.
Receiving accolades for her efforts was a pleasant perk.
“Pauktuutit’s recognition of me with this award means the world to me,” she said. “When I started listing reasons to stay alive, I never realized it would have this much of an impact, on myself and on others.”
There’s no end in sight to her positive vibes either. Buscemi said she plans to keep communicating her messages “for as long as I can.”