Well I guess this is growing up.

So it’s kind of crazy, but I turn twenty seven in one week.

I don’t know why this age is freaking me out as much as it is. It just feels like such a monumental age. The more I think about it, the more I start to think about my life up to this point–the people in my life, and the people who no longer are. I will be the first person to admit I haven’t always made the best choices. For the majority of my life I’ve gone by my emotions, rather than by logic. And while that has lead to some great decisions, it also has meant that sometimes I’ve reacted from my gut.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as my birthday approaches I can’t help but wonder about the people not in my life and almost wish I could make up for whatever reason it is that pulled us apart. Maybe this is being a grown up, I’m not sure. All I know is that for some reason I can’t stop thinking about it. And maybe there is no way to fix the past, to make up for the mistakes I’ve made. Maybe the best thing to do is just let it go. If only life had an instruction manual that could give me the answers. For now I guess all I can do is start from today and try and make sure I don’t repeat past mistakes. You can’t change the past, but you can make sure you don’t repeat it.

Greet Autumn in New York… it’s good to live again.

With September, comes fall, and the realization that my birthday is a mere month away. A month. And this isn’t just any old silly birthday. This year is the year I turn 25. TWENTY FIVE!

Here’s the thing, ten years ago, had I thought about how life would look at twenty-five, I probably would have had some dreamy romantic tale. Even five years ago, I imagined life at twenty-five would be very different. Not to show how naive I was, but I honestly believed by the time I reached twenty five I would be engaged, if not married. I imagined I would be doing something to do with writing (vague, I know) and that I would be an adult. But the reality? I’m single as ever (and, maybe I add, loving it), working retail while trying to figure out how exactly to accomplish my dreams, and partying on weekends like I’m sixteen again. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s the thing, every year I sit back and think: this is the year I do this, this and this. And every year, when I haven’t checked those things off my invisible list, I feel bad about myself, like I am just a big fat failure. But you know what, I think for this birthday, I’m going to do something a little different. Sure, I could go on and on and on about the things I want to do, or see. Or, instead, I could just live life, no expectations, no planned stops. Life shouldn’t be about planning, or expectations. It should be about living every day to the fullest. Instead of fretting when things don’t go as “planned”, brush it off, and take another road. Maybe it won’t be perfect, but who wants perfect anyways? Perfect is boring. The flaws of life are definitely more exciting.

And they tell one hell of a better story.

 

Tonight I’m not the same girl (same girl).

2010: The girl in pictures.

A lot has happened this year, and there is no denying I could go on and on and on about everything that’s happened–a whole lot of ups and downs. But sometimes I think pictures tell the story better, and so… my year, and life, in photographs. And so here it is, the last 364 days in photographs. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I really almost don’t recognize the girl I was a year ago. And that can only make me excited for the girl waiting for me to find her in 2011.

(I could tell the stories behind each one of these photographs, but it’s most fun letting them speak for themselves to be honest. Sometimes I can be such a camera whore. Haha.)

January

 

February

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Oh what a night… why’d it take so long to see the light? Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right.

I have to say, regardless of the fact I couldn’t escape my birthday curse, I had a pretty good night (at least as much as I can remember). Of course, I’ve discovered that celebrating a birthday downtown–okay, especially when you tell everyone it’s your 19th birthday and first time downtown–can be very dangerous. But I have to say that everyone that came out made sure the night was a blast. And twenty-four certainly came in with a bang.

My first birthday without a boyfriend since I was fifteen? You know, it wasn’t so bad. And I have to thank some of the best friends a girl could ask for to thank for making it a night you couldn’t help but remember (regardless of seven shots of tequila). Of course, I have to admit, I think I’m about ready to risk getting involved with someone again if it happens to happen. (Was that English?) All I’m saying is that I kind of feel ready to let myself be open to a relationship again. Like I was at seventeen, I just don’t feel so scared anymore. If the last year has taught me anything, it’s the fact I know I can survive anything on my own, so having someone around–you know, it might be okay.

So here I am… grown up at 23. Will someone tell me what it takes to be happy?

Lately, I’ve been finding myself in a seriously reflective mood, all because of my birthday. While New Years usually holds a fresh new start, I can help but treat my birthday as a sign of when everything changed last year. The beginning of the end. I’ve never been good with birthdays–there has always been tears, and drama, and ending up in my bedroom alone while other people blew out my candles. I can’t think of the last time I had a good birthday. Which is why I had found myself all excited about this year–a brand new start, a chance to celebrate, to start a new tradition of having a great birthday. But three days shy, and already I’m dreading the day.

And it’s silly, because I should be beyond excited.

The thing is, looking back over the last year, part of me feels like the only thing I accomplished at twenty-three was getting dumped. Which is silly, and so not true. But there is a part of me sad to be alone, to be single, on my birthday. Now this is usual when the voice of reason pops in (my best friends), reminding me that I’m not alone–in fact, I’m surrounding by many people who love me. That getting dumped was not all that I accomplished; I found myself this year, my true self. My personally compared to last year is completely night and day. I’m happy. I glow. I laugh. I joke. I’m not the shy girl who clung to her boyfriend’s side, watching as he lived. I live now. And that is why I should be celebrating come Friday. Plus, I did buy the sassiest dress just for the occasion.

If only I could let go of that slight disappointment–that feeling of loss I still haven’t fully recovered from.

ps. I sent in the picture of my bat symbol tattoo to the Bat Blog, and it was mentioned just the other day. Must say I did blush seeing the word “sexy” there, but I was excited to share my nerdiness with the world.

It’s probably safe to say…. I’m not the world’s safest bet. I’ve never been too good at being good.

I’ve certainly be missing in action, haven’t I?

I never mention to go on an unannounced hiatus, it’s just with everything that’s happened over the last few weeks I’ve barely been able to compose my thoughts. Throw on the fact my 24th birthday is in a month, exactly, and I find myself have a mini freak out. You’d think after the last 335 days, I’d be so ready to leave 23 behind and celebrate my birthday will full gusto. And, part of me is. But at the same time I kept help but find my mind drifting back to this time last year, and thinking about how everything has changed.

It’s not even like I find myself thinking: Man, I want that back (or I want him back). Because I really, really don’t.

So then, what is it that has my mind all kerfuffled. I’m not even sure what it is that keeps plaguing my mind. The thing is, with the exception of my uncle passing away, things have been really good. Okay, so work has been the definition of chaotic, but my social life has been, well… social. And here’s a scary thing for me to admit: I’m kind of seeing someone. It’s new, and undefined, and it’s kind of scary. But it’s also exciting because it is so, so different. For the first time in months and months, and months there is suddenly some light–something that brightens my day. It’s all about the here and now, one minute at a time. And I like that.

And yet, here I am, feeling blahs I just can’t shake. And the memories of last October filling my head.

I suppose that it’s natural when big events happen (weddings, funerals) you find yourself grasping onto what is left to the memories you once had. They’re familiar, comforting. Sometimes I still get so angry, or feel so hurt, that he wasn’t there for Krista’s wedding (playing his ninetendo DS like he always joked he would) or my Uncle Reid’s funeral (my uncle always liked him, even after everything that happened). That for the first time since I was seventeen, he won’t be there for my birthday. I don’t want to cling onto the past–I am far happier where I am, where ever that is. But at the same time, 23 was all about him. So maybe that’s what I’m scared of. Turning 24, a whole new year, means that I finally am shedding everything about the last year. I’ve changed so, so much in the last year, hell in the last six months, that I know I really have left behind that part of who I was.

Maybe that’s what scares me: a new boy on my mind (and in my life), a new me, and most importantly, a new year. There really is no turning back, no returning to the girl I was (not that I would in a million years). There is something final about leaving this year behind that I’m not sure I felt before.

Or, maybe, I just think too much.

So happy birthday darling… watch those candles melt away. Not unlike those chandeliers at the bar where we both etched our names.

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Day look: Bluenotes flared jeans. Black tank top from Winners. American Eagle teal t-shirt. Fuchsia caridgan from Frenchy’s. Assorted Claire’s necklaces.
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Night look: Black tank top from Winners. American Apparel figure skater dress. Fuchsia cardigan from Frenchy’s. DKNY tattoo tights. Not pictured:   my fuzzy birthday tiara. Brand New Sitches studded boots, a birthday present from my parents.

I figured I would post both my birthday looks from yesterday. The first was my look as I took my first aid training for eight hours. I am now first aid qualified. The second look, my beloved figure skater dress (which, if you remember, I coveted for my birthday celebrations last year) which I wore out for dinner at the Wooden Monkey with my parents and Andrew. We had an amazing supper, let me tell you. My birthday just happened to fall on vegetarian Thursday so both Andrew and I participated, trying new foods, but of course not forgetting about our beloved vegan nachos (the horror!) I really dig the tattoo tights from DKNY which technically I bought because I saw how amazing they looked on Alicia. She, however, has the black ones so I opted for the opiate because they look more like tattoo designs on my legs.

Now, just for fun, some pictures from my birthday. Trust me when I say that these pictures really don’t capture how amazing my birthday was. And, I must say, if this is just the beginning of what 23 has in store, then I am ready and beyond excited. I really wasn’t looking forward to my birthday, in fact I was dreading it, and–as of yesterday–was not celebrating it. Mom even crossed out birthday on my cards and replaced it with: happy vegetarian Thursday! Did I mention how amazing of a family I have? And not just because they spoiled me terribly. Mostly because they understand my usual hatred and fear of my birthday.

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Amazing still it seems… I’ll be twenty-three. I won’t always love what I’ll never have… I won’t always live in my regrets.

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23 things I’ve learned on, this, my 23rd birthday

  1. You will not die if you give up bread or dairy. I hear all the time: “Oh, if I couldn’t eat bread I would just die.” I was eighteen years old when I had to go gluten-free and 20 when I discovered I was lactose intolerant. I’m still alive, and you know what, I don’t really miss the “regular” food I used to eat. I barely remember them. Sure, sometimes I crave certain things, and with dairy I have screwed up once or twice. But the truth is: if something is making you beyond sick, you won’t miss it in the least. And you’ll feel much better without it.
  2. It’s okay to make mistakes. The people who love you will still love you. This isn’t to say that you should go out, purposely make mistakes to test love. Or not care about making mistakes just because people will probably stay around. But one thing I’ve discovered through my many mistakes is that those people around you that love you won’t stop because you’re not perfect. (This was one thing that it took me a long time to learn.)
  3. No matter how much you love someone, sometimes you do you have to let them go. This is especially true for friendships. I’m not saying you shouldn’t fight for what you love, I’m just saying that if something keeps hurting you, no matter how much you try, maybe you should say goodbye.
  4. The best television shows almost always get canceled before their time. I’m looking at you “Popular” and “Veronica Mars.”
  5. Bad things happen to good people.
  6. But good things do too. Continue reading

It could happen at the prom.. tonight!

Did you know there really aren’t that many songs about prom? At least not that I could find on my Google Search.

Anyways: Saturday night was THE PROM which was the birthday celebration marking my mother’s 50th birthday. Mom never went to her own prom when she was seventeen, and over the years she has helped people (Me, Krista and finally Vanessa) get ready for nine seperate proms. So we decorated the house, we downloaded 71 of the most popular songs from 1974, 1975 and 1976 and pulled on our favorite prom dresses.

I actually had trouble deciding on what dress to wear. It was a toss up between the prom dress I wore to my original prom, and a dress I bought and never had a chance to wear. However, in the end, I definitely think I made the right decision.

All around, it was a really fun night, and it really did kind of feel like we were all going to prom. (Almost) everyone dressed up, and there was dancing and punch and laughing and memories. And most of all, Mom loved it. She was happy. It was exactly how she was hoping the night would go, and that was really important. And I think it shows that you’re never too old to go to your prom, no matter how many decades later it is.

mom and dad

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the girls

the boys

the kids

the grown ups

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punch bowl chatter

the kids2

everyone

Andrew

I’m glad it’s your birthday… happy birthday to you.

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XXXL Blue Ruffle shirt. Blue skinny foxy jeans. Sparrow necklace. Red oversized sunglasses (not pitured).

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling the greatest yesterday for Andrew’s birthday (wasn’t even up to making him gluten-free cupcakes!) But I wanted to look nicer than wearing just pajamas. Especially since I ended up staying for supper at Andrew’s place. They kept the stirfry meat free so that I could enjoy. And his aunt brought over a cake for him, and even wrote on the cake: “this is not Shanna friendly“. It’s nice that his family thinks about me in situations like that. We ended up playing Scene It! a bunch last night and his Mom  beat me! It’s the first time I’ve ever lost the game. Darn, I love that game. Especially because it gets really competitive… Andrew gets really competitive. It’s like watching him play video games. There is jumping and screaming and beating his chest. It’s adorable.

Now today is my Graduation rehurshal. I’m still trying to decide what to wear today since it’s going to be fairly warm today. I still can’t believe tomorrow is my graduation. GRADUATION. FROM UNIVERSITY.

And the panic begins again.