Here comes the bride….

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to stand in the wedding of one of my best friends. Words cannot even begin to describe how happy I am for these two people–Ashley has been my best friend since we were kids, playing Spice Girls in my backyard. And Shawn, her now husband, was introduced to our group in hilarious fashion over a game of Craninum many, many years ago. I love both of them to death, and I’m so happy for them and their happily ever after.

Now, because pictures are way better than words… here are just a few shots from the night before (and our girlie sleepover) and the big day.

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The bride-to-be totally cool, calm, and collection the night before. Testing out her “honey-do” whistle.

 

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Hanging out the night before. Lots of candy and conversation all around.

 

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Doing Ashley’s nails… I wish I had remembered to take pictures of her nails.

 

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Total concentration.

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And when this hourglass has filtered out its final grain of sand… I raise my glass to the memories we had.

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Do you know what happened five years ago this coming Wednesday (May 14th)?

I graduated from University.

I find it so strange to think that big chapter of my life happened five years ago. Looking at those pictures, it’s a little overwhelming to think how much has changed. My life has gone through many ups and downs–funerals, and weddings, babies, and new love. I’ve discovered the importance of my health, and for the first time in my life not only do I feel healthy, but I feel strong. It feels like a million years ago I stood in front of my University, head buried into the shoulder of my then boyfriend, scared to even cross the grounds and stand with my classmates for the group pictures they were taking. That’s not me anymore–not even a little bit. But never the less, looking at these pictures, I remember being that girl. I remember buying that dress, and how pretty it was. I remember how obsessed I was with losing ten pounds before, and how sick I made myself. I remember walking down the isle of the church, and seeing my whole family sitting there, proudly watching. And I remember thinking how it was the first day of the rest of my life… how I was in the “real world” now, and how terrified that made me.

Sometimes, it’s so nice to look back and reflect.

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.

Whoa, 21 and invincible… whoa, can’t wait to screw this up. And woah, 21 and invincible.

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Myself, at twenty one.

Did you know that I’ve been writing in this blog for almost five years this month.

That’s right–five years.

Since I was twenty-one.

A lot has changed in those five years, more than I think anyone saw coming. It’s crazy to look back through old entries and read through who I was at the time. While my posting has waned over the years, sporadic at best sometimes, I’ve always tried to find my way back here, to keep up with the changes, to fill the computer screen with what will someday be nothing more than memories. I started writing here at a particularly rough time, when I was feeling lost, and this blog has watched me grow through the bad times, deal with the devastating, and bounce right back. And for that reason, I could never see me letting it go. Even though I’ve changed, this is still my home, my place to let sort out the troubling things, to geek out over silly things, and gush over the lovely-dovey.

I filled out this survey back in 2009, and although that’s not quite 5 years, I thought it would be interesting to fill it out again, and marvel at the difference.

How old were you 5 years ago? twenty-one.
Were you in school? I was just about to start my last year of University.
If so, what grade? Last. Year. University.
Who were your friends? Ella, Alyssa, Malory, Ashley, Michelle, Nick. But for the most part I didn’t see my friends. I’m a loner by nature–that’s just who I am. It’s something I’m trying my damnest to break out of, but it still lingers there, especially on the bad days.
Do you look different now? Well, I had just cut off my hair into a chin-length style, similar to how I now wear it… so I’m guess I don’t look too, too differently.
Have your music tastes changed? Somewhat. But my iPod is still filled with the same music it was back then, albeit a little more Glee since Glee didn’t exist in 2008.
What about your clothing? I’ve started wearing clothes that are actually my size, and not hiding my body under baggy layers as much as I used to.
How many people have you dated? 3, technically.
Have you been in love? Yes.
What was your best memory? I have so many, it’s hard to chose a favorite.
What was your worst memory? This, too, is hard to pick out one in particular. The night we lost my grandmother stands out in my mind though.
Have you moved? Yes!
Have you had your heart broken? Oh yes.
Did you get a new car? My parents did.
How many people have you slept with? Only a few that mattered.
Do you have more confidence? I do. It’s strange–I’ve been looking through old chat logs on my parent’s computer while I’ve been house sitting and while sometimes when I get down it feels like I’m still that girl, I do think I’ve made some serious strides in having more confidence and being content with who I am.
What’s something you wish you go change? For better or worse, things happened how they were suppose to happen in the end. Do I wish things could have been less strained or hurtful? Of course. But I wouldn’t ever want to go back to being myself at twenty-one. I was a very broken girl. If I could change something I think I would have been more honest with the people who loved me about just how much pain I was in, and how bad things were getting. I know I put a lot of stress on them, and for that I am sorry.
Any regrets? Not being honest when I needed help, and letting the pain grow until it got to an overwhelming level and I lost my head.
Have you lost anyone? Yes.
Have you gained anyone? Yes.
Have you gotten any taller? I don’t believe so.
Have you gained or lost weight? Since August 2008? Both. I’m slightly thinner now then I was exactly five years ago, but over the years I’ve gained and lost about 20 pounds.
Is your hair the same color it was? Somewhat? Maybe darker.
What was your biggest accomplishment? Surviving when I honestly didn’t think I could, or wanted to.
Have you improved at all? I think I have. I’ve grown up, I’ve matured.
What was your biggest downfall? Self harm. And the stubborn belief that I was “fine.”
Is there anything specific that reminds you of the past 5 years? This blog. But I’ll have to go with music, if only because music reminds me of the past more than anything else.
What do you miss the most? From twenty-one? Not much. I miss my grandmother and uncle everyday and wonder what they would see if they saw me now.

I wish there was something i could say… to erase each and every page that you’ve been through… even though it’s not my place to save you.

Most people don’t know this, but six months ago I was set on the idea of packing up the belongings I could, and moving across the country where two of my best friends reside.

Last year wasn’t an easy year for me. Early in the summer, I relapsed back into my patterns of self harm, hard. I was in a dark place, and I took it out on myself. I was hurting myself frequently, barely eating, and making myself sick daily. Topped with periods of binge drinking, I was starting to fall apart. It was only around Christmas when my best friends came home that I finally started to feel a little better. So when my best friend suggested me leaving home, out to her part of the country, I thought: yes! Maybe this will fix everything. And so I decided that leaving, essentially running away, was my perfect solution.

And then something changed.

When the boy and I went on our first coffee date, it was on a whim. He’d been suggesting it for over two years, and I hadn’t yet made myself available for it. We were friends, we talked constantly, and he was such a sweetheart but I was just too scared to jump. Finally, I decided one day to ask him, keen to see what it would be like. We set a date, and I jumped. I was still playing with the idea of moving away, but as we spent more and more time together–and I started to feel like a girl I hadn’t been in a long, long time–the feelings of wanting to run away started to fade away. As did my need for self destruction.

I don’t want to say that he “saved” me. I’ve always been a keen believer in the idea that no one can save you but yourself. Instead he showed me a part of myself that I had long forgotten existed. He knows about my troubling past, and he knows I’m still recovering–something he supports me in unconditionally. He knows I don’t want him to swoop in and try to protect me–and he knows he can’t. Instead he’s there to listen, to tell me he loves me, and keep me strong on the bad days. Six months on, and it feels good. I feel good. For the first time in a long, long time I feel like recovery is possible, that I can do it. I know it will never be easy. But in the end, the things most worth it never are.

I may do it on my own, but I’m never alone.

The zombies were having fun… the party had just begun. The guests included Wolf Man, Dracula and his son.

I think from years past, you know that we love Halloween in my family. I never put up my pictures from last year, but my sister and her husband took over hosting duties, going all out. So this year, everyone had high expectations and we were not disappointed. While there was no “theme”, they turned their house into Arkham Asylum–after Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze have broken out. While the pictures don’t really show how epic it was, trust me the house looked amazing. And there was a lot of Batman going on. I originally had planned on making a Star Sapphire costume which I abandoned when I realized I didn’t have the time or money to complete it properly. So what did I do? I went out, bought a little boys Batman costume set, and tada.

The pictures speak for themselves.

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Little boys costume worked well for me.
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Ah, Poison Ivy… we meet again.
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Female Joker and Male Harley Quinn.
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Masks off.
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Batman is strong.
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The winners of the costume contest: best couples, best over all, the hosts, most pathetic, and runner up best couple.
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I’ve finally made it… I’ve hoped and I’ve waited. And for the first time in my life, I don’t feel so alone.

Anyone who has read this blog for a lengthy period of time knows the last couple years have been a serious of ups and downs. A lot has changed for me–my job, my relationship status, my hair color. And through it all I’ve held true to the knowledge that regardless of how many bumps in the road there may be, eventually–if I worked hard enough for it, and didn’t just give up–everything was going to come together. I had to stray off course a little to realize what exactly it was I true wanted.

And it seems as though 2012 is my year.

I’ve always felt younger when it comes to my life choices. A lot of time I’ve felt behind of my life experiences. At the beginning of this year, I made a promise to myself that this would be the year I finally got my own place. It’s been a long time coming. And when I got my promotion at work, I knew it was truly possible. And so I started looking. Turns out, looking for an apartment is tedious and time consuming. It also sucks. But I kept to it, knowing I would probably be living on my own. And so with that knowledge, I went through ads, trying to find the perfect place to call home. And felt disappointed each time.

And then, once again, things came together for me. A friend of mine sent me a message, saying she heard I was looking for a roommate, and that she was looking for a roommate for her new townhouse she just moved into. She told me I should come check it out, and so I went and visited yesterday. Suffice to say, I move in two weeks.

Things are really coming together. Good job? Check. New place? Check. Adorable boy that makes me smile? Check. I have to say, I’ve never been happier. My life is finally going back in the right direction. I feel like the successful adult I always knew I could be. I may have got a little lost for a while, made my fair share of mistakes, but that’s what growing up is all about. I’m smarter and wiser, and I’m definitely ready for this next chapter of my life to start.

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… stand a little taller. Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone. What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter… footsteps even lighter. Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone.

Two years ago, my life changed completely. In a big way. My grandmother, one of the most influential women in my life, passed away suddenly, and without notice. I remember that night like it was yesterday–it sticks with me, knocking me sideways when I have to realize just how much it shifted everything. I didn’t just lose my grandmother, I lost my innocence. While things around me were already changing in big ways, that was the beginning of one of my darkest periods. But it was also the beginning of my biggest growth.

Now, two years later, things keep shifting.

I’ve never been very good at handling change. I used to run from it, content to sail of a sea of the familiar. And yet, here I am, all grown up (or, so they say). And I’m jumping right in to these new, crazy changes, not even worrying if I’ll sink or swim.

I’m dating someone. I’ve been promoted at work. I’ll be out on my own in a matter of months. These are things I used to be scared–hell, terrified–of, and yet I’m excited for each and everyone. I haven’t dated anyone since I was seventeen, scared shitless at the idea of referring to someone as my “boyfriend” and yet here I am, giddy over a boy who makes me smile, and laugh, with no thoughts on what it could mean or if I might get my heart broken.  I’m jumping into my new role and work, embracing my new found responsibility, excited for this chance to finally prove to the world: you know what, I kick ass. I’m being an adult, cutting ties with those who bring me down, and finally ready to make my grand debut into the real world (if only a little belated.)

And what’s the point of this spiel?

When I look back on that girl two years ago, I had no idea what was to come. I thought losing Granny was by far the worst thing that could ever happen, and oh boy, how wrong I was. But it proved something to me I will forever cherish–it finally showed me how strong I can be. And two years later, I am so grateful that I know now that I won’t crumble under pressure. Every choice may not be the right choice, and I’m going to fail–that’s all part of being human. But it’s what you do afterwards that counts. Because whatever comes after shows you just how strong you truly are.

And change? Well I totally got that.

I can be the girl in your fantasy, wild and free… say that you let me. A playboy bunny is all you need for tonight.

Wow, I haven’t written since last year. Where the heck has my brain been?

Wouldn’t you like to know.

Truthfully, a lot has been going on behind the scenes lately, and as 2012 was ushered in (drunk, with close friends, in a very low key event), things were already happening. Anyone knows, I’m the queen of saying “this year, everything will be different” and then having horrible follow through. I spent 23 and a large part of 24 stuck in the same pattern of wanting change, but never really attempting it. But things actually are changing, and I’m letting go of my fear when it comes to that silly thing called life.

Of course, me being me, I don’t want to reveal too much yet–lest my plans be spoiled. But I can let you know that there may be some big changes coming my way, both professionally and personally. And the second it feels like the right moment to share, you know I’ll reveal all, spilling my secrets like I always have. But, if you’d like a clue… I can admit that maybe, just maybe, there may be a boy involved. Just maybe.

And, in the mean time, I thought I would share a couple pictures from my sister’s Playboy Bunny themed birthday party this past weekend.