we keep this love in a photograph… we made these memories for ourselves.

photo credit: Bethany MacIsaac Photography

Its been a while since I wrote anything.

The last year and a half have held so many up and down moments. Happy memories made, and more tears than I’d like to think back on. But if one moment stands out in my mind–it’s this day.

September 12, 2015 — I married my best friend, the love of my life.

If you’ve stuck with this long a long time, then you know my story hasn’t always been an easy one to tell. There was a time in my life when broken wouldn’t even describe who I was. I lost myself, for a long… long time. When K. came into my life, the darkness I lost myself in for so long slowly, but surely, started to lighten again. And for the first time in the longest time I realized that I wasn’t alone, that there was someone who I could confide in. Not just the good things, the happy things–but someone who I could show all of me. Who I could lay beside, and confess the things I’ve been through… all of it. No filter, no hiding.

For the first time I realized what it meant to be loved unconditionally.

We’ve started a new journey together, and I have no idea what the next 50+ years has to offer. All I do know is that will be beside me… my love, my husband, my best friend.

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Sometimes you gotta stop and remember that your not gonna live forever… be young, think smart, stay true and just follow your heart.

april

Life lately has been extraordinarily unexciting lately.

Maybe it’s the thing about getting to be in your (dear god) late twenties, but swinging nights of dancing are replaced with cosy cuddles on the couch. The most exciting thing that I’ve done is join a gym. Yep, seriously. 5:30 am woke out sessions have become my new favorite thing–besides nail polish of course. Work is work, and it’s not getting any better. If it weren’t for the people I work with being the most awesome people I’ve ever met, I certainly wouldn’t still be there. And I can feel my days as a retail slave being numbered. There are only so many crazy people you can deal with in your life, before it drives you mad. And after 8 years… it’s time for something new. But until I find that totally awesome place, I can at least be content in the fact I have an awesome discount on nail polish, which in turn gives me happy vibes. And I know at the end of the day, I have the most amazing boyfriend to come home to, for all the couch cuddles a girl could ever ask for.

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.

And if you’re scared of the future tonight, we’ll just take it each hour one at a time.

Fall is officially among us.

I’ve written before how fall is by far my favorite season. Fall fashions, Halloween (and my sister and brother in law’s annual Halloween party), and yes even my birthday.

In less than a month I turn 27 which actually freaks me out, more so than any birthday yet so far. There is just something about the idea of being 27. For one, its the same age my mother was when she had me. It feels like such a grown up age–like I should be married by now with a house and a dog and a couple kids. This is especially compounded by the fact my 10 year high school reunion is next year, and while Facebook creeping my high school classmates, I couldn’t help but notice a large chunk of them are married, and having babies and being all grown up. All I can boast is that I’ve finally gotten my beginners, about ten years after the rest of the world.

Don’t get me wrong I’m more than happy with my life, and the way things have ended up. I have the most fabulous family, friends and boyfriend and wouldn’t want life to be any different. My life may not have gone the way I imagined it would at 17 but that’s okay with me. I know 27 is going to hold a lot of exciting things-the boyfriend moving in, for one. So much is changing and I’m ready to embrace whatever the universe has in store for me.

Here in this diary I write you visions of my summer… it was the best I ever had.

image

To my best friend,

It’s been a year since you moved a straight shot across the country, landing on the opposite coast.

We’ve said since we were kids that no matter what happens, and what life brings us, we will be eighty years old crazy ladies drinking gin from teacups and telling the stories of when we were young. And even with the entire country between us I will never stop knowing that’s true. After 13 odd years of good times, bad times and drunk times our friendship has never wavered. A lot has been changing in the last year, and both of us are no longer the silly tipsy girls who used to get drunk on a pirate ship and stumble through the streets at midnight.  It blows my mind that the next couple years will see us getting married and having babies and starting our futures. But no matter what happens, how many miles between us, I know that you and I will always be a part of each others lives. You’re not just my best friend–you’re my second sister.

I miss you so much. Everyday. But whenever it gets too much all I have to do is close my eyes and remember the good times, never forgetting it’s just the beginning of many more memories to come.

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.

I see us laughing together… I see you in my dreams. I see a house full of love… built for you and me.

I’ve never been someone who rushed into things.

I waited seven years to get my first tattoo (which, I had planned since I was sixteen). I have worked on perfecting my manuscript for just as long, and am still delaying attempting publication. I lived at home long after I really needed to, making sure when I moved out I wouldn’t have to deal with the whole moving back home thing. And I waited two years before getting back into the dating world, and calling someone my “boyfriend.” I like to make sure when I do something, it’s going to be right.

Lately, the boyfriend and I have been talking about moving in together.

I’ve never really thought seriously about living with a boyfriend before. With Andrew, we passed the idea back and forth as a “what if”–a nice dream, a someday. But–and I didn’t realize until after we broke up–the reason I don’t think it ever happened because both of us knew that it was never actually going to happen. With the ex-boyfriend, I never once thought about living with him, even after he lost his place to live and was sleeping on friend’s couches and frustrated about his lack of apartment. Never once did the idea even cross my mind.

But now, the idea doesn’t scare me. It excites me. It’s not that I don’t love living with my roommates. They’re awesome, and fabulous, and we always have fun. But the thing in, I’m starting to realize that I think I’m ready for this big scary step, and that whole making a future thing. It just seems… right. And so we’ve been looking into places (on my side of the bridge, because he knows it’s important to me to be close to my family), putting a tentative date on it, and planning what our future home will be like. It’s kind of terrifying, but exciting in the best way.

The future has always scared me, and I’ve never been very keen on the idea of being a grown up. But for the first time in my life, I have never been more excited to “grow up.”

I whip my hair back and forth.

Change, like spring (and love) is in the air…

Before

Before.

New Hair

After.

I’ve been talking about cutting my hair since last summer. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my long hair–it was just I felt like it was about time I changed things up a bit. For four years I grew it out. It was my security blanket, so to say. But now that I’ve been feeling like a brand new girl, it was time for a brand new hair cut. And tada. It was a spur of the moment decision, after a little too much short hair porn on tumblr. But I’m so glad I did it–I feel lighter, and like I’ve shed the last couple years, and I’m ready to start over, ready to make new memories, and ready for a hundred adventures and all the stories to tell.

 

Sure, it may be just hair. But to me it’s a brand new start.

The things you make me wanna do… I’d rob a quik-e-mart for you. I’d go to the pound and let all the cats go free… just as long as you’d be with me.

flowers

Do you remember seventeen?

Or, more importantly, do you remember what it felt like to fall in love at seventeen?

I do–that giddy romantic feeling. That feeling like nothing bad could ever happen. The nervous excitement of just holding someone’s hand. The excitement of hearing their voice on the phone, or seeing their face after a couple days. Smiling to yourself just thinking about them, looking like a damn fool but not even caring. The way you just wanted to get lost in them. The way the whole world ceased to exist, even for a couple hours.

I thought I’d long ago forgotten that feeling.

I thought that I’d never feel that again.

It would be silly to say what I’m feeling right now is love–that would be rushing things, and way too soon. But I can tell you this much, what I’m feeling brings me back to those simple, innocent days. It’s happening so quickly, so out of the blue. But whatever this is, I haven’t felt it in a long, long, long time. Not since I was seventeen. It makes me giddy, and excited. It’s the little things that have captured my heart, and thawed it out. This is different, so different, than what I’m used to and it’s made me feel like a girl I used to remember–a girl I long ago thought that I had lost. And feeling like her again has knocked me out of a desperate funk I’ve let myself lie in for all too long.

It’s not all him, but I have to admit the way he looks at me…. it’s made me realize that I don’t have to get caught up in my past mistakes. And even though I thought I lost her, I’m still that silly love struck girl I once was.