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.

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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.

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.

We drove to Cali… and got drunk on the beach. Got a motel and Built a fort out of sheets.

This past weekend was my younger cousin Tony’s wedding in PEI. I’ve been excited for this wedding since last Summer, when we went over for my cousin Chris’ wedding and found another one was impending. So when the invitation came in February, I immediately asked the boyfriend if he–might–want to come with me. Naturally he said yes, and I’ve been so excited ever since. The last month I’ve been planning and planning, and then finally Friday night it was time to go.

Although things didn’t exactly go according to how they were planned, our first road trip together was just as much fun as I dreamed it would be. And he and my family (and trust me, there is A LOT of us) got along awesome. In fact, he’s already talking about us taking a trip together back there, just the two of us which just makes me so happy. And he finally realizes what I mean when I say that there is NOTHING like a White wedding.

And, naturally, I captured the event as best as I could.

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Off work, and on the road!
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Super excited face?
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Nothing but road ahead of us.
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Three hours, and two provinces later… almost to the bridge!
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His first time in New Brunswick.
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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.”

A long time ago, we used to be friends…

A month or so ago, it was announced that Veronica Mars was finally getting the movie I had dreamed about for the last 6 years, since the show ended. It was exciting news, for sure. And a little surprising, as I thought all hope for a movie had been lost. However, the most surprising thing of all was who revealed this exciting news to me.

Andrew.

I was fairly shocked when the email popped up in my inbox. I’d been at work, about to go on my break, and saw my phone flashing. Picking it up, I hit the middle button, expecting to see a text message from the boyfriend as he always sends me cute messages at work. Instead, I realized, it was an email. That, too, wasn’t all that shocking. I have a habit for signing up for e-newsletters, that I usually delete before even reading. However, when I opened my email it wasn’t La Senza revealing the latest deals on sexy bras, or Forever 21 hyping the newest trends. It was my exboyfriend’s name, followed by two words. VEROINCA MARS, all caps. For a minute I stared at it, and then, overcome with curiosity, I clicked.

In the last three years, the two of us have not talked. Not really. In the beginning, we tried to feign a friendship but as anyone who has tried to maintain a friendship with someone they just broke up with knows, it’s next to impossible. I think a quote from one of my favorite novels, “This Lullaby” by Sarah Dessen, sums it up best:

“Because you can never go from going out to being friends, just like that. It’s a lie. It’s just something that people say they’ll do to take the permanence out of a breakup. And someone always takes it to mean more than it does, and then is hurt even more when, inevitably, said ‘friendly’ relationship is still a major step down from the previous relationship, and it’s like breaking up all over again. But messier.”

The last time I spoke to him, was last Christmas. For a while, I’d been thinking about how I was holding on to too much negativity, and how in order to get rid of it, I wanted to be able to say “I’m sorry.” So, after a little too much to drink, I got on my computer and told him that I forgave him for what happened, that I didn’t hold anything against him, and that I was sorry for how I reacted–that I was wrong to put so much blame on him, even for things that were out of his control. I also told him that I didn’t expect anything from him, that I just needed to get this out in the air. He responded, saying he held nothing against me.

And with that, I figured, that chapter of my life was closed.

So you can imagine my surprise when a year and a half later here I was, seeing an email from him. The truth is, I’ve moved on from the past. Now they’re barely blurry water colored memories, something I look back on with passing observance. The email was simple–eight words, all caps, and a link to the Veronica Mars kickstarter. I stared at it for a second, dumbfounded, then tossed my phone back in my purse, utterly confused. And it dwelled on my mind for the remainder of shift, like a little weight I couldn’t shake. Maybe it was silly, but I just couldn’t understand. So after less than a week of trying to figure what the hell he was thinking, I finally cracked and did the only thing I could do–I asked.

He responded that I was the first person he thought of when he heard the news, that he thought it was weird that we haven’t been in communication, and added he didn’t think it should be weird for us to email one another out of the blue. I wasn’t sure the response I was looking for, but that kind of struck me. And I realized that he was probably right–it shouldn’t have been so weird for me. After all, I’ve managed to maintain an (odd and some somewhat strange) friendship with the High School Ex-boyfriend, so why after three years should it have struck me as so odd when Andrew emails me. And I thought–that’s nice. Maybe we could be friends. So when I responded, I ended by telling him that I would have loved to hear how his life has changed, and what he’s been up to. I’m not the same person, so I don’t doubt that a lot as happened to him as well.

And then nothing. No response. No acknowledgement. Nothing.

I’m going to admit, I was a little confused once again. After all, he’d been the one saying it shouldn’t be weird, and then it’s weird again.

The thing is, after three years I don’t have feelings for him. I’ve moved on, realized what I don’t want, and found the man who I see my future with. I have everything I could have ever asked for, when I wasn’t even looking. But he still remains someone who was, once upon a time, my best friend, my first love, and he’s still the one of the few people that I’ve trusted enough to open up to and he was there for me during some particular hard moments. Granted, that was three years ago, and things have changed for me. But when I thought about this idea about being friends, it struck me as something would be nice. I wasn’t expecting us to be best friends, or anything like that. It’s just that he’s a big part of my history, a defining chapter in the story of my life. And I couldn’t help but think it would be nice.

And maybe that’s the part that just keeps bugging me.

Let’s go all the way tonight….no regrets, just love. We can dance, until we die… you and I, will be young forever.

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I’m a romantic at heart. I always have been.

I’ve never been the kind of girl that found the need to date people for the sake of dating someone just so I could so “Oh, this is so-and-s0, my boyfriend.” No, I’m perfectly fine being single, and taking care of myself. But once in a while… once in a while you meet someone and it changes everything.

And I’ve been feeling it lately. Oh how I’ve been feeling it lately.

The thing is, I’m not the easiest person to love. I know that. I’ve always known that. And unfortunately, the people in my past have reminded me of that over and over and over, to the point where I almost expect my imperfections to scare people away. For the most part, I’ve always been good at hiding the bad moments, the sad moments, the scary moments. But, from the beginning he’s just accepted that about me. Talking about my feelings has never been my strongest suit–I’m better at putting it in a story, and getting it out that way. But with him, it’s just been easy. I don’t know if it’s because I’d known him, and talked to him, for two years before this started, but it’s not as scary. It’s so easy admitting my darkest truths. Laying in bed, curled up beside him, we just talk. He told me from the beginning that I didn’t need to be scared, that no matter what I tell him, I’ll never scare him away.

And the scariest thing of all? I believe him.

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.