One Year

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The bf and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary (of our first official date) last Sunday. We decided to keep things low-key and stay in, so I made us dinner. Obviously I don’t need to share how wonderful a weekend we had, but then, every weekend we spend together is amazing.

The last week week was quite a bit stressful for G, and how we navigated it together really goes to show how strong our relationship is. After some reflection, I’ve decided to note some things I’ve taken away from our year together. (YAY! It’s list time!) These things are the obvious points that make a healthy relationship work, but sometimes it’s nice to confirm that you’re on the right track.

One Year of Lessons:

  • Open Communication – fortunately we have never had a problem communicating with each other. It probably helped that we knew each other as workmates beforehand, and already had a good rapport. We’ve naturally had an easy time talking to each other, which was one of the things that brought us together in the first place – I liked talking to him. (That, and he’s pretty darn handsome!) That being said, as any relationship goes, there are times where communication is key to avoid misunderstandings. We are able to openly discuss anything and everything with each other, and always let the other finish and explain their point – we talk together, and not one over the other.

Which leads to the next point…

  • Respect – we respect when the other has an opinion, idea, or belief, that the other may, or may not, share. This seems like it would go without saying, but believe me, there are a lot of people out there that have no respect for anyone but themselves.
  • Patience and Understanding – not only did we have to navigate just getting to know someone better, but we also have a larger than average age gap, and grew up with very different backgrounds – socioeconomic/political and culturally. In the beginning there were a few bumps along the way, but we (him especially) are patient when the other has need of it. I am an incredibly emotional person, and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve cried for the silliest reasons (like, at commercials…) and he is so incredibly amazing when it happens. Not only does it make us comfortable to be ourselves, but it makes it easier to have someone to go through the tough times with.
  • Self Preservation – sometimes putting your own happiness first is more important than making other people happy. This seems counter-intuitive in a new relationship, but I actually mean outside of our relationship. I hit a rough patch financially this year, and having to make hard decisions on what I could and couldn’t afford was brutal. G reminded me on multiple occasions that my being stress free and happy with myself were more important than making other people happy.
  • Teamwork – from something as simple as helping each other in the kitchen with dinner, to being shopping ninjas, working together for a common goal makes life so much simpler! It also goes without saying that standing up with each other and supporting each other’s endeavours makes those hard times worth it. There have definitely been some times this year that we have heavily relied on each other for support, and know that the other will without a doubt be there.
  • Fun – life is stressful, and having someone to laugh and joke around with is so incredibly important. Not only does it break up the monotony of the everyday, but it also makes life more enjoyable, and this is something a lot of people forget. Sometimes this is as simple as sending each other jokes on a long day, or could be going on an adventure out of the country. This year we’ve had so much fun and have been on so many adventures together, that I can’t even begin to list them all. Sometimes taking a wrong turn (literally) can lead to the most unexpectedly fun day!
  • Passionate Love – passion in a relationship is what takes it from friendship and stagnancy to a strong, emotional union. Taking time to grow and nurture passionate love is as important, in our book, as all of the other things combined. Luckily, we have incredible chemistry that makes this part easy. I know that in the future it’ll be so important to have this aspect of our relationship to fall back on, and there’s no question that we come by this easily.

At the beginning of the year I mentioned that we were starting to build a strong foundation for our relationship. Overall, our year had a lot of ups, and some downs, but if the way we approached it says anything about us, I know we’ve started on the right path together. Every day I discover something new about G that makes me love him even more, and I can’t wait to see what our future has in store for us.

Thirty, Flirty, and Fabulous

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Five and a half months ago I turned Thirty. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was coming into my own, finally.

I have always thought that Thirty was old and boring, but let me tell you, it has been nothing of the sort.

In the five and a half months since I started a new decade of life I have learned more about myself than I did the entirety of my Twenties. I’ve gone from the highs of happiness and love, to the low feelings of insecurity and hopelessness. Tears have been shed, but laughter has followed. I’ve learned that having a partner who supports you over anything and everything is more important than words can say. And that sticking to your own ideals can be harder than you thought, but worth it in the end.

No one tells you that there is a secret club for women over Thirty. I discovered it a couple of months before my induction day, by a friend who had recently been accepted herself. Turns out that, surprise!, Thirty is fabulous. Women welcome you into the fold with open arms – “you’ve made it!” “You have entered the real doorway to adulthood.” “Leave behind your Twenties, and all the bullshit that came with it. You won’t find that here!”

Guess what? It’s so true.

I’ve had to take a stand a few times already, and instead of feeling lousy or second-guessing myself, those tough decisions were made with clarity that I haven’t had before. Now, I should mention a lot of it had to do with having a supportive partner to back me up, and to cheer me on, with the decisions I made. But. I made my own decisions. And I was the one that followed through. He was there to support me.

One of the decisions I made was that I wanted some financial security by the time the big 3-0 rolled around. I didn’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck, and I wanted my debt to be under control. G was a big help in that department, considering his main hobby is finance! I had to make some (incredibly hard) sacrifices, but I am at the point that I have things in control and am financially stable. (Well, until this month rolls on in… But more on that later.) I am learning to budget better, not spend money because it’s “there”, and that even though it’s hard to give up things you may want to buy or do, it’s better than living off credit.

Job security was the next item on my list to tackle. I haven’t been happy at my current place of employment for a long time, and finally decided enough was enough. (Unfortunately, the reasons are not appropriate to share to the public. But just trust me on this.) With the help of friends and family, I was able to find, what may be, my ideal job. In two weeks time, I will be starting fresh, with an amazing group of ladies, and a wonderful dentist. The hours are better, the pay is better, and even though the commute is brutal, I can’t wait to see where this new position takes me. (This would be why my financial situation may be a little precarious for the next few months… But I’ll be back on track in a month or so.)

In accepting the new job, I realized that I would need a mode of transportation that didn’t include public in the title. Luckily, I have a bf that loves cars and knows his stuff. He combed the internet for used cars, and finally found one, to both of our liking. She is ours, (mostly mine), and I love her. I had forgotten the kind of independent freedom I had been missing by not being able to drive myself around; there is just something to be said for being able to go where and when you want to get there.

The last few months haven’t been all about serious stuff, though.

To celebrate my new decade, I decided to keep it low-key, for the most part. I invited my family to Seattle for a ballgame (one of our favourite past times) and we celebrated with beers and ball, followed with some Cheesecake Factory. It was so incredibly wonderful to spend the day doing something that we all enjoyed, and to be able to be together as a family.

It was also the first real travel getaway with G, and him and I survived it well. Which was a good thing, considering the following week the two of us headed to Nice, France for a week!

He surprised me just after New Years, when we had barely been dating a month, with plans to take me on holiday for my Birthday. I was pretty sure I was dreaming. (Even now, I still wonder if it was all a dream!) A few weeks later, he disclosed the location for our Romantic Birthday Getaway – I was over the moon! Even though I’ve been to France before, I hadn’t made it to the French Rivera, but he had been before and wanted to share it with me. Swoon.

It was more magical than I could have imagined. We drank, we ate, we saw the sights, and we used the in between to get to know each other better than before. It wasn’t all Rosé (see what I did there…) I mean, me and travel, we sometimes don’t get along, especially when I’m hungry or overwhelmed. But G was a champ, and navigated my hangry spells with intense planning and extreme caution – he had researched more restaurants than we could eat in the week, but always had one ready in a 100m radius in the case my hanger took hold. Whata guy.

We also made it to Antibes and Monaco, which were as amazing as Nice. We saw so many amazing things, and I’m sure there were plenty more we missed. But the time we spent together was the icing on the cake. I’m pretty sure he knows me better, now, than anyone has before – I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion. We both have a strong sense of Wanderlust, so I know our travelling days have only just begun!

In a few weeks, the next big occasion to hit our family will occur – my youngest sister is getting married. Everything that has led up to it has been a big eye opener. There are things that have torn the family into two camps, but things that have brought us closer together, and I can’t wait to share the next chapter of her life with her and her fiancé.

Through everything, though, it has made me contemplate where my own life is heading and how I want to get there. Which, I think, is more clear than before.

The one thing I know for sure, is that I will have the best possible partner along for the ride. 

Fighting My Demons

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Bullying.

It’s a loaded word.

I could talk about a million different subjects under this topic, but the one that is on my mind tonight is the lasting effects that words have on someone.

I have a boyfriend. I am in a very healthy relationship – we laugh, we kiss, and when we hurt each others feelings, we apologize.

We communicate.

Lately, I have been feeling insecure. Not because of anything he’s done or said negatively, but because of things that have happened to me in the past that have resurfaced.

I don’t feel like I’m allowed to be this happy.

It’s a loaded statement. And you’re probably wondering what this has to do with bullying.

Now, let me make this perfectly clear: I am happy. Happier than I have ever been in my life. I am in love and there isn’t anyone who can change my mind. He showers me with affection, is understanding when I cry for no reason, and doesn’t judge me for the things that I’ve done. He accepts me for who I am. 

Past experiences make us the people that we are. We change, we grow, and we adapt. But there are some things, especially when we’re young, that happen and effect us throughout our lives.

Some of these things I fight to keep locked up, deep down. But when I let myself be vulnerable – that is when they start to surface. It’s like a wave that starts out in the middle of the ocean, and until it gets closer to shore, you don’t know if it will be a tsunami or a little ripple.

I have been bullied multiple times in my life. By friends, and by loved ones. I have been bullied to the point that it was emotionally abusive. I don’t, and can’t, talk about specifics, but these words, these actions, resonate with me no matter what I do to try to make them go away.

Sometimes it’s a look. Sometimes it’s the tone of voice or an innocent phrase.

To the unsuspecting person, they may not know the feelings they’ve brought to the surface, but it’s not their fault. It’s the ones before. And it’s not fair that they should have to tip-toe around, wondering if what they say next will be followed by tears.

People have told me over and over again, “Just get over it, it happened so long again.”

But it’s not that easy.

Do you remember the feeling you used to get, when you heard the ice cream truck driving up your street in the summer? The feelings of excitement, anticipation, joy?

Well it’s the same thing, except my triggers bring back emotional pain and insecurity.

So what is my point?

G knows that something is bothering me. I’ve been acting weird lately. As safe and secure as I feel in our relationship, there is this gut-wrenching feeling that I’m not allowed to be happy, something will go wrong and he’ll split.

I know this isn’t the case – he said he’s known where this is going from our first dinner together, and I know where I want things to go. I have never wanted anything more in my life than I do him. And I am so unbelievably lucky that he is everything I had ever hoped he would be; I couldn’t ask for someone to treat me any better.

I am my own worst enemy.

But I refuse to self-sabotage the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My demons can find a new home.

I AM allowed to be happy. I AM allowed to be loved, and love in return. And it’s OKAY to feel secure in a relationship. I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. 

So before you say something cruel or demeaning, think of the lasting effects of your words. Because, although it takes only seconds to say something out loud, the things you say can last a lifetime in someones heart.

Happiness in Vancouver

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Sometimes things have a funny way of working themselves out.

The last few weeks have been incredible.

The BF and I have a little routine going, and I’m really quite content. He is full of (good) surprises and definitely keeps me on my toes.

Saturday’s are date night, and we’re eating our way around our favourite restaurants. Sunday’s have taken on a new meaning; it’s the only full day off we have together. We make dinner (he helps prep and I cook, and it works), drink wine and then talk for hours.

When I’m with him, I am my true self, completely. He doesn’t judge me for the things I say, or the things I’ve done; he accepts me for who I am. And he makes me laugh. He is so incredibly kind and generous, and I have never so wholeheartedly wanted to get to know someone, inside and out.

I’m quite sure I know where this is going, and I’m glad we’re taking our time getting to know each other. The best relationships are built on a stable foundation, and we seem to be building a rock solid one.

I can honestly say I’ve never been happier. If this is what it feels like to really fall for someone, then I am glad it’s happening with him.

 

 

 

The Do-Over Request

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Have you ever had one of those days that literally nothing goes right? That you wish you could just hop back into bed and then start all over again?

I’m having one of those days.

I barely slept last night, due in part to my insomnia, and part to having to many things on my mind. Then I was almost late for work because my damn curly hair didn’t want to be tamed into a bun.

I got to work and dropped a tray of instruments, almost choked myself when the string of my glasses got caught on my overhead light, and then got told I couldn’t have 3hrs off for a Continuing Education course (because patients were already pre-booked.)

It doesn’t help that my uterus is also trying to escape, which, as you ladies know, isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. My teeth hurt – I had my wires changed yesterday, and I have a migraine starting.

Oh, and I can’t tell anyone at work about my awesome weekend.

Needless to say… Can I have a do-over?

**EDIT**

So, The BF is amazing. When he found out I was having such a terrible day, he insisted on taking me out for a steak dinner, and then stopped on the way home so I could buy chocolate. Needless to say, my day was greatly improved. He’s a keeper.

Everything Happens For A Reason

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I guess you could say that things work out the way they’re meant to.

We’ve officially been on 5 dates, including New Years, and are “seeing each other”.

did have some reservations at first – he is 15 years my senior. But that’s also why I like him- he knows what he wants, is too mature to play games, and treats me the way any woman hopes to be treated. He really is wonderful.

Because of the potential of repercussions from us dating, I can’t really be more specific about…anything. He’s a very private person, understandably. And until we know it’s going to be long-term, I won’t be telling anyone, other than my close friends. There are just some things that are better off being unsaid till the time is right. (And I’m sure my parents would just assume they’re marrying off another daughter. Yeah, not ready for that yet!!)

But until that happens, I’m going to enjoy keeping him to myself.

The One in Which I Get Back on the Dating Horse

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There are just some things that don’t change with age.

This year I made a bit of a re-entry into the dating world, after taking a couple of years off to figure myself out.

A few months ago, I went on a blind date with a guy who is friends with one of my friends husbands. He was nice, it wasn’t awkward at all. But he was pretty dull. And really only talked about himself and his interests. There wasn’t really any real conversation. Also, there wasn’t any chemistry. But I was proud of myself for putting myself out there.

My more recent date involved someone who was out of my comfort zone – in age, potential for awkwardness and extreme embarrassment, and danger of repercussions. But I watched the situation for a few months to feel it out, and with the urging of my close friends, I made a move and asked him to dinner – albeit a friendly one. Things went well, and he ended up taking me to dinner a few weeks later. Anyway, I won’t say any more, because I don’t want to jinx anything and I’m not entirely sure what he wants. Story of my life.

Except this time I know what I want.

I feel that this was a turning point for me and dating.Grown-up decisions were made, and though things didn’t exactly turn out the way myself and my friends thought they would, the world is still turning. I have a new-found confidence in myself, and I know what I want and what I’m willing to compromise on. If things have to be a little awkward for a while in order for me to learn these lessons, then c’est la vie.

Because It’s About Time I Wrote Again…

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It’s been a long while since I wrote last. Not for lack of subject, but because I’ve lived my life.

I went to France last year with my parents, with a side trip to Budapest with the family. It was the experience of a life time – with some very memorable moments! I learned that I can absolutely travel with our family as a whole, but with just my parents…let’s just say I’m very happy that I’m not an only child!

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Map of My Life

Today is my last day of being 27.

I’m currently enroute home to the Island, so I figured this was as good of a time as any to reflect on life.

For starters, this is also the 10th year since I graduated High School. And my life is very different than where I thought I’d be.

I always thought I’d be starting a family by now, or at the very least be married. But no, I’m single as fuck. (Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of positives, ie, staying in bed till 3 in the afternoon and noone giving me shit about it!) But still. My parent were almost married at my age… I really need to get on that…

One thing is as planned, and that is having finished my post-secondary education and becoming a Hygienist. And somehow I always figured I’d be living in Vancouver at some point in my life. And I have taken that initial backpacking trip to Europe.

But I don’t own a house, my social group is very different than it once was, I’m alone, and I’m a very different person.

Twenty years ago, when I was 8, I had tons of friends, but I was shy and quiet. This made me an easy target for bullies. My sisters picked on me, I cried a lot. Like, a lot.

Fast forward 5 years to when I started High School, I was still impossibly quiet. I had fewer friends and my sisters still picked on me, but I had Sea Cadets and sports to take my mind off things, and I excelled at both. Sea Cadets gave me a voice, and every athletic team I was on gave me a reason to use it.

But the time I was graduating High School, I had a voice. And I used it, too much sometimes. I had a close group of friends, a boyfriend, and I had a plan for life – I was going to take half a year off, go to school, get married, have babies.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

My early twenties was a bit of a gong show. I didn’t get into trouble or anything, but I just didn’t know who I was or what I really wanted in life. My friends were good, but some of them were a bad influence (not bad things, but attitude wise) and I started becoming someone that, looking back, I don’t like. I wasn’t awful or anything, but I was negative about life and could have just been a lot…nicer. But I think we all have to go through that at some point.

Once I hit 24, things started to fall into place for me. I was still pining over my lost love, but I had the courage to leave Canada for a few weeks and go on an adventure with one of my best friends. I’m still certain that was the turning point for me. It humbled me – it made me appreciate what I have, and gave me new purpose.

When I got back, and made the decision to move, I felt like my little world was slowly getting bigger.

Almost 4 years later, I finally feel that my life makes sense, and I am the person that I am meant to be. I have grown out of the cocky teenager, the whiny-know-it-all young adult, and into a (I think) respectful, pleasant adult. I mean, I still get moody (who doesn’t!) but I’m a lot nicer and easier to get along with. And I have amazing friends. It’s true what they say, people come and go in your life, but the important ones are the ones who stay.

I have come to realize that things happen for a reason. You can wish for something every night, but unless it’s part of your destiny, it ain’t coming true. You control your life, but you can’t always control who comes and goes in it.

I don’t know what the future holds, past this summer, but I know that there’s no point in mapping out life plans. Life isn’t set in stone – it can take you in any direction.