The Life of Us.

I won't mistake you for problems with me
I won't let my moods ruin this you'll see
I won't take everything good and move it away
I won't be left dancing along to songs from the past
Would you stay home and keep our memories warm with me
Would you give all your love for a run at the past with me
I know you're sad even though you say that you're not
I know you're scared even though you say that you're not
I won't get mad when you say things are getting too hard
I won't make all of your love so scared to come through our yard
I won't scream in my head and let it isolate me
I won't be left dancing alone to songs from the past

Another year.Four years. Three countries lived in. Two degrees obtained. A husband found. A new life created. And yet it is still marked. It has been another year. It is different this time. So different. I dont hurt the way I thought I would. The way I usually do. I dont ache. I dont long. I dont resent. I didn't cry.

 I have a new life. I have my own life. I have come to terms with reality and I have moved on. I have moved on from you. No longer will you have that hold. You chose to leave, you cannot dictate the terms that accompany that choice. My life will not be hindered by guilt trips or forced occasions. I realized that I have to live my life. I cannot keep having expectations that are unreal. I cannot live in the dark or pretend that choices weren't made. Feelings were hurt. Bonds were destroyed. Lies were told. And I survived.

Divorce seems common. Like we all should be able to accept it. As if we should just nod and move on and pretend that it doesn't hurt people. I know of amicable divorces but even those hurt the children. So I do not accept that this is becoming reality. It will not be my reality. I spent too long feeling like it was my fault and that things would go back to what I called normal. Year four has proven otherwise. It has taught me a new normal. One that doesn't have to be hindered by secrecy and lies and guilt. It has given me hope and closure and the ability to walk away.

I still feel scarred. I am less trusting. I am insecure. I am more aware of deceit and less willing to walked on. But I am also stronger. I am more firm in my beliefs and I am more grateful for what I have. 

Four years ago I learned that my family was broken. It shattered my universe and I never thought I would love again. I was embarassed and hid my fear, my pain and my suffering from those closest to me. It was so incredibly isolating. As I have learned to heal I have also learned to open up. To let people in. And because of this I have the love of my life, a whole new family and those of us who were in the radius of poor choices are doing well. 

I no longer sit in silence while my mind is screaming. I don't long for the past when I thought family was invincible. And I am learning to take responsibility for my problems and to let go of those problems people try to send my way. 

Four years and I am so much stronger than I could have ever hoped for. You did not defeat me.

A dear friend posted this a few weeks ago and it provoked a lot of thought. Was I someone that actually felt deeply or did I just perceive myself that way because I thought it was a quality I wanted to possess. Did I even understand what it truly meant to feel deeply? I was unsure.

However, the next day I found myself standing in the cemetery with my mother. The snow had finally melted and we could find Paige. We cleared off the stone and carefully placed our flowers and the tears flowed. She would have been 6 years old just days before. Six, what an age. She would have been so full of life. Instead she wasnt even with us for 9 months. Standing there brought back so many memories, so much pain. As I cried I realized that I know that curse all too well. I know exactly what it is to love someone so deeply that years later you can still feel that aching hole. To care so much that you will do anything to try and help someone have a life.

Last night my little sister who coincidentally is six, her and Paige would have been great friends, was reading to me. As she flew through book after book I was in awe. She will be the only one in her home that can read at this point. It meant so much to us to make sure she could read before she went home. And to see the joy in her eyes and my mothers meant the world. To know that we are changing her life in a way she wouldnt have had opportunities otherwise is monumental.

It is a blessing to love someone so much that they mean everything to you. To be spending a life with someone that I truly love. But I also am so acutely aware of the pain that comes when you lose someone that you love that much. I am really grateful I know that sting though. It has taught me that I can love. And that I do love, deeply.
I find it overwhelming how life can lift me so high and also hold me so low all at once. It is like a roller coaster that never stops and somehow you can be suspended high and low instantaneously. At least this is how my week has been. Higher than a kite and immobilized low. Perhaps if I literally was higher than a kite I wouldnt be feeling this low. Although, I cannot condone such a solution. I dont know why drugs is my go to humour but it just is. And it is quite fitting I must admit.

So here it all is. Tuesday I took a personal day off from the place that pays me and shadowed a physio. It was not unfamiliar and in moments I wanted to be on my own. I knew how rounds went, I knew how to prioritize and appropriate questions and therapies. I felt so keen, so ready. And yet I was to be the ghost in the room. Fortunately, I was with the most lovely lady and she was happy to have an extra set of hands and let me participate. The day went so incredible quickly. It felt like in moments it was over. And when I stopped by my desk after it was over to get my purse I saw that I had messages on the phone and emails to be responded to and it hit. This was my reality. It was eight hours of escape. Of returning to the world that I have wanted for so long. The world I used to be part of. And yet am not any longer. Reality hurt. I am so ready for my reality to change and I am working so hard but it just isnt coming. It feels so impossibly far away after the last two attempts. The books are open. The practice questions are being done and yet I cant help but feel the disheartening blow of knowing that I am not there, at least not here. I was left craving that high. Offering to come in on weekends for more shadowing just so I can feel like I am a part of something. Something that feels so close and yet so unattainable. At least I know I still want it.

So Tuesday night I returned to our home feeling blissful. I was motivated, I was excited I had so much to share. And Jeff was happy to listen to and full of encouragement. And then I came down from the high. The pain began. Like it was in January before the appointments and vomiting. The pain that forced my hand just months ago. Seconds felt like hours, the night felt like an eternity. Wednesday came and passed full of the all too familiar fatigue that only can accompany the kind of pain that exhausts your body. Sleep overcame me before the sun fell and I only awoke when Jeff came home. When morning came I found myself at work again being told I looked exhausted. Apparently 12 hours of this kind of sleep isnt restful. Day three. A test has been booked for tomorrow with me undecided if I even want it to show anything. I think we know the reality. This is the reality. This is how my body responds. I was on such a good track. Studying, I had my mileage on track for my upcoming half, I was happy. And now I just feel drained. Overcome by the complete lack of relief. Tired because my body is overworking. Frustrated that I will have missed two runs because I can barely make it up the stairs without feeling prepared to nap. Annoyed that I have so little control. And aware that this is life.

The ups and downs are so simultaneous some times. I can feel God's hand so clearly guiding me in his own time to reach my career but I cannot understand his guidance physically. I have no idea if this is a sign I dont want to see. If this is me needing to make a change in a plan that has been so carefully crafted by so many people. If this means I have used up my time. If this is going to last for another few minutes, or days or longer.

All I know is that I so badly want to make a difference. To look back and be proud. To wake up knowing I am getting up to go do something I believe in. I want to be the type of person I would remember. Not the one letting life be a hindrance. Something has to change so I can change.

Freshman year of college I knew my housemate was watching the Grudge at a friends one night. So I kindly waited under her bed until she came home and proceeded to grab her ankles when she approached her bed. This was appreciated much less by her than it was by me.

All of this remembering came about today as I was driving to work following the pace of traffic and then was cut off and shown many hand gestures indicating I should not have been driving at such a pace. I must admit I was over the posted limited, however, their upset was that I was much too slow. After they managed to pass the rest of the traffic going my pace I realized that I was in fact not driving 40 km over the limit and therefore was much too slow for the speed they had chosen for their commute. This left me arriving at work feeling annoyed that someone would try and demean me when I felt I was not in any wrong. Instead of my usual stewing I resolved to let it go. Once I got out of the car that was it. The day would continue not on a bitter not but as if nothing occurred.

You see, I am someone that takes things to heart. Too much so. I let others actions affect me far too much. In the past when I have heard rumours about myself I have been cut. I want to go to the source and fix things and I want to smooth things out. Or I hold frustrations and grudges. Like the girl that bullied me in elementary school, when I saw her again in High School (we went to different middle schools) I hated her. I hated her for her lack of acknowledgement that she made elementary school really difficult for me. I wanted everyone to hate her because deep down I knew she was evil. This did me no good.

So as much as I am the person that holds on to ridiculous things Jeff is not. He doesnt waste time fretting about things that are irrelevant and he doesnt take offence easily at all. He is much more relaxed than I am. So I have been trying to develop that quality. To stop stressing about the minute, ridiculous things and to move on.

I dont think life is long enough to waste time harbouring resentment or stress over situations that either dont matter or that we have control to change. Either change the problem or move on. Although, it is hard. I am so incredibly good at stressing and worrying it is almost stressful to not be that way! Letting go is a feeling so foreign that it makes me wonder why I think I can just move on. But I can. I am realizing I dont have to continually be hindered or burdened by others, but their actions, by things I cant change. I just need to be the person that is stronger than that. The one that defies rumours by actions. I am really working on letting grudges go and I think it is really cathartic.

The last time I sat in this room, in fact it may be the exact same room, I was throwing up due to immense pain. Today I am sitting here almost with excitement because as strange as it may sound my gynecologist is back. She has solved a lot of problems and prevented a lot of pain over the years so it always seems like I am catching up with a friend, not discussing my uterine woes.

Although one of my dearest friends is sitting in a similar appointment today and finding out if she is having a boy or girl I am not sitting here for baby talk. It has only been six months. And not like wow we have been trying for six months. Like we have been married six months and are getting to know each ther better, and sorting out our lives and our home and being us. Enjoying the new pleural and living life. 

Sure I am baby crazy. I have been probably since I was 14. That doesn't mean I need to be pregnant or be obsessing about trying. It just means I love children and one day will have some. 

Regardless, I have high hopes this appointment is more the catch up with a old friend than the throw up and ruin my shoes like last time.  With fingers crossed.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will hurt forever.

I am awful when it comes to movie or television quotes. I can basically watch the movie, you can quote it, and I will stare blankly. However, Jeff is quite the opposite. He rattles off quotes all the time and I always give him the same blank stare. I do have a few exceptions though. Scrubs, I can say random things from Scrubs all day. Also 500 Days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim and song lyrics. That is all.

So when the album Sticks and Stones came on from New Found Glory as I ran all I could think about was Scrubs. This is entirely how I think. Few real thoughts seem to come without music. Music is definitely my muse. However, this is about words.

I am one of those people that feels deeply. I take comments into consideration, I re-evaluate what has been said and take things to heart. Words hold meaning. So as much as it would have been nice to be the one to receive flowers for this day that is supposed to celebrate my current employment the words I was sent actually mean more.Especially ones from a physician on holidays.

"I am enjoying the great weather here in Palm Springs but wanted to drop  you a note to say what a fantastic job you are doing and how pleased I am that you decided to stay with us!

You are a natural at this type of position.

Thank you"

Another physican came up and said she had to be nice to me today as she hugged me and apologized that she didn't remember until today otherwise she would have brought flowers. The truth is she always looks out for me and a hug meant more than flowers would.

It is nice to feel appreciated. To have someone acknowledge you. So as flowerless as I may be I actually found some words that will stick for quite some time to hold on to.

addendum. After writing this I went to teach my pilates class. Week three. Somehow 18 people showed up. It seemed confusing but ended with unexpected praise. Perhaps the words were out there. As I head out of the room to the lockers to change my boss found me and gave me a thank you card with a backpack. I was more appreciated than I knew that is for sure.
I have never been a human with dozens of friends. I have always just had a few. A few people to hold dear and cherish. I am not unfriendly, I just take friendship seriously. My life isnt for show and I dont require validation from all. I just prefer to keep to myself and to share that with those I adore. Hence I have never had the most facebook "friends" or been one to know everyone at the parties or to even be invited to the parties. Cool kid I am not. And the reality is that I believe in moving on.

High school was not for me. Veronica got that. There was a world that existed outside of those walls and it was the world I would live in. So I finished early and got out. And rarely looked back. I remember going back for a dance once. I remember little other than I felt annoyed by the people I hadnt seen in months and that they played Staceys Mom. Classic. I had begun full time work at that point and returned only once more to attend a graduation ceremony I was grossly dressed down for. Then it was university. Four years in the states. Two years in Australia. Back to the place I grew up then marriage. I moved on. A lot. And with each move fewer people remained in that beloved inner circle. 

It wasnt that I didnt care. I did. I didnt force relationships that werent there and realized when they were one sided. I also realized that not everyone is meant to stay in our life forever. People change. Relationships change. And nothing changes at the same pace. People can be outgrown. Outused I suppose. That sounds so harsh but I think it is true. Sometimes our role just isnt meant to be permanent.

However, sometimes miraculous things happen. And people return. I think that re-entering a life is extremely rare and difficult. Because as time passes and people change, a lot of questions arise. It is like a berth of insecurity finds its way between the thought of letting people back in and actually doing it. At least that is how it works for me. I wonder if I have offended or created too big a rift by not keeping in regular touch. I fear that it will be awkward or that I will feel judged. So I am best at moving on not looking back. Except this time.

There was this girl. She moved to our little city in grade 9, to a place where most of us had been in the same classes and schools for years. And she was gorgeous. Someone that you see and think wow, all of the guys will love her and all the girls will want to be her. So I dont know how she became my best friend but she did. Her home became my home and her family mine. Looking back we did everything together. My frist kiss was one of her friends. My first big concert happened because her bf at the time liked the same music as i did and she was thinking of getting him a ticket. My first job was in a food truck with her. It was much less awesome than it sounds. A lot of firsts happened here. And then I grew up and left high school and moved away.

I admit I wasnt the best at keeping in touch because I thought she had moved on from me. She was always someone I admired and could understand that she would move on to bigger things. I was ordinary, she was sparkly.

A long time passed. Like eight years possibly. And then we reconnected for a moment on social media and then it all happened. A week ago we met up. I was so nervous. Nervous the moment would be a let down, that I would be, or that we would have nothing to talk about or that we would feel awkward. I should have been less insecure.

Seeing Stevie brought tears to my eyes. She was as gorgeous and glowing as always and she still loved me. Hours passed in moments as we quickly ran through the last 8 years. We cried together when we talked about the worst memories and laughed when we recalled the best.

I still do not think that everyone is meant to last in our lives. But I know that there are very few people that you can see after many years and still feel that instant love and comfort. Those are the people worth keeping. The ones you fight for. I wont let another eight years pass without feeling her presence that is for sure.
There are so many things I am sure Jeff wishes he knew before he ended up being married to  me. Many of these things involve the night. I am notorious for having very vivid and extreme nightmares. I also have frequent conversations in my sleep which I remember nothing of and do not lay still, ever. Regardless, Jeff has not given up on me yet.

I know it may seem ridiculous but this actually explains a lot about how understanding he is. You see, it turns out I can be really mean when I sleep talk. This was news to me. But I cant deny it as I have no recollection and my family has soo many stories of my sleep conversations. Sorry about that one family trip I kept screaming numbers in my sleep guys, my bad. Lately, I have been waking up to hear about my evening conversations. One night I appeared to wake up and I looked at Jeff and told him that I wished he had more redeeming qualities. Harsh. And the other night he got up to pee and I was like " where are you going?" "Why" "Well you better hurry up". I apparently had several concerns about his departure. And when he returned I was covering the whole bed. I am not even a large person but I can easily take up a queen size bed. Example, yesterday Jeff woke up and my hand was on his forehead. Sorry. Or there was the night I woke him up and asked him why he was awake. He responded with you just woke me up. I was like oh. And just laid back down. I remember none of this. Ever.

However, I remember my dreams. They usually are about people trying to kill me. This happens a lot. Although, recently I thought I woke up and left the room and tripped over a dog that apparently belonged to the neighbours but would come in a dog door in our basement and sleep outside our room at night and eat our food and leave during the day. This was confusing when I actually woke up and opened the door and there was no dog. Jeff had no idea what I was talking about. But he remembered that it seemed important to me. So the other night when I was having the most miserable day ever he came into the room and shut the door and said, don't worry the dog wont come in tonight.

We dont have a dog. Or a dog door. Or an animal that sneaks into our home and sleeps outisde the room. But it sure felt like we did and instead of remarking on how crazy I sound Jeff just accepted it and went along as he knew it would help me sleep.

Marriage isnt about being right or having the cleanest house or looking like you are in love to other people. It is about understanding who you are with, accepting them and loving them regardless. It is sitting on the floor with them on the low days and reminding them that you still love them. And it is celebrating the way they want on the successful days.

I know I have so much to learn but I am really grateful that I found someone that understands that at night I am a sociopath. And he loves me regardless. I cant promise that I will stop being judgemental and condescending in my sleep but I will work on that.

The importance of today will only truly be understood by 91,585 other Marshmallows. However, for those that strive to understand me or just want some clarity let me attempt to share the utter joy and exuberation  that is today. For that we will have to go back. Not to September 22, 2004 when the first episode of Veronica Mars out, but to January 10, 2010.

This was an uneventful day as far as I remember beside the fact that the album My Dinosaur Life came out. Now to this point in time Motion City Soundtrack had long been beloved by myself. Seeing them live was one of the best shows of my life and when my band shirt of theirs was ruined in the flood I was devastated. So having a new album out was something to be noted. I picked up a copy and it didnt leave my car. Ever. Yes, I was one of those people that bought physical copies of cd's. And I listened to it on repeat. I took in the lyrics and felt the emotions. Some words stuck more than others and some songs became anthems.

Months went on and the cd stayed where it was and life continued. Until it stopped. One day my dad left and my world fell apart. I was filled with so many emotions that I couldn't understand and sleep availed me. I would lay awake as my mind couldn't stop. I found little relief in the hours that weren't consumed with school and work and then I found a bandaid. I had noticed that on the third track of our feature album the song talks about falling asleep watching Veronica Mars. So I decided to follow the lyrics of Her Words Destroyed My Planet and found Veronica Mars. I watched all 3 seasons in what feels like moments.Sleepless nights were filled with VMars.  Meanwhile I was seeing a counsellor to learn to cope and the crazy thing was her son had just passed away from cancer and I realized this grieving mother and I were really similar, we both ran and watched Veronica Mars to cope.

So Veronica Mars was so much more than a tv show that I enjoyed. It was a crutch, it was a bandaid, it was a relaxant, it was a friend, a confident, a comfort. So when the three seasons ended and I felt like closure was not had I felt like something important was missing. Since then I have seen it all several times and treasure my dvds yet I always have wanted more. 

So when a Kickstarter happened last year I was on it. Day one I was like have my money I need this movie. But so were 91,585 people that knew how much this movie meant. And oh did they make the process amazing. As I sit here writing I am wearing my official kickstarter vmars tshirt and staring at the script. Yes, they gave us the script. I am dying to know more. But have promised myself I will wait til we see it in the theatre tonight. Then I will read it and rewatch it, probably tonight. I cant help it. I have waited nearly 4 years for this day. So as much as this movie may seem like another show to cross the theatres or like a trend it means so much more to me, it is closure to an era that was difficult but found relief in characters created by Rob Thomas.

So today the world is a better place. We have closure. We have more. We have Veronica Mars.

I remember one time a friend's husband went out of town for the first time since their marriage. She texted me in the middle of the night being unable to sleep without him there. I thought it was strange, I mean she had spent over two decades without him and such a short time with him so why would a night matter? I had no comprehension at all.

So when Jeff's work trip finally came up I thought two and half days would be so quick. I had tons of plans and figured he would be home before I noticed. I get it now. It felt like forever. The first night we facetimed while I was at Zainers. And as I sat on her couch talking to him I realized how glad I was we could talk, I felt myself smile as we laughed and my heart ached a bit. It had been like 16 hours and I missed Jeff. More than imaginable. Day two came and went with work and the temple and dinner with my mother dearest. So when I finally got home I was exhausted. I just wanted to crawl into bed.

However, I kept hearing creepy noises. Which meant I had to facetime my little sister until I locked myself in the bedroom with the only solution being I had to stay in there til work in the morning as clearly someone was trying to murder me. Jeff seemed much less concerned than I was. And ultimately I woke up alive in the morning. However, I learned a lot.

I learned that once I got used to always having someone around that I felt safe. And when that was taken away I was like a baby. Every noise frightened me. I even began to wish I knew my neighbours so I could make them walk through my house and make sure a murderer wasnt there, but then I realized maybe that was the murderers plan, he would lure me out to the neighbours and get us all! So I couldnt do that.

I also realized that a day or two days is a really long time. It isnt like we work together and never are apart. But knowing that someone you love is too far to see them makes all the difference. I just like knowing that even if I am at work or hes at a meeting that if I needed something Jeff would be there. I think I like this whole marriage thing.

And maybe now I get why other people used to tell me about how hard it was being away from their partner as I finally have someone that means that much to me.

I grew up very unemotional. Crying was uncommon. I went to college avoid of emotional abilities. My excitement and sad responses were the same. I handled all emotion internally. Eventually, I grew emotionally. My hand was dealt with tragic and heartbreaking circumstances and I sought help. I learned to grieve, to allow myself to cry, to feel anger and frustration. To have explore my emotions and to accept them. I went to counselling as needed over a few years and watched my life change. There was no punishment for tears. It did not in fact show weakness. It could hold vulnerability but it was okay. I will be forever grateful for the time I took to heal myself. 

This process taught me to respond to emotion differently. Not just my own but others. I stopped feeling paralysed when others cried in front of me and became more compassionate. I dealt with situations better and learned to both seek understanding amidst emotion and to be able to communicate it. However, there is always a time and place and I still actively avoid being in tearful situations for others because it is uncomfortable. Tears can be awkward. So welcome to yesterday.

I was feeling a bit anxious for a simple interview at a yoga studio. Jeff has substantially calmed my nerves and reminded me that I had nothing riding on this. I didnt need to be hired, I just thought it would be fun. Therefore, there was no pressure on me. So after having a pep talk off I went. I arrived feeling less stressed and quite prepared. The environment was extremely relaxed and it was like having a conversation with someone in a coffee shop. Carefree and easy. As we got going I began to wonder if something was off, there were long pauses after questions where the interviewer would just kind of look off into space. I assumed she was thinking of what else to ask me so sat politely. As it progressed I began to feel almost too prepared as I had a few questions and it seemed as if I was the one digging for depth. However, I was feeling like I had been presenting myself well so I brushed it off. Until she started tearing up, I could see the tears welling but kept smiling and being responsive as she told me I wouldnt hear anything for a bit as she had a lot going on. That made sense. We all do. But then she cried. And it got really, really awkward. I have no idea what else is going on but the tears were coming and apparently a lot going on was trampling the interview. I aimed for a smooth wrap up and said I looked forward to hearing back from her next week and hoped things went well for her as she took care of things. Then she hugged me.

I know yoga interviews are not the same as applying at a corporate firm. However, I went home perplexed. I looked at Jeff and said, "she cried". I was in shock. 

I dont typically  like to cry. I like to think nobody does. Although Tegan and Sara are right. Some days I really do like a good cry that is cleansing. However, not while interviewing someone. Even if you cry it doesnt make things better at a time like that. Just like at uni when some people would cry every exam and almost be rewarded for having a mental breakdown. Tears are not always appropriate. They make it so nobody likes you. Maybe if you cry is not a solution.

In the end I felt quite proud of myself as my usual initial response to awkward tears is the thought I will leave you with.

Crying Rules
In the shower with music on so no one can hear you or see the tears.


While preparing for yoga today I was reading through some meditation thoughts and trying to collect my own. Yearning for a simple inspiring thought to guide the class and practice and their savasana. As I found the quote to use I began to get caught up in it. So much so I was wishing I could have been blogging while they were all in savasana. But no dice. So here I am. And here it is.

" Yoga is the practice of celebrating what is. At the end of the hero's journey, he finds that he did not need to go anywhere, that all he sought was inside him all along, Dorothy, having travelled across time and space to the land of OZ, and having struggled desperately to find her way back to Kansas, discovers that she could have gone home at any time. In the end, she learns that her adventures have simply brought her to the point where she can believe this. It is the aim of all spiritual seeking to bring us home, home to the understanding that we already have everything we need."
- Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

It is so true. How often am I Dorothy? So desperately thinking I want or need something else and struggling to find my way home when home has been here the whole time, waiting for me. In this life I truly believe we have all that we need. Some days it may feel dark and like we are missing something but the reality is that we have not been placed here to fail. Even Dr Seuss knew that we were not to fail when he said:

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"

We are not here to fail. We were placed here by such a loving God who has given us a home and who is waiting for us to return to it. 

I dont often equate my yoga classes to religion. Yoga is very spiritual for me and respects all religion but I do not use it to promote my own beliefs so as I sat there during savasana and watched my students I allowed myself to delve into my personal religous thoughts. Of how heaven is always waiting, of how God waits for us and wants us to recognize that he is always there just waiting for us to realize and turn to him. 

And then I thought about my own journey. How I  lack faith in myself. How my confidence and lack of stops me from accomplishing so much. I dont put myself out there because I dont believe in myself. I let my ego take over and I feel like I need so much more to be able to be what others need. I see others that have so much more than I do and feel I cannot compete. But the truth is, I am enough. I have room to improve but I am enough. I am worth others time and attention. I have something to share and I am not the same as everyone else. 

As I havent been to Oz since grade 1 when I was a poppy amongst other things in the high school play of the Wizard of Oz, I still realize that Dorothy was just like me. She didnt know she had everything she needed within her.  Perhaps it is time to tap my heels and come home.

For being a song about broken hearts I find it so motivating and soothing. It isn't one of those songs that makes me wallow when I feel sad. It just makes me want to dance a little while I write or read or workout. It just works. So well. Let's not make it harder than it has to be. 

Lately I have been trying to create who I want to be. To put in more work and less words. I can be all talk. I am not even tough. Mind blowing I know. But really, I don't want to perpetually be ashamed of where I am at. And I am with work. I don't love my job, it doesn't challenge me and it doesn't utilize my skills. But for now it is a job, one that gives me flexibility and connections and allows me to workout at lunch. And eventually I have be able to pass that exam. So I wont be here forever. However, I got caught up in my being here and not being anywhere worth being. So I have decided to not let it define me. 

I will choose what defines me. I will not be defined.

When my Dad left I let that define me for a long time. It haunted me. I didn't want to see anyone that knew. I wanted to just get away. To escape. I wanted to pretend I wasn't broken hearted. I don't think I even realized my heart was still beating. I just was. And I just tried to get by.

A lot has happened since then. A lot has changed. I don't know if it ever gets easier to not be defined or feel defined by things we would rather not but I am pretty sure there is a lot I can do to help change that. So I am. I have an interview tomorrow for a yoga position at a studio. I have always stayed to gyms as I feel more comfortable there, there is so much less pressure. But diamonds come from intense pressure so maybe I need a little bit of that. So I am going to at least try. And I have a pilates class I am going to start teaching to build the confidence that currently is nothing more than sand being walked on. And I am trying to make things matter a little more, to appreciate what I have and can do.

As I was thinking about this the other night I looked over Jeff and just smiled. He is what I am most proud of. I have an amazing husband. And even though I don't have my dream job and I can see so many things I want to improve upon I would be more than happy if people defined me by the man I married. He has seen me at so many of my worst times and when my heart has been broken and he has always known that there was still a beating heart somewhere in there. 

I am quite sure life isn't done breaking my heart but at least now I feel pretty sure that I can handle it in some form of stride and that regardless  I got two hands and a beating heart. I will always be alright. 

I couldn't remember the last time I had real tears. Not anxious ones, or ones from stress or pain. But ones where you convulse and ache. Ones that come from the heart and come out forcefully as they have been suppressed unknowingly for so long.

Today broke that. I hadn't expected it. Especially when I didn't find the grave. I was just wandering through crunchy snow that was biting my ankles hoping to find an uncovered stone that was covered and unfindable. I wandered as long as I could and promised myself I would come back as soon as it melted. And then I drove away. No sooner than I did, I felt the deep ache that was only the slightest forewarning of those kind of tears. Oh I miss her. I miss the pureness of her, the sheer joy and love, and how she was there when I needed hope most.

Broken hearts and tears only opened my eyes though. They make me want to work harder. To be less stagnant and to make better plans. I feel refreshed and renewed. I realized that I have been short sighted and close minded. There is so much more that I want and could work for and I think I am finally ready to do something about it. To not just be the shadow that I have become. 

Some days you just need someone to say the right thing or you need to be in the right place. Although it felt like my trampling was in vain today, that sacred place brought me life. My heart may be broken but I will fix it up, so it will work again. Better than before.

The sun has finally come out. It feels like it has been winter for years. This is first whole Canadian winter I have been back for in a very long time. And I just have forgotten that winter here encompasses the time of three seasons. Or perhaps it's just because it has been winter since the week after our wedding. Regardless, seeing the sun on the mountains this weekend was stunning.

I mean look at it. The way the mountains looked from our room just reminded me that there is so much out there. I get so caught up in my routine. Work, dinner, family time, sleep. Repeat. Generally, my life exists in such a small area that I neglect to look out and see that the mountains are so close and that they have so much to share. So it was amazing to get away for a night.

Although prior to this relationship I had found valentines day to be nothing more than a commercial joke I shall admit I love it. Previously the only vday date I had had was to a monster truck rally. Don't get me wrong, it was amazing. But it wasn't a day that made me feel loved or like I was someone's something. 

Then last year happened. We had been dating a month. Ages, I know. And Jeff had planned for us to go to Banff to the spa. I was in awe. I had never done something so fancy, for any occasion. So we went and I felt so spoiled and in awe. It was everything a girl could want for valentines day. It made me feel like I really was out of the ordinary.

So we went back this year. And the awe hadn't worn off. This year we stayed at the hotel for a night and as we wandered around I just couldn't believe that this was my life. That I could ever be so lucky to have someone that would take the time to spoil me. 

So as much as I might whine about commercialism I have grown to love this holiday because it's a time when we go out of our daily routine to remind people that we care. And it's an excuse to do something nice.

And it gives me an appropriate reason to brag about the fact that my husband spoils me. I felt like a princess this weekend at the spa in the mountains. Especially as it's a great place to people watch and wonder, like the girl my age with a husband near 60 or the mother that yelled at her family for letting the serving staff touch her utensils while leering the table. People be crazy.
It is strange to me that we have a day about a man  named Saint Valentine when it seems as if so little was known about him. And as it goes he may not have been one man but two whom stories have centered around. One legend is that he was a bishop, he was tortured and killed in Rome on February 14th 273. One story has it that before he was executed he healed the jailers daughter who was blind and then he left a note that said "your valentine". They say he was a martyr. But I still do not understand how the holiday appears. And I am okay with that. 

As much as this day surrounds love and romance that isn't entirely where this is going. Today and it's coming has brought a lot of emotion to the surface. Last night I called my little brother and sister on my way home as I knew they would be with their other family tonight so I wanted to make sure they knew I loved them and was thinking of them. My little brother, two and a half years old, wanted to make sure that I would be his valentine. You cant turn out a handsome black man. So my valentine he is. As our conversation ended the kids kept yelling in the phone "I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK". There is no love like the love of a child. Sorry Jeff, I have another valentine. Awkward.

So all of this got me thinking of other children that I have been blessed to love. And with family day coming on Monday I mean there is nothing to think about besides love and family. So I decided it was time for me to return to the cemetery to see a sister I love dearly. She passsed several years ago now, but I remember so much about her and her funeral, and the aching pain I felt with each tear as I stood next to her grave. So it's time to go back. To pay respects and to remember. So as I was working on finding the exact location so I wouldnt be spending ages being lost in a cemetery it reminded me of my first love. My first true love. She was a new born. I was 14. I came home and there she was. And the next year of my life was around her. I remember the first time she tried food, and sneezed it all over our mother. And watching her learn to crawl and to walk with our help. She was perfect. And it has been many, many years since I stood in the doorway crying as they took her away. As blood was decided to be thicker than love. And it was the first time in my life I knew loss. I remember all the things we did to try and take our minds off of losing her but when you love and lose there will always be a sting.  So amidst my grave searching and pondering of all the children I have loved I found myself looking on facebook. And my first love is there. She is so much older now and not the tiny baby I held in my arms and fed and put in the snuggly so we could go for walks after school. She is so different and likely will never know she lived with me. She will probably never know how much I love her. But that doesn't change it. I will always love her.

So as I woke up this morning to a gift from Jeff that was a beautiful plaque/ home decor that said "I Love You to the Moon and Back", I realized that he understands the way I love. And I will always love him. Even if I said I would be a little black boys valentine. 

I must admit that I have listened to this song a million times. It's one of those ones that engulfs me. The worlds around disappears and I am entirely lost in the sounds and words and thoughts that arise. And when it ends I start over, unless its the radio then I just feel let down. Maybe because it understands me. I do close my eyes and find myself back to places I have trod before. I find myself watching the walls crumble and feeling helpless and I do feel like I have been there before. Because we all have. 

Perhaps, we werent in Pompeii. We definitely weren't. It was 1, 935 years ago. But lately I have realized we all see destruction and even if its the same scene we surely aren't seeing it the same way. I have felt really judgemental lately. It is awful. I should be cast away. But it entirely stems from a lack of understanding. I forget that what I go through isn't what others are going through and I cannot expect them to be aware or say the right things when they dont know in a rote way or in actuality. Hearing words is not the same as understanding and feeling it. 

So, lately I have felt like just clenching my eyes shut to watch the walls fall and the city collapse and I know that's what will happen because I have been here before. I have felt this way before. I have experienced this and I realize that no one else can really understand because even if I have shared they havent felt it.I used to keep my blog so vague as if I was mysterious. I am not. I just am not open. I like to look stoic and put together. I dont like to be vulnerable. But if I cant be vulnerable in my own words when will it ever happen?

So the truth is my uterus is a demon. It has plagued me for years. I was 18 when I first heard that I may not be able to have children. Seven years is a long time but that sting will not wane. Not unless I have a child. And I am not trying to get pregnant. There is no baby bump, there are no tears of negative pregnancy tests because they arent being taken and I am not there yet. But the constant reminders I have from the pain and limitations and mostly the pain suck. I have been down this path. I know the information. I know the treatments, I know the doctors, I know the results. And I am back to the same page I was on so many years ago with the same lack of real results and it is frustrating. So frustrating. I would rather be facing something new that I cant predict instead of feeling like I have been here before and I coudlnt do anything to save the city that time either.

And all of this leads to me being more critical because I feel annoyed that no one gets it. That everyone else loves to share about their newborns or their pregnancies without ever thinking that it may be hard for me to hear when all I have ever wanted are children and I have the constant pain reminding me that that will not be a walk in the park. I love your children and your happiness but I would love even more for people to understand. To recognize it's hard for me. So I say things I dont mean because I just want to move on. To not talk about babies and making babies and having babies growing inside wombs. My womb is psychotic. It does not like the thought of a baby and it makes me crazy. Literally, I am crazy some days and I think part of it is coming from my uterus.

So when I close my eyes and see the tears from the past and realize that as far as I have come I am still watching the same clouds darken my life I wonder how it's possible that nothing has changed. And as frustrating as it is this song just makes it okay. It makes it alright that I have been here before and that I am not in control of everything. That some things will just happen and that I can still be okay. Listening to Bastille sing about Pompeii and its destruction just gives me so much hope. Hope that I wish I could express better instead of my annoyance. So I am not bitter that it seems like everyone around me is pregnant. I just need a break from hearing about it when I have been feeling so unwell lately. I just want to feel hope and close my eyes instead of being confronted with reality. So I might say the wrong things, or seem uninterested but the truth is I am still learning how to watch without reacting and how to accept the past when it comes back as the present. I am still learning to have hope beyond when the headphones are in.

It's been ages. I haven't wrote a word of anything in forever it feels like. I am amazed I even remember how to write. It is therapeutic. Prepare for a barrage of thoughts.

I suppose things have been more roller-coastery than usual. In actuality it likely appears that my life has become yet another stagnant pool or murky water. But I haven't felt so much change and so changed in a long time. And it isn't even because I found a husband. I am different. And maybe it is because of him but because he has made me so much better but it isn't what I am thinking about at the moment.

I grew up living at home, 18 years in a home, then I went to college for 4 years but as much as that was independence it wasn't. There was so much security in Utah, and it became home. I had non-biological families there. I had freedom with attachment and familiarity. And then it all changed. I left. And Australia was everything I had never had. Religion appeared as a foreign concept. There was no one that knew me and I could be anyone or anything. The security mesh underneath the highwire was gone. It was just me. And in those 25 months everything changed. I found and lost myself in everything. And then I just got comfortable. I stopped trying. I accepted so much as being stone when all it was was clay. It just needed some work to become.

And then I got back and moved home and independence seemed lost and everything went back to a reminder of life long past. I fell into routines so engrained in me that I didn't notice. I found the love of my life and got engaged and everything was so perfect and routine. Until I had one of the worst days of my life.

I had worked for six and a half years for a career and then moved home where I wasn't eligible to work yet. I had to be approved and then apply for an exam which needed to be passed to take a second exam to then also be required to pass to be eligible to work. All of this cost a continual fortune but I wasn't worried. I would be fine. I was always fine. Life came naturally. I didn't often experience true failure. I hadn't had a perfect life to that moment but I hadn't failed at anything significant. I had always gotten by and usually with ease.

So when I sat at my work computer and saw the spreadsheet of results and my pin number with the word Fail next to it I broke down. I cried and screamed and talked to everyone and no one and couldn't breathe and I thought my life was over. How could my fiancé marry me if I was a failure? What would I do for work? How would I cope? How would I ever face anyone in the world ever again? And when I finally got home that night after watching the world pass me by in my numb state I made a decision. I could cry all that night but when I woke up I had to move on. I had to finish the touches for the wedding that took place the next week. I could have one night to wallow and then I would move on. I didn't entirely believe myself when I set the time frame but I did it. I woke up numb the next morning and looked at what needed to be done and I did it. My family dint mention it they just supported me.

Time went on. I took a full time position at work 3 days after the big fail. It is so far from ideal but it was a position I knew well, could do with ease and could study at. It was close to our new home and had a gym. I stopped thinking of work as temporary and started making connections. I got to know everyone around me, in all of the clinics and departments I touched. I started volunteering at the gym and started looking at my fitness routine and making changes. I was not going to let one disaster ruin my life.

In 6 weeks I could re-fail. I could be back in the same boat of despair. But it is different this time. I am not cocky. I was prepared. I studied exponentially. I searched for information to learn instead of assuming I knew it. I stopped saying I couldn't do MC exams and started practising. And then I prepared mentally and emotionally. I created a spot for myself at work where I became needed. I started finding hobbies and interests and trying new things. I decided I wanted to be more in the other aspects of my life even if what I thought mattered most wasn't working.

I hope I don't see those four letters again because failing sucks. It is like a black hole of self doubt and loathing appears the moment you know you fail. But the truth is I needed it. I needed time to find me. To find out how to be a better partner. To stop letting everything mean the world and letting myself crumble from external influences. I have learned to start opening up to my surroundings. To become a part of something instead of standing alone and thinking I wanted to be alone. I know that I would be so much more fulfilled if I could pass and be in the career I spent a fortune becoming educated for but I also now know that I can be happy with out it. It isn't ideal but I can cope and can create other fulfilments in the mean time.

I stopped writing because I couldn't face my failure. I wanted to just pretend it didn't happen and did. And I got back up the next day and am fighting to become a physiotherapist because I want to make my mark on the world and to spend my days rehabing people so that they can have a better quality of life. So much as I realize that my time may still not be on the horizon I have come to recognize that I am not going to back down from a fall like usual. I am going to keep working until I can find a way to become what I want.

Perhaps the truth really is in the words. Thanks you Nate Ruess for singing the words that finally sparked my fingers again.

This is all off to an awfully wrong start. New beginnings are never that new though. I suppose because we never really start with a clean slate. We start with what we have and although we like to think that we are able to really wipe the past away we are not. So here I was. Being naive like usual and missing the point. A blank webpage did not cross off the past. It did not negate the loss or pain or love or joy. It all still exists. And sometimes it pervades my writing and overtakes. But I shall try and reign it in. I shall try and write about our life and not just about the past. Except for now when I write exactly about the past.

So onwards. The point of this all.

One year and one week and one day ago we became us. We went from friends to lovers. I use the term lovers loosely. But since I am the one writing I will continually use words inaccurately. I accept that. So here we are and there we were. In a year we dated, decided to marry each other, got engaged, got married and sealed in the Calgary Temple, went on a honeymoon and moved in together. Now we are just living like married people. Trying to schedule two lives together and growing together more than I ever could have imagined. I dont imagine real things though so I am sure Jeff could have pictured this. He appreciates my complete lack of actual vision. I can create elaborate quick responses that are based on no part of reality but I fail to see how things can blossom in real life. We are very different. Very.

So here I am. I would say we but Jeff is not present as I type this. We have a life together now and one day I want our children to be able to read about what we experience and who we were before we were parents. When we were just us.

So here it begins.
Photo compliments of Gabe Mcclintock Photography

And suppose I never ever met you. Suppose we never fell in love. Suppose I never ever let you, kiss me so sweet and so soft. Suppose I never ever saw you. Suppose we never ever called. Suppose I kept on singing love songs, just to break my own fall.

This is so me. So us. I did fall in love and I did marry the love of my life. I have eternity with my best friend but it didnt just happen and it wasnt easy and it amazes me we ended up together because there were so many things that could have changed it all.

When we met I was young.  I was very guarded and particular. I was serious and uninterested. Love to me was unattainable but in the same moment I was fascinated. I didnt let anyone in too close because I seemed unsure. I wandered in and out of relationships I knew wouldnt work. And then I became a child of divorce. And I felt like real love would never last And maybe it didnt exist. My dating choices went exponentially the wrong way after that. I thought someone that wished I didnt have morals could be right, or that someone that placed their religion above mine could have been. But really I just tip toed around people that were wrong because I was too scared to be hurt the way that love hurts. 

So when I came back and you were here I knew. But I couldnt risk it. It would be the first time I would put everything on the line for the possibility of love, the mere possibility of it. So I ignored it, for weeks. Until the new year began and you were to go out of town and then I couldnt do it. You leaving for 10 days felt like eternity. And I couldnt be away from you for eternity. I wanted to be with you for that long. 

There was everything and nothing going for us. I lived in Utah for four years and Brisbane for two. Meanwhile you lived in Lethbridge, Virginia, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Florida. So the fact we both came back at the same time seems like fate. And that we didnt find someone else in between it all. And that when I realized I needed and wanted love more than anything you were there for me. There were so many chances when we were young, but if I didnt spend that time singing love songs to myself and trying not to fall I wouldnt have been ready.

There was only one person I was ever meant to be with for eternity and there were so many chances for us to never fall in love. But here we are. Married. And I am literally the luckiest girl on earth.

This is not something new. I have blogged before. Mostly about love and loss. But in 9 days I am getting married. And somehow all of the changes it has brought has equated to the need to start a literal new chapter. To not be writing our story next to hundreds of posts of failed relationships. I am not the same girl that cut all of her hair off and moved across the world to escape reality. I am the girl who came back to reality and stayed because real life offered real love. So my new life has begun. And is beginning. All at once. So I am starting fresh. This is us.

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