My Heart // Our Story


To You,

It doesn’t take much. A quick thought; a small memory; a reminder of where I’m from. It doesn’t take much for me to feel every emotion rush to my eyes that then smile with pride, while tearing up over lost time. Every memory leads to a story over someone truly wonderful and giving and wise.

No one person is perfect, that’s just not a thing. But he shined in his imperfections like every star that fills the night sky. He was and is my star, and even though he’s gone, he’s never left me or my family behind. The pride I have over his name, his voice, his fight and his smile is what solidifies my strength, my kindness, my mind and my story. He held tradition high, yet could step back to make criticism over the wrong doing of a country. He may have missed many family dinners, but he was busy working three jobs to spread food amongst all the tables. He may have broken my heart the day he didn’t come home, but he’s helped it grow every day since he passed.

In a time where people are hateful towards fellow humans; judgmental over skin color or gender or love choices; and ignorant towards refugees, immigrants, and minorities — All I can say is that my father was an Asian man; He was stateless at one point and an immigrant a few times over; He washed dishes throughout med school and helped so many when needed. My father epitomizes what so many are fearful of, and that carries on in me and my siblings. He was my father on earth and my angel since June 8, 1992. And so every year I re-introduce my father to you, because his story is ongoing and we’ll never let it stop.

Dad – as with every day that passes, I love and miss you, now and always xoxo

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

For my Husband and his Lady Love


“Her absence is no more emphatic in those places than anywhere else. It’s not local at all. I suppose if one were forbidden all salt one wouldn’t notice it much more in any one food more than another. Eating in general would be different, every day, at every meal. It is like that. The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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xo

1992


To You,

Twenty-five years ago my father left this earth leaving behind more life and influence than can possibly be comprehended. I didn’t know then, but my father was soon to be the dream I forever chased throughout this world to continue his story of a life lived. Twenty-five years is a long time. Seven years is not in comparison to the extent that a human has the capability to live. I was 7 when my dad passed, and yet his stories have made it so that I’ve come to know him through every year of his shortened life.

He passed 25 years ago, and yet his life has extended a quarter century past his last breath. I have said so much about my father over these past years, and I don’t think I will ever be able to tell the story of his life to the extent that it is felt within my brother, sister, and I. He had his fears, and his faults; he was a specimen of health and strength, and although cancer and progressive illness took him away with a sweeping attack, it did not end his life and as such, his battle was never lost.

You see, he still lives in every story we tell, and in the many stories we have yet to write. Our life is not just ours to live, and when we live with the beauty and truth that my father’s life effervesced, our own chapters are then engraved onto every soul we choose to love. Twenty-five years ago we thought his life was over. But little did he know that his life was the perfect beginning to many more stories to come. And man, have we got some stories to tell.

Dad – as always – this one’s for you.

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Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

 

 

All the love to the Mamas


Yeah this one right here goes out to all the baby’s mamas, mamas
Mamas, mamas, baby mamas, mamas“…

To You,

A short little somethin’ somethin’ to wish all the mamas out there a Happy & Wonderful Mother’s Day! For all of you who mother, provide care, take care, and nurture – this day is for you, and we thank you 🙂

And to my mama, the legend that she is – I’ll never know how you raised three out-of-the-box children to adulthood and beyond, and not one of us has been incarcerated to this day… it’s truly a miracle. You let us be us (whether that was best for society or not), and kept us polite, responsible, and appreciative. The only mistake you made was making us fearless, and that’s how you ended up with all three of us living in different continents, pursuing lives worth living and stories worth telling 😉

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My ma proved that there is no excuse for laziness, no excuse for not being there for your family, and zero excuses for giving up. To us, everyday is mother’s day because she’s not stopped once to give us everything we could possibly need to survive our stories. …Including sending me side cash for my cheese fund – like I said, she gets what the real necessities in life are.

So to my Ma – Happy Mother’s Day! And enjoy your adventures in Australia 🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Australia Post One: Time Out


To You,

I’ve decided to refrain from making any ongoing promises about the consistency of my posts. Because, let’s be honest, I’m sucking at it.

But to err on the side of sounding negative – here I am! Success! Brava to me!!

In February of this year my husband and I finally hopped on a plane to visit my brother and his girlfriend in Perth, Australia for an amazing two weeks. We flew into Brisbane for one night before jumping over to the WA where we stayed with them in their home a mere few blocks from the Indian Ocean.

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[It’s okay. Take a moment to hate them for a moment. It happens.]

It’s needless to say how beautiful Australia is, but it does require reminding on how beautiful life can be over there. Just the idea of breathing in that fresh sea-salt air; feeling that golden sun on your well-sunscreened skin; drinking cup after cup of top-notch coffee. Every evening I became exhausted around 9:00PM, and sure I can blame some of that on the ridiculous jet-lag I suffered, but for the most part my body and mind finally let go of all my worries and uneasy anxiety that I hold onto daily. My brain would just melt down and my body would follow suit. And I rested. My soul just rested. And although this sounds lame and like death, it was quite the opposite. It was a moment for the death of the monotony to escape, and a breath for life to make its way back in.

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The trip reminded me that I need to find my peace in where ever it is that I’m situated. I’m a free bird, and being settled in one location is a very hard notion for me to comprehend. But that doesn’t mean that I have to give in. So no more giving in. I may not live on the Indian Ocean (Damn my brother!), but there’s still a beautiful life to live.

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There will be more posts to follow (who knows when) with more photos and write-ups pertaining to our trip to Oz. You can also check out more on my website, www.VLSon.com/work.

But for now, I’m going to take my own medicine as I head into the weekend. Time to take a breath. And keep on keepin’ on.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Departure Zone B


engagement

Three years ago.
A weekend in Chicago.
A marathon run.
Loud restaurants and big crowds.
A lost debit card.
Tourists at the galleries.

Bus rides to Indy.
Foiled plans.
A closed museum.
A long ride to the airport.

One plane ticket home.
A ring in a pocket.
The departure lounge of an airport.
A proposal.
A ‘Yes’.
A missed flight home.

Me + You on our immigration journey Home.

xo

4.17.2016


To You,

On April 17, 2016, Patrick and I renewed our vows in a wedding and post-immigration celebration in front of our family and friends. We originally married on February 13, 2014 which commenced a whirlwind of immigration processing, and so this year we were finally able to round up the troops to celebrate in proper fashion.

With 52 of our closest family and friends who were able to attend, we held a ceremony and reception at the Strongwater Food & Spirits in Columbus, OH. We had guests travel in from the Midwest, East coast, West coast, Canada, England, and Australia for the occasion and I could not feel more blessed by the love and support of these few. To have my family in attendance was more than wonderful. To see my childhood friends in attendance was wonderful. To see my support group from my old workplace in attendance was wonderful.

There were many tears, lots of laughs, and good memories all around. And here are some pics that we’re finally able to share 🙂

Thank you to everyone,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Photographer: David Morris, Indianapolis
Dress: Vera Wang White Collection purchased off TradesyVeil: Melinda Rose Designs, Made in the USA
Groom’s Suit: Custom design from Surmesur in Toronto
Bridesmaids’ Suits: Custom design from Surmesur in Toronto
Shoes: My mother’s wedding shoes
Jewelry: Family jewels lent my by family
Venue: Strongwater Food & Spirits in Columbus, OH
Flowers: Rose and Bredl in Columbus, OH
Hair & Make-up: Stylists from The Salon and Salon You in Belleville, ON

“To Chhuon”


It’s a rare and beautiful thing to come across a human being who can influence your entire life without even being around to see it; a person who can give you the encouragement to take risks without being able to be there to give you the push; a person who presents an endless series of stories without being able to tell you a single one.

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We speak of him often. His siblings and family share his stories of growing up, of traveling, of living life. His beautiful endeavours of raising his children, taking care of his wife, and planning ahead for our lives well beyond his. His selfless love provided in his profession and his home.

Although I continue to search for the words, there hasn’t been one that fully encapsulates his presence and affect. A fighter, a traveler, a dreamer, a creator, a hero, a friend, a doctor, a brother, a son, a husband, a father. I carry his heart, his dreams, his story. His name. There is no greater role that I have been given the gift to carry out than that of being his daughter.

Dad, I love you now and always. And 24 years on, not a day goes by that we don’t miss you. So here’s to you.

Love, Me xo

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1,348 days worth raising your glass to


To You,

Time goes by pretty fast when you’re having fun. Or so I’ve heard. Apparently, it can also go by pretty fast when you’re asking yourself “what the hell am I doing here” nearly everyday for a few months, followed by another few months of, “I cannot believe I moved here..”, to “how did we make it this long apart?” So, to each their own, you know.. time passes in happiness and misery.

[What a useless life motto, eh?]

..But, in the end, we are here. And I did move here. And we did somehow make it this long apart.

One thousand three hundred and forty eight days.

I started dating Patrick in June 2011. We were together nearly everyday from then until September 2011 when I moved to England for my postgraduate studies. And we didn’t live in the same country until those 1,348 days later.

[My well spoken husband just chimed in with, “Yeah! F*ck you, cheaters!” He’s sweet like that. And committed. And does not take kindly to anyone who uses long distance as an excuse for their infidelities.]

Today marks one year since I was legally able to immigrate and move to the United States (seriously – I still have to look at this handsome bloke’s face beside me to remind myself why sometimes). It has been a difficult year for me (sometimes, his pretty face doesn’t do it… that’s when I remind myself that airports still exist to take me places away from here). We were married nearly 1.5 years before we moved in together for the first time, and that in itself is amazingly euphoric. Like, euphoric as in when you take some hallucinogens, and everything is sparkly and floaty and bright, and then the walls start caving in and zombies are taking over the neighborhood and have already claimed your right leg as their own. (My husband just reminded me that I can’t speak from experience. But I’ve had some gnarly cold medicine before.. and ooo boy lemme tell you stories!….)

Long story short, I cannot put our relationship into words. I cannot rationalize our time spent apart. I will never be able to explain the pain and stress and complete exhaustion we endured to get here. People who know me know that I do not take marriage lightly. I don’t take relationships lightly. And when I left Patrick in Chicago O’Hare Airport in 2011, I did not say good-bye lightly.

In reality, we are not meant to be. We’re not “soul mates”. We did not promise to make this work, no matter how long it took. We took each day just as that – day by day. And each day that we built upon a strong foundation of trust, we committed to each other that much more.  It was hell. It’s still not easy. But, as my husband gives me a bouquet of flowers and simply states “I’m glad you’re here”, it reminds me that we have come a long way. Only few can appreciate this. But they’re a good few. 🙂

Thanks for having me, babe.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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2011, Chicago O’Hare

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June 2012, London, UK

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February 2014, USA

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February 2014, USA

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May 31, 2015 – U.S. Border

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April 17, 2016 – USA

Why, hello there!


To You,

This would be so much better if I had some thought-provoking, influential words to re-introduce these writings to you. Like, Adele lyrics-good. Or something to the extent of a Ghandi speech; a robust collective of sentimental sentences to make your eyeballs shed those salty tears.

But I don’t. I’ve been off for around 7 months, and honestly, I hadn’t realized it had been that long! There’s been so much chaos.. of mundane events.. crazy dullness.. like, insane day-to-day happenings. Basically, I’ve been learning how to have a day-to-day relationship with my husband, and oddly enough, it’s been exhausting. We’ve been so used the ridiculous situation we were in for 4 years of long distance, and now that we’re in one homely abode, we’ve been trying to adjust to the normalcy. Dinners together. Drives to work. Grocery shopping. So, although for us it’s been nuts, emotional, and overwhelming, for you it would have been stories on the craziness of cooking up some leftovers together. And staying in watching an episode of Making a Murderer on Netflix. (Okay, to be honest, it may have been like 4-6 episodes in one sitting..Yeah.)

I’ll be re-capping on what we’ve been through, creative projects we’re working on, and all the other weird stories on what it’s like to move in with your spouse after being married for 18 months.

But today – it was time to come back, because yesterday was our 2-year wedding anniversary. And remembering what we have been through together, and still realizing that there are few people who really understand what we’ve been through, I got that itch. Not like an uncomfortable itch that requires an ointment or anything – I’m not here to get that personal with you folks. But that itch to get back to writing. We have Part II of our wedding coming up in a couple of months where close friends and family have been invited to celebrate our journey, and come together for us to thank them personally for being there for us, and supporting us through what has been scientifically proven to cause complete insanity, and be diagnosed as a case of plain stupidity. But yesterday, we celebrated our wedding anniversary together which we were not able to do last year due to immigration processing. And so here I am, remembering how this blog came into fruition over 4 years ago.

There are no words that really sum up how yesterday felt. We’ve had a couple of truly rough months which are smoothing out gradually, and yesterday emphasized the amount of work we have put into this relationship, and how hard it has been. No amount of trust, respect, admiration, support, and love has been spared throughout our relationship. We have invested our life into each other these past four years, something we don’t recommend to others to do ever, but something we will never regret nor take for granted.

So I’ll leave this here with some lovely photos to cheese this shit up some more 😉 I’ll be back, keeping this blog thing up again. No more slacking for this lass!

Lots of love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Everybody needs a little sunshine in their life. And Corgis. Sunshine and corgis.


To You,

My Mr. Husband-Face and Corgi-child Emma Bear made an unexpected trip up to Canada to support me through some unexpected stress surrounding immigration last week. I will follow-up with a post regarding the unbelievable stress we endured and conquered during that week, but for now some photos I snapped with my dad’s 35mm Chinon from our well-needed hike through the Little Bluff Conservation Area in Picton, Ontario.

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Beautiful day for a hike, chip trucks, and good ol’ fashioned fresh air.

Peace,

Lots of love, Vic Louise xoxoxo

2014: The Year of Commitment, Change, Challenge, and Corgis (but really – what year isn’t the year of Corgis, right?)


To You,

2014 was hard. It was lovely, and it was challenging, and it was hard. 2014 for me was the beginning of truly realizing the value and the triumph of commitment, love, and relationships. It was a year where I’ve begun to realize that perhaps my personal relationships with friends – new and old – went to the wayside a little bit, but only due to the true commitment I chose to put towards my first year of marriage, a long-distanced marriage. I’ve lost consistent touch with some, but my husband and I have been through so much together these past few years of being a couple, and now together in marriage I had to choose to put all I possibly could into getting through this year of immigration with him. They say the first year is the hardest – but it’s not, really if you ask me. Every year from here on out we will have to choose how much we wish to commit to our lives together, not just in the first. Our first year of being married I will say is the toughest as it sits in its own category of having to endure our first year completely apart without knowing how long this process of me moving to the U.S to be with my husband and step-daughter will take. But if nothing else, 2014 was the year I chose to commit to my husband, dedicate all my time into building a long-distance however solid relationship with my step-daughter, and pushing myself to figure out how to be a solid wife to my husband from afar. I want this year to be over, but not because I don’t value all that its challenged me with and taught me along the way, but because 2014 was battled through only to commence a triumphant 2015 with my husband.

So, cheers to you and yours this New Year’s Eve! I hope the culmination of 2014 brings many learned lessons to your growth, and that 2015 only makes you stronger.

Much Love to you all!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo new years 2014fb3fb6fb9IMG_9811_Small163Small_Indy201420140614_130542rain3Thanksgiving2014_6_webThanksgiving2014_15_webIndyOct2014-6_small47dec2014

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A little box filled with things of "home" sent from Idaho - from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A little box filled with things of “home” sent from Idaho – from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

xoxo

Christmas Day 2014: FaceTime, Family, and Drugged-Up Unconsciousness.


To You,

I hope everyone is feeling somewhat rested and de-bloated following holiday festivities of lounging in your PJ’s, stuffing your faces with dish upon dish, and enjoying exhausting enjoyable catch-ups with family members near and far. This year was a bit of a dooze.. not because of the people I spent it with, but more so because I took a Robax muscle relaxant in the morning due to a three-day ongoing headache and neck stiffness, and apparently my stomach was just empty enough for it to hit the bottom of my tum, and knock me out on and off throughout the entire day. So I slept, woke up in time to watch the first NBA Christmas Day match of the day, eat dinner, fall asleep for another two hours, wake up again to accompany my sister to the GO train station in Oshawa, drive back, and fall asleep again in the late evening. I kind of screwed that one up.

My day was a little sore, with me missing my husband terribly. I miss him so, so much I honestly cannot express into words as to how much I miss his presence. We scheduled a rendez-vous on FaceTime in the morning so that myself, my mum, and sister could watch my step-daughter open her gifts from the Canucks, and so my husband could be there to see my mum and sister open their gifts from him. It was great that we could at least arrange that. The day carried out there-on afterwards with a Skype session with my brother and his gal pal in Australia, and then the muscle relaxants took effect.. was not pretty. My mum gave out her packed up stockings which contained the traditional goods – chocolate dollars, toothbrushes, little gift cards, and little other tidbits. I opened mine enthusiastically, yet horizontally.

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My yearly gold-wrapped chocolate dollars. Thanks ma/Santa.

In the afternoon, the family tradition of watching the NBA Christmas Day pair-ups commenced, although it was a little uneventful as the only games our TV package allowed us to watch were not as eventful as years past. Oh well. Food, however, is always the peak of the day, sitting at the table eating an English roast dinner of beef, veggies, Yorkshire puddings, and English trifle desserts. Always so damn yum. In the early evening my sister was headed back to Toronto, and so we all drove her to the GO train station in Oshawa (a good hour away)… my sister drove my car there to give me time to drink more caffeine and normalize my alertness, we dropped her off and I drove home. I was due to work bright and early on Boxing Day, and so I headed back to my flat in the evening to then FaceTime with my husband-face so that we could open our gifts with each other. As usual, we kept it small and personal. It’s those gifts I cherish around the holidays. My husband knows me more than anyone, and so I know his little gifts for me will be sweet and thoughtful. I was also surprised with a little package on Christmas Eve from Idaho from another dear friend packed with a lovely mix of homely tidbits.

A little box filled with things of "home" sent from Idaho - from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A little box filled with things of “home” sent from Idaho – from her home, my future home, and my ancestral home.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

A gorgeous book from my husband. Arrow through the heart, indeed.

So yes, that was my Christmas Day. New Year’s is approaching, and I will post a typical, expected reflection post in the days to come… but for now, Christmas Day was simple, yet sweet. I’m lucky to be able to spend it every year with family, and next year I look forward to experiencing the little moment of simplicity in person with my husband. I know I’ll always be away from someone in my family, and that truly sucks, but I know time is needed and due for me and my husband-face.

Much love,

Love from, Vic Louise

Thanks For Listening, Babe


To You,

The people that listen to you are the people you need to keep around. And it’s not just about hearing you, but understanding and responding to what it is that you say. Nowadays people listen, engage, and disperse, never really absorbing the words that flow from your chords… but when someone does – let your heart and head appreciate those individuals. I’ve had some rough days dealing with immigration woes and difficulties surrounding the limitations this situation deals me, and I’m in need of a friend, my best friend, to be there for me. He always is, never a doubt, but this past week he demonstrated the ideals of what a best friend and partner should be. What we should all attain to be – as a wife, what I always work hard to be.

On Sunday of last week, my husband surprised me by showing up to my workplace with a coffee in hand and my insanely missed Corgi in tow. Not only did I desperately need a coffee, but my husband as well 😉 He surprised me by planning a trip up here for 5 days, and it was the happiest I had been in a long time. I’ve needed his company so badly these past few months, having many miserable nights unable to sleep, unable to deal with silly immigration stress. And there he was, a huge smile on his face and a coffee in hand, here to hang out with his wife for a few days. Amazeballs.

It’s been hard this holiday season knowing I wouldn’t be seeing him or my step-daughter, but just him showing up here made my heart giddy 🙂 This man is my favourite, my bestest, my heart, and my smile. And to make things even more sappy, I came home from work on Tuesday to him decorating my apartment with Christmas lights and garland – as he put it, maybe I would feel more at home and cheery looking at holiday decorations this next week.

7 6Best friends listen. They absorb, and they respond. He’s not perfect. And he can definitely be a wee bit of a jerk every now and again, but as I told him, he’s the most wonderful husband because everything he did for me this week was everything I needed from anybody as of late, and he was the one to respond. He always is. And I always will for him.

3 4 8 dec2014Happy Days to all of you, always!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Canadian Thanksgiving in the Good Ol’ US of A


I spent my Canadian Thanksgiving this year with my husband and step-daughter in Indiana, something of which we have never celebrated together, and of course, something that bewildered my 7-year-old American step-daughter. Although for the first portion of the weekend she would refer to it as “Thanksgiving” while explicitly demonstrating strongly accented quotation marks with her little fingers when using the term, by the end of the weekend she was excited to confuse her classmates the next day with Thanksgiving leftovers and homemade apple pie (win for Canada). It was a beautiful weekend starting out with watching her last soccer game of the season, and then heading to the apple orchard to stock up on pie-worthy apples and apple cider and prepping for our feast the following day. I’m lucky to have married an amazing chef of a husband (I use the term lucky, but let’s face it – good cooking skills were a part of the marrying criteria), and he assisted me in cooking a beautiful organic chicken (no turkeys to be found this time of year) with an apple brandy basting mix (amazing recipe found here )

xo

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My husband’s lovely neighbours caught wind of us celebrating my national holiday, and brought us over this deliciously plated greetings!Thanksgiving2014_7_web Thanksgiving2014_18_web Thanksgiving2014_17_web Thanksgiving2014_19_web Thanksgiving2014_14_web Thanksgiving2014_15_web Thanksgiving2014_23_web Thanksgiving2014_26_web

A New Post Redirected Back at Life


To You,

Seasons are usually a tell tale sign of time flying by, memories collected in the snow, on the sandy beaches, running through piles of leaves, and basking under the crisp reddening sun. This past year, seasons have been obsolete and time has  been difficult to trace and at times, appreciate. It’s hard to explain standing here in what to most is still considered my youth and watch time fly by and not even care. 

For what feels like ages, I have been sitting and waiting for U.S Immigration to process my visa papers in order for me to follow a life in the U.S with my husband. And I am exhausted, but I have to be in order to remain distracted and aloof as to how much time these days feel like to me. I work 6 days per week in order to lose track of the days. I have one day off per week which means my time off is merely there for me to rest, sleep up, clean up, and get back to the next day. I cannot give myself time to process that this is all taking so long. 

Honestly, I am a woose because this paperwork process has only been months, but having been in a long distance relationship for years, immigration is dragging out the final days of our distance due to the anticipation for this to be done and Part II to commence. I miss my husband, I want to create a steady local relationship with my step-daughter, and I am tired of having to wait to understand what home will feel like. 

In complete vulnerability, I am not doing well. Hence the lack of writing in the past few months. I have moved into my own flat and yet I am married. My belongings here are mine; there is no “ours” here. I’m feeling distant from a lot, and unenthusiastic about much. I’m mad and uninterested in many, and impatient towards most. I’m tired. Exhausted. I’m constantly kicking for emotional survival, and it’s becoming harder each day.

People tell me to wait, be patient, this isn’t forever. But it has been long enough, and although rationally I understand that this too shall pass, emotionally I am just plain tired.

It’s been a rough few months, and it just feels like that none of this will be alleviated soon. 

Breathing in and out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Someone Dumped a Crap Load of Smiles On Me This Week


To You,

This past week has brought me a crap load of loveliness. Like, a serious crap load. And it all arrived in an SUV.

My wonderful husband-face visited my homeland for the very first time and it brought me the utmost of annoyingly giddy joy! In a rare set of events, he was able to have the time to do so and so he did and I am so, so appreciative of his trip up here. With a daughter on his weekends free, a tightly scheduled job in order to earn the moolah, and a few other bumps that are present in our ever so odd relationship, his opportunities to visit me are minimal, but someone somewhere knew that I was so desperately in need of something wonderful to restore my faith that we will get through this immigration process fluidly and solidly and it was sent to me this week in the form of my Husband-Face.

You see, my Husband-Face is my best-friend. He truly is. I have a rough day: I want to tell my husband. I have a good day: I want to share it with my husband. I want to go antique hunting: I would go with my husband. Sports, news, art, design, coffee drinking, bad movie watching – it all works with my husband. I think more than anything through these past few years of dating long-distance and now being married long-distance, there aren’t many people who understand our plight more than each other. We are each other’s confidant, we have to be. He is not just a best-friend, but more so my partner and he came up here when I needed something wonderful the most, and I can never express my gratitude enough for that.

He’s headed back to Indiana now, and as always it’s not just that I miss him but rather that I feel like something is missing from me. He is truly, truly wonderful and one of the best people I have come across and I am beautifully blessed to have him locked in as my husband. [Yeah, that’s right Mr. Husband-Face – I said locked in :)]

Sweet dreams and keep on keeping on,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

He Gave Us the DNA of Warriors, and so We Live On


Twenty-two years on, his life has yet to cease. xoxoxo

[Excerpt from a post commemorating his 20-year anniversary]

“I don’t think anyone will ever comprehend the beautiful man my father was. But to give you a taste, I’ll tell you this much. My mother has never re-married, and to this day wears her wedding band. Most women do not comprehend this, but most women did not know my father. My father was a doctor, a swimmer, he windsurfed and sailed, he traveled, cycled France, did Tai-Chi, and played tennis. He grew up in Asia, and completed med-school at Aberdeen, working as a dishwasher to fund his studies. He was a stateless man for some time, and in Canada worked 3 jobs as a doctor to support us and his parents in the UK. He was a family doctor and an Anesthesiologist. He married my mother, they managed long-distance as he set himself up in Canada, and within seven years of my life created a lifetime of opportunities and stories to pursue.

My father passed away on June 8th, 1992. Twenty years ago to this day. My siblings and I pursue life as it should be, and many people do not comprehend our decisions. Long distance relationships, careers, travel adventures – my father’s story lives on in all of our crazy lifestyles, because if nothing else, we are his children.”

Love you dad, now and always. xoxoxox

Let Me Explain Why I’m Not Laughing


To You,

I’ve never been the smartest person in the classroom, the most eloquent or the most influential. I’ve always found myself taking a little bit longer than others to at times comprehend theories that I’m reading, literature that I’m perusing, or equations that I’m calculating. I’m a slow reader in that I usually have to re-read texts a few times over to actually take in what I’m reading. I don’t consider myself to be a natural learner, since my traits as a dreamer typically override my attention span in lecture halls or classroom discussions. However, when people scoff at the notion of textbooks, academic readings, or institutional learning, it truly frustrates me because I feel like people are blinded to one of the most wonderful and powerful truths that lie within the air of knowledge: the beauty of new knowledge.

It is human nature to make fun of things we don’t understand, to laugh and poke at things that somehow don’t lie within our understanding of ‘normal’. I’ve been made fun most of my life for various reasons: from the age of 8 through to my early twenties I was a strong tomboy, wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs proudly and a sweet ball cap on my head; I don’t drink or do drugs, never have beyond a sip of wine when I was a child, and it goes without saying that this is neither ‘cool’ in highschool (or in my adult years, oddly enough) nor part of the social norm; I’m a third culture kid, meaning not only are my parents from two different continents raising me and my siblings in a third first-generation country, but also I am mixed race born to a British-Caucasian mother and a Chinese father. I have been ridiculed, poked at, mocked, and intentionally hurt out of humour not by people who are necessarily cruel, but who are socially and culturally intolerant. They are intolerant of something or someone outside of what their current mindset is capable of understanding. If you were brought up in a predominantly Caucasian setting, the onset of an immigrant family is easy to mock – their accent, their inability to pronounce the English language, their clothes, their skin tone. It’s easier as the observer to laugh and mock than it is to recognize and respect. A joke with the acknowledgment of mutual respect is one thing – laughter and light-heartedness is not wrong, but mockery with the lack of civility and comprehension is bullying.

Not by any means stating that the formal institution of academia is a place for everyone or that it is the only place that one can learn, but for me it is a place where people can broaden their minds to allow previous comprehension to expand to new measures. Although you may not read a philosophical text and use it (or understand it) for exactly what the classroom is requiring of you, but you may grasp onto a concept which allows you to think outside of your traditional thought patterns; it allows your mind to associate certain social happenings with analogies from a variant of sources.

People who have ridiculed me, belittled me, bullied me, undermined me, disrespected me, racially dehumanized me, and critically devalued me have all ranged from smarty-pants to the generalized uneducated. And so intellect isn’t what I’m getting at here, because the one thing all of these individuals have in common has nothing to do with the intellectual size of their brain but rather their incapability to utilize said mass.

I am 29-years-old and to this day am made fun of for my cultural descent, my appearance, my nationality, my [fill in the blank]. I have a pretty awesome sense of humour, if I do say so myself, and I’m not a ‘stick in the mud’. But no offense, if my eyes are a funny ‘squinty’ shape to you, or my Chinese familial names are so funny because you know, they’re Asian sounding, or my kind of people can’t pronounce English without an accent – the only people laughing with you are those who hold the same profound stupidity as you.

Words do hurt me. They’ve hurt me for many years and they will continue to hurt me, but rather than me hide my emotions from your verbal actions, I can’t and I won’t. I’m perhaps ‘overly sensitive’ to the mockery of my various joke-worthy traits that make up my identity, but only because you – the incapable of using your brains – have poked the bear for most of my life. I’ve done nothing wrong. And if it takes the same discomfort that you’ve pinned on me for me to fully use my brain and pin on you in explaining why I’m pissed off, then I’m happy to do so. And maybe it will take the same discomfort that you’ve made me feel for so long for your brains to open up to new knowledge…

And make you realize that you’re kind of an ignoramus douche.

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

The Little Chili


To You,

We all experience life in different ways and these ways are typically shaped by the challenges we’re faced with throughout our days. Some of us fall to difficulties thrown in our direction and we fail to accept the fact that we have battles to face, but our only options are to either lead a strenuous war through the battlefield, or give in, give up, and lose our life amidst those struggles.

The one thing guaranteed in life is death, and it’s a guarantee that most fear, feel discomfort within, refrain from discussing, or choose not to acknowledge. However, although it is an inevitable path, how we approach the inevitable is never a guarantee. We decide how to maneuver through life, and even when life throws in a few doses of pain, strife, and struggles, we have the opportunity to choose how we handle the next steps; We can choose to experience these next steps no matter the exhaustion rather than lose our life even before the battle has actually begun.

As have many, I have been witness to life within death. What I mean by this is that I have seen life being lived with the acknowledgement that death is approaching quickly and surely. My father, during his battle against dual diseases, chose to plan out the lives of his family before his body let death merge into his existence, and in as such his life has been infinite. He set up opportunities for his family, because the life he had was defined by those within it not just his own. I’ve also seen the fight of the women in his family including the fight against disease and illness, and in them I see the infinite power of life. I have learned the lessons of the Little Chili who small in nature has the heat to take down the largest of battles. And in the end, I don’t want to view their passing as a loss to their ailments, but rather the acknowledgement that life was lived and death became a factor within how their life would be defined: as a fighter, a warrior, a resounding soul, as.. a Little Chili.

My life over the past few months has been altered through the acceptance of life’s challenges, and when I run, when I lift, when I train, I view it as training for my battles ahead. I have the blood of warriors and that is what my life will be defined by. Recently, the Little Chili rested into their last breaths as years and years of fighting came to an end. Their battle was not lost, they conquered it. Even in death due to illness, they conquered it because they fought for life every step of the way – all lives will end in death and if you fight for life you don’t lose to death, but rather experience life in all its entirety.

The Little Chili doesn’t dissipate. Her flavour, her spice, her heat and her warmth are too large to be forgotten or lost. Auntie Le, our Little Chili, we’ll miss you dearly.

Lots of love,

Love from Vic Louise xoxoxo