This Is A Long One


To You,

As a little girl- an adventurous, outdoorsy, stubborn little girl – I don’t recall complaining about the cold. I remember complaining about having to eat foods I didn’t find appealing, having to clean up my messes before being able to go out and play, or about being bored with silly adult activities. But when the winter came, the cold never hindered my cravings to play outside, to build snow forts, to run around the snow and fall down hard knowing the plush powdering of flakes would act as a pillow to my snowsuited body. However now as adults all we do is complain. We hate the cold. We hate the heat. We hate to wait in lines. We hate the inconveniences of others. We hate differences. We hate responsibilities. We hate, we bitch, we whine, and we’re smug.

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find things that I don’t hate. People I don’t hate, places I don’t hate. I’ve been trying to love, and to care, and to retrieve knowledge even from the idiotic incidences. This past year I’ve increasingly been battling with the plight to find what I love and attain it, because it seems as though I’m unable to behold all that I love, or at least all that I would love to pursue. The pursuit of one love means the loss of another, or a few, and vice versa. It’s the equivalent of making a list of all my friends and rating them from my absolute bestest to the one I kind of like, but not really, but still kinda, you know? Except now, these lists are not ever changing like our school yard mates, and listing them present precedence to the life you are choosing to build. It is scary, truly petrifying. And it’s emotionally nauseating.

I have attained many blessings in my life, but in all honesty many have conflicted with each other. The first time I moved to the UK in 2005 I was presented with the opportunity to work in the French Alps throughout the winter months, the hills of Great Malvern outside of Worcestershire in the summertime, and amidst the London hustle and bustle in the fall. I traveled to Nice for a week on my lonesome, and wandered the surrounding cities as freely as one could. But this whole time I wasn’t mentally or emotionally liberated, because I was in a relationship with someone back in North America. I wanted to love both, but in the end I found that I could not, or at least not pursue both loves equally. I was emotionally immature in that I didn’t know how to balance independence and relationships. It was rough, and at the end of one year abroad, I moved home to my boyfriend. I finished school as one was supposed to do, and that was that.

Funnily enough, that seemed to have been a foreshadowing lesson for me to learn from, as 6 years later I would be in an oddly identical situation. The first relationship ended after many differences became evident, and after I discovered I was to blame for losing my independence and my purpose. Shortly before it ended I decided I needed a jumpstart on my life and applied to grad school in Durham, England – the UK once again! Weeks before I accepted a placement offer, this familiar story presented itself to me once more. I somehow fell into a friendship and then relationship with someone again tied to North America, and yet here in front of me sat admittance paperwork to a university abroad. I am highly over-analytical and I saw the signs, I saw the plot lines to this situation and how it could possibly go (again), and I entered into it cautiously. Three and a half years later, I hold a Masters degree from Durham University, am married to someone tied singularly to the United States, and am undergoing immigration processes for me to immigrate south – permanently.

I’ve made highly conscious, but extremely emotion-influenced decisions to have ended up here. Nothing was by accident or by mistake. All was analyzed and rated. I have always been aware that everything I am capable of experiencing (I hold both a Canadian and EU passport and living abroad is simple for me) will either be much harder to experience from here on out or are not possible at all. I will obviously have other possibilities and experiences presented to me that are the blessings found in marriage, relationships, commitments… but they are the things that come unnaturally to me. Although I am a hopeless romantic, I am independent in plans. I don’t know how to plan travel for more than just myself, because I travel to self-explore. I don’t know how to plan family ideals with others, because I grew up under a widowed mother and so I’ve learned through nurture as to how to independently raise children. I don’t know how to commit without the sadness of losing a career I think I would be good at (but of course requires travel, moves, and not great for a family life). I think over the past few years of relationships that if nothing else, I know how to commit to others and support them wholeheartedly.

By the time four years roll around, I will have moved 3 times, the last two to get this relationship on the roads to ‘normalcy’, by which I mean logistically. The first move was to the UK which was all for me. The second was back home because I knew if I didn’t provide evidence of my intentions to move back in the long run he would never truly know that I would. And the third will be this permanent immigration south to the U.S to actually live with him. Along the way, however, these moves have taken sacrifices from me, like my energy levels, my ability to have fun, and increased level of seriousness, and neediness for maturity. I’m… well, tired. I want to have fun, but I’m tired. I’m tired because all I do is plan for finances, moves, government paperwork, immigration, family plans, etc. I’ve given up on even initiating the pursuit of a government based career due to its requirements for posting here, there, and anywhere, and so my joy for a career has turned into a frightening personal battle of feminist vs. self vs. wannabe-professional vs. compromising woman. And so a portion of myself available for amusement and fun has been diminished due to one section of my persona being scrambled and jumbled, and replaced with confusion and internal arguments reoccurring in my overwhelmed brain. I’m actually a spontaneous person, but how can I be spontaneous when even my gas money is budgeted in order for my finances to pay off rent, student loans, car payments, and impending immigration plans. I always told myself money didn’t matter as long as I was happy living where I was. And I’m not. And sadly this means money matters in order for me to wander elsewhere. I am tired and beaten up by people’s willingness to constantly remind me and criticize me that I need to learn to have fun, that I can’t be serious all the time, that someday I will figure this all out. I don’t feel supported at times in my difficult frustrating nature – I want to be silly and amusing and childish at times, but that ability was diminished when I was presented with the options to continue to live my free-spirited lifestyle or make hugely mature, life impacting decisions to negotiate my endless dreams for a life of love, commitment, and all things that marriage requires (a successful marriage, that is). I am not saying that marriage has made me a bore, but more so the sacrifices I’ve made to commit to a marriage with someone have not come natural to my ‘game plan’ and I have willingly dedicated myself to it with more dedication than I have ever given anything, because it’s an agreement just as firm as any professional contract in that signing it irresponsibly will result in loss, pain, financial strife, and personal doubt.

I’m frustrated in people criticizing how much I am struggling through this, and the toll it has taken on me. I personally know no one who is a wife and a step-mother who is doing the best she can from a distance. I’m not saying that no one else exists, but that everyone available to commentate on my moodiness, my exhaustion, my lack of fun and silliness – they are not dealing with this, only I am. I would love support, I would love someone to understand that I’m sad that my ability to laugh at silly things has lessened over the years, but I’m human and I have had to take my life insanely seriously the past couple of years, and so at times I require the same amount of maturity in return. Otherwise, I’m having to remain serious for everyone which again takes its boring toll on me.

I haven’t lost it all. But I’m not the same as I was, and honestly I’m fine with it. I know that what I do still have are my dreams to travel, to wander, to exist as both the observer and the observed, and above everything else, to learn. And although most of this will never again be as I was most comfortable and happy to dream it to be, they are still my dreams and still mine and still who I am. And so, yes, I am a little more sad and nostalgic when I talk about wandering the coasts of France again, but hugely because the more I’m criticized the more I realize that no one else to sees the real me anymore, but the “faults” which are results from going through the past few years.

I still dream of returning to my wandering the streets of small Chinese villages. I still wish to stroll around the port townships along the Mediterranean. I still envision hiking the Scottish Highlands again, and enjoying a cup of coffee at my favourite hidden cafés in the countryside of England. I want to board the Alps again, cycle around France, befriend regulars at the local bars, and eat fresh fruits under the sun. I’m an adventure junkie, a solo-traveling weirdo, a soul-searching child, and funny genuine woman. And over the past few years, I’ve had to negotiate the activities that make the solo-me me in order to be a strong partner, committed wife, and dedicated step-mother. These are serious roles, and my ideals of fun have been replaced with budgeting for immigration instead of travels. And so my soul is internally playful, but painfully responsible. It’s life, and I’m aware, but please stop critiquing my lacking of fun. I am still fun, I’m just really tired. I want to go outside and play in the snow, make snow angels and feel my cheeks flush up due to the crisp air. I miss running around until I fell into a pile of snowy mounds, because right now all I want to do is cozy up under the mounds of my plush white duvet… I’m not un-fun. And it hurts more than you would imagine when people tell me I am.

Peace out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Packing Boxes, but Not Yet Moving Home


To You,

There are people out there who hate moving. They hate the chaos, the packing, the sorting, the re-sorting, the mental frustration and emotional rollercoasters. Right now I’m in the midst of packing boxes of bits and pieces, artwork, books, records, clothes, etc. as I prep for yet another move in the story that is my life. You see, most of my adventures revolve around a move. And this one adds a rather depressing, melancholy tale to my immigration woes as I am yes moving out of my family home to help clear the clutter as my mum preps for her own move abroad, however I am not yet moving to my husband.

I am in an awkward head-space right now as I get my shit together in a depressive mindset knowing that although I am married – and happily so – I am not yet able to move in with him. And for two people who have never had the opportunity to share a home due to long distance and international dilemmas, we have always made our individual abodes a home for the other, even if we would step into said space a mere couple times per year. While dating, my husband (well, boyfriend at the time) had an extra key made for me to his apartment – and its pertinent to note that I was living in England at the time doing my Master’s degree. And whenever I’m in town visiting, he lets me redecorate and make it homey for me – he even purchased a pillow for my side of the bed, and when accumulating the days I’m able to visit, I’m usually there for about 1-mth per year, maybe 2.

This upcoming move into my own flat again is bittersweet. I enjoy living on my own – I did so for the first time during my postgrad degree in the UK and loved it, in fact I really wanted to enjoy that single studio-living lifestyle again. However, I never pictured that after being married I would then be given the opportunity to do so again. It throws me off, it makes me sad, and it just doesn’t feel right.

I miss my husband like mad. People say we’ll drive each other nuts when we’re able to move in with each other, and yeah, that may be the case but bring it on! Phone calls getting dropped drive me crazy, opposite work schedules drive me crazy because we can’t find the times to talk, bad phone lines drive me crazy, and having to Skype at the local Starbucks due to limiting satellite internet service at home drives me crazy – so you know what, bring on the crazy that I get to deal with in person!!

But for now, it’s back to packing boxes. I’m trying to stay excited about having my personal space again in my small Victorian bachelor space. But I miss my husband, and I would love to be packing these boxes and shoving them in a truck to head south of the border to arrive at our home.

Home is where the heart is. But I’ll do the best I can to make it homey for me and him since it makes me imagine a life with him rather than away from him.

Peace,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

A Happy Farewell to 2013


To You,

2013 was not my year. It was filled with many personal battles that never seemed to settle and honestly, many mental blocks that I’ve yet to poke my way through. It ended with the unexpected noting that life should not consist on a negative focus, but the triumphs that rise from the falls.

2013 put me through the ringer and has exhausted me to the core, however this exhaustion was partly caused by the deterioration of my inner balance and gave cause to my putting focus on me, my health (emotional, mental, physical), and my life as a balanced whole. I have always found it difficult to comprehend the meshing of my goals with those beyond my own, i.e. mixing my individual dreams with my those that build a fulfilled life, and I think I’m figuring it out (or more so figuring out steps in order to figure it out…).

Last year started with the feeling like life was crumbling, when in fact I was allowing my own self to crumble under the lack of comprehension as to what life I had lived up until that point. The year shifted rather rapidly to me deciding to alter my perspective on my individual nature and focus on my overall well-being, something of which is hard for many human beings to do. It was a rough ride, and it’s still a rough ride but if I had not sought after this change in my own self I could not help balance my relationships, my goals, and my view on certain life matters. I’m still struggling in these issues, but I managed to maintain and re-build a healthy, strong partnership with my lad and nearing to the end of 2013 lead to our tale of an engagement at the Indianapolis international airport!

I’m still not where I would like to be in life, and in entering into a path towards marriage I know my life goals are going to shift and I will have to reshape how to achieve the things in life I know I could on my own individual existence, but present challenges as a dual collaboration. And 2014 is going to present challenges that I know will exhaust me even further such as pursuing immigration status, starting a beautiful marriage, experiencing immigration in its physical self, and ongoing finances… it’s going to be an interesting year, but I know more than anything that I’m entering 2014 in healthier, stronger form than I did 2013.

I’m healthier than I was this time last year.

I’ve run two obstacle marathons to challenge myself even more.

I’ve lost loved ones in my life this year, but life was fought for endlessly and their spirit never dies.

I’m stronger than anything 2013 threw at me, and it threw a fucking load of bricks at me daily. (And now I’ve got some solid bling on my left hand to slash with punches thrown.. 😉 )

So bring it.

But not too hard.

You know, like a good solid swing enough to bruise but not break.

😉

Happiest of New Year’s to you All!

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

It’s a Hot One Out There


To you,

My writing seems to be sporadically lazy these past few months, my apologies! I’m not a hot weather fan, and I think this weather has me flowing through a menopausal range of emotions from, “Yea! Let’s be productive!“, to “Ugghhh, melting...”, to “Whoo, life is brilliant! Let’s make the most of it!“, to “Everything and everyone sucks.“. I think when you find yourself in a mode lacking in inspiration and motivation, figuring out a path of focus and pleasure is mighty difficult. That’s me right now. Hell, that’s been me for this past year. I know what I want to do, but I cannot find my focus. My focus is constantly reconfiguring its blueprint plans due to life’s lovely obstacles, and right when I think I’m surfing over the current, I tumble into a wave and feel like I’m drowning. I’m questioning decisions, I’m analyzing far too much, and I’m loosing faith in my current journey.

I’m in need of something. Not just any something, but you know, that certain something. That kick. That moment of enlightenment. A surprising gesture, an act of sincerity, a jump into adventure. My life is not wired for dullness, and right now I feel dull!

Any tips on finding that kick? Mind you – I am on a budget and I am an adventure junky! Got any books? Any films? Any projects – YES! GIVE ME PROJECTS! I’m a smart lass, with a Master’s degree from a Top 5 UK university and I’m working behind a front desk in retail – this lady needs help!!!

Stay cool (literally),

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

p.s – Ok, so as to not come off as a lazy ass, I am currently working on getting back to my creative roots, and am in the process of building a table out of repurposed and industrial pieces 🙂

Hello Again :)


[written 11:30pm]

*******

To You,

I am knackered out. Exhausted. Like, holy crap tired. These past few weeks have been ridiculously busy, hectic, stressful, and heavy. I’ve fallen off track with keeping up with this blog, but for good cause. I’ve been trying my best to take care of me these past couple of months, something of which I find to be much more exhausting and draining than I could have possibly imagined. I think once you begin to acknowledge your struggles, they truly do catch up with you. I’ve always been one to recognize that my struggles could be worse – you know, the mental trick you play on yourself when your day is going rougher than usual and to put it all into manageable perspective, you tell yourself that it could be worse. But what I’ve come to realize is that although this method is great for superficial concerns and trivial complaints, it can also defer your mind from dealing with more growing problems. I’ve been telling myself for years and years, since I was a youngster, that it could be worse. But in the end, struggle is struggle and, yes although my life does not include genocide, war, poverty, or abuse – if my body and mind are struggling with day-to-day functions and stress, then I should take time to breathe and address. If I dwell on my issues, bury myself in my ‘distress’ then it’s unhealthy for anyone. But to look at my past few years and recognize that I’ve been hurt, distressed, struggling, and worn down is neither selfish nor self-obsessive. So yeah, these past few months I have been knackered out with recognizing what I’ve been protecting myself from, and in turn, burying myself under for a long while.

Although I have been exhausted from dealing with life events up until now, there have resided positives. A few months ago I was hired on with an NGO in Toronto that works with artisans in developing regions as a Digital Communications Manager and PR Associate, which has been excellent experience for my future endeavors. However, to keep up with financial stresses, I’ve taken a second job as a Front Desk Coordinator in a salon/spa within my hometown in southern Ontario, a couple of hours East of my preferred location of Toronto. The latter job has proven difficult for me to work within, mainly due to my stubborn expectations in the workplace, let alone dealing with people who apparently have hundreds of dollars to spend on their aesthetics but a couple bucks to tip… this has also proven my ability not to tell people to f*ck off when I feel like it! Resume builder? I think so! I am proud of myself for focusing on the big picture and stress, which concerns finances, however my skill sets in focusing on negativity have proven to increase my struggles to remain at peace. I’m working on it – it’s a process, if nothing else.

More positives – I have finally joined a gym to work on my physical health, which in turn aids my mental and emotional health. I will also be speaking at an event in Toronto on immigration, racism and culture in the next few weeks, which has me extremely excited as it’s a topic I have worked hard to explore for my own right and others – and oddly enough, has relation to what I’m going through currently. This brings much contentment, in all honesty – I am truly looking forward to this opportunity. If nothing else, these past few years have tested and shown me the strength of which I am capable. I push and I fight and I do not give up. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m working my ass off to get there, even if right now that requires making sure that my life is a healthy one.

I still have rough days where everything seems to be too much for me to handle, and where I wish I could run away from it all. But I’ve never run without a cause; I’ve never run away, but rather ran towards. I have always been susceptible to stress, and so avoiding it is hard enough as it is, but with having already accrued much stress, sadness, frustration, and vulnerability, mental stress causes much anxiety. So I am trying to focus on my life – my wellbeing. It’s a new cause in my life, but it’s coming along thus far. I’ve got good people, a partner I whole-heartedly cherish, and a soul that’s not done fighting.

But I am tired – these past few weeks have included work for both jobs around the clock. So tonight, it’s sleepy time.

Sweet dreams,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

What Makes Up a Story


To You,

It’s funny how life seems to coordinate and choreograph the many components that add up to define one’s day-to-day as a ‘life’. These components which we use to self-define a ‘successful’ life, or a ‘meaningful’ life can not only blind one from acknowledging the true efforts being made to make an entire life an unequivocal story with depth, but they also allow us to become clouded as to how our efforts affect the life of another.

In another tale, yet one which associates itself to the self-descriptive complexity of a successful life, as life develops its numerous layers of co-dependent experiences, it adds obstacles into being able to accept a fruitful story, however one chooses to define it as such.

Lately, I’ve felt a difficulty in understanding, accepting, and focusing on what defines itself as a success in my life. My life has various components: experiencing loss at a young age and many times thereon afterwards, social struggles as a youth, successes in athletics, moving out of my home country at the age of 18 to only drop out of university at 19 and moving abroad a year later at 20; embarking in a long-distance relationship, returning to university at 23, graduating quite successfully at 26, entering a second long-distance relationship and moving abroad again, completing a Master’s degree from a top university at 27, and finally returning back to my home country as a resident just before turning 28. All superficial components that can be dissected into all of the delicate petals and pricking nail heads that make up the substance of my life. But now, I’m struggling with this picture as it continues to unfold. My substance is built up of extreme effort, troubleshooting, sincere sweat and tears, and lessons of which saying I have learned from would be a massive understatement. High school teachers didn’t think much of my academic endeavors in the culmination of my four years, even though 75% of my time there was rewarded with Honour Roll status and my name being listed on many athletic trophies. What I’ve noted in the past decade is how easily one’s credibility can be erased due to superficial circumstances. Job titles, grades, university rankings, income, relationship status, geographic location, exotic travels… all superficial if we ignore the story of substance, the explanation, the details.

I have found it hard in the past few months to understand my story versus my status. I have pride over my postgraduate degree due to the massive personal struggles leading up to that exhausted success of which was so condensed in its timeline that there is no shortened version to its story. However, now in what appears to be a shortcoming in my employment and professional ‘success’ following my academics I feel obligated to explicate the pride and ranking of my achievement to level myself out with my peers. I know my story of working through my degrees, paying my living expenses through an undergrad and postgrad degree, managing my limited yet earned finances, immersing myself in challenges to engage in personal success (as I truly define it), and maintaining a loving long-distance relationship. But the superficiality to my success (or lack thereof) are clouding my pride in my plan. My life’s plan. The components I want included in my storyline.

I’m trying to figure this one out.

Ciao ciao,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Sometimes It Takes a Shake-Up to Put Yourself Back on the Right Path


[02/08/2013]

Photo on 1-18-13 at 11.31 AM #2

To You,

Again, a while since I last wrote. I’ve decided after some thought that I shall continue building ont this blog, however, I consider posts from here on out as a ‘Part II’ kind of scenario. I created this writing platform for my year of studying for my Master’s degree in Durham, England and now that that has come to its culminating finale, another venture has begun being the follow-up to obtaining a degree – the real world. And this adventure is a roller coaster in itself, thus my decision to continue writing for a while, leaving a little haven for thoughts and outputs.

Life post-education is… interesting. I don’t think anyone can truly prepare you for downtime having spent so many years studying, creating, and working your ass off on an hourly basis merely trying to produce the best work possible for your peers and professors. Now, it’s been a few months of submitting applications – and I cannot emphasize the plurality in that statement enough. I’ve fought many personal battles in my life and I’ve always managed to come out on top in some shape or form, but this time it’s been rough. And I’ve put people through this battle with me, dragging them down this path of anxiety and dissatisfaction – in the end, the people you’re dragging with you are the ones who care for you the most, who only want to see you happy, and who torment themselves when life throws more hurdles your way. It’s come to a point where I want and need to focus on the positive, the prospects, and the life I wish to attain.

A few days ago I got into a car accident around 10:30PM, which could have been a much horrifying experience than it was, no doubt! Driving on the empty highway at 115km/hour (70 or something miles/hour) my battery died without warning and I lost power steering control, which basically means you have zero directional control over your vehicle. As I was driving, I felt my car veer into the left lane and as I went to correct the direction, I realized that my car was not responding to my tilting of the wheel. My car uncontrollably swerved right then left and eventually caught the edge of the road, and I slammed on the brakes and tried with all my might to correct my car’s direction. Next thing I know, I was spinning in a circle at top speed into the left hand ditch, screaming and praying that I would stop before hitting the oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway, as all I could see was a flushing sweep of snow enveloping my car. My car: no scratches or dents. Me: no scratches or dents. Just a trembling voice and body as I sat in my car. I sat in my car as snow started to fall, wrapped in two blankets, watching semis drive past, one by one hoping the next vehicle would be my called-in tow truck. The remainder of my night lasted a good 4 hours, waiting for tow trucks, CAA, and figuring out my next plan of action as I had an interview the next morning. I called my chap, and then my mum, and I think my body shivered for a good few hours following the spin-out, pretty much until I was wrapped up under blankets in my hotel at 2:30AM. My next morning was spent calling CAA to retrieve my car, prepping for an interview, and then napping in a tow truck on route.

Fear does a funny thing to the mind. I have never been so scared in such an immediate capacity. I don’t handle lack of control well, and this was such a case in the physical sense and it scared the shit out of me (not literally, thank goodness!… sorry, couldn’t resist). I was thankful to have my man to call and straighten out my brain for a split second, just telling me to call for help as even that was not the obvious just then. He was brilliant and lovely, and definitely helped even from a far. And my mum I knew would sit by the phone for the remainder of the night until I reached my hotel room, which just gives you comfort when you sit scared in your car that your four-ways will soon die out along with your battery and the tow truck will fail to spot you. For the past few months I’ve been highly anxious, down, and struggling and although just before this accident I vowed to fix myself up and re-focus on maintaining the good in my life, I really chilled and realized that not getting the next job is not the end of the world, and acting like it was made my life hellish and depressing, and I was hurting those around me because of it. And I do have positives in my life right now, and that’s worth focusing on rather than wishing for everything to be positive. And after this accident, I was happy to be okay. I was happy that I had people in my life worried for my well-being, not just in this incident, but in life in general. And so, I want to keep writing, because the story of ‘my year’ doesn’t end in just a year. It continues into the next.

The positives: although I am without a full-time/sufficient income at the moment, I do have a part-time job as a Junior Associate for PR, Marketing, and Social Media ventures for a non-profit organization which lays out a platform for artists in developing regions to sell their work thus allowing them to survive as artisans in their home countries. The opportunity is amazing for me, especially due to my academic achievements and what I’ve wished to seek out for myself in the long term. I will fill in on that further as the position progresses as I know I will have lots to tell 🙂 I am still in the midst of teaching myself Adobe Creative Suites, and I am hoping to return to creating art in the near future. I love it, and so why not do what I love?

I’m thankful for much right now, and that’s definitely an attitude switch from a mere week or two ago. Sometimes you need a sudden jolt to put you in your place, and I’m lucky to have certain people in my life who have jolted me back into fighting for my happiness rather than for pure survival. (x)

So keep calm and carry on, or so those posters and mugs say. Or rather, as I used to say to my teammates when they fell on the gymnasium floor during practice, ‘Suck it up’. 😉

Peace, Love, and Here’s to the happy ever afters,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Taking a Minute to Punch At These Keys Again


To You,

Long time no write, eh? Apologies, but I’ve been conflicted as to what to write about as of late because it seems as though my topic of choice changes like THAT [I like to think that whoever reads this snaps on my behalf]. Any one day I’m either feeling the flurry of emotions that comes with life – relationships, logistics, employment hunts, living situations, etc. And so I’ve refrained from ‘venting’ out when I’ve needed to, because I quickly realized that by the next day, I would have apologized for such a vent as I believe my emotions are running high these days. I get very flustered when I don’t have a plan of action, and I tend to take out my anxiety on every possible ‘problem’ or issue that I’m dealing with.

I write to you today from Canada-land, my lovely country of maple syrup and loonies (the currency, not the people). I wish I could sum up what my mind has had to deal with during the past few weeks, but it’s a long tale of whines and pitiful sighs, so I’ll save you all from enduring such pathetic rants. Bluntly, however, I am now searching for a job in Canada and simultaneously hoping to find somewhere to live. I want both NOW [just like the wish of people snapping, I hope someone out there beat there fist down on a surface within reaching distance to them]. I am desperate to feel ‘at home’ and at the start of something new. I want to get things going here for financial reasons, comfort of knowing I have a settled space, and so that I can transition into this all again. It was lovely spending some weeks down in Indianapolis this past month, although the knowledge that nothing awaited me as I departed made my tum-tum rumble with anxiety. If debt didn’t exist in my life, then I would be much more at ease. Such is not the case, and such is not life, and so I must adjust. I just hate waiting for the adjustment to begin. I’m in limbo right now, and I hate it. Greatly. I’m sure we’ve all been through a stale point in our life, and mine is only just beginning as I only just received my confirmed Master’s Degree (with Merit might I add, one lower than Distinction which I’ll leave to those who have studied the material before) a few weeks ago. I’ve moved from England – I’ve done big things over the past few months. But I’m ready for something more steady now. Give me a job, and give me a home.

I tried to make that as whine-less as possible, but I suppose I still ended up demanding the luxuries of life… I am human, afterall 🙂 Right now my brain is full of new ideas, new thoughts, new plans. For the future- ya know, something to look forward to. But for now, slumber.

Night night, sleep tight, dream of lovely things tonight. xo

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Keep Calm and Carry On


To You,

Life has taken to its unruly behaviour again as of late, so many ups and downs and turn arounds. Actually, more topsy turvy business than anything else, really. On good news worth celebrating, I have officially been awarded with my Master of Arts in International Studies with finalized lists being posted this past week. There is no sigh large enough to encapsulate my emotions of this all being done and over with. It’s been a long time since I felt an air of success, accomplishment, pride, but this definitely pushed my emotions in that direction.

Apart from this, I have been looking into attaining a position in Indianapolis with a design company which has required a huge amount of researching into the realm of work visas. Having met with a lawyer things look like they could work out, but I have never been in ‘limbo’ for this length of time before and the stress and anxiety is starting to take control of my brain. So many factors play into this opportunity, and at times I wish I could just hit the rewind button and prep myself more diligently for the reality that I’m in right now, and that is the reality of finding a job in one’s chosen field. I may sound obnoxious, but having worked my ass off for two degrees, I want to be happy with what I do on a day-to-day basis from now on. This does not mean a certain financial gain, but more so activities that are keeping me happy, sane, and comfortable. The simplistic things that people seek after in some shape or form.

Apart from facing the reality of the job hunt, my brain is feeling unsettled. I’m definitely an over-analyzer when it comes to life, but it’s because I so want to make the most of it and such requires avoiding self-inflicted pain, i.e pain that could be avoided by braving through tough, but right, decisions. In general I’ve never encountered much injustice in regards to tragedy – yes, I lost my father at a very young age, but I was truly lucky to have a dad like him to begin with so although it breaks my heart, it’s not an injustice but rather just the way it was. I think, however, I’m at a point where I know how hard I’ve worked to be where I am and who I am, and even the minor unfair bits of life seem unworthy of my attention anymore. You come across so many people in your life, and I’m at a point where the number of friends I have on social media sites is irrelevant, and I very much work to keep the small cluster of quality I have met in life close to me, rather than a cluster-fuck of idiots (those who can relate understand that this is the only way to describe these types of persons). I have worked my ass off to succeed in what I pursue, and I feel as though now I can only claim the amount of success of which I truly deserve – I cannot complain about unhappiness and stress if I continue to follow the lines that lead me to those domains… make sense? It’s like, you cannot bitch about not receiving an A on your test if you failed to study as hard as you possibly could – I don’t want to blame the world for my ignorance. I think venting is warranted for everyone – we’re human. But, in the long term, I know I control certain avenues in my life plan and thus want to plan accordingly… I want to earn my personal successes just as I have with my pursuits thus far in academia, sports, art, etc.

Anyways, that’s me right now. I think I need to go bungee jumping or something. Because I’m weird, and those things calm me. 🙂 Haha.

Happy weekend,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Dream a Little Dream of Me…


To You,

I think deep down I’ve always had this little girl mentality of big dreams, big ideals, and sparkling hopes for what’s to come. Even now as an adult the thought of dreams and dreaming leaves me with a calming nature trusting that something is always possible if I just keep believing. I have always been the little girl who never truly fit a mold, fighting against gender stereotypes and expectations of what girls are supposed to be like. When I was about 9 or 10 I saw my brother win his first tennis trophy, and I was determined to earn one of my own. I got there. And again and again every year afterwards. When I was 12 years old, I had to give up my dance life as prices were soaring too high to keep up with it. However, my mother asked me what else I would maybe enjoy. A friend of mine had taken up playing basketball in the OBA (Ontario Basketball Association), and so I thought I would give basketball a go. I made the B team. Within the first 30 minutes of our very first practice I was promoted to the A team, and at age 13 I was a starting player and this never changed on any sports team from there on out. In high school, being known as the basketball chick, I taught myself to shoot ‘like a guy’, because it made it more difficult for tall girls to block my shots. Over a summer I changed my form and had guys asking me to teach them how to shoot by the next season. I mean, even when I was in dance lessons it was as if being a ballerina was my alias, because I was in my brother’s hand-me-down jeans and t-shirts with my ball cap and sneakers by day, and make-up, french braids and tutus during the semi-annual recitals.

When I was little, I dreamed of being a ballerina. This later changed to a basketball player in the WNBA, and other days I was aiming for the NBA. In high school, I had coaches tell me my dreams were the impossible. Lesson to those people – girls like me do not take to this kindly. To be honest, I’ve always found it hard confiding in people about my aspirations because I get tired of the looks of doubt. My dreams in university changed, and I reached the point of dreaming of life alterations, experiences, epiphanies, and tales of hopeless romance. I’ve had a lot of ‘doubt’ in my life, a lot of negative, pessimistic souls and my dreams have taken a huge hit over the years.

But I still dream of the impossible, the improbable, the kinds of dreams that make you cry when you wonder if you’re ever worthy of them. I dream of the good, wonderful people I hope to meet, the places and stories I wish to explore, the moments in life that make dreams worth dreaming. On hard days which end in hard nights, I dream of finding everything that makes me feel worthy of happiness, and I hope so hard that it all comes true.

I dream of the impossible everyday. I dream of the life I am striving for, of the people in this life, and the story I hope to write.

I really am just a little girl at heart, but I truly believe that this part of my heart will always remain the strongest, the kindest, and the bravest.

Sweet dreaming,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

My Bright Green Suitcase


To You,

What I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks is something that truly shouldn’t astound my soul, nor make it feel an odd queezy vibe of unsettled wonderment. Although I find that sometimes the fear of which acknowledgement brings to the table is when you lay out in the most basic of words, unable to skirt around the issue any longer in metaphorical realization but more so giving voice to the words that ring true. In this case, such a thing has occurred due to too much time to actually sit and think about life. My life. The epiphany?

I am a hobo. A nomad. A traveling gypsy who is getting to the point where all of my materialistic possessions will soon have to fit inside my suitcase in order for me to keep them in my grasp.

Okay, perhaps I am not a ‘hobo’, but I am living out of a suitcase. I’ve discovered that ‘living’ for me comes with the package right now of not really having a house. Now, this is not to be confused with ‘a home’ because I have many homes. I have my home in Canada where my ma and puppy dog live, and everytime I head back in that direction I know I’ll be greeted with all things ‘homey’. And I have moments of feeling at home in Indianapolis when I’m able to cook my dude dinner, organize his room without his consent, and even raiding his closet and seeing if he notices. I also consider England and London to be my home when I go and stay with family as they are the homes I visited regularly growing up and I know the routines, the bus routes, train stops, parks and stores, and I never feel like anything but a Londoner when I’m there. And now my brother lives in Oz and even though I’ve yet to hit up that continent/country, it’s still home since family is there and he loves it. So yes, I have the luxury of having many ‘homes’, of feeling ‘at home’ in many places. But there’s just one thing keeping me from feeling settled when I’m at ‘home’.

My fucking suitcase. It’s a beautiful case, bright green with two compartments, wheely wheels and a trustworthy handle. It has served me well in many countries, many trips, and has survived many flights with the sight of that bright green mass of my life’s possessions being chucked along the luggage carousel always bringing a sigh a relief to my soul signaling the culmination of a successful trip. I love this case. To be honest, the fact that this piece of luggage is mine, purchased with my own money brings an ounce of satisfaction to my uneasy mind – maybe this suitcase is my house?

Okay, that was too depressing. Let’s scratch that out. Done. It’s scratched. I scratched it rather than deleting it to make a point that I was once so glum, but bitch slapped myself back into place. Kudos to me.

Here are some photos of my suitcase. Where it sits. In an empty room, out and ready to be replenished with denim, cotton-polyester blends, and wooly goodies.

My suitcase. Tired. Worn out. Slumped over for a rest.

Lovely Canada tag. Nothing says “This chick is a Canuck!” better than a tag with dancing polar bears on it.

I love traveling. It defines me. Some people travel to cross a place off their list, which is still a valid reason for travel. Honestly, I love returning to places I’ve already visited to see if I can connect to a homely vibe in that spot to which I now have a new home. The more homes, the better and then that leaves me with the challenge of being a stranger in a new hideaway and starting from scratch all over again. I dig the idea of couchsurfing, but I’m not a people person. And that’s not to be taken as I hate people or despise dialogue, but more so that I like getting off a plane, train, out of my car and figuring out my path into people’s lives. I’m kind of a loser loner, but the people I’ve met and stay in touch with (sincerely) are good people in life. I’ve known a lot of shit people who I kept in my life much longer than necessary and so I want to connect on a genuine level… I’ve very cautious about this now, and very stand-offish to some but it comes with the territory of being scarred numerous times over.

So yeah. I’m feeling unsettled with being houseless at the moment. Homeless, I will never be, but houseless… that’s another problem. It’s materialistic to some, but I’m a quiet, hide-out quirky lass who sometimes wants a place to create, to think, to unwind. This whole not working, not earning money shit right now is driving me crazy because I want something to do! I NEED something to do! Productive. I got bills man. Bills.

First world problems, am I right? I’m bitching about this whilst punching away at the keys of my MacBook Pro and sipping on my latte.

This isn’t a life problem, it’s just an unsettling vibe for my soul. I am in need of a life and soul re-vamp, it’s just been hard finding the confidence lately in myself to figure that out.

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Life is a Roller Coaster.. that Sometimes Makes Me Want to Hurl


To You,

I’ve realized that I haven’t been on my blog updating away on what’s going on around me. It’s strange – a little over one year ago I created this blog for my transition to the UK for the pursuit of my Master’s degree, and it was really developed with the storyline of ‘Sharing my year with you’. But now that that year as met his finality, another year begins and it’s another one of transitions, challenges, and change. Thus, I have yet to terminate this blog and instead will most likely continue it with everything yet to come, because each year will have challenges and projects and pursuits, and I don’t think my ‘year’ of challenges is a theme yet expired. So blog away, I must. 🙂

In all honesty, I am extremely stressed and anxious. This past month has been unexpectedly anxiety-ridden for me with so many questions weighing down on my shoulders. Up until now I have always been ‘contracted’ to a plan – school. I have the date of my first day of classes, and a schedule of day-to-day tasks to complete towards my course work. And now, in a world of no such contract, my world is wide opened and yet even more confined. I need money. I would like to know that I will see my partner on a regular basis. I want to fully unpack my suitcase and store it away for further travels rather than having it in the corner ready to be re-packed again with all of my belongings. These are such little things, however they weigh so heavily at times. I want to put more attention towards life rather than plotting for convenience. I want and need a firm base so that all of the other chaos that I seek after can happen. I need a firm location where my belongings reside, where I can collapse after a long day and chill, and work on ideas I’m developing for upcoming art concepts. And I need to travel, to explore on my own terms again. I’m a bit lost right now, feeling torn in every possible direction. I feel like I’m in a transition of adulthood – yes I have debt, yes I’m in a long distance relationship, yes my family lives all over the world and I worry about how often I can see them, and yes I’m worried about finances, commitment, career, and happiness. I work harder than what people give me credit for, but still not as hard as I could be working and so there’s a lot more ahead of me.

Anyways, that’s what I’m sitting on lately. I am one of the most determined yet stubborn people out there. And I don’t have easy routes with easy decisions.. I take swirving routes with face-palm decisions 🙂

For now, however, I’m going to enjoy sitting on this couch under this blanket 🙂

Until next time,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

Two Weeks and Counting


To You,

Thus far I’ve been swinging into this transition of being back in the U.S of A for about 2 weeks and I’m about to head back to Canada for some Thanksgiving yumminess!

[Note: Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, and it’s awesome and the weather is lovely.. hence it’s awesomeness].

The past two weeks have been jam packed, and to be honest, absolutely splendid. And now that the weather is lowering to lovely autumnal temperatures, my mood is chilling alongside and all feels rather peaceful. Some highlights of my past two weeks have included:

• A dub-step performance, jumping around at the Datsik concert, and checking out Aesop Rock at the Vogue

• Starting my internship with Luur Studios

• Baking and cooking for hours on end

• Drinking hot apple cider late at night

• Hiking, pumpkin patch perusing, hay-tractor riding

• Deciding with the beau that if we ever marry our first dance song will be ‘Ride My Pony’.. 🙂

• Slow-dancing to reggae music before Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic took to the stage

• Unknowingly getting a buzz-effect from all the second-hand marijuana fumes.. and when I say ‘unknowingly’, I felt fine all night but then couldn’t figure out why I slept until 2:00pm the following morning..!

It’s been a good two weeks, although stressful and anxious to figure out how long-term this situation can be. It feels good to have an ‘everyday’ normalcy to life right now. I’ve been all over the place with plans, and I’ve always been bouncing from one location to the next, and although I am already craving to travel somewhere new again, this ‘base’ is suiting me sweetly. 🙂

Anyways, that’s all for now! I’m off to Canada tomorrow for some Thanksgiving fun!

Until next time,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Taking Back the Reins


To You,

This past weekend has included many grand life events – last weekend I was a bridesmaid in an old highschool friend’s wedding to her beau in Oakville, ON where I also was able to catch up with a lifelong friend and hear about her recent engagement. And this weekend my cousin married her hubby in London, UK sadly of which I was unable to attend. On top of that I have spent many the hour mentally scanning over my life and trying to decipher all that seems to be jammed up inside of this singular sphere at the moment. Throughout the week I definitely ended up getting a little ill due to anxiety as to where I was unable to eat, could barely even keep liquids down, and my head and body were constantly swirling around in circles. Overall I think my mind has put off coping with things in life and throughout the past couple of years I’ve been focusing so hard on making it through the storm rather than dealing with the ramifications of enduring a lot. So post-realization that I definitely needed to re-focus my priorities in order to find glimmers of hope and happiness rather than rational survival techniques, things are looking much brighter.

Originally I had planned a long road trip to shores of Cape Cod and through the mountains on the east coast of the U.S., and as stoked as I was to just travel, chill, and photograph, things up and changed but still for the good.

Location update – I am now back in Indianapolis. Plan update – no longer road tripping it just yet, but rather have taken up an awesome internship role with a local industrial design/furniture design company run by a good friend of mine. Basically, the position will allow me to progress in the direction that I so crave to pursue in the world of art, design, and project management. To put it simply, I’m stoked. Once I decided I needed adjustments in my search for a job in Toronto, this position had lightly been put on the table as an alternative and to be honest, it’s most definitely the preferable route for me right now. Plus, the huge bonus of it all is that it is in Indianapolis where my adoring beau resides, and thus we have a short time of normalcy for the time being. All in all though, this opportunity is something I’m ecstatic about and am looking forward to see how it progresses.

My head’s still sorting things out, and I’m trying to learn to be patient with that and know that all that’s worthwhile takes time and work, and I’m most definitely up to push through it all. I miss home, family, and my adorable corgi dog, and as per usual I wish everything could reside in one place, but overall I know I need to focus on getting my professional experience up and running so that I can be overly satisfied with what life will offer me in the next chapter of things. I have an inexplicably wonderful lad, the most brilliant family, and loads of invaluable history, but I also need to make sure that the ‘me’ component of things is good too. It’s good to be good, ya know?

Anyways, that’s me – how’s you?

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

What’s Behind Door #2?


To You,

Canada has welcomed me back home with gorgeous summer weather, cool breezes and blue skies. Plus, my lovely puppy Emma Bear has greeted me with bounces, smiles, sausage rolls (this is what I call when she rolls around the grass on her back like a little Corgi sausage) – love J Being back in the countryside has been a breath of fresh air, with a sky filled with stars, being able to watch the dogs run around the property, and just sitting in the sunroom thinking about what’s next. And that’s why I type now – what is next?

Being back home and being finished with school stress is amazing, however the looming question keeps pounding on my skull as to what I am up to next. I cannot stand lots of open time where productivity cannot be found. So last night, after a long talk with mother dearest, we developed a solution… more to come on that later.

How I’m feeling right now is complicated and frustrating. I want so much to be happy and to be at peace right now, but anxiety is bouncing around my chest. I feel so close to contentment, so so close that it is annoooyyiing. I am finally finished with school, and even if a PhD is in my future, it will not be for a long time. I’m back in North America, which eliminates an ocean between me and my chap, although a long drive still separates us. And I’m ready for a job, for income, for a new home in Toronto, but finding one is proving difficult. It sucks, but it’s all life – it’s my life. I so badly, however, want the world to be on the same page as me and I do not feel like this is the case, at least not supporting me the same way I have it.

I can’t force others to be alongside me in my pursuit, but more than anything I want them there with me so that I can support them in return. I’m going through a lot, and emotionally I have been unstable. There’s no excuse for that to continue, but I do feel like I have had valid reasons to be stressed up to now. I see the wonderful in people, I see the heart, the beauty, and the hard work in people. I see the wonderful through the faults, because as humans we all have faults, as do I. I am more than aware of my issues, but the key in this is that I am aware. But when you’re consistently told what’s wrong with you while you’re working to get past it, it’s disheartening. I feel like I have a lot going for me within my personality – I’m kind, honest, trustworthy, funny, quirky, smart, open, respectful, considerate, and selfless. I’ve come to know these things over the past year and a half. But I know I have faults that come along with the ride of having lived life. I’ve surpassed a quarter of a century, and I’ve been vulnerable all of my life and it’s rarely paid off – lies, tragedies, broken hearts, racism, bigotry, ignorance, and all by people I held dear to me. It’s hard, it literally feels like your heart is failing when you are hurt so badly for no reason whatsoever. I’ve come to realize this throughout this past year. I have been through a lot for someone who has never sought out evil against another, who has committed to every aspect of my life, and who has avoided a down spiral because I’m aware that my life truly affects others as well. But I am human, and I can hurt, and I can crumble, and I do fail. I want so badly for someone to help me see the good, to acknowledge the good, and to stop picking at my flaws – I know my flaws affect others, and I have vowed to work towards bettering myself, but this requires support.

When I promise something, it’s a promise kept. No arguments. I’m difficult, but I’m considerate. I’m emotional, but I’m working on it. I’m unstable at times, but so are many people and I never give-up on them. I feel like I give so much positive that when the negative shows up, it becomes the highlight for people. My heart is good, but it’s because I’ve known pain, I’ve known tragedy, and I’ve known hurt. A good heart requires someone to embrace it and to embrace the honesty that comes along with it.

I think right now I feel disheartened. Mixed signals are throwing me off, and to be honest, I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m not good enough for the life I want to make for myself. That’s where my anxiety and sadness lies. I have a plan and I am willing to throw myself into that plan because a good, honest life requires commitment.

That’s it for now. More later on my little upcoming plan for the weeks to come.

Keep the love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Reflection


To You,

Oh goodness, what a week. It’s crazy to look at the date as of late and recognize that I started this blog almost one year ago. One year ago I was prepping for my move to England with absolutely no clue as to how it was all going to be managed, how it was to compliment my life, or how it was going to challenge me. What can I say is that it was an utterly unpredictable move on my part in so many more ways than one. Life as I have always known it has been unpredictable. From my dad’s passing in 1992, to my dropping out of university in 2004, to my first move to England and now to my second, life has been nothing short of a badly written novel – a good story includes foreshadowing, not constant ups and downs and run-arounds. Ever since I was a little girl I tried to have a plan for something, whether it was the next day, the next week, or the next year. But at the same time, I have exploited this aspect of unpredictable happenings and pushed them to the max, trying to never focus on their absurd addition to my life until after I’ve sought after it. My application to Durham University was something silently looming in my mind, however not concerning any specifics. When I applied to this highly reputable university in North East England, it was a challenge I desperately needed to awaken my life from where it was standing. I was going through a shit time in my life, and I was feeling quite beaten and bruised emotionally and mentally, and physically I was exhausted. I was not in a place remotely close to being considered ‘happy’ or ‘satisfying’ but rather I found that I was digging myself a hole of destructible measures. I was on the brink of ending a 6 year relationship of which was no longer healthy for myself or the other party involved, and I saw Durham University as an application metaphorically tied to the notion that I either jump into a challenge that would shake me up, or give up on defining life for myself and slug through mediocre standards.

Mentally, I have been through a lot in my life. I have always been ‘different’ from most kids and teenagers as I grew up. I never took part in, nor was I interested in a popular lifestyle, rebellious behavior, or anything remotely interesting to kids my age. I think a part of me knew that life was going to throw nothing but challenges my way, and I wanted to be ready for them. I was/am ridiculously competitive, and for a good 7 years sports were more important to me than a social life of any kind – needless to say, I was a loner and quite content with such. I have never felt pressured to pursue anything that would throw me off into a dangerous spiral of ignorance, and I’ve always stayed quite proud of that. And I have always followed my own path (trust me, I have the photos to prove as such). However, nearing the completion of my Bachelor’s degree I knew how much I lacked in pride at that point and how much inspiration I was in need of. So an application to Durham was filled out, mailed off, and somehow I ended up accepting a spot in the International Studies postgraduate program. I cannot emphasize this enough, but I have never studied politics – not only have I never studied politics, I have never enjoyed reading political theory, learning about philosophical approaches to political analysis, or engaging in political lectures. Challenge? Yes, that term is an understatement of the grandest kind. Did I excel? No, no I did not. My intelligence is measured in curiousity and inquiry, rather than immediate comprehension. I crave to know, but I am very aware that what I know is not the end all, be all of truths. How does this fit into traditional English academia? Not so smoothly in fact, and it was a struggle of immense proportions. People think I’m smart, but it has taken me a long time and road to get here, and I am still very much a novice. I am very pleased that I have the characteristics to be viewed as a smart individual, but no one understands the amount of mental and emotional strength I have needed to get here. Growing up, I was the last of my friends to be asked for homework help, and I was the one always too shy to ask for any when I needed it. I was always made fun of for who I was, how I was, what I was. My teachers would explain to my mother at parent-teacher night that I was ‘different’ and asked if my mother was concerned with this (I was an extreme tomboy in a Catholic school – if you do the math, yeah, they thought I was ringing up on their gay-dar to devilish rankings). I was told by teachers in highschool that I would never succeed at my dreams, I was given up on by a few when my dissatisfaction with my surroundings got in the way of my grades, and my good nature was constantly run over time and time again.

In my final year of highschool I accepted an offer to study at Purdue University in the U.S, and so for my first time I was moving to a new country. Within my first year I came to my senses and decided life was short, and university was a waste of time for me at that moment, because I was not enjoying it at all. So I dropped out. Eventually I move to London, UK, and then to France for the winter, and the English/Wales coast for a summer before moving back to the U.S to get that pesky degree. I enrolled in a Fine Arts Photography degree program in Indianapolis, and little do people know, but I had never seen a darkroom before my first photography course. I had never heard the terms ‘aperature’, ‘ISO’, or ‘f-stop’. The extent of my art history knowledge was taught within a 3-week period in highschool. Again – novice, although I finished being recognized as one of the top 5% of our graduating photo student body. To sum up, I have spent the past five years of my academic career introducing my brain to foreign elements in order to familiarize it with the unknown. Life is unpredictable, and I want to be in full recognition of that. I want a diversely educated mind so that the term ‘normal’ has no comprehensible definition to me.

But after all of this, I am tired. And to be quite honest, I am a little lost. Challenges have always appeared alluring to me, because the things and people I want in my life are ones I want to know were worth fighting for. I want significant memories of knowing how much I worked for things in life so that I know there was something immeasurable in its value to my life. When I was little, I had a lot. I had a father who worked his ass off for our life then and our life to come, a mother who would stand up for whatever life we pursued, and a history of diverse cultures and lessons to be learned. I never had the time to acknowledge it all then, and thus it should not go ignored now. My time in Durham taught me a lot about myself, but it also made me aware of the bruises that have yet to heal from years of no confidence, instability, and meanness. I don’t believe in being mean to heal mean, to make fun in order to feel better about my ‘lack of cool’, or to belittle to feel big. And to be honest, this belief has made for a tough road to heal, because I also believe in being cognizant of my surroundings, and ignorance is not something I dabble in. This past year has definitely succeeded in being one of the most positive challenges that I have ever taken on, but that is not to say that I am at peace with it. As I said earlier, I feel rather lost now, slightly more than a year ago and with much fewer ideas as to what’s next. I’m by no means done fighting for the quality of life I wish to attain, but at times it’s easy to wonder who is fighting with you, believing in your fight, and sincerely wishing for your success. When I take on a ‘challenge’ of sorts, I am constantly asked, Are you sure this is what you want? All I can respond with at this point is that if you merely recognize the struggle as a struggle, then you’re not with me just yet. If you only see the pain as pain, you don’t see the value. If you only acknowledge the tears, the sweat, the frustration, and the anger as being ill rewards of an impossible climb, then you don’t believe in what I believe. Because the struggle is a fight for the immeasurable, the pain is a challenge accepted for something worthwhile, and the ‘ill rewards’ are the mind’s battle for what’s true in life. When the crowd at the finish line is only expecting your arrival, they are never going to acknowledge the fight that started before the gun signaled Go!

My time in Durham is done. Dissertation handed in, all moved back to Canada. What’s next? I have no clue, but I have a feeling that no matter what, I’m in for another challenge.

Until next time,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

At a Crossroads


To You,

The rain has finally been plummeting down in Indianapolis, and from what I’ve been told to by numerous residents it has been way overdue and very much appreciated. I promised people I would bring some of that UK rain with me over the pond, and apparently I delivered. We’ve had 3 or 4 storms since I arrived and therefore the weather has been lovely for the past week or so with less humidity and temperatures barely breaking 82 degrees Farenheit (which this Celcius girl has been told this indicates hot but not unbearable numbers.. Farenheit still bewilders me). So the weather has been more much more tolerable to say the least.

The dissertation is coming along, although it did suffer quite a delay from my original timeline due to jet-lag and general stress/overwhelming anxiety about life as I know it. But yes, it is coming.

My mind has definitely taken a hit to say the least. I’m finding myself standing at a fork in the road attempting to decipher which way is which, what way leads up and what leads me down a path of.. well.. crap. I’ve taken so many chances in my life, and I have worked endlessly to uphold a standard that makes me proud and that makes me feel like my family would be proud alongside me. Lately, however, I’ve become confused. And that’s putting it lightly. I’m not satisfied with my life at the moment, and I know I’m at a crossroads of change and transition at the moment, but to feel unsatisfied after working so hard feels disruptive to my persistent will to forever better the person I am in any given moment. I want to believe in me and the challenges I’ve pursued, but I’ve hit times where I wish I could eliminate the thoughts and perceptions of those around me and do what I feel is a possible route of positive change. I take risks, but I’m becoming scared of repercussions. I’m finding it hard to communicate about anything, because I feel like words break apart upon their release and deplete to a mist of dust and chaos. I’m finding myself without someone to talk with, and at times this makes me uneasy. I feel as though my life’s path is at times secondary. I feel.. brushed aside at times; dismissed. Life has been in need of some luster, some romance, some dream awakening motions. I suppose I just need to do some reworking around of my motives, my footpath, and the importance of those working alongside of me and for me.

I’m feeling very much like last place.

Ho hum, diddly dum. :o/

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Reaching Out for a Hand to Hold


To You,

Yes, it has been a while. Why, you may ask? Well I shall answer whether or not the question was posed with, ‘because I’ve been moving, bitches.’ On July 22nd I jumped the Durham ship and was London bound where I spent an awesomely lovely week soaking up the sunny rays (yes, they were actually in existence prior to the Olympics) and some time with family members throughout the cosmopolitan city. It was absolute bliss going from packing hell, shipping stress, and cleaning frenzies to sitting outside in my beloved city underneath the warm summer sun and catching up with relatives about this and that and everything in between. On July 27th, I headed to Gatwick and successfully arrived into Toronto to catch a bit of the opening ceremonies footage playing on Canadian news stations – a little surreal since I was there in London that morning and was now watching it from overseas. Très sad.

Now I have been resting in Indianapolis, IN for 2 weeks at this point, of which the first week consisted of nothing but sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Since then … the difficulty to awaken from this mindless slumber.

I’m feeling.. at odds, so to speak. I have worked my ass off this past year, more than what most can come to realize. What people do not acknowledge is that I have spent the past 5 years of my life studying in fields of which I had no prior knowledge of before the commencement of said studies. In 2007 I enrolled at IUPUI in Indianapolis, and within 3 months embarked on a degree in Fine Arts. Had I ever studied the arts? Yes. However, had I ever seen a darkroom? No. That’s an affirmative negative. Did I know what silver gelatin meant? Ha, no. I was beyond clueless, but knew I wanted to check into the medium. Challenge accepted. To be honest, I did well.. I stand true to that. I worked my ass off to challenge my mind to communicate my passions through the medium of photography and art in general. It was difficult going from such a nervous individual, refusing to express opinions in the most casual of settings to pinning up my work on the walls and presenting varying topics to my peers. And let it be known, photography students are nasty, ruthless, and cut-throat compared to other students I’ve thus far encountered. We do not hold back and neither do the professors. It’s rough, and a huge mental challenge for the soul at times. At the end of my undergraduate career, I was ready for a Master’s program. In art? No, that’s silly – politics of course!

Yes. I am an idiot on multiple levels. My artwork had developed an interest in exploring the power of art within a political setting. However, I have never studied politics. Not even in high school. To this day, I am a dunce in parliament rulings, democratic voting schemes, political party movements. I wanted to know more about the discussion in today’s classrooms as to what we are exploring, focusing on.

I cannot explain the difficulty of this past year. Due to the fact that my brain has turned to incoherent mush it is hard to verbalize my struggles in words which are inclusive in the English language. I challenged myself with the ultimate challenge for myself – I am not a natural academic, but I refuse to recluse to the mediocre simplicity of my mind’s nature and so I push it to it’s actual capacity. So picture this: the art student, quirky, creative, at times irrational, stepping onto the grounds of Durham University, a highly traditional English university recognized as one of the tops in the country. It is claimed as the third oldest in the UK, and it sticks to its traditional nature. Challenge.. accepted? Yes. Fuck yes, let’s do it. (Can you see the oddity of which I stood out as amongst my peers? Should I mention that in my induction ceremony class photo I stood out like a pea sitting atop a pile of charcoal – literally.. only chick wearing a colour amidst a sea of grey toting classmates).

I have less than 1 month to complete my dissertation. I am tired. I am worn down, and I am struggling to complete this challenge. I didn’t back down, however. I never backed down, even though I did stumble, I did trip and fall, and I did break down on numerous occasions. No one will ever know what I have put myself through this past year, and no one will understand why it has been as hard as it has been. I’ve had a rough few years battling personal struggles, being beaten down verbally, struggling to trust, to talk, to believe, and to dream. Those who know me know I’ve been through some shit. And it never ceases to stop, but neither do I.

To be honest, I am fighting so hard to find something worth standing for. Throughout my year abroad, pushing my brain through the equivalent of boot-camp for the weak, I have been trying to come out on top of personal decisions. And to be honest, I’m breaking down. I have been fighting for something that I truly believe in more than anything else in a long, long time. I believe in the connection of people, and I believe nothing is made to be easy apart from the connection itself. But I feel like no matter how hard I keep fighting to sustain a life worth fighting for, I’m blindsided by the unforeseen. There are most definitely times where I wish I could start over, choose the easy route, but life as I have always known it has been difficult, but I have accepted every challenge with everything I could give and I am grateful for the experience. I feel like every time I give, however, I’m asked to up it with an extra side of fries. I’m still trying, I’m still kicking, I’m still being as honest as the situation calls for, but will I ever be worth the flaws? I am struggling in life right now, and I feel like I’m not done giving. But I feel as though I am not worth the challenge for others, and I think that leaves me feeling foolish and taken for granted. But I’m still kicking, because the minute I stop I will sink in the middle of this sea rather than reaching the stability of the distant shoreline.

So yes, been busy. Been preoccupied. Been stressed and confused. Been fighting.

Speak soon,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo