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

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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

Rolls of Film


To You,

I recently finished up a roll of film, but before planning a trip out of the city’s core to have it developed I went through my photography kits to see if any others were laying about. And of course there were. Of random times. Southern Ontario, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Northern Indiana.

I adore film. It presents little surprises of sporadic memories. Here are a few of the randoms.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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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

An Ode to the Men and Women of Salon Group


hair-scissors-clip-art-advertisement-clipart-nTE5oykTA To You,

I haven’t written on here in months, for good reason however. Much has happened in my life to the point that I truly required time to gather my thoughts, gather my sanity, and gather many overdue hours of uninterrupted sleep. Over the past couple of years I have gone through many relationship-based life changes, and at the end of it all I believe in taking a moment to reflect, analyze, and take time to appreciate all of those who have helped me along the way. However, in my little tale on this site of being in a long-distance relationship, to getting engaged, to eloping and getting married, to commencing the agonizing process of family immigration, there were a few unexpected people in my life who honestly came to know my journey more than most. In all honesty, they were not close friends, we didn’t hang on the weekends or do dinners together (I’m a loner at heart and so awkward at the very nature of socializing that this was all for the best), and at first impressions I felt completely at odds with these people (jokingly referred to as “your” people, Randy *cues inside joke resulting in me probably sounding like an ass to many outsiders*), but in the end, these were my go-to folks who not only cared for my story each and every day, but always celebrated and bitched in it when I needed that companionship. So today I will further digress from telling the tales of the past few months of immigration happenings to express a truly appreciative thankfulness to my coworkers of the past two years, the guys and girls who manage not to use their sharp tools to take out their long days on others (something I think is a testament to self-control), who stand there day in and day out to be tipped a few dollars for their talents, and endure many days of empty complaints for not making their short-haired clients look like JLo – this is an ode to Salon Group.

To this day, I am a long-haired lass who cannot figure out how a pony-tail would not require 10 bobby pins to keep the frays from poking in this way and that. I only started tweezing my eyebrows in university (thank god because at least I still have brows to this day after growing up in the 90’s) and had my first Pedicure two years ago. And I colored by hair during only one few month phase of my life (I think I went through an Asian crisis since I dyed it bright fire red… other Asians know what I’m talking about), and since that time 10 years ago have let my tresses sit au naturel. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I am beauty-industry-stupid. I don’t understand make-up, or what the range of make-up brushes are for.. I admit here and now I thought eyeliner pencils were real pencils…. and I used them as such to write notes in people’s lockers in high school. I admit to using Pantene Pro-V even after my hair wouldn’t stop shedding mid-shampoo.. I mean the commercials guaranteed its shininess, so maybe it was only the dull strands swiftly falling to the ground? I thought facials were luxury services of pointless lotioning of the face, and putting cucumbers on your eyes instead of in your mouth. But, after receiving my Master’s degree from Durham University in the UK, I was without a job but with much debt. I needed income, and somehow found myself working front desk for a local upscale salon and spa business in my hometown. And I somehow ended up being there for over two years. And in the end, I can only say this in response to my experience: We walk into these industries and we bitch. We look down upon these men and women due to the aesthetic-based nature of its purpose. We complain when a hair cut is a certain price, we blatantly scoff at the notion of paying someone a certain dollar amount for 2+ hours of services. We are rude, we are ignorant, we are beyond incomprehensible in our judgment towards others within those walls due to the notion that we feel we have the right to comment on someone’s beauty, someone’s size, someone’s style of choice due to the fact that they work within the beauty industry, and therefore this somehow makes them an exception in our decency from refraining from blatant and public objectification. Your hairstylist and your esthetician are not lesser than, and these individuals have passion in the health of your hair and body.

Yes, there is drama, and yes there are those moments when I hated being surrounded by constant beauty-standards. I was questioned by some on the point of my academic pursuits as it only lead me to working a front desk job. But in the end, we have one opportunity to learn in life, and no knowledge is bad knowledge. No education is wasteful. It is the means to opening doors, opening conversational platforms, opening your hearts and your minds to all walks of life, and it is a means for comprehension and endless lessons learned. These individuals with whom I worked are talented chemists with their color concoctions, they are therapists in sitting there day after day hearing about your divorce, your custody battles, your battle against cancer, the death of your spouse. They may not be high on the list of employment rankings as doctors, lawyers, and peace makers, but they will help style your newly grown hair after chemo has stopped, they will take their time to treat a elderly woman whose husband just passed and doesn’t have the efforts to set her own curls the morning of his funeral, and they will talk to your teenage sons and daughters about how they look awesome no matter who else disagrees. They may run behind in their schedules, but only because we as clients have unrealistic expectations of the beauty industry and demand the impossible because one of the Kardashians could do it (remember people… they are kind of loaded in the dough). Yes, your haircut may cost $50.00 for what you consider to be a few strands trimmed off your ends. But do you bitch at a Chef for their restaurant charging you $70 for a prime piece of steak that sits at the size of your thumb sided with a lettuce leaf? Or at the bartender for charging you $12 for a delicately sized cocktail? I suggest you try that sometime and see if they waiver on their prices too. It’s honestly embarrassing.

To wrap this up, I just want to say this to all of those I worked with for the past two years: Thank you. I was going through a personal roller coaster of hell, and your hugs, your jokes, your time meant the world to me. Now being able to say I worked a role within the beauty industry, I can only offer advice to you in that you should take the time at least once a week to appreciate the man whose in charge of your job, who trains you with his knowledge, and who presents opportunities for you to train in New York city or attend product training in Mexico. To some, get off your ass and work for him with everything you have. Your feet may hurt, and your legs may tire, but if a knowledgeable man who has been in this for over 50 years can come to work everyday without unwarranted sick days, so can you. Unless you suck. He only hires talent, and if you’re still there, you clearly have it and so grow up and prove it. A life not lived with pride is one completely wasted. I came to work and worked my ass of at something I am still clueless about and for that man alone- not for a love of hair, or aesthetics, or beauty. There is always an opportunity to learn, always an opportunity to grow your mind, and in the end, you are all intelligent masters because of it, but always still learning. To the women in the joint – there are some of you who personally astound me, and I am so much better for knowing you. I am a full blown feminist who truly values the upholding of strength, intelligence, and skills of other women, and your personal pursuits in your career and academics and personal individuality are inspiring – so don’t stop. Never stop. To those of you still lost in life, whether young or young at heart – opportunities only knock at the doors of those willing to open it. If you want something, go get it. Or stop talking about it.

And to Sal and Jill: just, Thank You.

And to any other readers – remember these people are in the service industry, and they deserve your appreciation. So thank them. Oh, and show up on time. It’s not funny when you’re late. And yeah, there are some who do actually suck in that industry of hair and aesthetics, but in the end none are lesser than and as human beings all deserve respect. If you don’t believe that, then cut your own damn hair and massage your own stupid feet. 😉

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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

“My fiancé…”: Coming to Terms With Terms


To You,

For whatever reason – most likely because I’m The Awkward of Awkwards and anything remotely normal within society feels icky to me – but for whatever reason through the whirlwind of change and all things that life has decided to toss my way this past year, I have been having an oddly hard time accepting my new place in life, my newly found status and title, my association to and with the terminology of which seems alien and unknown to me: my new found days as a fiancée. 

There is an odd association to this term to me, and perhaps it’s because I don’t quite understand the usage of this term. I’ve always hated proclaiming such identifiable terms, because for whatever reason it seems like I’m making a statement within a statement, as if I’m not only stating something of relevance but making it known that yes, I am a gal betrothed to my bloke to live forever and ever in one’s dreams of wedded bliss.

But maybe – JUST MAYBE – I’m acting stupid. I know, it’s a rare occasion when I’m being irrational, silly, or stupid (never a rare occasion to be sarcastic and snarky, might I add), but I want to find goodness in this newly found status of mine (and his) rather than pure awkward stuttering. And I think I’ve found my comfort zone within using the term fiancé(e).

• I don’t care that I have a fiancé. BUT I care a whole hell of a lot as to who that fiancé is, and for that I am so unbelievably proud. And in using the term, I’m proud of the man I get to call my fiancé, because he asked me to be that person in his life and I chose him just as much. So, for me, in using this term (of which sounds pompous for the first while of referring to it, by the way.. ‘fiancéeeeee..’), it’s not me proclaiming what I have, but acknowledging the person embodied in its symbolism.

It’s still something to get accustomed to using and feeling normal about it, but I’ll get there. Besides, I got too many judgmental looks when calling him my ‘hooked’ and me his ‘hooker’ (look up alternative terms for fiancé.. it was a fun game for us newbies!).

Peace out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Tonight


Tonight, I dream of steaming teacups sitting beside your scotch.

I dream of waking up under blankets to the smell of coffee in the pot.

The wonderments of dinners sat at the table side by side.

I dream of evenings in silence snuggled tightly with my guy.

Walking our dogs on the weekends with our fingers linked hand in hand.

I dream of distant travels and exploring distant lands.

Tonight I dream of distance coming to an end,

Because all I want is my lovely, my bestest, my Mr. Beardfaced friend.

xoxoxo

‘Home’


To You,

One of the things I’m thankful for is on a clear night being able to look up to the sky and staring at the stars. The clarity, the vast depth of a sprinkling of sparkles over a black sheet of velvet allows my mind to get lost, take a time out, and breathe. To say life has been stressful as of late is an understatement. I’m overwhelmed with what’s to come, with what is, and what’s already past. I’m overwhelmed with amazing changes and unknown circumstances. I’m overwhelmed with life happenings, both wonderful and not, and everything that needs laid out to walk a steady path in the next year.

I know people are sick and tired of hearing me declare my level of overwhelmed-ness, but I’m feeling stuck. I’m feeling, well, rather alone in all of this. And I think what’s making this hard for me to deal with is that everything about myself that I tend to look towards when I’m stressed out feels more and more out of reach. What I wouldn’t give to go to the airport and ask for a random destination flight and just go. I miss traveling. It’s a huge part of my mental stability and mental clarity, and this past year, traveling has been put on hold to put other portions of my life into perspective. But I feel as though I need a rearrangement of sorts, because I’m not content in any of this. My logistics, my level of inspiration and motivation, my happiness – it all feels stuck. This past year has been about getting myself back in shape, in every aspect, and I think I’m just hitting a hump of being tired.

Most recently I was asked what could be done to make a place home – for me. Right now, I don’t know, because it’s not about possessions, but about the mentality that flows through a space. I don’t know how many times I’ve stated it in the past year, but I need a day or two for me. And I don’t mean a spa day, or anything of the like, but a day where I can talk about life right now with someone in a way that feels comfortable for me. No rush, no hurry, no impatient remarks.. just a day filled with laughter, hugs, coffee, starlit skies, the outdoors, and comfort. For me to have a place feel like home, I need to know that I can be me in that home. I haven’t felt that in a long time, because I’m always between ‘lives’ – my daily life where I work and sleep and my relationship is handled from a distance, and my relationship life where I swing in for a quick visit, am taking time off work, and I’m living out of a suitcase. My idea of home is about mentality – where I can continue to work towards building a life with my future husband in a space filled with creativity, knowledge, and openness, where I can sit in my corner with my cup of coffee and sketchbook, where after a bad day I feel as though I can recluse in my homely haven and feel re-centered. I want to be home. But right now, home is a goal, not a present possibility (due to the whole lovely process of immigration).

I have a goal in mind, but the stress as to how to get there, when I’ll get there, and what I need to do in the meantime is clouding my brain of said goal. In a sense, I’m lost in Limbo.

Bisous,

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