1,348 days worth raising your glass to


To You,

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

[What a useless life motto, eh?]

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

One thousand three hundred and forty eight days.

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for having me, babe.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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2011, Chicago O’Hare

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June 2012, London, UK

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February 2014, USA

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February 2014, USA

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May 31, 2015 – U.S. Border

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April 17, 2016 – USA

Why, hello there!


To You,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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

Victoria Son Photography: A New Online Portfolio


I’ve been forming my temporary online portfolio displaying my art and photography work – now, I say “temporary” because I’m sure in the year to come with immigration still playing its course that once I feel settled in the United States I will then have time to sort out my ‘brand’ and be able to more firmly represent my ongoing photographic goals. Therefore for now I am hesitating from purchasing my domain until I become more full-time invested in this venture, rather than being distracted with looming immigration details 🙂

So check it out!

v i c t o r i a | S O N
http://www.victoriason.wix.com/portfolio

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It all started in an airport those three years ago


To You,

Three years ago in the early hours of the morning my boyfriend drove me to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. As we left from his apartment in Indianapolis, the mood was conflicting: rushed, as I had a plane to catch to London Heathrow in a few hours, yet hesitant to budge as I didn’t want to leave. However, in the realness of it all, my soul deserved this transition into the next stage of my adventurous so-called life.

Three years ago I had no idea as to what the next stage was to present to me – I was embarking on the attempt to hold out a long distance relationship without any end in sight as to when we would be local again, and I was heading to grad school in the UK. Three years ago this blog commenced, and three years ago I said what would turn into the first of many goodbyes to my boyfriend, and the first of a lifetime to come of “I love you“‘s.

There’s no other soul I could ever imagine running this course with, but I forever will as difficult as it may be. Here’s to our three years of long distance finally approaching its termination and a lifetime of marriage as husband and wife. Not many could ever pull off this relationship, but it will eternally remain one of my proudest commitments and my heart’s purest joy.

Much love to my Mr. Husband-Face, the only person I could ever survive this adventure with. And who would have thought it all started in that airport 😉

Lots of love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

September 2011, Chicago O'Hare International Airport

September 2011, Chicago O’Hare International Airport

A New Post Redirected Back at Life


To You,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breathing in and out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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

Hello Face, Meet Mallet.


To You,

I haven’t been doing all so great these past few months. I’ve been rather down in the dumps miserable, and each and every day I try to find the gusto to pick myself up and forge onwards for the bigger and better, and then I get smacked in the face with a mallet. Since October I’ve become engaged, started the researching process into immigration, eloped, filed for immigration, felt like my life is being put on hold due to immigration and its unknown processing time span, had to search for a new apartment (again, a little stressful when I require a lease without a year-long contract), realized that a job I would love to pursue is only possible as a Canadian (a.k.a federal government work that I can’t do in the U.S since I won’t be pursuing citizenship)… I feel like a pawn on a multi-player chess board.

For the past few years, I have fought to reclaim independence. And since then, I’ve also felt like I’ve been compromising that fight for this life I’ve found myself within. The life of a long-distance relationship, immigration, and stress. You know, all of this right now is why I cannot recommend long-distance to anyone – it’s definitely a “pursue at your own risk” type deal, and although it can be wonderful it is not easy, at all.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my husband otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. But, I feel like I’ve been loving myself less. Due to long-distance and the overwhelming personal commitment that it requires to formulate a trusting long-distance relationship, I feel as though I haven’t been able to create a balanced life of my needs and wants versus our relationship’s needs. Lately, I’ve been more and more annoyed, irritable, and uninspired. And this is all based on me. I have put my life on hold for everyone else, and whether that has been a mistake or not, it’s been exhausting. I hate thinking about it. I am so uninspired with my life right now, not because I’m unappreciative of what I have but because it doesn’t feel like I’m me within it. I am not used to remaining stagnant for a relationship’s requirements (the expenses of immigration and the unknown limbo it’s put me in within its unpredictable time frame leaves me without much wiggle room for adventures). Nor am I used to putting my travels on hold to save up for immigration. Traveling is me, it is what my heart and my mind survive on. And in these past four or five years, I haven’t been me. And no matter the elements, when you don’t feel like yourself, and you’re exhausted from sustaining a lifestyle that doesn’t feel like it’s conducive to your inspiration and self-worth, it’s saddening. Maddening.

I don’t know who I am, nor what defines me. I feel as though people are focusing on me as a wife awaiting immigration, and nothing more. To be honest, it’s been hard for me to see more than this. The good person, the committed partner and step-parent, the intellect, the strong woman, the independent woman, the adult, the adventurer, the reader, the artist, the thinker, the risk-taker, the crazy-person, the wonderer – will I ever get her back, or is that not a part of the plan?

I am human and I’m having a hard time. It’s not a day-to-day type problem to deal with because tomorrow it will still be the same. I don’t feel appreciated as who I am – I’m appreciated as a wife and human being, but I don’t feel celebrated as me. When was the last time we raised our glasses to who we are, who our partners are, what we’ve been through – what we’re going through? When was the last time that we received gifts that were out of recognition of who we are – not getting a TV, or jewelry, or cell phones, but a book, an adventure, knowledge, a new experience?

Like I said, I’m rather unfulfilled and dumpy right now. Have been for a while, and I’m struggling on my own. Life is throwing me an adventure, that’s for sure, but it’s not mine. You know, I exist within all of this too- as me- and I feel like that’s been forgotten.

Keep calm (and pour me a drink).

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Twinkle, twinkle little star…


To You,

Tonight I sit here with my eyelids falling heavy, something which indicates that this head will be falling equally as heavy onto a soft pillow in the coming hour or so. As my mind races, my inner being grows heavier and heavier, and so tonight I sit here wishing upon the many stars that sit in the countryside sky above me.

Tonight I wish for sleep, because I am so, so drawn out and tired. People ask how they can help me since I’m been miserably exhausted for so long now and the answer I wish to have given to me is the gift of time to sleep. When I sleep, my mind turns off, my soul goes back to dreaming and I lay in peace until my soul is rejuvenated to make life out of my dreams.

I also wish for space, space to muddle through my thoughts and come to grips with all of the changes I’m left dealing with. I wish for open skies and wide open paths to walk along, and I wish for the whispy freedom to do as I choose.

I wish for days when I’m not under pressure to meet the expectations of others, for the release to do for me what I need right now.

If nothing else, I wish for people asking me how they can help me to understand my need for the above. It may not be what others want from me, but for me, it’s what I need after neglecting what I’ve needed in place for doing as others have requested.

Sweet dreams and peaceful sleeps.

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

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

The Man with the Plan


To You,

Everyone has bad days. Everyone has worse than bad days. No matter the degree of detriment of which causes our bad days, we’ve all experienced moments that make us feel helpless, hopeless, and on the brink of giving up. Causes can range from the accumulation of the little shits throughout a relative timeline – you spilled your coffee on your only clean shirt, your car won’t start, someone lets the door slam behind them and in your face, and then a colleague interrupts you mid-discussion. These little things can add to the worst day, sobs, and a fit doomed to be thrown. And then there are life struggles – loss of job, financial woes, illness of a loved one, a lawsuit. It doesn’t matter the cause, but the approach to breathing in life again does matter.

In the past few months, I’ve had my bad days. My “step on my foot and I will punch you in the ribs” bad days. And they’ve all ranged from sleeping in and running late, to car maintenance, to car accidents, to job hunt woes, to bad hair days, to fat days, to illness, to misbehaving dogs… All have caused me anxiety and tears. And it’s not silly of me – I’m fucking human! I work hard, but I get tired. We all do, but sometimes you need to step back, and I mean take a big lunging step back and take a breath. Because sometimes things do suck, and things do seem hopeless, and things start to overwhelm you. I’ve been on both ends of this pain, overwhelming and the overwhelmed and it seems as though one can become the other rather quickly and without acknowledgement.

To those who know this feeling, and those who feel at their wits end, I offer you a cupcake. Some ice cream. A chocolate fudge sundae. A long sweaty jog. A hug. A bad joke. An afternoon watching Kazaam or listening to Shaq Fu: Da Return (No? Really? Well don’t say I didn’t offer..). I know I could use one of the above… or maybe a combo package, because let’s face it – I will eat that cupcake with the ice cream in addition to the sundae, and that will result in me needing the long sweaty jog. And who can say no to Kazaam?! Crazy people, that’s who. Any way about it, I offer my thoughts because I get it.

On that note, I leave you with this, because, come on – how can you not smile watching this?!!

Peace,

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

Although it Remains ‘Unconfirmed’, Signs Point to Me Being An Awesome Person


To You,

Just a brief little list of things I wish to present to you at this moment:

1. I’m Canadian. I always like to start with this because it resonates my awesomeness. 😉

2. I have studied in two different countries apart from my own.

3. I moved to the Indiana, USA when I was 18 to pursue my Bachelors in Athletic Training. Indiana was a state that I probably could not have located on a map beforehand. I thought Texas was within relative proximity to Florida. Yes, I am a dunce.

4. I moved to London, UK when I was 19 on my lonesome to take time to avoid the mundane academic curriculum.

5. I moved back to Indiana to officially seek out my Bachelor’s degree in 2007.

6. I enrolled in the Fine Arts Photography program at my university in 2008.

7. Up until 2008 I had never seen a darkroom before. Nor did I know the names of any credible artists in the photography field.

8. I graduated with my Bachelor in Fine Arts Photography being recognized as a top 5 in my class by professors.

9. I applied to 3 schools in England for my Master’s degree.

10. I got accepted into 2 programs at my top choice, Durham University.

11. Being the idiot that I am, I accepted a position in the MA in International Studies program in Durham’s prestigious School of Government and International Affairs department.

12. I’m an idiot because I had never taken a course in politics in my life. I avoided it in high school, and had never read Marxist theory nor any other political theory up to my first week of classes in a Master’s program.

13. Twice in my life I have pursued degrees of which I had next to no experience in. Seriously. No exaggeration. Really no knowledge at all.

14. Pursuing studies in political theory at Durham University was one of the most difficult challenges I have taken on.

15. You should also know that I’m not a natural ‘book smart’ individual. I merely have an interest to push my brain to ‘know’.

16. I sometimes use words not fully knowing what they mean, but because I like the sound of them. See. Not book smart.

17. I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Emma Bear Tugboat Ein Son. I just thought that was worth noting.

18. Although unconfirmed, I have received my dissertation mark and I will soon be awarded with my Master of Arts in International Studies from Durham University, and no one will ever truly understand how mentally demanding the past few years of my life have been and thus how truly proud of myself that I am.

19. I can pinpoint Texas AND Florida on a map correctly. And Indiana. I’ve come a long way. 🙂

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