I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

“I never loved  you. I wouldn’t miss you at all. You are replaceable. Interchangeable.”

The words echo in my head. So many questions and so much confusion clouds my ability to think of much else. I long to understand what happened, but I simply cannot make sense of it.

My heart breaks over the loss of a life that I created with someone. I am devastated over the betrayal of someone I trusted so entirely that I agreed to spend the rest of my life with him. Everything feels like a lie. And I feel played for a fool.

Every laugh, every kiss, every touch, every moment meant nothing to him. I was simply someone to kill time with. Yet, as I look back, his actions seem to scream infinitely louder than his words. The beautiful and kind gestures. The nights spent in the hospital with me when I was sick or the times he took care of me at home. The talk he had of the future and our life together. The happy tears he cried when my father gave his blessing to ask me to marry him. The sleepless nights when he cried over having to go on exercise and say goodbye.

I try to rationalize what happened. I try to look for the signs that his words had some meaning behind them. That I really did mean nothing, and since I did not have a place in his heart it was so easy for him to begin a relationship with someone else. But I just cannot make sense of it.

As much as my heart breaks, I feel like I started to let go a while ago too. Every night that he drank, I found that my tolerance was a little bit less. When he was cruel and unkind and blamed it on his depression, I began to ask myself how many more times I could plead with him to seek help. Yet the entire length of our relationship, I continued to be his rock and his strength.

With the passing of my dear grandmama, I needed him to be my strength. For the first time in our relationship I called on him to be my rock. He was overseas, I was alone and lost a woman who was a mother figure for me in so many ways, and I fell into a dark place. He says that is the moment that he decided to leave me. When I needed help. When I had used up all of my strength on him and just needed to borrow some back.

I may not be able to make sense of his reasoning, but I do know in my heart that all give and no take is not how a relationship works. I know that I deserve better than to feel like I can’t ask the person that I chose to spend the rest of my life with for help. That isn’t how it is supposed to be.

As I start to heal over the loss of him, my pain turns into ache from the absence of someone to share my life with. It saddens me to come home to an empty house. To eat dinner alone. To go to sleep alone and not have that person to share the details of my day with. In the morning, I roll over to an empty side of the bed and start the cycle again.

Each new day is still another day that I find myself analyzing and asking questions about what happened. I don’t anticipate this will go away soon. Some days my feelings are of sadness, some of anger, some of regret and embarrassment, but most of them I feel relief. Relief that I realized the type of person he was now, and that I didn’t waste any more of my heart on someone who clearly has not given any of his to me. Relief that I can go back to living the life that I always dreamed of having instead of giving up my dreams because he said that his were more important. Relief that I get a clean slate and a new chance to try to find real love.

 

8482181476_af9c2aa8ff_b“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

Day 24 of #100happydays – Inspiring TedTalks

I love TedTalks. Some of them can be quite long, but when they pop up on my Facebook or Twitter feeds I always try to make a mental note to watch them when I get a chance. Sometimes, the little inspiration that these videos provide is just what you need to help get you through a tough day. This is possibly my favourite TedTalk that I’ve ever seen.

“Hard is not relative. Hard is hard. We need to stop ranking our hard against everyone else’s hard to make us feel better or worse.”

I spent about an hour on ted.com watching some of these videos today. I found one that sounded a lot like something that a good friend of mine told me when I was struggling with my own health in high school. It was grade 11, and this friend was my social studies teacher. She believed in me, and gave me the best advice I have ever received in my life. She told me that sometimes life gives you a gift, it just happens to be covered in shit. You have to dig through all the shit to get to the gift, but it is all worth it. Keeping in the theme that hard is not relative, and that everyone has their own struggles, this video shows that there is always light in the darkness.

“You’ll be challenged, inspired, motivated, and humbled. Your life will have new meaning.”

There’s a really great message in both of these videos. I hope you take the time to watch them :)

Days 18-23 of #100happydays

Another lump post of my #100happydays challenge. It’s been quite the eventful week, and I’ve just been too busy to post.

The end of day 17 – last Tuesday – I learned that the condition that my brakes on my car were in made it no longer driveable. My dad was calling his mechanic friends to see how fast someone could get it in, but everyone was quoting him a few weeks. At this point, my life looked like it was about to get pretty complicated in terms of getting to work. I work in brand new developments where there are no bus routes. Ah! I called Curtis’ mom to see if I could borrow their van for a while, and not only did they lend me the van, but Willie fixed my car at his shop the very next day. I have some really lovely family that are always there for me. I don’t know what I would do without them all.

On day 19 I developed some sort of flu, and it has stuck with me. That’s usually how it goes with me though – I stay sick for a long time. That would normally make for a pretty crappy week., but in true #100happydays fashion, I’ve been embracing the positive. I’ve stayed home a lot, only leaving the house for class or work. Since I’m home so much, I’ve gotten lots of kitten snuggles! These two are just the best. I think they can sense that I’m not feeling well, because they are giving me a ton of love.

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When I’m not in bed, I’ve been on the couch working on all my assignments. I feel really pleased with how much I’ve been able to do considering how awful I’ve felt. That, and the constant distraction of Wickham staring at me. He really enjoys eye contact with his humans.

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are on as well. And nothing makes me feel more Canadian than watching the Winter Olympics. I don’t think our TV has left CBC since the preliminaries started. And since I haven’t been sleeping through the night – oh the joys of being sick – I’ve been able to watch quite a bit. I’ve kept it on during the day while I’m working as well.

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Overall, the past week hasn’t been awful. I have felt awful, but there has been lots of positive moments throughout. Kittens, Olympics, and especially lots of Curtis taking care of me. He’s the best :)

Days 13-17 of #100happydays

The past couple days have been a complete whirlwind, so I apologize for being MIA with my #100happydays challenge posts. My life has changed quite a bit.

First, Curtis and I spent the weekend moving into our new place. We had a lot of help from our family and friends. We are officially out of the basement dungeon and into a bright, three-bedroom, main floor of a house. And we are loving every second of it.

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Some areas are more organized than others, but it’s starting to come together. I finally get my own office! Curtis gets a man cave as well. I’m still waiting on most of my books – I stored them in Leduc at my grandparents when I was in moving limbo for the past month – and the office will look a little more complete. My parents are also taking care of Neville, my little bunny furbaby, and I will get him back soon as well. Just need to find time for a trip out to the farm!

Yesterday we were starting to feel pretty settled in. The living room and kitchen are more or less done, and the bathroom and our bedroom are not far behind. Just when we started to feel organized, we went and picked up the other furbabies. I was expecting chaos bringing two little playful kittens into the house – but the good kind of chaos! We were so excited to bring them home. Well, this has been about all the chaos that we’ve seen so far…

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The handsome little man in the tuxedo is Leonardo DeCatrio, and the mostly white guy is Wickham. Curtis and I are so smitten with these little kittens. Leo has taken to Curtis – following him around, sleeping right on him. Wickham is my little buddy. He curls up by my feet when I’m standing and doing the dishes, he naps right next to me on the couch as I’m on my laptop, and he stares me down with his little green eyes. These two brothers are great friends. We can’t wait to watch them grow up and into our little family. Thank you so much to Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society for giving us these little furry and purring bundles of joy.

I’m still working on settling into a routine here at the new house. I’m such a creature of habit, so I feel a bit out of my element right now. It will probably take a week or two for me to settle in and feel at home. But am I ever excited that Curtis and I have our own home – devoid of roommates and with tons of space for each of us. Now I just have to go grocery shopping so we actually have something to eat!

Day 12 of #100happydays – Staying Organized (And How To Get That Way)

We all have crazy busy lives. I’m sure you’ve gotten a sense of my hectic days over the course of my #100happydays challenge. It can be hard to remember everything and stay on top of everything. Little things are easily forgotten when each day’s to-do list is a million items long. I have found a system that works really well for me.

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My day planner is my life – I’m sure many of you feel the same. Whether you have a book version or use something online, it’s they key to keeping track of a hectic life. Here’s a list of tips that I have developed that keep me organized:

  1. Write everything down. Everything. I log even the smallest items into my day planner. I find that the busier I get, the more I need to remind myself to do things. Whether it be scheduling time in to study for an upcoming exam or washing my car, I write it down. When it comes to something that needs to be done, better safe than sorry!
  2. Colour code. With writing so many entries down and trying to schedule things based upon priority, I find that colour coding is really helpful. Pink for personal things, green for assignments, blue for work, yellow for meetings and appointments, and so on. This way, if I have a really busy day – and only a few hours to accomplish a bunch of things – I can pick and choose based upon importance. It also helps when I scan forward to see what is coming up.
  3. Bring your planner everywhere. This book is like my oxygen. I get all panicky when I realize I have forgotten to bring it along. This is where having an online system or an app is helpful – but I’m old school and opt for paper. If you have it with you at all times, you’ll never be stuck in a situation where you are trying to schedule something in advance but don’t know what you have going on.
  4. Check items off. This is partly for gratification, partly for purpose. If you check items off once you have completed them, then you are never wondering if you actually finished something or if you did it at all. You can also look back and see what still needs to be done from a previous date. And after all that hard work to finish a task, it feels pretty good to place a check next to it.

This system works really well for me. I do admit, it is sometimes hard to stay on top of it. But nothing ever comes easy!

What tips and tricks do you use to stay organized?

Day 11 of #100happydays – Meeting our new kittens!

I know that I said yesterday that on day 11 of my #100hapydays challenge that we were going to meet our kitten, Wickham. When we got to the Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society foster mom’s house, we were greeted with a pile of sleepy kittens.

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It was basically the cutest thing we had ever seen. They were all tuckered out from a trip to the vet for their shots. Amanda, the foster mom, pointed out from the mass of fur our little Wickham. He was sleepy and mostly just interested in napping with his brothers and sisters, but he sure did cuddle us too!

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He is such a little sweetheart. He stared me down for a while, then gave me some little kitty kisses. I guess he approves! As we were bonding with our future little family member, Amanda mentioned that there was only one kitten left that was not spoken for. As soon as she said this, I saw Curtis’ face light up. This little guy was also just sleeping away.

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He would flutter his eyes open a bit every time we gave him a scratch, but promptly returned to kitten dream land. Amanda told us a bit about each of their personalities – we couldn’t really tell what the kittens were like because they were all so tired – and said that both Wickham and Darcy were super chill, and just loved to cuddle up next to her on the couch. We were sold. One look at each other, and Curtis and I knew that a decision was made. We wanted both of them!

We went straight to PetsMart after the visit and picked up all the things we needed to make sure our kittens are ready to come home to us. We also knew that we loved Wickham’s name, but we weren’t as convinced about Darcy (for a male cat). Together, we made the executive decision to call them Wickham and Leonardo…Leonardo DeCatrio. It’s happening.

Day 10 of #100happydays – Hearing From Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society

Day 10 of my #100happydays challenge, and I’m especially excited about this. Curtis and I have been really looking forward to this. We decided to adopt a kitten, and did much searching around to find the perfect little furball addition to our family. We decided on Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society based here in Edmonton. They are completely volunteer run, and rely on foster homes for all of the animals that they save until they find their furever homes. We looked through their website and the list of adoptable cats, and absolutely fell in love with little Wickham. He is part of a litter that was born in the foster home after Zoe’s rescued his mom, Merry. Once Curtis and I saw his little face, we knew we had to have him. I mean, look at that face!

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Zoe’s has a very thorough adoption process, as they want to make sure that they match the right people with the right animal. I guess they liked us, because tomorrow we get to go and meet Wickham! It feels like Christmas Eve for us. We have been talking about – and daily gazing at photos of – this little guy for weeks now. Tomorrow will be an exciting day!

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Day 9 of #100happydays – Having a stressful assignment finally come together

Day 9 of my #100happydays challenge, and the assignment that has been the bane of my existence since before day 1 has finally come together. Our large research group – 14 people – has come together to create a cohesive, succinct proposal for our research. After spending all weekend editing, it is complete. Granted, this proposal is only one stepping stone in the research study that we will be conducting over the next three months – but the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders is still immense. One more thing down, one little step closer to completing this semester, and just a bit closer to earning my degree. WHEW. I can now relax for a millisecond before I move on to the next assignment ;)

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Day 8 of #100happydays – Cooking a great dinner at the end of a long day

Day 8 of my #100happydays challenge, and I’m still just busy at a bee. After a long week – and weekend – of running around and trying to get all my stuff done, it’s great to just take a breather and cook a nice dinner for Curtis and I. Just a simple chicken and shrimp stirfry with some veggies and honey garlic sauce. I love making dishes like this because it always gives us leftovers for the next day. Yum!

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Day 7 of #100happydays – Bunnies at the Pet Expo

Day 7 of my #100happydays challenge, and I ended up being let off work early – which itself was a pretty happy moment. Curtis and I decided to use the rest of the afternoon to check out the Edmonton Pet Expo. There were puppies everywhere, and we even got to meet and talk to the foster mom of the kitten we are in the process of adopting!

Since I moved out of my apartment and am in a bit of a limbo waiting to take possession of our new place, my parents have been bunny-sitting Neville. I miss that little guy like crazy. So you can imagine my excitement at getting to see a bunch of bunnies today at the show! Not just bunnies that I got to hold and cuddle, but some really impressive ones that were running obstacle courses!