Memories I wish I could re-live.

There are so many days I wish I could go back to, or rewind back and watch again as if I’m re-watching my favourite movie. I’ve been thinking about a few of them today that give me chills with their resonance and those memories are keeping me strong and motivated this week.

  1. The first time I heard “I love you” was one of the most magical feelings I’ve ever felt. While it never gets old to hear it every day, that first time I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. It was something  I could sense was coming and I didn’t know when. But he picked the most perfect moment. If I could re-live that a hundred thousand times, I would.
  2. The first time I kissed someone I actually liked (and, at the time, thought I was in love with) ended so poorly, I don’t even want to get into it. But now that I’m at a safe distance and I can look at this moment with the pure innocent nostalgia that I think the Good Lord intended me to feel for this moment later in life, I’m perfectly satisfied saying I’d love to re-live it. It was another cold nighttime kiss (I apparently love those) but snow fell around us and I could almost envision this moment before it even happened. The moment led me on a string of horrible heartbreaking pain but it was all worth it for that few seconds of awkward, teeth-clicking, bag-of-trash-sitting-outside-his-apartment-door magic.
  3. Concerts, even if you see the band multiple times, are experiences that cannot be repeated; you can’t redo the set list, the moment, the feelings, the people around you, the joy. The two shows that stand out to me as the ones I’d most want to re-live are the most recent time I saw Ryan Adams at the Orpheum in Vancouver, and the very first time I saw Ryan Adams & the Cardinals in Vancouver back in 2007. There was nothing quite like that first time; having been at my peak of Ryan Adams’ music, I think my whole body went into shock when I saw him for the first time. I can barely remember it. Fast forward eight years to the most recent Ryan Adams concert-going experience, Ryan Adams, injured with a broken rib, pained his way through a full band set until opting to go acoustic so he could finish up the show unscathed. It was sumptuous and full of feeling. I was leaving that city in just a little while and to bid it goodbye in this way, and think of my true love while all of this romantic amazement was happening, were just too much. I was on Cloud Nine for days afterwards.
  4. I wish I could go back and re-live my meal at Mama’s Fish House in Maui, HI every single day. Not only is the restaurant shockingly beautiful and surrounded by the most amazing scenery anywhere around ever, but it was by far the best meal I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
  5. The first time I ran a half-marathon, I had just moved to Vancouver and I worked so hard that I was in the best shape of my entire life. I can’t believe I was ever that small or that fit or that disciplined. I’m running another one this summer which will demand similar attention and hard work from me (I’m trying to get back there already!) but there’s nothing like that first time. Those last fast strides to the finish line were unreal and I felt so accomplished. I used to be 200lb and a size 18-20. To be able to run all that way in a reasonable time was something I once thought completely unachievable. I felt like I could have climbed Mount Everest afterwards.
  6. This one is a bit odd but I wish I could remember and re-live the first day I woke up not suffering from my first heartbreak. Time eases all wounds (though arguably, never completely heals them in many ways) and all I needed was time. But there must have been a day sometime after the dust settled that I woke up and the first thing I thought of wasn’t him. And I went about my day without feeling those familiar pangs and longings and sadnesses that I could never express without looking like a crazy person who had no right to complain about how my whole heartbreak went down. That day existed. I don’t remember it, but you think I would. If I had to make a guess, it might have been the day after he gave me that birthday gift I politely accepted without hardly a word, as it had been a few months since I decided to let him go and take my life back. I had lost almost 20lb that day. He sat across from me, and I didn’t talk to him. After that, I could have woken up completely free.
  7. The first morning I woke up in my Vancouver apartment, alone, was a surreal feeling that I never thought I’d get to experience and I wish I could re-live so badly. Those days were some of my deepest and most important and most happy. Normally I’m in a good emotional space but a bad physical space. When I lived in Vancouver I was in the best physical space I could ever be in. But my emotions were all over the place. I loved the freedom and excitement of being in one of the biggest and most beautiful cities I know of, being able to live how I wanted and be anonymous and ride the skytrain around every day. I loved waking up and smelling the ocean. I loved going for long, carefree runs in Stanley Park or around the downtown area of the city on days when the fog was too thick and the hills were too big. Occupying that space was the best. Waking up for the first time and not knowing the life that awaited me when I first moved there is something I wish I could sink my feet into once again.
  8. Lastly, I would love to re-live the moment when I saw my boyfriend for the first time after our first three weeks of distance. I got on a plane and I was vibrating the whole time, nervous and anxious and excited and unable to control my emotions. I felt like a caged animal about to be freed from captivity. I was worried things would change between us; I was concerned he wouldn’t love me anymore; I was afraid it would be awkward; I was nervous about how I would react to him. But instead, I was heading down the escalators to the Arrivals part of Edmonton International Airport and and I saw him waiting for me and I ran to him. I thought I was going to knock him over. We were pretty quiet but tightly holding hands the whole way home. Nothing had changed. I was pretty sure then that nothing ever would.

Happiness Challenge 12.

It’s finally Friday. The week was long because I was so out of routine. I’m scared for Monday. I’m trying not to think about it right now.

Today I’m trying my best to be grateful for my struggles. I’m grateful for them because they have made me a stronger person and probably a better professional. I’ve learned a lot from how angry and burdened I’ve felt lately. Life isn’t easy. But, I don’t do something easy. And I didn’t make any easy choice. When it was obviously preferable and easier to make a different choice.

We grow from our choices and challenges. I’m content in the fact that soon, I’ll feel the growth from mine.

When You Have Everything You Wanted.

After desperately trying and trying and having a million doors slammed in my face I am fortunate (very fortunate) to say that I have achieved, and currently am achieving, my dreams. I’m feeling stronger and I’m feeling more confident and I’m feeling more like a leader and an adult and less like a scared little girl who can’t go after what she wants or lead people to realize their full potential. I am achieving my dreams.

Sometimes I spend time with the people I knew when I was just beginning this, and I remember a time when I was just starting and didn’t know them and I had no idea where this was going to go down the road. And what I see, rather than acquaintances, is people who helped me along the way to be what I never knew I was capable of being. Their professional development, emotional support, late nights of drinking and talking, their lending of resources and moaning and complaining about the whole process has gotten me to a place where I could be here now. Those people have helped me in big and little ways, but in ways they can’t possibly even imagine.

Lastly, there is him. Him who on our first date told me it “made him sad” to hear I was giving up on this dream. Him, who with his own leadership skills and amazing talents and abilities in this profession we both have encouraged me relentlessly and believed in me and told me to be patient and constantly reminded me of the gifts and prowess I bring. Him, who said to me once, “you are the monster” and allowed me the very next day to believe that to be true. It was him. It was him who held on for me and offered to be my stability and pulled me from the wreckage of my own shattered confident and self-esteem. He makes me believe in this. He makes me believe all of this is worth it and I can be a part of something great. I’m great because from the very first time we spoke, he told me he believed I was.

So when you land the big job and you have amazing people in your life who have helped you along the way and you have the man of your dreams, what more do you really want or need? When you have everything you’ve wanted the last few years when you started at the very bottom rung of this totem pole, that’s it – you can just breathe and enjoy this feeling. It’s the moment my clouds have finally, finally parted.