THE STORYBOARD CALLED LIFE

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Love Stories – Chapter 4: Philia

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Cover art by Katrina Nash of Yours Truly. Check out her work on Facebook and Instagram!

This is the fourth post of the Love Stories series. The pilot is here, Chapter 1 here, 2 here and 3 here. TIH and I have also partnered up for a cool competition that you can be a part of, details are here.


I Philia you

Philia is affectionate regard or friendship or affection. It is a platonic, virtuous love, a concept apparently developed by Aristotle, who expressed it as loyalty, specifically brotherly love. Aristotle divided this type of love into three types, based on the motive for their formation: utility, pleasure and the good.

Utility: relationships formed around a need, giving mutual or individual benefit. It’s more so an acquaintance than friend, e.g. a student buying a textbook from a former student or meeting a friend of a friend at a party that you bum a smoke from. The two only communicate based on their need and when the motive for the relationship is taken away, so is the friendship.

Pleasure: relationships are based on enjoyment in the company of this friend. Drinking buddies, gym buddies, buddies that support the same team. Friends usually part when the hobby isn’t shared anymore e.g. someone that plays on your basketball team, but then they tear their ACL so you no longer play together and see each other. The relationship may end there, unless it is consciously pushed forward.

The Good: relationships where the two friends respect and enjoy each other’s characters. Usually the most enduring kind of friendship, motivated by the care in the relationship. This is the highest form of philia. Think Amy Poehler and Tina Fey kind of besties.

It’s unfortunate that two people in a friendship can have different understandings of which  type of relationship they have.  Unlike a romantic relationship (or even if one sees romance and the other platonic), people aren’t as inclined to discuss the status of their friendships. I guess it’s because friendships are a lot more organic, growing based on time spent together, mutual effort, and the depth of your conversations and vulnerability. Friends don’t usually sit down and define their friendship, but one day just start calling each other best friends. Whereas in a romantic relationship, you usually have to define the relationship because it’s exclusive. Most friendships don’t prohibit the other from having other (best) friends.

I’ve caught up with a few friends lately and we have all been evaluating friendships and in a sense, culling. Being in our mid to late twenties, we are busy with careers and relationships, and growing up. Giving time to people is the biggest investment we can give. Especially when the opportunity cost (one of the only things I learned in economics at uni) is time i.e. spending time on the wrong people (or things) takes time away from the right people. It might sound ruthless (I have been called ruthless and savage a lot), but it’s making the best use of your time and energy.

When I was 18, meeting people and having disposable friendships was fun. But now, I don’t really want over 100 people over at my house to celebrate my birthday like I did when I was turning 18 (for the record my house was not big enough but it happened anyway). Now I’d rather have a good group of close friends around for a more intimate dinner.

I’ve also noticed that my friendships have really evolved over time, too. In the past friendships were about what you had in common. Now some of my friends and I really don’t have anything in common, but the love we have for each other. The things I require from my friendships have pretty much boiled down to that. But breaking ” love” or philia down for me looks like this: presence (this doesn’t mean seeing them every week or even every month. But at the very least knowing what is going on in your friend’s life), genuine care, pushing you to be better, journeying with you and being reliable. Oh and for it to be a two-way street. Ain’t nobody got time to invest in someone who isn’t investing in you.

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Philia or brotherly love is special because you’re so close to your friend that you feel like family and that’s the type of friendships I am surrounding myself with at this point in my life.

Peace, lovers and friends.


I Just Want to Know You

Lil and I met in year seven, we were in a lot of classes together throughout high school and she was the only other (half) Filipino (Philia-pino) I really hung out with. I don’t really remember how we gravitated towards each other but she was part of the reason I had so much fun during that time.

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Our friendship group was the loud, slightly obnoxious, high on life, boisterous, prepubescent idiots in the grade. In fact, we were first kids that the teachers blame when anything went astray. Who else would start water fights knowing well and truly that our uniforms would go see-through? Steal industrial length foil from the kitchen and make outfits in the playground? Start a ‘stacks on’ during lunch on one of the smallest people in the group (that was Lil and she got SO mad at everyone and wore a bandage on her cheek to cover the small graze for the next week haha). We had raves in the senior study, tried to be skaters boys on school camps, held emo nights during our school retreats. Drama class was probably the best class to lose our minds in, a couple of us from the same group were in this class.

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I remember the earlier years when we would call each other after school, as if we weren’t already sick enough of each other and talk about nonsense. She would call me after getting cast for adverts or when she won talent contests and I’d get jealous only because I knew she was so good at what she did and deserved it. She was focused, determined and worked hard on the things she loved, it was always something special watching her on stage or seeing what designs she was coming up with.

I have this video from one of my birthdays, I think I was turning twelve and I can hear my mum in the background say ‘she is so beautiful’, no not me, it was about Lil, and that she is.

We lost her at what I thought then was such a defining (how dramatic – our HSC) time in our lives. I constantly think and wonder what growing up older with her would’ve been like. Would we still be close friends? Would you be living in Australia? Who would you have a crush on? Will we still be the same size so we can borrow each other’s clothes? Do you prefer Red or White? Just mediocre things that are generally taken for granted but I just want to know, you know?

Acknowledging her ten year anniversary this year also meant acknowledging that she has been gone from this life longer than I have known her. I take solace in the wonderful memories I have of her, as well as everything I’ve learnt and felt along the way with dealing with her absence.

It’s never easy bringing myself emotionally and mentally back to those moments after receiving the call. I remember it too well. Even though I wish I never had to move forward from losing someone I love so much, I get to learn and grow from her. My love is never ending, ever enduring, constantly growing and pouring out to those around me. Time with them is everything and I am so unbelievably thankful for the people, especially the women, in my life that share these same feelings of love, fondness and affection for our girl.

Tigerlily

This post is dedicated to the memory of Lil Claro and OLMC Class of 2006, who send all the love in the world to her and her family. If you’re ever having a hard time, please talk to your loved ones. Things that matter to you matter to the people who love you. Help is also available here, here and here.


When we both looked at each other and we both smiled but I couldn’t stop smiling…


Preview: Naturally, I did not choose to become a mum so young. I had all expected feelings one would get being 18 and pregnant. And so did my parents. I felt like a failure and a disappointment especially being the eldest child. So, I made a choice and booked a very painful appointment.

Check out the next instalment of Love Stories, “Pragma”, on Wednesday 31 May at 3pm AEST

Written by Candice

May 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Love Stories

Love Stories – Chapter 3: Ludus

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Love Stories-neon2

Cover art by Katrina Nash of Yours Truly. Check out her work on Facebook and Instagram!

Hello! Welcome! If it’s your first time here, my name is Candice and I write blogs. But lately, other people have been writing for me for this series called Love Stories. The first post is here, then here, here and here. The series will be continuing for another few weeks, let me know what you think! 


Ludus

When I first read it in passing, I thought Ludus was a playful kind of love like I imagine Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, or Chris Pratt and Ana Faris have. However, when I researched a bit more it’s actually more of a game-playing and manipulative kind of love that doesn’t really sound like love. It means “the game” in Latin #donthatetheplayer #Hatethegame

It’s about lack of commitment and is usually attributed to young lovers or children. Ludus is the flirtatious love that finds people at bars. Ludus is the guy still on Tinder even when he’s in a relationship. Ludus is the guy you flirt with at work and accidentally make out with at the Christmas party. Dancing with strangers, almost a playful substitute for sex. Ludus wants as much fun as possible and sees marriage as a trap.

To me it seems that Ludus isn’t love, actually. It is a shadow of love, masquerading in its attraction, playfulness and excitement. Maybe there is a place for Ludus in your youth, when you don’t know what you want or are trying to navigate feelings and desires. Or maybe it’s the early stages of a relationship where you flirt and still hold your cards close to your chest. But Ludus can’t be forever. You can’t forever be the girl that manipulates guys to get something, or the f*** boy that is stringing along multiple women. I think it’s closely related to Eros, but rather than the attraction to the person like in Eros, it’s attraction to the thrill in Ludus.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but if you’re the manipulator with someone that wants something real, mate go find someone else who wants the same thing that you do. If you’re in one of these type of relationships, or being manipulated and you don’t want to be, it’s time to talk, leave or re-evaluate. You deserve someone who wants to have a proper go like you do.

Good luck, lovers.


Strangers

It was fun while it lasted. We got to know what the other liked after we explored each other’s body intimately. You received a message or a phone call to come over or meet at a certain place, and no one else knew what you were up to. It was as if the mystery behind it made it mischievous and dangerous, but subconsciously it might have been the fact that you were needed and that they enjoyed you and your company.

We weren’t clear at the start about what we wanted, and maybe that’s where we went wrong. I wonder if we were clearer at the beginning, would we still have been friends with benefits, and still be great friends today. She wanted something more, and I wasn’t sure I was ready. Back then I was conflicted, do I want to be single or do I want to be in a relationship? In the end, I couldn’t see a future with her.

We drifted apart and became strangers just like the people we walk past on the street every day.

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The Avengers

We started talking online – good Ol’ MSN Messenger! He was really annoying at first but somehow, we got to talking more and more. I don’t recall when it happened or why it happened, but I had fallen for him. Hard. I told him how I felt in hopes that maybe he would feel the same. I guess that’s where you could say he began to play the game. He became Mr. Hard-to-Get. For the sake of keeping up, let’s call him Loki.

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I continued to talk to him because I just couldn’t resist. We got along so well and we talked about anything and everything. Maybe if he talked to me on a daily basis, he’d start to fall for me as well? It’s all I could hope for.

As months moved forward, even though we were hooking up, I still felt as though he didn’t really have any sort of feelings for me because he still had not said those three simple words. I . LIKE . YOU (HOW EASY WAS I?! I didn’t even need love, all I wanted was the Like) * insert Facebook thumbs up*

 So I gave up. I continued to speak to him but also became open to talking to other guys. Loki didn’t like what was going on. He didn’t like that I was talking to this one particular guy and he would get real mad at me whenever I mentioned this guy.

It’s probably at this point where my heart started doing somersaults because I realised that Loki more than likely DID have feelings for me, he just wasn’t admitting it. So I continued speaking with him and him only. My attention and focus was solely for him. It went on like this for ages, purely being friends (with the occasional benefits). For a while I didn’t care because I really liked this guy but it wasn’t long before I really longed for the label. I wanted to be his girlfriend.

 I remember the day it finally came. He asked me and I remember feeling like this was the only dream I had and it was finally coming true. From then on we had a normal relationship with its ups and downs. Looking back on it now, there were more downs than ups. My friends thought I deserved better but I was completely blind. This guy was everything I thought I wanted and I fell in love. I fell in love with the idea of us growing old together, having kids and being together forever.

 Until it all came to an end. During one of the most stressful times of my life (or what I thought was back then) I was forced to break up with Loki. It was the hardest thing I had to do.

But I didn’t want it to end… so I didn’t let it. We basically continued our relationship without the status. Without that oh-so-important label. Surprise surprise, he was the one not sure of putting that label on us. And what did that mean for him? Yup. He was single… but was able to enjoy my company because I wasn’t leaving him yet. I was in love with him… and he knew.

3 years later, still in love with no confession of love back, I decided I needed to move on and so I did. As did he. It was a very painful time for me but I finally moved on. I finally met someone I really liked, someone I thought I could see myself with. Let’s call him Thor. I fell for this guy too! But clearly not as hard because Loki was still in the picture. Why?!

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I was still in love. And I fell back into my vulnerable state – maybe if we continued to talk, he’d fall for me again?! Maybe even realise he loves me too?

As months moved forward again, even though we were continually hooking up, there was still no confession of love. At this point, I was still getting along really well with Thor but I really wanted to see whether things with Loki would work out.

 The night I decided this game would end was when we shared our last night together. It was the same night he told me he had already slept with a girl he was talking to. He said he felt bad and I thought he was a monster. I remember I felt cheated. How could he be sleeping with someone else when he’s been sleeping with me? Back then (when I believed in giving your hooha to someone you love) it didn’t make sense. Why was I being treated like this when all I ever did was love this guy and give him everything?!

That night I went off crying and immediately called Thor. I told him what had happened but I don’t know why I told him. Here was a perfectly nice guy who I actually really liked, and here I am confessing I’ve been seeing someone else while we’ve been getting to know each other.

I eventually fell out of love with Loki and fell really hard for Thor. But nothing became of it. Maybe there wasn’t really anything there, maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe we weren’t game enough to see what could happen.

Looking back on it now as I write this though… Maybe I didn’t deserve him after what I did that night I called him. I was so busy playing the victim I didn’t realise I was also playing the game.

These experiences taught me about love and what I wanted and after awhile I opened myself up to finding the right relationship. I steered clear of guys who played the game and made sure I never did it either. I made my intentions and my feelings clear and because of this, I found the love of my life.
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I realised when I didn’t expect to be loved in return. Also, she likes 808’s and Heartbreak. No one likes that album. 


ICYMI: We teamed up with TIH for a competition. See the details here


Preview: Would we still be close friends? Would you be living in Australia? Who would you have a crush on? Will we still be the same size so we can borrow each other’s clothes? Do you prefer Red or White? Just mediocre things that are generally taken for granted but I just want to know, you know?

Tiger Lily by Katrina Nash of  Yours Truly

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Written by Candice

May 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Love Stories

This is Love Competition

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We want to give you a chance to immortalise your Love Story. So we decided to partner up with each other and with YOU to create our newest content. Write your Love Story and you will have a chance to not only have your Love Story published, but etched in history and on the newest TIH threads.

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1. Write a real life Love Story that you’ve experienced or someone close to you

2. Each submission will be approx. 700 words and submitted by Friday 9th June

3. Email your submission to candicepasion@gmail.com with the subject being Love Stories – <<Category>> 

4. Follow TIH on instagram and http://www.candicenoelle.wordpress.com blog

5. Share the competition on insta⁠⁠⁠⁠gram with the hashtag #ThisIsLove

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See some examples of Love Stories here, here and here.

The winner will be published on http://www.candicenoelle.wordpress.com and their Love Story will be printed on the newest TIH shirt for sale! They will also get a customised shirt!

Get creative, lovers. We can’t wait to read your Love Stories!

Written by Candice

May 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Love Stories

Love Stories – Chapter 2: Eros the 2nd

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How much do you love the Cover art by Katrina Nash of Yours Truly? Check out her work on Facebook and Instagram!

This blog is the third post of the Love Stories series. The Pilot is here and Eros the 1st is here.


Eros, again

According to Wikipedia, erotic lovers see marriage as an extended honeymoon and that is pretty cool. I hope I have that in the future!

Physical attraction isn’t the most important aspect in a relationship, but I reckon it is a good indication of how you feel about someone. Someone I used to date wasn’t very attractive but I found him cute when we dated. Now, not so much. It goes to show that we get crush goggles, similar to beer goggles but the effect can last much longer.

I’m going to go on a limb and say that many people just focus on the physical when it comes to sex. Outwardly, it does look like just a physical act. But I think it can be much more than that. Remember the time I said that I had a draft post about sex? Here’s a little extract that sort of fits, but I go on about why sex isn’t just physical:

If sex is just physical, then why do we care more about a rape than a bashing? Why is rape more heavily penalised than assault? If sex is just physical, then why are partners upset when they are physically cheated on? If sex is just physical, then why is there a legal age for consent, but not for kissing or holding hands?

In short, there is a physical aspect to love, or the romantic notion of love, which is the

Pinnacle of the physical acts,

And ethereal in general (I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, trying to memorise the raps and think I’m a rapper).

The physical usually underpinned by the emotion that we’re in
And causes men to sin and breeds men who like to win
Running around bragging, attacking and dragging
A girl’s bad name in the mud like a game
Sees all girls as the same
A collection of parts when the girl lets her guard down
To hear the words ‘I love you’
Like it’s the good news of the gospel
The words come out the boys mouth because they want to come
Shooting like a shotgun, just for fun
And I’m not done
It is critical, in this world that is digital
And preaches that sex is just physical
It’s hypocritical, it’s really just pitiful
That’s not the design, not the original,
Something created to be beautiful
Brought down, made foul, drowning
In sweet nothings, cussing, bluffing,
Swipe left, swipe right,
Reducing us to animals, cattle
It’s baffling, inflammatory, defamatory
An insult, a discourse
Just a refrain from my brain
About the pain of females just seen as a
Number to be gained and fame in the membrane
It seems just insane to feign interest
To best and jest,
Not to see the girl’s essence
Generally, just a reference to her bodily blessings
When is she gonna learn her lesson
Is she deaf, blind, or just empty
I can’t see
Through the layers, cried prayers, curled eyelashes and hair
I guess, it’s time that I confess
I’m no Mary, quite the contrary, not really
I just don’t have a pretty little halo
But I don’t want this case closed
Discredit me, but don’t discredit the lesson
Not to settle for a love that is just undercover
When I love you’s are only exchanged under the covers
Take care of yourselves, lovers
Just wait for another, who will raise the the bar
Travel far to the stars and see past your scars
Not just some curves or some birds, or call you a har-
Lot, we don’t need a boycott,
Just to see the men rise up
Wage war, raise swords, through hoops they will jump,
For this revolution, that’s the solution
And they’ll be saluting the flag
That women raise, called dignity, respect and value
Don’t believe me? Just see what a simple “No” can do

 Boy / Girl Thing

Two young souls caught betwixt their love for each other and the forces that would keep them apart… Just kidding, but telling it that way does make a good story.

***

Eros or passionate love, when I was asked to write this story, I immediately thought, “Do I really want to write an article about my love life available to the public?” I realized that in the next second after receiving this message from Candice, my now wife then fiancee had jumped up and already said yes! For all men out there, you know as well as I do that when the wife says yes it’s on the behalf of both of you haha. (She’s going to kill me when she reads this, oh well we’re already married).

So here I am sitting on the train doing my daily commute to work and wondering what part of my love story can I tell that will convey the right meaning of Eros! So I did what any normal person would do and looked up the meaning of Eros on Wikipedia. Wiki defines Eros as “theia mania” which translates to madness from the Gods. I understand this is meant to be a love story so I shall stay away from philosophy. I immediately started reminiscing about my life with my wife and how it all began. Picture two strangers on two separate islands who can see each other and talk to one another but not touch as we were separated by a great divide. That was us,  except the great divide is a metaphorical term for our moral compass that waged war inside us. As we were both doing volunteer missionary work, one of the rules was to not be in an exclusive relationship with another team member.

We started off on team as complete strangers, barely knowing anything about one another. Due to the nature of our ministry, we very quickly got to know one another, leading to the discovery of similar interest and captivating conversation. Up to that point, I had not really met anyone who was as much a geek as I was, well not anyone I fancied. In the next few months, our friendship went from being friends to something more than friends, it was probably one of the most difficult times in my life in terms of choices. On one hand, I knew that starting an exclusive relationship was wrong, on the other hand, I felt like I had met the love of my life.

Fast forward a couple months of getting to know her more, as well as struggling with the moral predicament I was in, both of us finally decided to talk about it. That was the moment that things changed, without realizing what was happening subconsciously, both of us had developed feelings for each other. This became evident as we started to spend more time with each other, enjoying one another’s company and always wondering where the other was. As time went on we found it more and more difficult to not let our relationship affect our ministry, it was tough and strenuous on ourselves as well as our teammates. Nonetheless, I was madly in love with her.

We decided to start an exclusive relationship. This did not exactly end well during our year of Ministry. As time went on and we became closer, our team life was affected and soon we realized we had to tell the truth. This led to a reshuffling on the teams and we were separated from one another. No communication for 6 months, no idea how each other was doing or if we would resume our relationship.

The End!

Jokes! It’s a happy ending. Jump 6months to the future and we’re back together, pressing unpause on our relationship as though no time has passed. The day I saw her after our time apart was one of the days I will always remember. It was a strange feeling, a good feeling but strange! Realizing that I loved this person so much was just wow, just like theia mania. We’re now happily married and ready to start the next chapter or our lives!

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***

Eros is the passionate, erotic type of love. The kind that makes you head over heels, up all night on the phone talking, scribbling his name all over your journal, lovesick, kind of love. I’ve been in a lot of relationships with that as the basis, you fall hard and fast, but in my experience, it seemed to fizzle out and lose its life.

That was until I met someone new, we started as just friends, spending a lot of time getting to know each other through and through. Sure enough, after only a couple months I had found myself head over heels again, but this time we were on a missionary team together, forbidden from speaking about our romantic feelings let alone being in a relationship.

He was completely different from the usual guys I would’ve been attracted to – the rock star, artist, thrill seeking, emotional type of guys. Those relationships were fun, but they were tiring to maintain, often ended days in tears and once the flame died down it was hard to keep going. He was very logical and calm; more serious than silly, preferring science to art, and his faith was central to his life. Getting to know him, however, I quickly realized that he had a very dynamic personality that he would only share with those he trusts. Behind closed doors, he is romantic, sweet, childish and silly… all traits I need for a fun relationship. I guess it makes me feel quite special, knowing that there is so much of his personality that I get to see more than anyone else.

That was over 3 years ago now, and we’ve been married for just about 2 weeks as I sit here and write this… so, spoiler alert, this story has a happy ending.

I’ll get the details out of the way fast, it was impossible to stay ‘just friends’, and we tried. It was obvious we had a thing for each other. So days off turned into lunch dates and meeting up with his friends, walking down the streets hand in hand, asking about future plans. We were 100% a couple, feeling guilty, wondering if we should confess but also so happy with one another. Eventually, after a few months, we came clean, suffered the consequences, and were split up, with no contact for the rest of the year. At our wedding, during my new Father-in-law’s speech, he shared how he and his wife thought that would be the point where it fizzled out and we went our separate ways, but luckily for us, everyone who thought that was wrong.

We are polar opposites, and that creates a lot of excitement and dynamic in our relationship, but it also creates a lot of tension and hurt feelings. We’ve found that for us, communication is paramount to keeping our relationship healthy. It’s very easy for that good passion into a passionate fight, including tears and the cold shoulder. It’s not a fun time. It’s a learning curve, being with someone so different from you, and I can see how we’re slowly growing in maturity and understanding of one another.

One thing that I’ve learned from this relationship is that love is easy when it feels good. I’m sure many of us have experienced that kind of love before, but when it means laying down your pride, admitting you’re wrong or giving up something you want for the sake of the other… that is definitely hard. The difference between this relationship and my previous is that when the going got tough, we usually got going. What was the point of being in a relationship if it was hard? Little did I know that it was only able to mature and grow when you roughed out the storms together and learned to sacrifice for each other. That was part of our Gospel reading for our wedding, “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay his life down for his friends”, it’s something that has remained true time and time again. You don’t have to wait around for the perfect person, your soul mate who complements you in every way, I think the person you choose to be with becomes your soul mate.

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The Journey

The Break

So there I was, on the other side of the phone trying to compromise every single ounce of my being, begging and pleading to be with her. Even though she cheated and her love that was wavering in front of my eyes, I was still willing to stick to the promise “I will love you forever” and one day “you will be my wife”. There was nothing more painful and gut wrenching experience than being betrayed and giving up something so precious that I promised myself that only my wife would have.

The Rise and Fall

After a couple of months, I found out that my ex-girlfriend was in a relationship with a guy that she cheated me with. Just like that. A huge surge of self-doubt on my own capabilities and talents have come to me. I was in the worst state of my life, I don’t know what direction I should take and I felt like I was like a dirt on the ground, useless, no one cared about. I felt like everything I do would be useless and nothing I will do will make sense EVER!

The Pick-up Game

There I was broken, pieces scattered all over and lost. One day my friend talked to me because he felt that I was not moving forward and always lost in thought  and from that day, It got me to think how to love myself, he said “…… you are the most talented person I know, name me a person that we know that can do what you do, play any instruments at will, dance their feet off, athletic, CAN SING!, Well-educated and God fearing!! Name one person. So don’t you tell me that you are useless. That makes me sick”. These words made me speechless, I have been surrounded by great friends, blessed with great talents I have so much to live for and so much to live up to.

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The Learning Curve

 After I got that pep talk (and a few more mean ones) picking up myself wasn’t an easy road either. There was this unwavering feeling of doubt on everything I did, feelings of depression. The days went by things were still stagnant and things were not bad but they were not good either. It was frustrating, the feeling of one step forward then two steps back, trying to shake the feeling of being doubtful, but slowly and surely I came to understand that steps I took moving forward does not necessarily took me back, It has taught me different lessons on how to appreciate things around me especially my talents and friends, appreciate the things that love me and the things I love.

The Reality

First time in a long time I stepped into the dance studio and taught for the first time in a year. The emotions were overwhelming, but I felt that teaching was the right thing to do. For almost four months I spent my time thinking about how lousy I was and how no one would accept me. And for the first time in a while there were people willing to listen and learn to what I must offer.

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

This was the most gut wrenching experience I ever felt, but it was also the most rewarding. I know people would beg to differ that these experiences are not good but looking back, there were a lot of mistakes made and a lot more could be improved. I would have been incomplete husband if I were to marry and not recognize my mistakes. This was the cross that was given to me, work that I have to endure, but I was glad I was not alone, I was lucky enough to have a loving god, caring friends and family that I can trust.


The Cat Lady

I went through high school being the third wheel to most of my mates, falling for the wrong guys and was single throughout high school.

I went through university just an older version of my high school self only this time I had friend zoned most boys, and the guys I did like were still “the wrong guys”… for me anyway. It wasn’t until the year before I finished my degree where I thought, “I’m definitely going to be a cat lady.” Single, third wheeler… the “friend” forever.  It was then that I prayed, please Lord don’t let me die alone… I HATE CATS!

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As a few years went on (now in my early 20’s) I began to see more relationships which came with more breakups amongst my friends.  I was constantly called to be the shoulder to cry on and often had to be the counselor to my friends.  Every other month I would attend to my broken hearted mates, “He/ She cheated”, “It didn’t work out” or “We just don’t love each other” were the most common themes of these breakups. After seeing so many of my heart broken friends I made a vow. Not only to myself but to God. When I meet the one, if I meet the one, there will be no games, no hurt (if I can avoid it), and I will not give away the most precious thing to me.  I will at all costs save myself for that person because I can see how precious it is and it should only be shared with the special person.

It wasn’t until my final year of uni where I became really good friends with my (now) husband.  We had known each other for a few years now – we had met through a youth group, and he had moved to where I lived to study.  Everyone thought he had it in for me, but I was convinced we were “just friends”. I was so very wrong.

I ignored many times where he tried to treat me differently and not like “every other girl”.  We talked a lot, but I was friends with plenty of other guys so I thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t until we had been out one night and after a few drinks must have worked up the courage to tell me he liked me. At the time I remember thinking

1. HOW AWKWARD.

2. NEVER.

3. WE ARE JUST FRIENDS.

4. ARGGHHH EVERYONE WAS RIGHT.

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I sat there and told him… look I don’t know how I feel I just know we’re friends and that this is awkward. He was persistent and just told me to give it a go and we made an agreement right then and there that no matter what happened, we’d be friends if it didn’t work out.  I still was not convinced.

We were at the age where we were mature enough to have a conversation about “feelings”. Although I was terrified of allowing myself to feel anything for this friend  I thought why not – let him work for it, I mean, how could this guy possibly win me over?

Over the next 6 months, we spent a lot of time together.  A LOT of time.  He picked me up from parties, walked me to my car, cooked for me, bought me dinner,  flowers, sent me good morning texts and called me to say good night… every day for at least 6 months and he told me often how much he liked me. I on the other hand just enjoyed being friends and actually rejected him…  several times over this period. (Husband interjects: make sure they know how many times you rejected me!) He continued to chase me… I continued to be in denial and not let any feelings develop.

One day he gave me the ultimatum. Choose, he said. Friends or relationship. Excuse me… What? I’m not ready? I’m not sure? Is this a joke? How can anyone force someone to choose?!  After sulking for several days about the thought of losing my friend I realised, Sh** I can’t live without him and it was then that I realised … I had fallen for him.  Still afraid to admit it to myself… I made a choice and finally allowed myself to let him into my heart… What an incredible feeling this was and still is!

It was here that I lay some ground rules… if this was going to actually happen and if he was going to be my boyfriend then he had to…  1. Get a real job. 2. Ask my parents’ blessing and 3. Not expect me to sleep with him. His response… not a problem. He did it all and wasn’t afraid either! He got a full-time job, asked my parents to officially date me and respected my request to wait until marriage.

After only 3 months of being “boyfriend and girlfriend,” he told me he loved me and we knew then (yes – after only 3 months of being official) that we were going to get married.  It was here where we promised each other that no matter what we would not give each other our most precious gift until marriage. This was such a difficult promise to uphold. Often getting criticised by our friends, being reminded of how normal sexual intimacy is. We were often challenged in our relationship and often thought – we love each other, we’ll probably get married… what’s the point in waiting? Still we fought through any temptation, and kept our promise.

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After 4 years of “getting to know each other”, in front of my family and closest friends he asked me to marry him – I SAID YES! We got married last year, it was here that we gave each other the greatest gift that we could give each other. I now share a special bond with my best friend through love and marriage and can honestly say, the wait was worth every minute. What a beautiful gift Love is.


I tried to break up with her and she called me out on a lot of my shit. I respected that.


Preview: She wanted something more, and I wasn’t sure I was ready. Back then I was conflicted, do I want to be single or do I want to be in a relationship?

Check out the next instalment of Love Stories, “Ludus”, on Wednesday 17 May at 3pm AEST

Written by Candice

May 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Love Stories

Love Stories Series: Pilot

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The English language only has one word for it – love, derived from Germanic forms of the Sanskrit lubh, which means desire. The Greeks think a lot about philosophy and all the big life questions, so they are a bit more specific, having at least 6 words for love – eros, philia, ludus, agape, pragma and philautia, each representing different types of love.

The next few weeks we will be delving into each type of love and sharing stories and insights into each type, through some love stories shared by real people.

A recurring theme in the love stories is that love is a choice. Not just the choice to be with someone or choosing to have someone in your life. In the small everyday choices too, like walking a kilometre to get someone chicken wings because they’re craving it, washing the dishes for someone, offering someone a seat on the train. As our modern day poet, John Mayer says, Love is a verb. You can say you love someone all you want, but if you don’t show them that, it weakens that statement. I’ve always thought that if a boy likes you, they don’t have to tell you because you’d already know. Funny side note, when my boyfriend told me he liked me for the first time, he never actually said the words ‘I like you’ and literally said, “I know you know.” What if he meant that I knew something else? Now we’ll never know.

Enjoy the first story from a real person about a real love.


Magic

My hopes and dreams for my newly found career came to this final moment. I was handing my last assessment ever for my Masters. It took 2.5 grueling years. But it was all worth it. I had sacrificed so much for it, including time for any relationships. Especially romantic ones. 

So I went to the shops to celebrate with my family. That’s when I bumped into him.

It was something straight out of a romantic comedy. First, the eye contact, clear and locked. Then the smile, like the smile you have when you’re at a restaurant and you see that your food is about to come. Then the body language, a genuine hug that says “hello friend, it’s been a while.”.

It had been a while. Ten years to be exact. The conversation was everything you could ever wish any conversation would go. There was laughter, sincere concern, and that feeling in your stomach that made you wish it could go for longer. Were they butterflies? 

Then reality kicks in. I was actually on my way to withdraw money from the bank to pay for something at the shop I left 30 minutes ago because their eftpos machine wasn’t working. Guess who worked at that bank? He did. Was it fate? Or just a coincidence? Knowing we had to part ways, I was a little saddened at the thought that I may never see him again. But like I said, this conversation was perfect. So we parted with him saying, “Hey, I hope to see you around more.” I smiled back. Me too, I thought. Me too. 

I couldn’t help but laugh at the timing. The day I had officially finished my Masters was the day I may have met “the one”. Was it really that magical? 

Failing to keep him off my mind, I tried to take matters in my own hand. Thank God for Facebook, I did some light stalking. We all do it right? But before I got in too deep, a message notification comes up on my laptop. Oh my gosh.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

It was him. Blood rushed straight to my face, and my heart raced as I try to keep it cool and casual. He said, “Hey! It was nice bumping into you the other day.”. I said “Oh hey, I totally forgot we were Facebook friends! Dude, it was good seeing you too!”. Well played, well played. 

And so it began. Our short messages turned into long ones. I looked forward to his essay-like replies to mine. Then we started sending good morning/good night messages. It was becoming your typical online relationship. 

I was genuinely happy to get to know him again. Ten years was a long time and a lot had changed. I met him as a good friend’s boyfriend. Although they’ve broken up since, he was one of the first guy friends I had that I really got along with. So I was really thrilled to have this friendship back. But of course, I was open to having something more. 

One night, he was attending a friend’s wedding. He started messaging me saying he thought of me. Was this really it?  I started getting butterflies in my stomach.  The same ones I had that time I bumped into him. Could it really be destiny? 

After some photos of the wedding food, and flirty messages coming back and forth, I asked him how he knew the newly wedded couple. And he says, “My girlfriend is friends with the bride.”

His girlfriend. 

Heart aches are real because you can literally feel your heart breaking inside. You can literally feel it pulling apart slowly and excruciatingly. And no amount tears, words of comfort could stop it from tearing. 

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After a while, I became disillusioned with the idea that I was better than her. That the reason why he talked to me, especially in that way, was that I could give him something she obviously couldn’t. So, with a lot of shame, I still tried. I thought that what we have is so much better. That his reason to lie was because he was unhappy. So I sought for the truth but he couldn’t answer me. Eventually, I realised that he couldn’t give me what I wanted, even though I was willing to give him anything he needed. 

No, it wasn’t fate, or destiny. It was a lesson, one I had to learn before I met the real one.


When I stopped being interested in other girls

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Preview: With a tear running down her eye, turn to me and say, “My future now looks more bright with you here.” I mean, come on man! I didn’t have any intention of hurting any of them emotionally, but how do you tell a girl, “You’re just one of a few”?

Check out the next 2 Love Stories on Wednesday 3 May at 3pm AEST

Written by Candice

April 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Love Stories: Trailer

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The first post of my first series Love Stories will be released on Wednesday, April 26 and run every Wednesday for a few months on the topic of LOVE.

Some of my favourite questions to ask couples is “How did you get together? How did you know the other was the “one””. But there are a lot of love stories untold – stories of parents loving their kids, of trying to love yourself, of the loved and lost, of the one-sided love.

It is undeniable that love plays a huge role in the world, being the muse for song, film, and novels. Although we sing, act and write about it so much, love is hard to describe. It can feel like a warm hug. A tug on your heart. Butterflies in your stomach. An all-consuming grief. Peace. You can only feel it for yourself. And then tell stories about it.

Here’s one I (and a friend of mine) prepared earlier. Ok this one isn’t really a story, it’s just a mate talking about love.


There wasn’t a single moment, it was little subtle realisations over time. We were constantly pushing each other to be stronger, more out of our comfort zones and closer to our goals. We’ve both grown together in maturity and life experiences and I think that’s when you know.

Your partner shouldn’t complete you. You can stand on your own two feet, but I feel it’s more of a “together you can both collectively achieve more and find happiness together” mindset. Everyone has a different personality type based on so many criteria, but over time you know who you align with, understand their love language, etc. Certain personality dynamics bring out the best in each other. 


Preview: I couldn’t help but laugh at the timing. The day I had officially finished my Masters was the day I may have met “the one”. Was it really that magical? 

Written by Candice

April 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm