THE STORYBOARD CALLED LIFE

Love Stories – Episode 7: Storge the 1st

leave a comment »

Love Stories-neon2

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

This is the seventh post of the Love Stories series. The pilot is here, Chapter 1 here, 2 here, 3 here,  4 here, and 5 here , and 6 here .

Thanks to everyone who entered the This Is Love competition. We’ll announce a winner soon 😉


Storge

Storge is familial love between siblings, parents, cousins, spouses, and children. We’ll chat more about it next week, just wanted to share a special story this week.

Much love xo


The Best and the Worst Days

The day she told us she was pregnant was the best day. She sent us a message that said, “Hey look at this” along with a photo of the positive pregnancy test. It took them a while to get pregnant. They had tests done and the doctors would say, “You’re fine! You just have to keep trying.”

She and her husband set a date, It was October 1, 2015. She had said, “We’ll speak to the doctor. If we have to go through IVF, we’ll go through IVF. Let’s do a pregnancy test today. Let’s just see.” Instead of going to the doctor to think about various possibilities, it was to tell the doctor she was pregnant. It was the best day. We were so excited.

RR

We watched him grow. Watched her grow. She embraced it. She’s such a good mother. She just loved this child so much. Greg was finding his way, but you could see how much he loved this child, too. We’d go to parties and someone would bring their baby and he would hold it saying, “I don’t know how to hold this thing.” So he was really excited because this was his chance. He was gonna be a dad. It changed them. This was the next stage of their life, the next step in their journey.

It was a Tuesday when she went to her final scan to prepare for the C-section on Wednesday. I got a phone call at 2 o’clock. “I lost him.”

I said, “What?!”

“Rae, I lost the baby.”

I just shouted, I just yelled.

“I lost him, Rae. I don’t know what to do.”

That morning, she went to the doctor to have a scan. The doctor couldn’t find his heartbeat. They sent her to the clinic and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. So they sent her straight to the hospital because they had better technology, but they still couldn’t find a heartbeat.

Hearts were on the floor in that hospital room.

“I want this baby”

“I know you do”

“What am I gonna do?”

I didn’t know what to say.

I’ve never seen my dad cry so much. My dad would say, “I’ve experienced so many hardships in my life. But this would have to be the hardest. It’s something you never want your children to go through. Never.”

When they got home. There’s the bed. There’s the cot, there’s the pram, there’s the car seat, there are his clothes. What do you do? You pray.

We went back to the hospital at 4 o’clock. They let us stay as long as we liked. They were so kind. They catered to whatever we needed. She got a private room, right in front of the nurses. She was the top priority for that floor. We couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe how amazing they were at that hospital.

We called up our cousins, we didn’t want to tell anyone. We started the novena prayers for the deceased for 9 days. It was really strange. So much so that we started laughing. How do you pray for a soul that hasn’t sinned? But a prayer is a prayer.

I couldn’t imagine what Roscille was feeling that night. Her and Greg. They had to make a decision. Her choice was to have a C-section or natural birth. She goes, “I’m gonna do everything for this little boy. I don’t want a C-section.” The doctors don’t tell you what to do, they just suggest. Natural was the safer option and she said, “I’m gonna do that.”

So they had to administer a drug that would induce labour. On average, labour happens after 3 doses and then you can deliver. They administered the first dose at 6 am and she was already giving birth at 9 o’clock. However hard the situation was, God blessed her to make it a bit easier.

Giordan was due 2:30 pm – that’s when the C-section was scheduled. I couldn’t be in the room. She didn’t need an epidural. She was really good. I could hear her. I kept going in and out of the room. I sat outside and I prayed.

Whenever I think of Giordan, I relate him to the weather. Rainbows. Sunshine. While I was praying, the sun was on my back from the window. Literally burning my back. Like I was being embraced. I get it. It’s your sister. Let me look after you so you can be strong for her.

She delivered at 2:30 pm. Isn’t that funny? Who would’ve thought? The doctor was a Catholic man. He has 14 kids. As he was delivering, he was praying.

We got to meet him, they let us hold him, which was the best thing. Back in the day, they didn’t let that happen.  Holding him was healing. You should have seen his head, he was really cute! He looked like Greg. He was so beautiful. They thought if he had his eyes open, he would’ve had Roscille’s big brown eyes.  

18035400_10154916289365091_1094978703_n

The little baby had to have an autopsy and from there, it was straight to the funeral parlour. Afterwards, the doctors came together, talked and debriefed. They were all in mourning because they couldn’t believe this happened. The hardest was yet to come.

I didn’t want Roscille to do anything. I made phone calls to the funeral parlour and to the cemetery. Mum and Dad already have a plot at the cemetery, for two coffins. However, they could fit a pocket so a small child or someone that’s been cremated can fit. That was one less thing that they had to worry about. Another blessing amongst the madness.

Choosing songs was hard. His songs are Somewhere Over the Rainbow or You’ll be in my Heart in Tarzan. That’s Roscille’s favourite. My friend said, listen to this song. It’s a Hillsong song, written by someone that’s lost a child.  We played this too. 

Greg didn’t want to carry him. Their friends really stepped up. They carried the little coffin. My dad carried the coffin. He was doing everything for this child. He said, “I’m gonna do everything I can for my grandson.” The cemetery was full. People we hadn’t seen in years. Friends from before, friends from now, family friends. The priest couldn’t believe all these people came, “This little boy is loved. This family is loved.” They set out 60 chairs. We had more than 200 people standing.

There’s a section where the parents go to pray for their child. My sister did it all. I can’t believe her strength, if I had half of that, I’d be a better person. She is amazing. I am in awe of her strength.

The little hearse drove him to where he was gonna be buried. Greg said, “I’m gonna carry him.” Greg and Dad carried him. I can still picture her laying over the burial plot “I miss my baby, I want my baby, where is he?”

She stayed at home with us. I didn’t go to work. We got to bond in the silence. This is how I know her spirit is strong. She goes, “Giordan was really fat, hey? He might not be able to fly with his angel wings because he’s so heavy. ”

We did a lot of family stuff. Her friends, Michell and Joanne brought her to the cemetery on her birthday, and we ate cake. She knows I’ll always be there for her, but it’s also the people who are not blood related who are also there.

After this happened, I had a work review one day at the gym. Every year this happens if you want to get a pay rise. I sat down with my boss and she asked me, “What happened? I had to fail you.” I don’t fail anything. She goes, “What’s going on? This isn’t the Raelene I reviewed last year. This is someone different. Is there something going on in your life?” I bawled my eyes out. She ripped up my papers and said, “We’ll do this again when you’re ready.”

She asked, ”Does your sister know how you feel?”

I said, “Nah I couldn’t do that to her.”

“You know what, you should talk to her. If you tell me that your sister is ok, maybe talking to her will help you find your strength.”

Roscille and I were chatting one day and she said to me, “Rae, I was just crying out of nowhere.”

I said, “You know you will.”

“I was just really sad.”

Then I let it out, “Me too”

“Really?”

“I still hurt.” I said.

“Yeah me too. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because  I didn’t want to burden you anymore.”

“Rae, we gotta get through this together.” She said.

“Ok.”

This has really strengthened our relationship. I thought we were good, I thought we had the best relationship. But this has taken it to a new level. It’s not as intense as it was. It still hurts, but it’s not as intense. Greg’s opened up too. He’s not really a feelings person. It’s opened up a different relationship between me and my brother-in-law.

Every day got better. I went to work. Then Greg went back to work. Roscille went back to work. I don’t think she would have coped if she didn’t go back to work. It’s very dark, but if you could see her now. You’d shake your head in awe. I told her she should write a book! Because it’s so empowering! Her strength is amazing. It gets me through. She talks to him like he’s there. She takes his rosary beads everywhere. They just bought a car. The plate number is Giordan. She just started a business. That’s in his name as well. Built a granny flat in memory of him. They remember him. So many avenues have opened up because they didn’t stop moving forward.

He’ll be 1 next month. I’m a little bit on edge again. I thought I’d be ok, but this is normal. I don’t normally cry. Now the floodgates have opened and I can’t stop! I love this kid, he’s my nephew. I just pray that God will bless them again because they’d make the best parents. They are amazing.

18072681_10154916293340091_1042811913_n

My sister is so funny. You know how I told you there have been 4 (miscarriages, still births) since Giordan?

My sister goes, “He’d be the leader of the gang now, hey! He’s going to be very busy. I think it’s called AFC”

“What’s AFC?”

“Angels For Christ”

Whenever something like this happened, we ask him to look out for those kids making their way to heaven. Look for them, Giordan, look after them. Teach them what you know. Teach them how to fly.

I see life differently now. I’m not afraid to die. Not in a morbid way. If he can do it and he’s only a baby, what about me? I’m a grown up adult, what do I have to fear?

We say to my siser, “You gave birth to an angel. How many people can say that?” On mother’s day, we say, you stand up, you claim that. That’s yours, you claim that.

I missed a week of church because I questioned God. But something told me, if you don’t have faith, what do you have? Someone cannot physically give you feeling or healing. But you need to find that strength, I don’t want to feel like wrong has been done. Wrong hasn’t been done. You just have to believe that it happens.

I am honoured she’s my sister. Bottom line. Sucked in to everyone else, because she’s not yours!

Mr.Bean-Middle-Finger.gif

*She was doing this at the cafe we caught up at haha


If you or someone you know is suffering from a miscarriage or stillbirth, there are people that can help. The thing that surprised me was that this is not as uncommon as I thought. Funnily enough, I never met Roscille until last weekend (I’ve been friends with her sister, Raelene for a long time – she was my first leader in our youth group Youth For Christ). Roscille opened herself  to everyone – if anyone ever needs to chat about it, she’s available. If you would like this, please contact me so I can get you in touch.


As cliche as it sounds, I knew she was the one when I first saw her in 2009. That rare feeling you get about a person that one day they will have a great impact in your life. The rest was Gods work.


PreviewTo love isn’t easy. We get jealous, angry and hateful towards one another. I usually tell people, I would be a much better person if it wasn’t living amongst my family. My family brings out the worse me in me. Only my siblings would walk into my room and break something just because they were curious. Funnily enough, that’s never caused me to distance myself from them, ever. I mean, I can definitely hold a grudge and stop talking to them for few days but that always come to end, eventually.

Check out the next installment of Love Stories, “Storge”, on Wednesday 21 June at 3 pm AEST

Written by Candice

June 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Love Stories

Love Stories – Chapter 6: Philautia

leave a comment »

Love Stories-neon2

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

This is the seventh post of the Love Stories series. The pilot is here, Chapter 1 here, 2 here, 3 here,  4 here, and 5 here.

TIH and I have also partnered up for a cool competition that closes on Friday! Details are here. We look forward to hearing your stories too!


Philautia

Philautia means love of self. The Greeks broke it down into a positive and negative type of self-love. And for all you dirty minded folk who are laughing at “self-love”, relax lol. It’s not about that.

In its negative form, philautia is selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, and looks down on others. Did you know the word narcissism is derived from Narcissus who was a hunter in Greek mythology (the Greeks are just on fire with this kind of stuff) who was apparently very beautiful, but was a bit of a prick (my boss’ favourite insult). A Greek goddess named Nemisis was against evil deeds and dudes and wanted him to chill out, so she lured him to a pool. Back then they didn’t have mirrors, let alone selfies. Narcissus saw his reflection for the first time in the pool of water, then fell in love with his own reflection. He couldn’t bring himself to leave his beloved (his reflection) and so he stared at his reflection until he died. No embellishment or heightening for the story’s elegance. I wonder how many people are the same today but with selfies and snapchat filters.

NArcissus.jpg

It’s also seen when people just want to get ahead and bulldoze anyone in their way, Or only see their own needs. A lot of the time when people are depressed they actually can’t see beyond their own needs. But there’s another breed who have the ability to see, but choose only to see their own need. What is the point of wealth if you’re only building your own kingdom?

In its positive form, philautia is healthy self-love, self-esteem and self-worth. The Greek philautia is in line with Buddhist philosophy of “self-compassion”, an understanding that if you love yourself, you will be able to love others. In the words of Aristotle, “Όλα τα φιλικά αισθήματα για τους άλλους είναι μια επέκταση τα συναισθήματα ενός ανθρώπου για τον εαυτό του.” Looks like elvish, but the English translation is, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” i.e. the love you have for others is an extension of your self-love. You can’t love other well if you don’t love yourself first. When you can see your worth, it is easier for you to see the worth in everyone else. The opposite is if you are self-loathing, you will be world-loathing. In a minor sense, this is perfectly illustrated by internet trolls. I really cannot comprehend people on twitter who create whole new twitter accounts just to troll people. Get another hobby.

Hurt people hurt people.

There are a lot of studies that show the effect that parents have on their child’s ability to love – generally, parents that treat their children with love and respect will produce children who have healthy levels of self-esteem, self-compassion and confidence. Nature also has a part too – the never-ending nature vs nurture discussion arguing whether a person’s development is caused by DNA or experiences and environment. But generally, people who experience unhealthy environments growing up will have to work harder to have self-love because they were not shown this as children by those that are meant to love them.

I’m very passionate about this topic just because of what I said earlier: hurt people hurt people. Including themselves. I hate hearing stories of people who stay in toxic relationships because they don’t think they deserve anything better. The bruises of abusive relationships rarely stay between the abuser and the victim, the children see it too and it can often start a cycle of violence.

It’s awesome that we are getting a better understanding of mental health, but it’s still really incomplete, even among those suffering it. I saw a post on social media this morning that went along the lines of: A depressed person constantly questions whether they’re depressed or just lazy on a daily basis.

Be kind to yourself and to others. xo


Sick of Myself

I was 16 years old when I first started showing symptoms. Mornings were the worst. Every joint creaked, every muscle hurt. It felt as though I hadn’t slept at all. The hardest thing was keeping up with everyone ; friends and family. I wanted to be ‘normal’ – have a normal school day, hang out on weekends with friends, do what any normal teenager would do. Occasionally, I would be able to, maybe have a few hours here or there. But usually that meant days of recovery.

A doctor told me I’d be better after 3 months. Another told me I was not eating well enough. Another, that it was all in my head. People didn’t believe I was sick – because I had no outward signs of illness. It was mentally draining having people think it’s not real, your suffering.

I felt alone. Nobody understood. Nobody could see it. Nobody could feel it. I dropped out of school because I couldn’t keep up with school work, quit my job, stopped seeing friends. I felt like I had no future.

Illness broke me down. As well as my body aching, my mind ached. I slept. A lot. Whether it was from the fatigue or depression – who knows.

Depression.jpg

If you’ve never suffered from a mental illness, whether it be anxiety or depression, you never realise how physically exhausting it can be. Everything is hard. Crawling out of the hole is too hard, too tiring. So you don’t. You stop caring. You stop wanting to try. You have no interest. Everything is bloody hard.

It was 5 years of loneliness – I was alone in my pain.

Then something changed in me. I just got sick of myself. I got sick of being the ‘sick’ one. I wanted to be known for more than my illness. Sitting around, watching life pass me, started to bother me more and more.

I found support groups – these saved me. I met some beautiful people, and listening to people in the same boat as you is an eye opener. I met one of my best friends at one of these groups, who I speak to daily, especially during the worst days. Having someone who understands is the best thing.

I started to study. It was hard at first, especially because of fatigue, but I got there and completed a few small Tafe courses.

Next, I started working. After a few hiccups, I finally found something I love and am super passionate about. I had to start working one day a week, and only just recently, started working full time.

I love my life now. It’s not easy – it took years to work up to this. Years of pain, tears and laughter. But I’m in a good spot mentally. I’m always looking out for the positives each day.


Rollercoaster

I was a rape victim at 13 years old, and it was then that I started to experience depression more noticeably. 25 years later, the effects of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) still haunt me.  I am still dealing with the initial hurts that shaped some wrong views of how I see myself and others.

Sometimes the anxiety can be so debilitating that I sit and stare and don’t want to do anything at all.  Crying. Anger. Confusion and frustration. Crying takes a lot out of me, so I’m usually so ‘flat’ for a day or two. The ‘flat’ exhausted and emotionally stretched thin stage, easily turns into a ‘depressive low state’.

My depression and anxiety went undiagnosed for a number of years as I was navigating teenage years riding an emotional rollercoaster with thoughts of suicide, mood swings and confusion. I survived by putting a smile on to mask my pain, desperate to show my friends that I was ok. I had a desperate need to be loved.

LM1.jpg

Sometimes, I can put on a happy face like a pretty bird just to survive the day. – A F Jess, 2016

I was bullied after a Year 12 Retreat because I was suspected and targeted as ‘dobbing’ on some girls doing drugs during camp. I just happened to move out of their cabin because I didn’t want to be involved and hated the smell. It was common knowledge these girls did this and someone told their mum, who told the school and subsequently the police.  I was threatened that I should watch my back, picked on in the classroom if the teacher stepped out. A friend had to escort me to and from classes. These ‘scary’ girls threatened anyone who was seen talking to me. Finally the truth was let out, they stopped and pretended to be my friend. I put a smile on my face and couldn’t wait to leave the school.

My anxiety/ depression was diagnosed by my GP when I was about 20 years old. It was no surprise. When I was diagnosed, it felt like such a relief that we could put a name to it, but I had mixed feelings. Growing up I felt that I was never good enough and this diagnosis felt like confirmation saying, “See, I told you she was broken, not good enough, not normal.” Without proper help, the diagnosis on its own tempted me to feel worse… you have to wait weeks, even 4-6 weeks for antidepressants to kick in sometimes.

I got married in 2005 at 27, had my first child, Nathan the following year in 2006, then fell pregnant 3-4 months after he was born! I experienced the first real stages of postnatal depression whilst pregnant with my second son, David. I had a wonderful Maternal and Child Health Nurse who I’ve had for 5 of 6 babies. I went back on antidepressants in 2007 and stayed on them for over 4 years, meanwhile having baby 3 (Angelica), 4 (Sammy) and 5 (Anastasia)!  

When Anastasia was 9 months old, I started a fitness journey to keep active and to channel my energy into something good for me. I started to wean myself off of my meds. Then went back on again when I was about 6 months pregnant with Alana (baby 6).  That felt like a relief but I also felt like a failure because I felt that I was somehow being selfish and that medication would hurt my baby (no Doctor would put me on meds if the benefit didn’t outweigh the risk). While I was pregnant with Alana, I had increased blood pressure, the baby scanned at a smaller weight, I was developing pregnancy induced hypertension / pre-eclampsia after 20weeks. Depression/anxiety kicked in because I had to slow down and also stop boxing and some exercises.

I was in tears one night and just couldn’t stop. The kids were asleep and we rang for an ambulance. I remember being in the ambulance, feeling so guilty, sad, confused, relieved, happy, alone, scared, brave, clinging to God’s plan for me.

Going into emergency for the first time and heavily pregnant for a long-standing battle with depression/anxiety, I don’t know why I didn’t go into hospital years earlier. It was the best experience! I thought it would be like how it was in the movies – dark and isolated. But it felt more like a shared ‘home’ with communal dining, my own room with a TV, and space to do my art every day.

Alana was born 10 weeks early on 17 December 2015 at a public hospital. This mumma had to set aside luxuries of the private hospital because the Neonatal ICU was top quality there for very premature babies. This stay was very different. Bigger hospital, busier, louder, more levels, lifts, walking around after my 6th major abdominal surgery – Caesarean section. I should have spoken up about my needs but I didn’t. It was more for this new baby. Alana was in hospital for the 10 weeks she would’ve been in my tummy.

The fight for survival, which lasted 2 -3 months after birth, were the toughest on my body both physically and mentally. I felt like it was my fault she came out early. It didn’t help when people asked if it is because I’m doing too much. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t hold tiny, tiny Alana close to me, only look at her through a glass box.  I desperately wanted to give her my own milk but I thought it might hurt her because I was taking anti-depressants.  I felt guilty because nurses wondered why wasn’t I at her bedside for long periods.

My family and friends have had all different reactions to my struggles, but all with the same intention of love and care. However, depending on how much you know about mental illness, reactions were sometimes more hurtful than helpful. Sometimes I had to weigh up whether or not I should explain myself for the hundredth time, do they really want to know how I’m feeling?

Comments were confusing and ‘advice’ drove me nuts at times:

  • Maybe you’re not praying hard enough?
  • Maybe you just need to relax
  • Don’t worry, just be positive!
  • You’re exercising too much
  • I just don’t want you to be addicted to medication…. that pi***d me off. I asked this person, if someone had an illness like cancer or asthma, would you tell them the same thing? Give wrong and judgmental advice about medication.  It might have some truth but I think it was because they’re not qualified and haven’t really asked, “How are you really?”

The best ways and reactions to my illness have been simple but profound. When people offer to cook a meal, babysit a kid, hubby telling the kids to let Mummy have a good rest, hubby asking if I’d like a cup of tea, hubby also gently prompting me with reminders to practise mindfulness and to talk me through more helpful thinking.

LM2.jpg

I have the support of my husband and children. I have got an excellent team of professionals around me – really good psychologist and psychiatrist, mental health nurses, maternal and child health nurses, help lines like PANDA, Post and Antenatal Depression Association, my sister Laura and maybe one or two close friends.

Over 2 years later, I am now finally in the last leg of weaning off the medication!!! Woo hoo! I’m now 4 weeks off medication, but fully immersed in 3 times a week hospital visits – all day CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), all day Art Therapy and Counselling with someone at NCASA – Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault.  I exercise 4 – 5 times a week which includes teaching one Funk Dance Fitness class and seeing a Personal Trainer. I’m about to start a new Art group – dance and art, my great loves.

In CBT I’m starting to reverse the negative core beliefs that I have of “Not Being Good enough” and that people that love me will betray me or are not as they seem. I’m working on myself, with God’s gentle grace and compassion.

If you or someone you know if going through depression / anxiety, my advice would be:

  • Seek help if your gut feeling is that something’s not right.
  • Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It takes and it takes and it takes. Any age, race, gender, lifestyle or situation.
  • Know that mental illnesses are just that, an illness. A sickness that can be managed.
  • See a trusted GP, Counsellor, someone else who’s been through similar, go to websites like Beyond Blue or call someone a helpline like Lifeline.
  • Be patient with medications to work, I see them as lifting you out of the dark, to a better place to actually be more clearer in mind to start changes to get better.
  • Be patient with finding the right health professionals too, it’s like shopping around.  These guys will need to be trusted with your life & feelings.
  • Medications are not a sign of failing.
  • Mind, body, heart and soul all work together. Check things are in balance.
  • Find something you love to do, protect it with your life. It will be a source of happiness out from dark places.
  • Make decisions, even tough ones with confidence especially if it will help you get better and if others (like children) are relying on you to be better.
  • Practise mindfulness, being still, deep breathing, praying, meditating and seeking quality time out regularly.
  • Celebrate even the smallest of changes or smallest of victories!  Today I told myself, people coping with mental illness CAN live a full and meaningful life.
  • We are blessed in this country that mental illness awareness is growing. Bear in mind that not everyone is on the same page. This what I have to tell myself every time someone tells me to pray harder or just ‘think positive.’  It’s a little more than just that.

LM3.jpg

‘The King hugged His daughter and said, “This will pass,”‘ – A.F. Jess, 2015.

I had mental illness before kids, during and after kids. Experiences of mental health issues are always heavy and can make life more unstable. In my younger years, suicide felt like a card to play. As a Mum, it feels like there is just more incentive, go deep in my heart to try harder, to keep going, to get better for my hubby and kids. Mental illness is a big part of my story, but it doesn’t define me. It is only a part of my story, and I’m grateful that I have found ways to express my story and make it into something beautiful.


The takeaway from these two Love Stories is that it can get better. Usually when you’re in the pits, it feels like you’ll be there forever. You don’t have to be. If you recognise something going on in yourself or those around you, you don’t have to face it alone.


As cliche as it sounds, I knew she was the one when I first saw her in 2009. That rare feeling you get about a person that one day they will have a great impact in your life. The rest was Gods work.


PreviewShe went to her final scan on a Tuesday, getting ready for the C-section on Wednesday. I got a phone call at 2 o’clock, she goes. “I lost him.”

Check out the next instalment of Love Stories, “Storge”, on Wednesday 14 June at 3pm AEST

Don’t forget to enter our competition with TIH! Entries close 9 June

Written by Candice

June 7, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Love Stories: Chapter 5: Pragma

leave a comment »

Love Stories-neon2

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

This is the sixth post of the Love Stories series. The pilot is here, Chapter 1 here, 2 here, 3 here, and 4 here.

TIH and I have also partnered up for a cool competition that you can be a part of, details are here. We look forward to hearing your stories too!


Pragma

The word ‘Pragma’ has the same root as the words pragmatic or pragmatism, which means “dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.” Pragmatic lovers have a notion of being of service to each other and a notion of working towards a love that is long standing or enduring, beyond the the initial excitement of love. This usually translates into expectations in a partner or relationship. It may look unromantic because it’s not impulsive nor chaotic, but rather discerning and reflecting.

Pragmatic lovers often have shared goals and values. I guess a good illustration of pragmatic love can be an arranged marriage, particularly at the time the partner is selected. (Man if I was more pragmatic and organised, I would have asked for a love story that started with an arranged marriage. But the following will have to do) One of my colleagues is in an arranged marriage and told a group of us about the process that he underwent. His family selected suitable mates and contacted the family. He was given the chance to have 15 or so minutes with the girl to see if there was initial attraction, “compatibility” and a view of the future. After this, either party could say no. He turned down two women before choosing his wife. We didn’t ask what compelled him to say yes to her, but he showed us a picture and she’s pretty! But I’m sure there’s more basis to it than that.

This is a clear representation of a pragmatic relationship, where impulse and passion aren’t the deciding factor, instead it is secondary to the pre-determined values and standards. Perhaps the passion comes later? The families choose a partner that is of equal (or similar enough) social status, practicing the same religion, has the same values and goals in life, represented by the social standing and life that their family leads. Then the lover is given a chance to choose their life partner, based on a conversation. I know this isn’t how all arranged marriages work, but this was my colleague’s experience.

The lover often has a clear idea of the kind of person they want to have as their partner. Another example is a celebrity who is trying to find the best partner to boost their status and press. Another is the single girl who is listing all the things she wants in her partner including height and hair colour. The lover believes that these chosen qualities will set them up to be in the best possible relationship.

Pragma seems like the grown up ludus. All the play is out of the way and has given way to a desire for a mature love, a love that isn’t as fiery or tempestuous. It isn’t a game, but you will do what you need to do to make sure this love works. This is the love after you’ve fallen in love to make sure you stay in love. So it can also look like a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. One of my favourite quotes is this (I also write it in every wedding card I give :))

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

– Fr Pedro Arrupe

It may sound boring or lacklustre, but there is a comfort and beauty in feeling safe in your relationship and being able to be vulnerable.

For today’s stories, I wanted to focus on one facet of pragma – the long-standing or enduring nature of it. I curate a few stories to illustrate this.

Enjoy, lovers.


Love and Opportunity

Like any other sibling story, on the outside you don’t really show physical affection to them. Especially in public, unless it’s to humiliate them. However, deep down, even though they can drive you nuts, you’ll do anything to protect them, care for them when they’re sick and help them out with their homework. The loss of my brother, made me realise how much he meant to me. There are so many things that I regret that I didn’t get to do for my brother. I don’t think I’ll forgive myself anytime soon for missing out on those opportunities. All maybe dark and gloomy, but it’s the happy memories that I got to make and spend with him that is making his mark and memory in my life a little bit brighter

Processed with VSCO with  preset

The biggest happy 21st birthday to my Angel Brother, Jose “Jojo”! 🎉 🎈You may not be with us anymore but you’re always in our hearts and missing you everyday. Hope you’re having an awesome party in heaven!🍺😇 #angelbrother


I love you still

Eleven short months ago, I became a mother to a beautiful little 8 pound girl named Elisabeth Marie. Looking back at all the preparations we made for her, the books we read, the conversations we had and decisions we made – there is nothing that could have prepared us for the incredible blessing we were about to receive.

When Elisabeth was born, my entire life was transformed. All of the sudden, I started to realise just how selfish I had been before her and how much time I had spent on myself. Every day she demands more and more of me, and somehow by God’s grace every day, I find more and more of myself to give. I have learned so much in the past year about parenting, life, but most of all love. A love that looks past the marmite-covered hands and cheeks and says “I love you still”. That looks at the toys strewn across the floor, with a trail track leading to somewhere she is not meant to be and says “I love you still”. A love that gets out of bed at 2am (and then again at 3:30, 4, and 5) to stick a soother back in her little mouth and says “I love you still”. That looks straight into the eyes of a little monster screaming in her highchair and says “I love you still”.

17198086_10158285047065463_242234296_nWhile I have never been on the “giving” end of this love before, I have definitely experienced it. This is the same love I see in my mother’s eyes every time she looks at me. The thought of this makes my heart sing as I dream about where Elisabeth will be 25 years from now because I know that I will still look at her the same way. I know that she will most likely fail as many times as she succeeds, she will make mistakes, she will choose the wrong thing from time to time. But she will always be my Elisabeth, she will always be my baby. And 25 years from now, although her cheeks might not be covered in marmite, I am sure that my whole being will still radiate with the same love that it does now. No matter where life takes her, I will be saying, “I love you still.”


The Passion

 

622567_520305511321406_1714276670_o.jpg

Picture by Odie Maunes

I want to start by congratulating my parents on your silver anniversary, managing not to kill each other or my brother, sister and me. I also want to thank all of you for being here today and helping us to celebrate this very special day for our family

I wasn’t there when the love story of my Dad and Mum blossomed (I came about 3 years and 9 months later ;)) but on every single account, especially my Mum’s, my mum was the typically hard to get Filipino girl

There is one story (that they’ve told us a few hundred times) when they were dating and had a massive argument, probably started by my mum, who stormed off the bus they were riding and into the crowded streets, leaving my Dad abandoned and lost.

Luckily, my Dad loved my mum enough to look for her and keep loving her.

The love story that I do know is a beautiful love story written by God. A love that as they grow older, the more in love they fall. On this day, 25 years ago, they probably thought they loved each other so fiercely and completely. That love does not compare to the love that they share now and the love they will have 25 years from now.

It makes me smile when I see the way that our Dad looks at our Mum, even though sometimes it makes my siblings and I embarrassed. Especially when they kiss in a photo booth and stick the photo on our fridge where our friends can see when they come over.

When we were much younger, we lived on the second level in an apartment and every day, my mum would know exactly when my Dad got home because she could “smell” him, even 2 stories up. My mum can’t even leave the house without kissing my Dad goodbye. My sister reminded me of a time when she and my mum were in the car about to leave to go to work. My Dad came out of the house, looking annoyed and when my sister asked, “What’s wrong with Dad?” My mum answered, “I haven’t kissed him goodbye yet.”

Mum and Dad, thank you for being an awesome example of love. Thank you for setting the bar high, showing us the kind of love that we should strive for and one that we deserve.

Separately, you are two amazing people, but together you are complete.

Please raise your glasses while I toast my Mum and Dad on 25 wonderful years.

***

Even now, coming up to their 30th anniversary, I see the love of my parents growing. I see how even at their age, they’re still growing as individuals, still pushing each other to be better and loving each other more because of it. I see how they enjoy each other’s company, whether traveling together, doing ministry together and when they have their way, just watching teleserye on the couch, cuddling.


Automatic

At 22 years old, I am currently juggling four big priorities; Firstly, I work 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Secondly, I’m a student, studying business and events management. Thirdly, I have left the nest and have been living on my own for nearly 2 years now. As for the fourth… It is one of the toughest job in the world, and my biggest priority over all. Not a lot of people choose it at such a young age. I work every single day, for very very long hours. I usually juggle all four on the daily. It is physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and socially straining. I do not get paid over time or weekend rate. I actually do not get paid at all for this job, but it is the most rewarding thing a person could do. For my fourth priority is working for and serving a four year old girl – my daughter.

I am still quite young and have a lot to learn, but it’s fair to say that have experienced love in more ways than a young adult usually does. In my opinion love is a choice, rather than a feeling. To me that means, that no matter how one is feeling, what mood they are in, or whatever situation they are experiencing, they choose to love regardless. Whilst that is difficult to understand and do, being a mother has taught me just that.

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 decision, and booked a very painful appointment.

Prior to this writing piece, I did not know what pragma love was. However, without even knowing what it meant, I realised that I have experienced “longstanding love” from my parents every day of my life. Even before I told them about the baby, this love was strong enough to change my decision. I knew how they would react and feel when I tell them I also knew my parents loved me no matter what. That’s when I realised that because I felt this longstanding love they had for me, I knew how I wanted to love my child in the same way.

A great deal happened during my pregnancy. Very emotionally traumatic series of events that I still carry with me. But the clearest memory I have during that time, was the day I chose to cancel that appointment. It was a Tuesday afternoon the day before my appointment in Liverpool. I remember exactly where I was sitting in the food court when I called the clinic. I remember her voice when she asked me why I wanted to cancel. I said: “I decided to keep the baby.” I remember the feeling of relief and joy happening on both ends of that call.

Word spread and my parents were the ones who did not leave my side the way others did. They taught me what love was about and I knew that I would always be in safe hands. How you love your children is different to how you love your partner, or your family and friends. In a romantic relationship, you find them, connect with them and then chose to love them. With your kids, it isn’t like that. With my daughter, I didn’t choose her. It didn’t seem that way at first, but there wasn’t even a choice to begin with. It was automatic.

The love that my daughter and I have has grown just like any other love. But the one thing that remained the same was that I do not need to choose her. The decisions I make – long term and short term has her right in the middle. Always. That means my career, my education, my lifestyle, my relationship choices and day to day activities, starts and ends with her. No second thought. At times, it does get too much that my whole world revolves around her. However, she never fails to make me feel like I am on top of the world being her mum – and that makes me I feel so powerful. Like I can do anything. It is her love for me that makes me feel superhuman. That I can move mountains for us, because I can and will.

There seems to be an unintentional recurring theme of choice here about my experience of pragma love. All the decisions I have made in my short-lived life, has lead me to the most fulfilling type of love that is so overwhelmingly powerful, that I cannot wait for those around me to feel the way I feel every day.

Falling in love is easy. Finding a person you genuinely connect with is a little harder. But it really is something different. When all the good that you have in you, all that you are as a person, a product of love that was created inside of you, is sitting right there in front of your eyes, learning to write her name. She is everything that love means to me – Kim the manifestation of my love.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset


It’s hard to sum up everything I feel but I knew he was the one when I couldn’t take the stupid smile off my face, when I felt safe in my skin and that he would love me regardless of anything I did or said. Even when we fight I want to be with him.
Cass and Chris
 Photo by Captured Frames

PreviewI felt alone. Nobody understood. Nobody could see it. Nobody could feel it. I dropped out of school because I couldn’t keep up with school work, quit my job, stopped seeing friends. I felt like I had no future.

Check out the next instalment of Love Stories, “Pragma”, on Wednesday 7 June at 3pm AEST

Don’t forget to enter our competition with TIH! Entries close 9 June

Secret message: He is still annoyed that I didn’t tell him I liked him too as soon as he told me. But he said I didn’t have to say anything? I made him wait a few weeks, should’ve made him wait a year. 

Written by Candice

May 31, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Love Stories

It’s Gonna Be May

leave a comment »

30aaa2a5153f325045607eb630facd5e

Isn’t this just beautiful and relatable?

  1. A lot of people asked me where in the world I was when I posted safari photos on Instagram stories early this month. I was in Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne, which is a lot of fun and pretty good value at $35 for adults
  2. The buttermilk pancakes at Pancake Parlour (Melbourne) kick Pancakes on the Rock’s butt
  3. If you feel like being sad, listen to Bon Iver – I can’t Make you Love Me
  4. I’m a little late to the party, but I loved Hidden Figures. All the women in that movie are so kickass
  5. Justin is frustrated with me because he’s been trying to get me into Hamilton the musical for a year maybe and it’s only now that I’m getting into it and actually more into it than he is lol. When I fangirl, I fangirl HARD lol. My fav songs now are Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Sir (I an pretty much rap the whole of those two songs), and Guns and Ships. Also Dear TheodosiaThat Would Be Enough and Helpless in the mixtape. I’m not gonna lie, I have been trying to learn all the raps and the one for Guns and Ships by Daveed Diggs is just nuts, I get tongue tied.
  6. Guns and Ships needs its own number. Honestly just look at the lyrics and speed. AMAZE #goals
  7. My work has a loaded pantry and fridge so since coming on in January, I have gained 6kg D: #CovataKilos Short stop donuts have probably contributed, too. So I have been going on a sugar cleanse and having a sweet tooth, I knew I needed something sweet to curb cravings. My two three favs are coconut water, peanut butter and protein balls 🙂
  8. I have been behind in my reading my book this month – A Thousand Splendid Suns. This is by the same author as the Kite runner. The first few chapters were already sad so I wasn’t so keen on reading, but it’s a good story so far
  9. Black Mirror 😐 Esp the first episode omg.
  10. Brooklyn 99 is one of my fav shows, it actually makes me lol. But from the newer episodes Moo Moo is my fav episode, going deeper and reflecting what’s going on in the US at the moment. It just goes back to my post about art imitating life
  11. Jimmy Kimmel talking about his son’s birth ❤
  12. Have you heard Harry Styles singing Landslide with Stevie Nicks?
  13. Not sure if you’ve been following the Love Stories series? The stories I’ve been able to share have been beautiful. I just feel so lucky to read and share them. Thanks to everyone that has been participating, sharing and reading xo

 

Written by Candice

May 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Love Stories – Chapter 4: Philia

leave a comment »

Love Stories-neon2

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.

Notime.jpg

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.

17455192_10154921881331233_1500095703_o.jpg

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.

17453427_10154921881851233_171474535_o

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

Art

leave a comment »

Just a quick spitfire quip

Sometimes I get overexcited, shoot off at the lip

I have been overly consuming black mirrors

But instead of blurring, I can see what I feel clearer

Just a mere idea to get into your sphere

That

Art

Imitates

Life

Imitates

Art

Take the unbreakable, unshakeable Kimmy Schmidt as a start

A comedic edict and strategic commentary about feminism,

Extreme political correctness to the point of an aneurism

Secondly Alexander Hamilton, set in 1700’s

Peeling back today’s issues like Shrek and that onion

I bet it’s pushing Donald Trump’s buttons

Immigrants, social advancement, social climbs, social suicides

Even makes a statement about race relations

So whether you’re a writer or a sculptor or a kid afraid to step out

Set it on fire with your lighter, then maybe go a different route

Imitate life and art and love and pain and sorrow

We have a part to play in shaping tomorrow

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 11.43.20 am.png

By Mari AndrewBy Mari Andrew

Written by Candice

May 23, 2017 at 11:44 am

Posted in Contemplate., Dream., Write.

Love Stories – Chapter 3: Ludus

leave a comment »

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.

rs_560x374-141120191001-1024.Closer-Natalie-Portman.ms.112014_copy


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.

 images.jpeg

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?!

funny-thor-loki-meme-up-all-night-to-get-loki.jpg

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.
Hulk.jpg

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

Tigerlily.jpg

Written by Candice

May 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Love Stories