Tuesday, August 23, 2011

saying goodbye, me, you, and them

This week past has been busy. I moved my little brother out.

kev moving

As you can see, it was a tight move. He’d accumulated more in the past year than he’d thought. But we managed to squeeze it all into a Honda Civic, so that’s good.

Saying goodbye was a little bittersweet. I’m happy for him and wish him the best, but I’m sad and worried and all that momma bear kind of stuff. And yes, yet again, I totally cried.

I think I have come to the conclusion that in my 30s I have turned into a crier. And no one gets me crying easier than my little brothers’ do. Not that they do it intentionally.

Paul and I were joking, once I stopped crying, that I’m totally going to be the mom who walks away, unable to hug or talk during goodbyes, because I’ve been reduced to tears and am just trying to find a private place where I can just break down without witnesses. And then Paul will have to always be there to say “don’t worry, they’re tears of happiness.” Because apparently, even though I’m a crier, I can’t cry in public and feel the need to flee the scene as soon as I start welling up.

It’s ridiculous but completely beyond my control. I am the weepiest of them all! (in my family)

But in other news… look how pretty things are in that area of Ontario!

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These were taken just outside our hotel in Smith Falls, which isn’t as nice as Perth… so all in all, Kev’s moved to a quaint corner of Ontario. It’ll be a shock after big city living, I’m sure. But it’s pretty to visit. I might just have to go again!

It really was a weekend of goodbyes though because we returned only to say goodbye to a good friend who is moving out to Nova Scotia to do an internship for a year. It makes me happy to see these people going off to live their lives, follow their dreams, and have amazing adventures, but also sad because they will be missed.

In more exciting news though…

I’m heading to Mexico (Mayan Riviera) in 2 weeks! Woo hoo! Even better? It’s a girl’s trip with this lovely lady:

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I’m very excited to get some quality Karen and Marya time in. We have never gone on vacation together (I’ve gone to visit her in England twice and she’s come to Montreal twice but we’ve never gone somewhere new together). I can’t wait to see what mischief and adventures we create together!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

wedding stories

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I promised myself that I would finish our wedding album this year.

It may have been too lofty a goal, I admit that now. Especially given that the stories I want to tell evolve so much over time and well, frankly, I have a complex relationship with weddings.

I don’t believe that our wedding date is the date that we should count. By that date, we’ve only been together under 2 years. And yet, we’ve really been together 5 1/2 years. The wedding was more a societal seal of approval, a ritual for others, a public way to lend authority to a relationship that already had permanence between the 2 of us.

I know, you’re probably wondering why the hell I ever got married! But truth be told, I always wanted to be married. I always envisioned it as something I would do and that it would be a moment I would share with my dearest friends and family.

That said, has anything really changed between the 2 of us since getting married? Yes and no. Yes because it gave weight and stature to our relationship in the eyes of others, which meant that it was easier to define ourselves as a couple and as having importance to one another in their eyes. But honestly, mostly no. We are still the same just with a legal framework.

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All of this is why, for me, creating a wedding scrapbook becomes a bit convoluted. I want to do it because we have all these great photos from that day, but I’ll never be someone who sees it as being the best day of my life. Or even as a day that defines me.

It was a great learning experience that taught me a lot about myself, my partnership, and negotiating family. It taught me who was there for me and who wasn’t. And most importantly all the diy wedding projects, probably much to my husband’s chagrin, rekindled my crafty nature. And for that, my artistic soul is eternally grateful.

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So now, as I contemplate what stories I want to write on this particular wedding page, I find myself wanting to talk about things that came before, or after, the “big” day. Because honestly, how many ways can I tell the story of one day? Especially when we have over 5 years of laughter together?

How on earth am I going to choose 2 (or 1 long one) to fit into the boxes I’ve created on this page? These days I’m really striving to tell stories that go beyond what the photos themselves already tell, which is tricky but is also changing the nature of the pages I’m creating. Hopefully, in the end, all the story telling angst will lend itself better to a reflection of me, us, and the life we’ve lived.

Monday, August 15, 2011

a week of changes: brothers

I’ve been thinking about my little brother a lot lately. Not the one living with us, the older little brother, the one living in London, England (clarified for you east coasters who seem to always want to think of London, On, which always throws me for a loop).

Since I’ve been thinking about him so much lately, it only makes sense that he’s been in a lot of my scrapbook and art journaling pages:

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Above I journaled the story of his birth, which I am sure he’s sick of hearing. But honestly, he was supposed to be my long awaited sister and I was going to name him Marina (which, let’s be honest, isn’t the best of names for a west coast kid, especially when you add in the fact that my name is Marya) and we were going to play Cabbage Patch dolls and Barbies together. So I was a little disappointed when he showed up. Disappointed enough to throw quite the royal temper tantrum, asking, no, demanding that he be returned and exchanged for my sister! After all, they had taken up half of my bedroom, built a wall and all, which was ok for a sister but for a stinky brother, well I wasn’t so ok with that.

Needless to say, my parents weren’t keen on accommodating me. But that’s ok, he was pretty cute with his carrot top hair and tiny toes and fingers. I’m pretty sure my mom is a master manipulator and knew that as soon as she put him in my arms I wouldn’t want to return him. It’s just a theory but I wouldn’t put it past her! She’s pretty clever that way.

Anyways, when I came across an old picture of the 2 of us and put it next to one of us now, I was just so awed by how much we’ve grown since then. And while I’m still recognizable, he’s much less so. But I swear, the ogre towering above me(even wearing heels) on the right is really him!

And because I loved the wiser, more mature version of us, I decided to make a scrapbook page out of the entire picture, with all 3 of my little brothers (who are all taller than me, don’t let the heels fool you):

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At one point in my life (hell, ok, up until recently) my brothers have always been so much younger than me (7, 12, 14 years younger) that it’s been hard to relate to them and maintain a relationship with them living so far from home. A 6 hour plane ride, be it east or west, just makes it hard to have an every day relationship with siblings, especially ones in different life stages, you know?

But now that they’re older, I find myself negotiating an entirely different and more complex relationship with them, but one that it so much more rewarding. I still have the motherly, big sis stuff going on (which is my excuse for bawling like a baby at my brother’s wedding) but also the shift into friendship is starting to come into focus and that makes me unaccountably happy. I have this weird, divided and oddly invested sense of pride that comes from being able to see how they’ve grown and being able to enjoy who they have become (not that I had anything to do with it, just that I was able to see the process from beginning until now). And quite frankly, also scares the living shit out of me when I think about having kids. Cause if I feel so many emotions about watching my brothers grow up, how on earth am I ever going to cope with a child.

I don’t know if my brothers really have any idea how deep seated and complex my love for them is, but since this week marks 2 big events for 2 of them:

  • The non-sister big, little brother’s birthday
  • And the other moving away to go to school

I just wanted to put it out there. Happy birthday and Good luck! May the year ahead be one full of many grand adventures, love, laughter, and growth for you both.

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