Day 46 to 55 – February 15th to 24th, 2019

Holy hell I haven’t written in a while and I am aching to at this point. So much has happened in the course of the past week and a half – Adrian and I went on our incredibly amazing trip (and it truly was just… so, so good from start to finish), I’ve started back at work, and… we’ve just welcomed yet a new tenant into our humble abode! An international student from Sri Lanka in fact, a young girl who also goes to York.

I have so much to catch up on and I also want to do a proper check-in with myself too, especially because I finally have the weekend off and to myself (despite all the things going on around me at the moment – our new roomie is just in the midst of moving in and I’m checking in every so often to make sure that she’s settling in okay).

Man, I miss writing. I’ve had a lot of different thoughts circulating around my head lately that I would love to sort through, amidst all the catching up I’d like to do. But I don’t think I can get to that and address it as well as I’d like to until I write down how my trip went and how much fun we had, and the little moments that I don’t want to forget.

Alright! So where did I leave off?

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. The day we finally said those three little words to each other.

So the next day, I hung out with Radha so that we could spend some time together before we left, and we actually ended up going to the crystal store! She picked out some wonderful crystals and even I was able to add to my little growing collection, which makes me happy.

I didn’t bring up the past, BUT – I did find opportunities in the midst of our conversation to emphasize that I want us to be able to openly communicate with each other, that I want us to support each other and grow together. There was even a moment where she asked me if it was strange that she would relate what I said about me back to her – I explained that we’re so used to seeing things through the lens of ourselves first and foremost that it’s become an almost automatic response to relate things back to ourselves in order to feel like we’re relating to the person we’re speaking to, even though that’s a very unconscious “me-centered” response. But I told her we’re able to get past that and cultivate a more active listening, and so she intends to do that. And she’s getting better! So even though I didn’t rehash old stuff, I do believe we can move forward together and be more open and communicative. She’s so dedicated to working through her old neural pathways and habits, so that’s all that matters to me. It’s nice to have someone in my life who is as insistent on self-awareness and growth as I am.

She slept over, and the next day she drove me over to Richmond Hill to Adrian’s, where Mark would eventually give us a ride to the airport. (Oh man, my heart aches so much remembering our initial excitement about getting ready to leave. I MISS IT SO MUCH!)

And much to my surprise and delight, Adrian’s brother and brother’s fiancée came over to wish Adrian a safe flight as well, so I got to meet them for the first time! I was just in the midst of making like a thousand pancakes for everyone, LMAO. Perfect timing, hehe.

Anyways, I ended up getting into some great conversations with his brother’s fiancée – turns out that she just recently got into watching Gossip Girl, and she and her sister used to love watching Gilmore Girls (which I myself recently just finished), and she was telling me about the “Handmaid’s Tale” which she highly recommended to me. Also, coincidentally, she’s only a year older than me and we grew up around the same area – so we actually went to the same elementary school for a brief period before I switched schools!!! What are the odds eh? Adrian even mentioned that she wants to go sky-diving one day and that that’s something that his brother is not really into (just like Adrian), so now she and I could go together while they stayed safely on the ground, LMAO. We’re all going to get along just fine.

It warms my heart so much to think that I could be a part of their little family and fit in. I can already see the future hang outs, or maybe even travelling together (they also love to travel).

Eventually, we had to leave so we all said goodbye to each other and finally headed off to the airport. Adrian and I got through customs easy-peasy (thankfully), and eventually we were able to settle in together to wait for our flight.

I loved these little moments best. The moments where we were just sitting side by side and making commentary about the things we saw around us, or how he’d affectionately kiss the side of my head or my cheek every so often while we waited. Those are the moments I wanted to hold onto the most.

Eventually, we were able to get on the flight and we were able to sit together (we weren’t too sure because we couldn’t get seats assigned to us right away) and the seats we got were actually upgrades (plenty of extra leg room at no extra cost) so we already felt so, so lucky.

Not to mention, the flight attendant ended up taking a liking to us and towards the end of the flight, she lowkey gave us some free alcohol. Adrian was SHOOK, lmao. He kept asking me if I had done anything or arranged anything and I kept laughing, because I’m used to good fortune on my travels. Good luck just happens to find me! I can’t explain it. But I’m so happy he got to experience it firsthand too.

The flights were super quick, and eventually we got into New Orleans and the first thing we did (even before picking up our luggage) was walk outside to feel the warmth in the air, which we immediately started laughing about out of pure happiness.

Once we got all of our luggage, we headed off to the hotel. Check-in was very straightforward and easy, especially since we got the hotel stay at no cost whatsoever (still can’t believe how lucky we were about this). The room was so nice! It was so big, legit a suite, and the kind sized bed was MASSIVE. Usually I always end up taking up like 90% of the bed and Adrian always ends up at the edge LMFAO. But with the size of that bed, we weren’t worried about that.

My god, it was soooooooo soooooooo soooooooo sooooooooooooo nice to fall asleep beside him. I distinctively remember thinking “I don’t want to forget this feeling right here”. The way his arms felt wrapped around me, how incredible it felt to be lying so close to him. Sigh.

Our days were so jam-packed with things to do. On our first day, we did so much that by our second day, one of our cab-drivers was surprised with how much we’d done and told us we were “doing New Orleans right”, hehe.

Our first day – we got up early for breakfast and went off to the Global Wildlife Center. It was so much fun, especially since the sun was so hot that day (a blessed 26 degrees y’all). But, I did not get to see my beloved giraffes. Alas, they’d already been fed and so they were hiding away far off in the shade of some trees. I mean, I was pretty disappointed at first – imagine being so excited for something and having it so close within your grasp just to have it taken away at the last second? But in the end, I came to terms with the idea that perhaps, I truly am meant to feed giraffes in Kenya, which has always been my ultimate dream. I’m sure it’ll be that much more worthwhile now, once I do.

Adrian was so sweet, he promised me that one day he would make that dream of mine come true and I wanted to cry LMAO. I honestly love him so much.

Speaking of – since we’ve said those words to each other, there’s been no shortage since. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of hearing him tell me he loves me, how much he loves me. It’s truly music to my ears.

Here was the interesting part of our trip – so the Global Wildlife Center was about an hour away from New Orleans. We’d taken an Uber to get there, but… now we were in the middle of nowhere, and there was no Uber or Lyft in the vicinity whatsoever. We tried calling cab company after cab company, but they were either wildly too expensive, or unable to drive the distance to pick us up.

On the inside, I was panicking and a little upset. A situation like this was what I was afraid of in regards to travelling with Adrian – I didn’t want us to be upset with each other or fight at all. We were stranded, probably getting a little hungry, and waiting would make anyone get a little frustrated. But guess what?

He was wonderful. He held my hand, made sure to express that he was absolutely okay with everything and simply just happy to be with me and be in the warmth of the sun while we waited. Eventually we were able to find a cab driver to pick us up for an appropriate price, and it turned out to be a very interesting ride with a local Louisiana guy who was quite good-humoured and very kind.

He took us into New Orleans close to Bourbon Street, where we were able to wander around and find the musical garden and a café that sold beignets, which was on our list of food things we wanted to try. I told him how much I appreciated his patience and positivity so much, and he told me I made it easy for him. We honestly work so well together, I’m so, so happy and so thankful.

We enjoyed the live music together, and we both had our first drinks – I had a “mint julep” for the first time (bourbon, simple syrup, mint and ice) and he had a “southern comfort mango daiquiri”. We also had some gumbo and I had a shrimp “po’boy”.

Honestly we did this trip so well. We had an overall idea of what we wanted this trip to look like – from the things we saw and did, to the food and drink, and we managed to accomplish quite a lot of it for our time there. He turned out to be the absolute perfect travel buddy, and I’m picky as hell about my travel buddies. But he was just like me – super easy-going, go-with-the-flow but also took charge when he needed to (and I was HERE for it, mm damn).

That day we did our haunted voodoo tour too, and man New Orleans is so much more haunted than I realized. I would go back just to explore those aspects of the city, because our tour was kind of like a brief dipping a toe in the water kind of introduction to it all. The way our tour guide told the stories had chills going up and down my spine. But it also made me realize that somewhere deep down, I knew exactly why that city had been calling out to me.

After the tour, we ended up going to Frenchmen Street – where all the live music was to be had. We ended up having a drink in a bar with a live band playing, and we even got gator-sausage pizza for dinner! It was actually pretty damn good, LOL. Very chewy.

We had a pretty busy first day, but man what an adventure it was.

I’m actually almost a little sad typing all of this out, reliving it in a weird way. I’m usually quite okay with coming back from my travels and I usually readjust back to my daily routine quite easily, but this time it feels different. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy being in Adrian’s company and I got so used to it, you know? I feel bruise-y and I miss him a lot, which is also strange because I don’t miss him easily, or anyone easily for that matter. Except for Olivia, who’s also been gone for a little while now (she left to Cleveland the day I came back from New Orleans, so I haven’t seen her in over a week).

I guess it’s going to take a little time to get used to seeing him once a week again, and our texting frequency (which is usually like once a day); it’s just weird going from being with him all the time and being able to talk to him about anything and everything whenever and getting kisses whenever I wanted, to having to wait to see him or hear from him again. Le sigh. Such is life.

Anyways! The second day, we did our tour of the swamp lands in another part of Louisiana, and that was also a lot of fun – we got to see a swamp hog and raccoon, and even got to see how the “swamp-people” live (people who have built homes directly on the swamp).

That took up a better part of the day, and once we got back to the hotel in the afternoon we decided to rest for a little and just relax since we had been so go-go-go from the start of our trip. This was probably one of my most favourite days too – we ended up just lounging in bed for hours upon hours, talking endlessly about everything and anything. It was so nice to just hang out with him, munch on the last of the forty nuggets we’d ordered from McDonald’s, watch a little TV and then knock out.

I love that after almost a year of seeing each other, there’s still so much that we’re learning about one another. I love that we can literally talk about anything – we went from talking about old pets to past lives, which is quite a jump, but that’s us. I know I probably sound crazy to anyone else, but he actually listens to what I have to say with such an open mind and such receptiveness.

The next day, we met Adrian’s boss’ friend, who gave us a private walking tour of the entire Mercedes-Benz stadium (which was incredible!). He was quite a presence actually – turns out he just recently ended his term as President of the entire New Orleans Food and Beverage association, (which made him that much more intimidating, LMAO). But he ended up taking us out to lunch, which was very kind. And it was so impressive too – EVERYONE knew who he was. In fact, everyone was so nervous around him that it made Adrian and I seem like some kind of VIP guests, LMAO. The GM of the WW2 museum came up to us and personally introduced herself, as well as gave us free tickets to the museum and exhibits. It was such an incredible experience. Adrian and I really do work so well together – he’s got massive and amazing hook-ups of his own! Together, we shall travel and take over the world, muahahahahaaaaa.

The museum was really cool, both Adrian and I have a love for history (Adrian more so than me – he was a history major at UofT) so we both enjoyed walking around quite a bit.

The last night was the most epic, for sure – we went to the Carousel bar at Hotel Monteleone, got tipsy, walked around the city like that until we got to Drago’s where we had the most incredible charbroiled garlic-butter oysters we ever had in our life with some bubbly sweet moscato, and then we went straight back to Frenchmen Street to get drunk and listen to more live music.

It was such a wild night! I had absinthe for the first time ever, and then I had Sazerac (which is native to NOLA I believe) so I was out to lunch LMAO. Adrian himself was kind of tipsy too, but we were having a wonderful time just bar-hopping and listening to as much of the music as we wanted to.

At one point, he stepped out for a smoke, and then when he came back in he looked at me and was like, “I’m going to get an estimate”. And I was like, “for what?” and he was like, “for a tattoo”. And with me in complete shock and awe, we walked out of the bar, down the street and straight into a nearby tattoo parlour.

I felt like I was having an out of body experience. Usually it’d be me who’d be spontaneously deciding to get a tattoo on trip (which I STILL haven’t done!). I watched him pick out a font, work out a price, and that was it. He got the lyrics “what a wonderful world”, as a tribute to the great Louis Armstrong (who was born and raised in New Orleans) as well as ode to the fact that it is, truly, a wonderful world. My entire heart.

And in that moment, I couldn’t help but think – “well, looks like I’ve actually found my soulmate”, LOL. Seriously though. It was just… such an incredible experience to share with him.

I was heavily considering getting a tattoo as well, but honestly I was way past gone, and I felt that that night it was Adrian’s moment to do something that monumental. It was the right time for him. Eventually, once we’d had our fill of Frenchmen Street and all that jazz (hehe), we finally headed back to our hotel for our last night of sleeping beside each other.

He very much enjoyed “drunk Steph”, much to my relief. I was a combination of “sleepy-happy”, (which we now call “slappy”) and super giggly. And he was so sweet – he made sure I drank all the water I needed before we went to bed, made sure I was feeling okay. And we had a wonderful conversation while we laid in bed together face to face. I straight-up asked him why he didn’t tell me he loved me first if he’d felt that way the whole time, and he admitted that I may have bigger balls than him, LOL. But in all honesty, he’d been kind of afraid of rejection, even though deep down he knew that he didn’t have to be. And he wanted to know that I was sure first before he said anything himself, and that’s absolutely okay. He told me he hasn’t regretted saying it back to me once, and that he knows how he feels about me without a doubt – that this trip with me only reaffirmed what he knew he felt. I told him that I said those words finally not because I needed to hear them back, but because I truly just needed him to know how I felt. How much I was bursting at the seams to tell him.

It was a lovely way to end our trip. This vacation went better than I could have imagined, from start to finish. And now, I can’t imagine travelling with anyone else. We’ve gotten so close that he doesn’t just feel like my boyfriend anymore, but my best friend too. I want more than anything to share the love I have for travelling with the love of my life. And he feels the exact same way. We’re already in the works of planning our next trip, potentially in May. We’ll see what’s meant to be!

We ended up getting delayed and stuck in Dallas due to ice storms in Toronto, but I didn’t even mind that. I was actually happy that I was able to spend more time with him, LOL.

Eventually we made it back, and he insisted on giving me a ride home so I went back with him to Richmond Hill. In the cab ride there, I couldn’t help but tear up when I thought about how much closer we’d become, how much more intimate we’d been with each other. I promised the heavens and the powers that be that I would spend each and every one of my days that I had with him doing my best to show him how much I loved him, that I would do my best to fill all of his days with nothing but magic and happiness because he deserved nothing less than that.

So… yeah, I’d say it was a successful trip, all in all. LOL.

I DID IT! I WROTE ABOUT MY WHOLE TRIP, WHOO HOOO!

Go me, go me, go me *does a little happy dance*.

Not a lot has happened since I’ve been back. I went straight to work, saw all my coworkers and caught up with them about the whatnot I’ve missed and about my trip, and now I’ve had the weekend off so I’ve just been at home helping our new house-mate settle in. She’s super nice and sweet, so little and small and I just want to make sure she feels happy and comfortable here. She also seems really chill and like… “modern”? Like I don’t know what the word would be for someone from Sri Lanka who has a more contemporary mindset, LOL.

I definitely want to take her out and show her Toronto, and I think this’ll be an interesting way to kind of see my own city through the eyes of someone who isn’t familiar with it. It’s funny, I was actually thinking about this on the way back home after my trip – if I wasn’t a Toronto native and I chose this place to visit as one of my trips, where would I go? What would I want to see? What food places would I go to? So, I think I’m going to keep to that line of thought as we show our new roomie around. Especially as the weather gets nicer too.

I honestly don’t mind that she’s moved into our spare room. I’m really not home that often, and neither is Olivia, and it’ll be nice for my mom to have some company on the days or weekends that we’re not here. In fact, when we do go away, we’ll have someone here at home to look after things and like feed my cat and stuff, so that helps too. And the extra income we’ll be getting from this will help my mom out a lot as well, which is so great. It’s a win-win-win situation (as Michael Scott would say).

How have I been feeling lately since I got back? Well. I always get this feeling when I travel that I’m perfectly in sync with all of my self. My surface self, my deeper self, my little voice, my mind and heart. It’s the peace and contentedness that I don’t experience anywhere else. It definitely makes me realize that travel is something I should be pursuing in my life, somehow. I know I’ll figure it out.

I also really want to invest some time in getting back in tune with myself, strengthening my intuition and working on me. My finances are slowly getting in order and I’m excited to save and spend wisely, that’ll be a new challenge that I’m quite ready to take on. So, slowly but surely, I’m back on the wavelength of trying my best to shape my life into the exact ways that I want it to be.

School-wise, there’s definitely a lot of work to be done internally. I need to figure out how to strengthen and sharpen my attention span, and continuously re-work my old neural pathways regarding the resentments I feel towards school and feeling like I’ve been forced to do it, in to a healthier “I’m doing this for me” viewpoint. Or else, I’m going to continue to struggle through for the next couple years in a loop of “will she, won’t she”.

I feel good about writing this stuff. As reading week comes to a close, I look forward to getting back on track in all the ways I set out to. I feel rested and recharged from my incredible trip, and spending some time at home has also helped me to gather back my energies and draw them closer to me.

Speaking of my energies… I think I’m finally beginning to re-evaluate what I want from my friendships the same way I did my relationships. Here’s how I look at it – if I could go from being in a toxic relationship, being cheated on and under-appreciated, to an incredibly healthy loving relationship with a guy who showers me with affection and fulfills all my needs, then I can absolutely have the kind of healthy fulfilling friendships that I would like to have in my life.

I think I briefly outlined in one of my recent logs of what I would like from my friendships, but I think I need to go into more depth about it in order to give a clear picture to the Universe, in order to manifest it.

I remember how I did those exercises on paper about what I wanted to manifest in a partner, and all of those little things I’ve written have actually come to life in the form of Adrian. Like even the weird little quirks I wrote like “has hobbies like playing sports” or “wakes up and kisses me good morning each and every time” or “does a job he enjoys”, all of that came true. From being written down? I don’t know, but I do believe in the power that words have, the energy that writing things down carries.

Maybe I’ll do the same exercises, but what I want in my friends. Right down to the specifics. If I can manifest the absolute perfect partner for myself, I sure as hell believe I can manifest the right friendships too. And I know no one’s perfect, I know people are constantly changing and that nothing remains the same. But there are things I do not want to settle for, and then there are things I would love from the people in my life. Why can’t we have exactly what we want from our lives? We’re the only ones in our own way if we believe anything but.

I want the kind of friendships where we don’t have to talk every day and I think nothing of it because I know that when we do talk, it’ll be as though no time has passed. I want those kinds of friendships where once we do decide to make plans, it happens easily and being in one another’s presence never ever feels forced. I want those genuine connections with people who acknowledge just as openly and honestly as I do that there’s still more growth to be had. And selfishly, I want some friendships where I can have those crazy, deep, kooky, strange, out of the box conversations about energy, spirits, past-lives, conspiracy theories, spirituality, life and death and all the cool stuff I can talk endlessly about. I’m tired of “small-talk”.

If that means there’s less and less people in my life as a result, so be it. I’d take a few of those gem-like people I see or talk to every so often than any uncomfortable frequent forced interactions with people I sort-of kind-of connect with, any day.

Whatever is meant to be, shall be.

My family goes without saying. I know I’m going to be lifelong friends with the people I consider “family”. I know sometimes family doesn’t always stay that way, but that’s what I’ve grown up with and I’d love to keep it that way. I’m always going to do my best to reach out to them, and they’ve always been people in my life that I can go months without seeing or sometimes even talking to and when we all get together it’s like nothing’s changed whatsoever.

For now, I’m just going to let go and go with the flow. Whatever is meant to be will be. Sometimes people come back into your life in ways you would have never even imagined or realized, and sometimes space is good. I’m just done with trying to force things. Whatever flows, flows, and whatever crashes, crashes – and whatever is meant for me, will be for me. That is all. For now, I’m just going to focus on doing the best I can for myself, being as authentic and genuine as I can be, and doing what feels right. I’m going to focus on strengthening my inner voice, the same way I was so intent on it last year and the year before that. I’ve actually just recently ordered some books on that very topic, because it’s been a bit difficult for me to find any works that resonate with me at the moment. We’ll see how it goes with the books I’m about to get.

This was a good and lengthy log! Much overdue. Lately I’ve been wondering if it’s time to start posting my logs online again. The thing is, there’s some things I’ve been very, very honest about that should probably be for my own eyes only. Which means, if I do start posting these logs online, they will be slightly censored (in the fact that I will have to remove some excerpts from it). I guess that’s okay though. Like I’ve said before, my writing has to be for me, first and foremost. I guess I’ll be making my return to the online world soon.

So, this week. I’ll be returning to school, picking up some extra hours at work now that there will be more podiums and more hours available as a result. I’ll be helping Bea (our new house-mate) get acclimated to her new surroundings. Man, that girl has been through hell and back. I almost cried listening to everything she went through her first two months of being here. I’m so happy she’s found her way to our little family. I hope she’ll feel at home with us because she seems to be so kind and have a massive heart herself.

Anyways, that’s it for today! I feel good. I feel great actually. It’s so nice to touch base with myself and rest, and recharge, and do things for me that protect my energy. It feels good to do things for me, period. I’m happy.

I’m going to help Bea make a resume now so that she can get a job and help her parents out (sweet little thing). Until I write next,

Love always and in every way,

Me.

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