What I learned.

I never even once thought of the people I’d meet on this trip. I was like, “I’m a solo traveler within a group; everyone is going to be doing their own things.” It didn’t even occur to me that I might meet people and even more so, meet people that I could grow to adore in such a short time.

Just writing that makes my eyes swell up with tears. The people I met this week were just as incredible as Iceland is. I focused my writings a lot on the trip itself but haven’t included much about the people that I’ve met along the way; mostly for their privacy. I have some feel-good stories and many moments in my journal that I’ll keep for myself to remember them by and cherish forever. I don’t know if any of us will ever cross paths again in this life, but I hope we do. It makes my heart so warm knowing there are people in the world that have the same wanderlust spirit and taste for adventure that I do because it’s easy to forget that when surrounded by people with different desires.

G (Gunner, our tour guide) was absolutely incredible. She is so proud of her heritage and of her country. She’s kind and welcomes you warmly and she’s so consistent. She’s not “on” and you can’t see through her because she is 100% genuinely authentically incredible. There was an elderly couple on our trip that had been all over the world; 100+ countries in their time together. The last time they’d been to Iceland was 1966. My mom was one! While some of their travels over the years was for work; a lot of it was for adventure and pleasure, too. They said that our guide was one of the top 5 EVER. In the 50+ years of traveling, Gunner Rosdottir is in their top 5. Talk about a compliment and it doesn’t even do her near as much justice as she deserves.


Guys, I’m so proud of myself. Like, in the best possible way. I can’t even think about it without crying and all of these feels are the most wonderful kind.

I noticed on face book that people are posting what they looked like at the beginning of the decade and at the end; most of them glow-ups but honestly that’s only due to fashion. I reflected on this on my last jaunt of a flight home. Physically, I’m much heavier now than I was at the beginning of this decade; is that a glow-down? I’m sure I’ve learned how to do my makeup a bit better and I’ve hopefully upgraded my fashion game but so much more has changed internally for the better rather than externally.

My life is split up into a handful of segments and I don’t know if that’s normal or not. A decade ago, I was in the early years of what would become a rocky and tumultuous relationship. I was more insecure than I’d ever been in my life and thought that by loving someone harder, I could fix them. Seven years ago, I was forced to leave that relationship because my mom and brother moved me out in the middle of the night due to an explosive conversation they heard when I secretly dialed my moms number. That didn’t last. He was broken and I was the only one that could salvage what life he had left in him. Or so I thought.

He didn’t share the same sense of adventure that I had. So, five years ago, I took the first step into not waiting around anymore for my life to begin. I started traveling with my mom. I feel like my first trip with my mom, through reflection, was my first real step into gaining Independence from an abusive situation. It took me another three years before I finally left that broken relationship.

Two years ago, almost to the day, I left the man that I’d loved with every ounce of my being for nearly a decade; for my entire adult life. I don’t know if i’ll ever be able to love someone the way I did him ever again. I know I’m capable of love; I’m a lover by nature but he took a piece of me that I’ll never be able to give someone again. A love that was fueled by pain. A love that I’m not willing to go through or forfeit to anyone ever again. I want a love that will move mountains, not dig graves.

That same two years ago, I was so unbelievable lost and broken in the truest sense. I came to realize that I wasn’t a person. My entire being existed to make his life better. I didn’t have a sense of self because it died when I left. I wish I could have told that girl then what I’d be doing now. She never would have dreamed of visiting Ireland and Scotland in 2018. She never would have dared go on a solo trip to the North Shore in her home-state. She didn’t think she’d ever get to see the Grand Canyon and she never ever, in a millions years, would have guessed that she’d travel to Iceland alone. I wish I would have told that girl that she’ll get through the pain and immerse the cocoon of heartbreak stronger and more powerful than she could have ever dreamt. I’m so proud of the woman I’ve become. I’ve always been strong but I can’t get over just how strong I am. How I can do this life and do it well, all on my own.

I know that I frequently reference this period of my life; this relationship.. And while I’m not defined by it now, it did define my life and who I was in it for a third of my life. So, I think it’s okay to refer back to it because it will always be there and it’ll always be a stepping stone of chapters in my long life of book. I’m only 30. I have so many more pages to grow from.


Thank you, dear readers, for coming on this journey with me. I’ll leave you with a quote by an Icelandic Nobel Peace Prize winner. Our tour guide recited it to us on one of our magical days traveling through the land of fire and ice:

“Where the glacier meets the sky, the land ceases to be earthly, and the earth becomes one with the heavens; no sorrows live there anymore, and therefore joy is not necessary; beauty alone reigns there, beyond all demands.” – Halldór Laxness

Millennials.

According to the facts of the world, a millennial is often described as an individual born between the early 80’s and mid-2000’s. Generation Y. The generation full of questions..Why? What? How?

Being on the older end of that spectrum (est 1989); there clearly is not one “type” of millennial. There are the millennials that know what playing outside and getting bruises from falling down a gigantic snow hill at school is like, the ones that grew up watching Ashanti and Ja Rule on TRL after school. And then there are the millennials that are still in high school when the “raising your children differently” transition began. Happy Holidays not Merry Christmas. Everyone wins in gym class. There is no such thing as dodgeball. Et cetera, et cetera. I guess we could subdivide ourselves as 1st generation and 2nd generation millennials if we’re going to get specific.

We grew up with the internet they say. We are the brain-children behind MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. We came out of the womb typing on a keyboard. Most of us know basic coding without having received any kind of formal training. We have an eye for imagination and wonder. We’re not afraid to dream bigger than ever before and are as selfish as they come. Our opinions matter and we’re not afraid to speak our minds. A good chunk of us might not know the ins and outs of politics but you’re damn right we’ll find the answer to any pickle we get into.

Oftentimes our parents and grandparents – basically anyone before our time – is always offering us failed advice. I’m not saying we’re always right but we’re not wrong. We get and appreciate advice given to us. I personally have gotten the best advice of my life from my mom many time over. But often so much tips on life come from people other than our parents. People who think they know us and most of it…most of it is ignorantly hypocritical.

We live in a generation where independence is a prized possession. More and more women raise the “I don’t need a man” flag. Being born out-of-wedlock, being a bastard child – it isn’t unheard of nor it is frowned upon within our generation. However, to our elders it’s just horrible. Life ruining even. But the funny thing is..that it isn’t.

I don’t consider myself a feminist although I do believe in equal rights among men and women but that’s a topic for another post. I don’t consider myself a woman who needs a man either. Sure, I’m in a happy, loving, long-term relationship but I don’t rely on Channing the way I feel my grandmothers or great-grandmothers relied on their husbands. If we have a child now, before we’re married – it’ll be fine. We already live together and we’re in the market for buying our first home. Yes, I do want to get married. I want to unite us as a family. I want my future offspring and I to have the same last name, the universal “family” life that we’re brought up to belive in. But if it doesn’t happen that way, life will go on.

If I was single in my late 20’s or early 30’s with no romantic headway, I’d probably look into advanced ways to have a child. Become a single mother. It’s no longer a death sentence to be a strong and independent women. This goes for all aspects of the millennial generation. Not just me and not just women. More and more companies are hiring for my generation over applicants who have years of experience. Sure, we may be a generation of selfies but we’re a generation of inventors. Of innovators.

We, more than anything, want to prove that we’re the best generation in more ways than one. Because we are and we’re going to own it. #millennials

189,302,400 Seconds.

Today marks year number 6 with this gem. It’s crazy to think about the last 6 years and to see how much we’ve both evolved. The experiences we’ve shared, the moments we’ve cherished. The trials, heartache, and joy we’ve been through. Together. And most of all to see the love that is the glue that holds us together, it’s in one word, unexplainable. (If that even is a word)

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I love you s’much, C.

Did you know…
That we’ve been together for 6 years?
That’s 73 months.
Or 313 weeks.
It equals out to be 2,191 days.
Or 52,584 hours.
Did you know that’s 3,155,040 minutes?!
Or better yet, 189,302,400 seconds.

I Love You More.

Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and emotions. It’s just how you choose to deal with them..

Through a hectic that shouldn’t have been hectic weekend, I’m finally home with my Tim Hortons hot chocolate. In the beginning of and actually most of the day I had such a negative point of view. I was being a Debbie Downer and let other people get to me when I should have really been enjoying time spent with the people I was with.

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Setting all that aside though, I was happily humbled by the once again realization that I am immensely blessed. I have the best family anyone could ever ask for. There are no words to describe how momentous of an impact my parents have made on my life. In a world of drug addicts, adultery, divorce, and hate; they managed to still bring up three awesome (if I do say so myself) kids. They filled our hearts up with love, our brains up with knowledge and our minds up to be open.

I was reminded today that although I’m not going to like everyone. I’m not going to accept everyones lifestyles and I’m not going to except everyones inconsiderate foolishness; that no matter what, I’ll always have a family. I’ll always be loved no matter what. And even though it just sounds silly, I’m not talking about the usual love. My parents don’t just love us kids because we are their offspring. We aren’t just three toads that they raised and threw off into the world. No matter where we are in our lives or how old we ever get – they will still care about us.

The sad thing is, I don’t think this is as common as I previously thought it was. I think there are a lot of people out there that hurry up and get the kids old enough to raise themselves and then they are set free without the support of what is right and what is wrong. Do they give up on parenthood? I don’t know, to each their own. What matters is that my parents never gave up.

We are now 24, 21, and 18. We all live completely different lives in different towns. We are all at different stages of our early adulthood. We pay our own bills (except the 18 year old who is still in school). We make our own decisions and we have our own viewpoints on every situation but the one thing we have in common is that our family, all 5 of us, matter to each other more than anything else in this entire..everything. More than the world can even handle.

So thank you mom and dad. Thank you for creating a good wholesome family structure. Thank you for showing us what love is. Thank you for staying home on Friday and Saturday nights. Thank you for picking me up drunk and grounding me for an entire summer. Thank you for teaching us lessons and for giving us the sex talk. Thank you for letting us make our own decisions. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for being the best parents in the entire history of parents being parents because believe it or not, people would kill to have what we have. I love you all.

I can’t figure out how to embed a video into a post so here’s the link for the Flipagram I made with my favorite people in it: Family!

priORIties.

I like to think of myself as a list maker, an organizer. Just about every aspect of my life has a list of priorities that I hold to a very high standard. I couldn’t imagine not having priorities or lists or things to get done. It actually floors me at the obvious lack of organization in some people lives.

There hasn’t ever really been any point in my life where my priorities haven’t been in check. I’m the oldest of three kids, so I’ve always held myself at a standard of doing everything right. Every time I did do something wrong I was more obviously aware of it compared to others and felt guilty the entire time. I’ve always been overly organized and always ahead of schedule. Even in my first job and every one after that; I made sure I was 100% involved in what I was doing.

Sure, I was just like any other teenager or kid down the road and had some moments of weakness but overall I’ve always been more responsible and acted older than I actually am, which for argumentative purposes isn’t always a compliment.

However, I don’t really know where to give my credit to. I have great parents and they raised me as well as I could have ever imagined but they never really drilled academics or extreme responsibility into my bones or anything. I felt like they were pretty fair overall. Not overly strict but did have limits. Maybe it’s just the way my brain is hard wired to be or maybe it’s because my grandma told me women can never be doctors only nurses. Who knows.

I do consider my priorities in life as an immense strength because throughout the years; I’ve been absolutely astonished at the laziness of people. I can’t believe the amount of people that downright refuse to learn and to grow both professionally and personally. That’s got to be a downright depressing way to live.

I don’t expect everyone to have as much of a perfectionist mindset as myself but I would assume that more people would be interested in increasing their brain power just a little before Alzheimer’s and dementia set in. I guess that’s what happens when we assume.

So which are you? Do you prefer to do things for yourself or rely on everyone else to get it done for you?