Thursday, July 2, 2015

Loss & Solitude

There's a lot of articles online about loving or dating girls without fathers or how girls without fathers feel. I have read them, yet they never actually resonate with me. Maybe a couple of parts, but the whole tone is lost on me. Life isn't a one size fits all or a one article describes all. I know these articles were well-written and well meaning but it never captured how the sudden loss of my dad affected me.

I remember vividly pushing people away. My mom took my brothers and I camping with her second husband. We were surrounded by our step-cousins and swimming and having fun. I didn't know how to have fun anymore. I remember sitting and watching everyone, feeling at 11, too old to laugh. There was an arcade room that my step-cousin Megan and I went milling around in until we found one of those sit down arcade games where you steer the wheel as your driving the video game car. As I sat in it and Megan watched, I started feeling angry. I told her to leave. She wouldn't. I started screaming at her to leave me alone, to go away, to just leave me there. She finally left and I remember driving the arcade game in an empty arcade room at a summer campground crying and not understanding why I was so angry at people who were just trying to be there. 

It continued through that summer my father passed and into 6th grade. My Aunt Judy brought me, my brothers and my cousins to the playground one late summer day. I sat there on a bench watching them play and I remember her asking why I wasn't. I said I didn't want to and looked way. So many of my family and friends reached out to me but I kept giving the cold shoulder. I didn't want to talk about my dad at all. I didn't want to be hugged. I didn't want to be close. As school started, my popularity completely collapsed because I became silent. My school "friends" were less than understanding. Jackie (who know is a yoga instructor and has no memory of this) threw me out of our bus seat as the bus was moving. Ariel, who was my best friend the year before, made fun of me on my birthday because I curled my hair and I had a new jacket. She was whispering saying I probably thought I was a model. I didn't. I just wanted one day to feel pretty. I was depressed because I had no friends, I was bullied all that year, my mom and her husband were constantly fighting, my step-dad was an abusive alcoholic and the moment I stepped off the bus, I felt no relief from the torture. At 11 I vividly remember contemplating suicide. I never went through with it and I sit here able to write about that time. 

As the years went on, my social butterfly came flying back and my home life stabilized and finally became a source of happiness and positive growth. Since then though, I always retreat back within myself. Romantic relationships scare me and overwhelm me. I need "me" time. I need time to compress my thoughts, I need time to read and write and just do nothing. I need that alone time and I'm not sure why. When I feel like someone will take that from me, I go in Tasmanian devil mode. I need that time. I need "me" time- I NEED time for myself. Those are the times that helped me get through the worst parts of my life and I will never ever let anyone suffocate me again. To keep moving forward, I need time for myself, my loved ones, friends, my interests. There needs to be a balance and when I feel like someone is taking that way - that needs to monopolize all my time, I run. And where I run to is my car or my bed, alone.

That's my personal story of a girl who lost her father, who turned into a woman who still seeks solitude to ease her mind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Providence, Rhode Island

Before I dive into last weekend's excursions in Providence, Rhode Island, I wanted to tie up some loose strings in the form of blog posts. Best of My Love was a blog post I wrote in the middle of a breakup. I wanted to work things out and saw the positives despite all the hurt I had gone through. I didn't know then (obviously) what would happen but I wanted it to work. It didn't. We both moved on.

Until we crossed paths and started again. It's been what I always wanted and imagined it could: happy, healthy, full of excursions to different cities under the sun. I always wanted to find a man who wanted me to write, who encouraged that. I wanted to find someone who likes to explore cities and go for excursions and take pictures and go to cafes, music venues, and restaurants and love each other and love traveling and learning, together. He loves music more than I do and I love that. We both like to laugh at stupid, silly things and I love our inside jokes. I love how he loves with all his heart - whether it's his family, his dog, or music. It's inspiring.

Renewed, we decided to go on a weekend excursion. I picked Providence, RI since it was going to rain on my first pick (Brooklyn, NY). We drove there after I got out of work and got there in the evening. To be honest, we were less than thrilled. We ate at a mediocre Mexican restaurant and then called it a night.

The next day we drove to Downcity and parked on what turned out to be my favorite street - Winchester. We parked right across from this amazing cafe -Small Point Cafe where the food and coffee was amazing. We both sat outside where three distinguished gentlemen were talking in that amazing Rhode Island accent about the idiosyncrasies of playwrights. The streets were awfully quiet and I couldn't get over how lush everything looked. The trees were so green and the flowers were so bright. There were beautiful, romantic lights over the buildings like a canopy. After breakfast we took off by foot to explore Providence.

Providence has gorgeous street murals all over the place. Breathtaking ones!

My favorite was this, it came out so surreal - I felt like I was on a movie set.

We kept walking along the Downcity to get to the Providence Mall. That mall is huge! And our scenic route was absolutely lovely.

My OOTD: A crop top dress from Joyce Leslie

We left at the perfect time, as we were heading back to CT, raindrops started to fall. Thank you Providence for welcoming us with your serenity, your street murals, how diversity and equal rights means so much to you.

(All photographs were taken by me or Mr.Freddie Ferrara, check out my excursions on Instagram at _courtneyjuliet! )

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If we never speak again..

If we never speak again.... 

I'd want you to know that despite everything, I do miss our friendship. It was fun talking to someone who knew exactly what song I meant, or the fashion and music that was popular in college.

I'd want you to know I love Bagelicious Bagels now and when I heard it went out of business (it didn't) I was sad.

I learned that two people might be so catastrophically wrong for each other romantically, they might bring out each other's demons, but in this crazy world that doesn't mean there isn't love. It took me a long time to figure out that "love" was friendship. Despite all the times I felt worlds apart, I felt close to you unlike anyone in my life. Best Friends. 

You did wrong. I did wrong. I left the seesaw in the dark. I learned a lot from you and our relationship, mainly what I will never ever be able to handle again. I think that's important though, to learn and grow and remember the hurt but to turn it into a positive. 

You usually will text me, update me on your life. You haven't in awhile and there's been no falling out. If we never speak again I want you to know all I want for you is to be happy and healthy. I think you should write because you're tremendously talented and how proud of how far you've come and how hard you work. And if you ever need a friend, I'm here.

Northampton, Massachusetts

I went to Northampton, MA two weeks ago on a whim. The best whim! We got up there around 6:30. It took us an hour and half from New Haven. We had packed vitamin waters and luna bars for this road trip to help ease any hunger pains on the way there. Once we got into Northampton, I couldn't stop staring at the window. It was a buzz with people, music, boutiques with racks of beautiful bohemian dresses, art work for sell. There was so many little corner cafes and galleries and places and spaces for creative minds. Once we got out of the car I loved how the acoustic music coming from the little venues poured out into the street, mixing with the sunlight.

We stopped at Roberto's, a beautiful restaurant that had flowers and patio furniture welcoming us inside. They've been a part of the Northampton restaurant scene since the 60's but there's absolutely no pretension. Our waitress was so sweet and our food was amazing. They are known for their thin crust pizza, but I went for some pasta and blue moons and was more than happy.

After we left, we walked through the downtown. I was amazed at how everyone was so friendly and how diverse the crowd was. We went to an underground record shop that also had VHS's! A lot of shops had closed but we mentally checked them off as places to go the next day. There was a hill where college aged kids ate ice cream and music played. It was pretty muggy out and as it got darker we decided to head to the hotel for some good rest. 

For breakfast we went to Sylvester's and I ordered the green omelet: fresh kale, broccoli, spinach, pesto and your choice of cheese. Yum! After, we went exploring.  I absolutely loved the art vibe of Northhampton. 

How amazing is this mermaid street mural?

We did a little shopping and window-shopping. I fell in love with Ode, a gorgeous boutique with feminine, bohemian pieces with a little rock n roll and a whole lot of love. Unfortunately, the price tags were a bit too pricey for me so I had to step up away from Ode aka my dream closet.  I ended up at Faces, a boutique that an amazing sale going on (I later found out it was because it was closing! :( ) and bought a very cool shift dress and a feather necklace.

Walking up and down the streets I was in love with the culture and how music, fashion, art all combined into an amazing downtown area.

This was me standing in front of Academy of Music. I chose to wear kitten heels which ended in some sore feet the next day!

Northampton was a delightful, unexpected trip and I fell in love with the place. I can't wait to go there again and spend some more time exploring!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Living with Anxiety

Living with anxiety is like living in hell. So many days have been held captive by my anxiety. I can be smiling but in my mind the wheels of anxiety will not, for the life of me, slow down. I feel like I'm dying, going to faint, have a seizure or aneurysm or that I just need to get out from wherever I am and run as far as possible so the pounding in my heart can stop. All my life I've been searching for calm waves in a turbulent storm. It's so hard when everyone tells you it'll be okay but anxiety puts all logic into a blender. I lived with this for so long and yet it all feels so foreign. I just want to breathe. I suppose we all have our cross(es) to bear. I wrote this for cathartic purposes but if it resonates with you, just know you are not alone. I hope we all get through it.

I'm sick of feeling shame over an illness I never ever wanted and never chose to have.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

As the years have gone by I have more and more relied on photographs and the couple things I have left (my favorite: a book he got me for my birthday with a note). Its been so long that my memory has gotten hazy and it makes me mad at myself. Photographs will remind me of that time at the cottage with him and my brothers swimming and the way the air felt. But its been so long and I was so young that after I close the photo album and realize I'm sitting alone on my bedroom floor, it all seems like me having the best dad in the world was a dream. Like the most beautiful dream I've ever had.
Happy Fathers day in Heaven, you are the best man I ever met and you are missed every day 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spring: My Life in Pictures Part 2

I woke up and saw these pretty pink flowers on my windshield wipers and the reflection of the tree, it was too pretty not to take a picture (and yes you can see my blonde head in there). I love waking up on sunny days with the flowers and trees in bloom!

I loved all the yellow and white in the picture, I knelt down to get the shed in the back. I like how the unopened blossom looks like a flame.

I know they say dandelions are weeds, but this - surrounded by lush pinks and greens - was too pretty not to snap. 

Front Street, New Haven on an overcast day. I love when they branches bend like that, it's almost like going through a pink blossom tunnel.

I love rompers, and obviously, anything floral. I bought it at Joyce Leslie and paired it up with stacks of bracelets and my multi-chain necklace I'm obsessed with. 

(All pictures are taken by me, you can follow me on instagram:
 _Courtneyjuliet )