If you’re brave enough to say goodbye…

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I finally figured out why I’ve changed the format, layout, and logo of this blog so many times in the last year. I finally understand why looking at a blank post fills me with anxiety. I finally understand why this has to be my last blog post on My Pen, My Voice (for real this time).

I have outgrown my blog and the brand I created. 

I started blogging in 2010, as a shy twenty-one-year old searching desperately for her voice. My Pen, My Voice became a place to share my stories, document my life, and hone in on my writing style. As the years went on, my confidence as a writer grew ten-fold and the sentiment behind My Pen, My Voice no longer reigned true. Try as I might, there was no change great enough to turn this blog into something that represented me while still staying true to the brand I created.

Although I am proud of this blog and cherish every person it allowed me to meet and every door it has swung open for me, I feel ready to move on and leave it behind for good. It will remain an active website so that I can always look back, but that is all. My Pen, My Voice is all about the clumsy, crazy, scary things that come with trying to find yourself, trying to become who you are. Now that I am who I am, it is time for us to part ways.

Why now? I am ready to leave this younger version of myself behind and focus on my career. I hope to find more challenging forums and outlets to submit my work to. I hope to write more risky and opinionated pieces that I didn’t feel comfortable writing about on here. I hope to finally sit down and write the novel that’s been in my head for years. No, I will do all these things and more.

Why now? Because sometimes decisions are already made in the subconscious of your heart and it takes a little time for you realize it. This decision involves an intense amount of growth and change. This decision allows me to stop hiding behind my blog and try something new.

So it is time to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to a new adventure; thanks for following along.

Xoxo,

Vanessa 

 

They keep tellin’ me I’m doing it wrong…

The title of this blog post comes from a song written by one of my friends.  It’s about being confident in your choices, being proud of the life you’re living, and not caring about what ANYONE thinks about you.

Only two weeks into 2016 and I’m already learning loads about what I want from life. I’m learning about what makes me happy and who I love spending my time with. I’m understanding the importance of personal growth and change. I’m accepting that trust is earned, judgement is unnecessary, and happiness is a state of mind.

I’m fine with being on a different wavelength and I’m okay with letting go of situations I have no control over.

“I’m not scared of being a little bit different. I’m feeling good just the way I am.”

-The Simple Things by Out of the Blue

Xoxo,
Vanessa 

The Bride’s Diary – 10 Months To Go

The Bride's Diary

With Christmas over and a new year beginning, the realization that our wedding is only 10 months away has hit me hard. The to-do list is far from complete and seems to be getting longer.

  • Suits, Bridesmaid Dresses, and Flower Girl Outfits
  • Honeymoon
  • Hotel
  • Transportation
  • Shower prizes/decor/planning
  • Shower invitations
  • Wedding invitations
  • Shoes
  • Cake finalization
  • Complete form for DJ
  • Alex’s ring
  • Marriage Licence
  • Ceremony Writing
  • Planning the Bachelorette
  • Wedding Favours
  • Finalize Guest List

Thankfully we’re working with some great vendors and have super supportive and opinionated family members who can make a decision for us when we have no clue what to do LOL! We also know two other couples that are getting married within a few months of us so swapping reviews, ideas, and vendor options has been great!

Lately we’ve been taking a look at cakes and didn’t realize how many kinds of cake there are. Did you know that there are about a million flavours, you can have fondant or buttercream, AND some layers can even be fake? Since our colour scheme is blush and black, I have my heart set on a cake with some kind of blush in it. See below for the Pinterest-vortex-of-options I’ve been sucked into recently. Any suggestions?

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Xoxo,

Vanessa  

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ― Alfred Lord Tennyson

Quite honestly, 2015 has been the most difficult and hectic year of my life. Change came at me from every direction simultaneously slapping me in the face and rubbing my back. Below are my most “liked” Instagram moments of the year and although I wrote about many more of them in my diary, I can understand why these were most-liked. These nine moments captured by various filters represent the biggest changes I faced, both happy and sad.
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  1. The day we got engaged; a surprise to say the least
  2. My birthday tattoo; a reminder to keep writing, fighting, and trying
  3. Outfit from my birthday weekend in the city; the most confident I’ve felt in a while
  4. The birth of my niece; my heart grew 6 sizes that day
  5. My last day working at Caruso Gourmet Pizza; the start of a new office job
  6. Our seven-year anniversary; and several wishes for the future
  7. Christmas Eve with my siblings; we like each other sometimes
  8. Walking to the hospital food court with my niece; where most of my October was spent
  9. The day I found my wedding dress; I felt like a Princess

In 2014 I wished for 2015 to be a year of clarity and man did I get what I asked for. It became painstakingly clear that nothing is more important than family. That life is fragile and nothing is permanent, so to what makes you happy is the only way to make a life worth living. It became clear that plans are wonderful but flexibility is the key to sanity.

Because of this I am not making resolutions for 2016 – I don’t know what the year will bring but I am hoping for happiness, health, and adventure.

Xoxo,

Vanessa 

 

Conversations for Two [Book Review]

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These are pieces of my story. We carve out our world in sections of memory. Some things take root.

I finished reading Conversations for Two by Jacqueline Markowitz almost a week ago and it’s still haunting me (in the best kind of way).  When someone close to you passes there is a period of time where you are flooded with memories you shared with them. A period where you try to understand who they were, what they loved, and what they could have become.

When one woman comes across her brother’s writing twenty-five years after his death, she is transported through fragments of memories that piece together who he really was and what he loved most. As someone who diligently keeps a notebook at arms length, who writes down everything, I was completely enthralled by this concept. What would people learn about me from those notebooks? What kinds of emotions would it evoke?

Conversations for Two is filled with unanswered questions, quaint memories, and heartwarming poems. Written with sincerity and literary tenacity, this novel is reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje’s work. It is a dark, deep, and transcendent read. I warn you that this novel demands your attention. It requires your focus and your heart. It’s the perfect novel for those few days between Christmas and New Year’s when your heart is filled with joy and magic is around every corner.

Xoxo, 

Vanessa 

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of Conversations for Two in exchange for an honest review.

Turn Up the Good – Weekend Bliss

 
Instead of writing non-stop this weekend, I walked. I explored, drove, ate, and laughed. I went to Toronto and to Hamilton. I bustled around a Christmas Market and nearly peed myself at a comedy show (Jim Jefferies is one gifted storyteller). I took selfies and talked about politics. I visited my old bosses and reminisced my heart out. 

I felt blissfully light and optimistic while I dreamed about the future. I’ve been trying to picture, as well as, plan my next step. A tiny piece of me wants to go back to school – I miss learning and expanding my brain creatively.  Some days being twenty-six makes me feel old and stuck, other days  I feel young and my gut knows that change is imminent.

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”  – Leo Buscaglia

  
  
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Xoxo,

Vanessa