8 Years

Eight years ago today Nate asked me to be his girlfriend. This is an anniversary he refuses to acknowledge anymore — apparently once you’re married that’s the only date that is worthy of being remembered — but I think of it every November 30th. It was 2005 — I had just turned 18 and Nate was 21. We had been seeing each other for maybe 2 weeks at that point. We met on MySpace — oh yes — and instantly hit it off. We spent almost every night hanging out, mostly just sitting around talking or him driving me to various places (mostly gas stations so I could buy candy). We were sitting in his basement bedroom at his parents’ house and we called my friend Liz who lived in Philadelphia at the time. Her and I were close and she hadn’t “met” this mysterious guy yet, so she wanted to make sure she approved. At some point in the conversation she asked “so are you two girlfriend and boyfriend or what?”. Nate hesitated for a moment but then said “yeah” — and I immediately hung up the phone and said “wait, WHAT?”. He casually said, yeah, we are, and I informed him that one cannot just CASUALLY mention that we’re officially together without a formal inquiry. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his girlfriend, and I excitedly called Liz back to tell her that yes, he IS my boyfriend.

Oh man. So lame, but so awesome. I still remember many of those days in vivid detail, and the emotion that is most often associated with those memories is just pure excitement. Nate basically came out of nowhere, into my life during a time when I was not prepared to fall so quickly and completely for someone (which in my opinion is the best time). I instantly loved him, and still do, a little more every single day. So here’s to 8 years together and hopefully many more to come!

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Regret

This landed in my inbox a few days ago courtesy of TUT — and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“There’s nothing worth regret, Justine. Absolutely nothing, ever. Same for fear, worry, and anger. Let ’em go, rise above, get down, move on. – The Universe”

Gregory Thielker | “Under the Unminding Sky”

I absolutely love this project by New Jersey-based artist Gregory Thielker called “Under the Unminding Sky”. As he says: “These paintings reflect my interest in the way that the road delineates and controls how we experience landscape. From the roadway perspective, we not only travel from one place to another, we see landscape in a varied and complex manner. I use water on the windshield to create a shifting lens for the way we see the environment: it both highlights and obscures our viewing. Perspectives slip and compress, while shapes and colors merge into one another. I also work with relationships between surface and depth, between flatness and illusion.” Oh yeah, did I mention these are PAINTINGS? I just can’t get over it. I always love the view out the window when there’s rain pouring down, and these capture it in amazing detail.

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Vanessa Morrow & Steph Parke | “The Doubles Project”

Vanessa Morrow & Steph Parke have a pretty interesting collaboration going on called “The Doubles Project”. One shoots a roll of film and then mails it over to the other to shoot over. Neither of them discuss what’s already on the film — “that is what we love about this project, the wonderful kismet and unexpectedness of it all”. It results in some pretty fantastic double exposures.

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Thankful

So today is all about giving thanks. Well, really, today has much deeper roots, but let’s keep it simple. Personally, I try to be thankful every day. I know that’s cliche, but really — I have a lot to be grateful for. An overwhelming amount of luck and love, really, and I try not to take it for granted (though I do fail at times). I’m thankful for my family — immediate, extended, and in-laws — who are all extremely grounded, supportive, and fun. My mom and my brother, primarily, who are rocks in my life, and my grandparents, who just get cooler every day. My husband, who is truly my partner in life and love, and who brought me to a new level of nerdiness with his love for Star Trek (it was extremely contagious). Our animals — The Bengal, Meowbeams, New Kitty, and Mukow — who remind me that selfless love and trust do exist. Our little home, which holds memories of our first days together, keeps us warm and safe, and keeps me close to my mom. Our neighborhood, which might have its quirks but is overall a great place. My health, which has carried me through 26 years without more than a fever or a sprained ankle. My job, which allows me to travel all over this region and this country, to meet new people, to pursue my creative endeavors, and most of all to be free to live the life I want while supporting my family. My city, which is diverse, unique, and creative, and which I am always happy to be a part of. My colleagues and friends, who are encouraging, challenging, and kind, always valuing helping their fellow person rather than selfishly getting ahead alone. My upbringing, which was absolutely filled to the brim with love and opportunity. Even my tragedies in life, particularly the loss of my father, have ultimately been things that shaped me to be who I am and life the life I have, and for that I am grateful. I hope all of you spend some time today thinking about how fucking awesome your life is, even with its bumps along the way.

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