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Feb. 26th, 2015 | 11:41 am

When he lays his head in my lap after a long day, I love to run my fingers through his hair. I love to separate the grey hairs from the dark ones and slide my thumb and forefinger along, and I think about how many more hairs of his I will get to see turn grey in the years to come. I love him so.

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An end for all

Feb. 9th, 2015 | 12:08 pm

For a long time the hardest thing was not being pretty anymore. I mean, I was still pretty, but I was no longer the youngest and prettiest in the room. I was no longer able to make a real entrance. People no longer said, "Who is that thin girl with the blue eyes and the short hair?" In my thirties I became just one of the moms.

Then, groups of men stopped noticing me. First the ones in their twenties, then thirties, then forties, and as I bear down hard on sixty the group of men most liable to notice me are wearing WWII vet hats. I am dead serious about this.

It's hard to watch your body change shape. Hands, arms, legs, all different than they were--never, never to return. That beautiful young girl has vanished from the face of the earth.

Then my babies began to vanish. My boys, who longed for me to hold them, who snuggled next to me on the couch each night, went away. I felt relief. They were out with their friends, playing in a band, away at college, married. They have wrinkles, gray hair and 401K's. When I see them, they no longer sit next to me. I can no longer rub their hair, over and over; it just wouldn't feel right.

But next, a miracle. I had a grandson and loved him with a passion I never even felt with my own children. People had told me to expect this, but I didn't understand until I saw him....then I understood. But now he is out in the world, at the park, with his friends, and he no longer snuggles with me, because he's ten. There is an each and every one of us, and it is always a sad one.

My joints hurt, my thumbs are quite arthritic, and I had an old lady fall this summer, shattering my arm. My mother is growing older and I know that she will grow truly old and ill and die someday. I know that for sure now. My career is stalled, but I do a very good job at what I do, and I find joy in my work and in my competence.

You know how they say you lose brain cells as you age? What a myth. I grow more and more wise, I learn new things every day, and one of my biggest fears is that I will die before I've read all of the books I want to read. But as I grow more wise, people want to hear what I say less and less. So I'm sitting back, taking it all in, letting the great world spin.

Edit: I wrote this this morning, forgot about it and came back a few hours later to a world of comments. No one was even mean, and this is reddit! (Although a couple of you thought I was rather sad.) It's been a great day, listening to all of you who wrote. It makes me realize how how alien older people seem to the young. That's what so strange about being marginalized because of age--I am the same, I am even better than before, but people don't see it. Wait a while! You will see what I see!

- Elemento, Reddit

A reminder to stop wishing my life away, to stop only living for the weekend, and to savor every moment of my youth and beauty that I have left. It seems that no matter what, we will either grow old and miserable, or die before we are ready.

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What is photography to me?

Jan. 29th, 2015 | 04:06 pm

To me, photography is something that helps me remember and appreciate the precious moments that pass me by that I may have otherwise forgotten. The little things about my life that I love from my copper coffee kettle to helping me remember my cat's face and all his funny little personality traits once they are both long gone.

It's a reminder to my future self that my life was not wasted, but very much full. And the fact I have the honor of helping others achieve that by immortalizing them through wedding photography and whatnot is an amazing feeling.

I recently watched an episode of Cosmos where Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses light and its speed. Everything we see is a result of light's existence. It travels quickly, changes rapidly as time goes forward, and then that single pattern of light is gone literally forever.

He briefly touches on how photography (and videography for that matter) is such an incredible thing because it enables us to capture that light and put it on a piece of paper, or on our computers, etc. A moment in time that could be gone forever is something that, thanks to photography, we can capture and keep with us.

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Ten years

Jul. 11th, 2013 | 05:00 pm

I have been keeping a journal for ten years. Occasionally, I slack off. I can go a month without writing anything. I used to write about every single event that occurred in my life, but now nothing significant happens that I feel obligated to write about. I have no extreme excitements and no extreme anxieties. For now. And don't get me wrong; I'm truly grateful for that.

The first time I ever wrote in this journal was in January of 2004, right after I had dumped Blurty and started fresh. Today, I went back in search for my old Blurty, which I kept from the time I was out of eighth grade until that January. It held all the important pieces and first times of being a teenager in a public school system. In 9th grade, I was able to start fresh. I lived a socially awkward and lonely childhood and preteen life at St. Thomas More where I was rejected, made fun of, and thought of as a weird nuisance, and Meadowdale was my opportunity to completely become another person.

As many rebellious tomboy teenagers would, I immediately began shopping for my first round of casual clothes at Hot Topic, as well as sticking to the most Avril Lavigne, rocker girl pieces I could possibly find at Plato's Closet. I had an opportunity to be an individual and create my own physical image seen by the social world for the first time in my entire life. I got to completely generate new impressions from strangers, and find myself. Boys were going to be a thing now, and I had them to impress too.

I used my Blurty as an outlet for my individual voice. I talked about my first days of school, the people I met, the things that happened, etc. and I tried my best to put on a certain writing personality to sound like a desirable person to hang out with. I tried to be comical, interesting.. I would lie about the songs I was currently listening to, Googling Nirvana and Sublime tracks for the purpose of seeming like a rocker. And truth be told, at fourteen, I had no idea who Nirvana or Sublime even was.

Anyway, that first day of high school and the weeks before it, building my new self.. That was the very beginning of what I consider my life to be. That was the start. Those few months where I first started to shape who I was going to become happened right then.

Today, I found out I lost it. I kept every single teeny tiny memory stashed away from nearly each day of my life in those months, and now it is gone forever. Many people do not have the pleasure of looking back like I do, and I know it isn't a big deal. But it sucks that it's just.. lost.

Fortunately, the pieces that truly matter are all right here on LiveJournal. I am not sure what I will do if anything happens to it. Probably have a mental fucking breakdown or something. But for now, it's here.

All my relationships and men I was very fond of are here. Ian, Derek, Ian, Dominik, Josh, Troy, Peter, Andy, Danny, Jed.

All my life achievements are here. Learning to drive, my first boyfriend, becoming homecoming princess, graduating high school, traveling to Poland, the friends I made and the parties we had, deciding I wanted to be a photographer, suing BCBG all by myself, getting my first jobs with USC (I think that's in here...?), graduating college, getting my new job, meeting Jed, moving out, Ronan coming into my life

The things that made me sad are here. Heartbreak, rebellious teenager family issues, struggling with mono, being cheated on

And in typing this, I realize something: the majority of my most significant life MILESTONES all occurred within the last year. After a relatively mediocre life, I have accomplished so damn much between age 23 and 24:

- Graduated college unexpectedly
- Met a wonderful man who treats me right
- Landed my first full-time, adult job
- Purchased my first car (my DREAM car at that!)
- Moved out into my dream neighborhood
- And Ronan came into my life

I truly have a lot to be grateful for and proud of in my life. Had I been able to look at my future as a fourteen year-old, my life ten years later would have far, far exceeded my expectations of what I ever hoped I would become when I grew up.

Keeping a Livejournal may be extremely childish to some, but it is one of my most valued possessions I own. There are little assets in my life I would not give up if it meant keeping this journal. This is essentially the lexicon of Jaki.

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2012 is coming to an end, and I got the job!

Dec. 19th, 2012 | 06:27 pm

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the news I received not two hours ago from the Vice President of my workplace. The promotion I have had my eye on for the last two years was given to me this evening.

On one hand, I can now live in solace knowing I am financially stable, and if I play my cards right, have the opportunity to be for the rest of my life. It is a huge step forward in being a grown up, responsible adult. I can leave the comfort zone that is my parents’ home, the house I have lived in my whole life, and create a life of my own.

It is the start of a new chapter, as well as the end of an era where the dream of supporting myself off what I was passionate about most, photography, was still in the works for me. Although photography will no longer necessarily play such a huge role in my professional life, it will always be my heart and soul, and very much a big part of my life. I fear living a future life of exhaustion and stress, but all I can do is hope to never lose track of my youth.

But nevertheless, it feels wonderful to move forward. This last year has been ever-changing and nothing short of fantastic. I have made countless friends with vibrant personalities, found an incredible guy who is everything I could ever ask for and more, landed a stable job where I can move up and put my skills to the test, rediscovered my endless love for skiing, got to see my photography business take a real turn for the best, and much more.

2012 has been a wild fucking ride, and by far the best year of my life. I have learned so much and made so many beautiful memories, and cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store for me.

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Professionalism: strengths and weaknesses

Nov. 30th, 2011 | 03:54 pm

I am going to start writing things down that will make me sound cool during an interview when I come up with them.


* I enjoy trying to problem-solve alone, but is not afraid to ask questions or ask for help from others.

* I maintain a very charismatic demeanor in the workplace. I do not allow my stress to take over the way I interact with my fellow co-workers and will always treat them how I would want to be treated. Work is a place where a team needs to work together in order to keep things running, not a social circle, and therefore everyone deserves 100% of my respectful attitude. Even if I am not always treated with respect.

* It is important to go through a process as it is assigned by your superiors, but I have always been one to try and find alternative routes to make things go quicker and more efficient when I am given the opportunity to do so. In my previous job, taking risks and finding new methods of processing student evaluations eventually changed the entire process as a whole and made it more efficient and effective for everyone involved.

* I have the ability to learn just about anything if given the proper direction. If it's somewhere on Google or in an instruction manual I have access to, anything is possible. If it is not, I am not afraid to ask questions and try to figure it out.

* I have a near photographic memory when it comes to step-by-step directions around computers. In other words, if I visually go through a process once, I generally will be able to learn it by heart either immediately or with minor practice.

* I am excellent when it comes to recording what I do. I love to type, and I love to explain things in the form of instructional manuals and/or quick tutorials. This also enables me to re-write instructions in my own words so that, if needed, I have a reference in a language I understand if I need it in the future.

* I do not like to bring my personal life into the workplace. When I am at work, it is time to work. When I am not at work, work is out of my mind. Completely. The two lives are separate.

* I am very organized. Working closely with


* I am not very good with having people watching me work over my shoulder. I may appear confident in person, but I can get very self-conscious and anxious about making a mistake if someone is hanging over me. I can show someone how to do something I am very savvy about, but I tend to lock up while writing something out or performing a process for the first time.

* That said, I suffer from math anxiety. I can perform simple math equations alone without an issue, but it is difficult for my mind to not lock up when someone is hanging over me. I generally quadruple check all math that I do as a result.

* I am not extremely assertive in the workplace. I will suggest alternative routes and processes to my co-workers or superiors, but rarely do I challenge people. I am a very non-aggressive person and prefer to avoid as much conflict as possible, and therefore generally back down rather than arguing a personal opinion.

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Found this on Reddit.

Sep. 28th, 2011 | 02:19 pm

I found this on Reddit today, and it seemed relevant. A man was having issues with his wife's distrust over an incident they went through 5 years ago, and this was the top responses:

"Hi there,

Female who's been through something not as bad, but similar chiming in-
I was in a similar situation, were the now love of my life met another woman and realising he wanted to be with her physically - didn't do anything, but did break up with me feeling that if he had felt that strong about being physical with someone else, it was probably already over. He was dead right.

Fast forward 10 months later, he came back telling me he'd made a horrible mistake, realised his unhappiness in our previous relationship was mostly in his head and he wanted to make another go of it - after some seriously hard conversations, and weeks of talking, I agreed to start dating again, confident that he'd understood his mistakes and why they'd happened, and never going to let them happen again...

But still, I felt haunted by this other woman he got close to. I felt so terrified it would happen again - so I talked to my therapist about it (who was treating me for something unrelated). She gave me solid advice - I needed to trust him.

When I asked how could I...? What if...? She told me; You need to decided if you're in or out - You have every reason due to everything he's now said and done to trust him. So you either trust him, and give your all to the relationship so BOTH of you can be happy... otherwise you will estrange your relationship by never fully believing in him, and his humbleness from his mistake will turn to anger... he will resent you, you him, and the relationship will ultimately fail.
She was so, so right. For a while, I was still angry and I brought it up a lot in arguments in those first weeks - but I realised I had to get over myself. Every time I was 'punishing' him - I was really punishing US. So I took a hard look at myself and made sure not to repeat my mistakes, and put all my faith in him...

I asked my therapist - what if I'm wrong? She said, if you're wrong your wrong, but if you never give him a chance, then you'll never know.

Your wife has (as my therapist would say) totally Villainised you. There is no 'right' or 'wrong', no 'good' people and 'bad' people - and definitely no 'dishonest' people and 'honest'. You might have made a mistake - or drunkenly, but willingly chose to be dishonest. By labelling you a 'dishonest person' she is attributing this action to be a cause of your nature and not a choice - which is NEVER true of people. People make choices - and often people fuck up.
I don't think your counsellor is doing you or your wife any favours if he/she's not targeting this wrong belief system of your wife's. It was pretty much class 101 when I started therapy - and more importantly if she truly believes you are just a dishonest person to your core, how can she even respect or love you?

You may have a four year old, but I think you're already aware that this is a losing battle if you are telling us that counselling is going badly - if your wife is unable or not prepared to move on from this, and realise even the kindest of those in the world can make these sorts of mistakes... then there's no turning back. I think making her realise her false belief's regarding human nature is key to sorting this out, but she's not going to believe it coming from you if she is still viewing you so negatively... and it would also take her committing to that realisation and working it through and to be honest, you sound like a man who's had it hard enough....

My personal thoughts would be to move out immediately - put the foot down and say that what she is asking is unnecessarily invasive. I would bet that she would be willing to misconstrue any interactions between you and other females to confirm her idea of you - and that's not good. I would tell her you love her, but until she starts seeing you for the man you are, and not the mistake you made, this is not and will not be a relationship anymore.

It might end in divorce, it might end up being the kick up the ass she needs - either way, don't blame yourself. What she is asking is not FAIR, she only wants to feed her own suspicions and maybe deep down she wants to leave you because she's realised she can't forgive you, but wants there to be a 'good' recent reason to do so that will exonerate her from the guilt of leading you on for five years thinking she would forgive you. Either way, the only way you're going to find out is by leaving now and giving her time to sort her head out.

Hope it all works out for you no matter what."

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Breathing in positivity

Sep. 16th, 2011 | 11:28 am

It’s sad, you know, to read your journal from the last few years and realize that every memory you’ve recorded is a dreadful one. I have always thought I have been living a very positive lifestyle, yet there has been so much negativity in my life. This negativity doesn’t just come from unfortunate events, such as debts, deaths, self images issues, sickness, etc. It comes from lovers and relationships.

My life is perfect, in a sense. Well, perfect as can be anyway. I have a lot of friends who love and support me, who are adventurous and make me laugh.. I’m financially stable, working an excellent job with high rates and low hours, as well as making money off doing my favorite thing in the world. I have ample time for my independence and drive for entertainment. I have all the necessities I could possibly need: a camera, a nice computer, a car to get places in, enough money to spend it on what I want. Everything is really okay. And maybe that’s why I’m taking this breakup so hard. Because I don’t have anything else negative to distract myself with. It is the only standing symbol of negativity currently in my everyday life because the rest is nearly perfect.

But it’s so sad I have such a knack for letting a single person in my life hurt me repeatedly. It’s sad that I can recognize I’m being hurt, but allow it to continue. It’s sad that I don’t make changes in my life to breathe in the positivity because I give too many second chances. Rather than shutting out the bad, I let it in because I don’t understand how someone could be so hurtful, and I wait for it to get better.

I miss Josh so much. I know this breakup was necessary, but he’s all I think about. I miss him to pieces and each day gets harder and harder the farther he drifts from me. My darling and my companion of nearly two years straight is now a stranger to me, and I wasn’t prepared. It all happened so fast. One day you’re happily at the beach together, and the next minute you’re barely speaking. I want to talk to him so badly, but I’m just so scared.

I'm scared he's over me already, and I won't be able to take it.

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Miss You

Sep. 13th, 2011 | 10:02 am

I hope you know how much I truly care for you. I miss you more with every day that passes, and you never leave my thoughts. I know all this may have been necessary, but it doesn’t change the fact I wish the circumstances were different. I hope all has been well in your life and that you’re happy. But I miss you more than you could ever possibly fathom.

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love is ending for the 4th time.

Dec. 20th, 2010 | 11:34 am
mood: numbnumb
music: the xx

In middle school, love was about good looks. We had no concept of personality types or anything else for that matter. And by the time high school rolled around, it was not only good looks, but whether or not that person could make you laugh. After a relationship or two, you grow up a little and realize that personalities are important, but so was being able to stand their bad habits. It was what their family was like, their tempers, hobbies, and what they had in common with you.

And now I am nearly out of college. I had the perfect lover. He was gorgeous. He could dress better than me, he enjoyed World of Warcraft, but he enjoyed partying too. He picked up photography, the one thing I revolve my life around, but maintained his own hobbies as well. He snowboarded, just not often. He got along with all of my friends and became their best friend as well, and loved me to bits and pieces just like how I loved him.

And the one thing that couldn't keep us together was the fact he wanted more of me than I could give him. I need the free will to make decisions, and go where I want to go without him getting upset, but with him I just can't have that. And despite how silly I think it is, I also understand that some people can be like that.

And that perfect boy and I broke up last night. Which makes me realize that he didn't love me enough to give me my tiny tastes of freedom and stay with me. He wanted all of me or nothing. He called me selfish, but I think he was the selfish one. I should be angry, but I'm really just so sad I can't even cry. None of this seems real. I don't want to shower, or brush my teeth, or change clothes, or go out.. I just want to sit here and hide from a world that I could run into him, and possibly see him hooking up with another girl.

I dated the impossible, and so did he. And I'm not ready to share.

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