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Isn’t first love amazing? This photo is exceedingly nostalgic, and too adorable not to post on a overcast Friday morning. I’ve just finished a brisk, 6km run and am pouring over old photographs from the past three years as I’m on Nick’s  laptop (mine was left at university during finals, oops!) We’ve reached the end of our three week long holiday in Saskatchewan, and Nick is heading back to Auckland to resume his Honours degree in Transport Design.

As Nick packs up his bags, I’m left with the remnants of our time together this summer. He recently spent his twenty-second birthday in Saskatchewan, as well as his twentieth and twenty-first. I’m utterly perplexed as to how we made this relationship work, despite the endless shifts we’ve encountered due to being from different continents. So, here we go again; another three months apart until I (possibly) return in October for my university convocation. My heart has been stretched, has expanded in so many ways over the past three and a half years. I neglected my first love, dance, in favour of new loves: travel, romance, and adventure. I never fathomed I could exist without it, but somehow I managed, even thrived without the thing that once defined me. Upon my return to North America, I jumped right back into it and planned on dancing on a cruise ship for 6-9 months. My first (and only) audition was flawless, and my mother watched as they ruthlessly cut the dancers down from 76 to 20, then to eight and finally, four. But foolishness always gets the best of me, and after my audition with Royal Caribbean Cruises in Edmonton, I decided instead to move to New Zealand to give love (and a liberal arts education) a fair chance. I’ll blame it on listening to far too much Celine Dion as a child.

Before we head off to the airport, I’ll leave you with a photograph taken two summers ago. It was taken at a pub we still frequent in Saskatoon called O’Shea’s during Nick’s first visit to Canada. We hadn’t seen each other since February, and I was about to move to Auckland to begin my BA at the University of Auckland. Life was full of possibility as I embarked on a new journey.

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As we grow and evolve, I hope we continue to see the choices we’re making at the moment as the right ones. Perhaps I’m a walking, breathing cliche, but following my heart has never failed me. I hope you have the courage to follow yours. x

V.

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