Tuesday, 14 February 2017

{Mixed Emotions on Valentine's Day} Embracing Self Love and Addressing my Shortcomings

Happy Valentine's Day, loves! Whether you're single af like me (perpetually, to be honest), attached, or somewhere-in-between, I hope that you have a wonderful day filled with positivity, warmth and ideally, chocolate. I am spending my Valentine's Day at work, which is alright, since I'm practically married to my job. After work, I will probably slip into a warm bubble bath and call it a night. 
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I celebrated pre-Valentine's Day this weekend, with one of my BFFs and also by participating a fun V-Day inspired/self-care photoshoot. I was so happy when my friend, Yani reached out to me, and wanted to shoot a fun collaboration. Yani is an amazing photographer based in Toronto that specializes in commercial, editorial and fashion photography.  Yani describes his photography as a "documentary style" with a "clean, modern and romantic" vision. He prides himself on capturing the fun, candid moments in an authentic way. Yani made me feel unbelievably comfortable during our shoot. I do know Yani personally, but even if I didn't, he has a warm personality that anyone could instantly connect with. You can find Yani's Portfolio online and you can connect with him on Facebook and Instagram. He is available for bookings, and I promise you, you will not regret it!
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{probably thinking about pizza}
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Can we please talk about this Forever 21 jersey (^). "Mixed Emotions" perfectly describes how I'm feeling right now. First things first, I am a believer in true love, fate, and soulmates. Recently, I thought that I had found my "person". I felt instant chemistry, attraction and a deep sense of care for this individual in a short amount of time. I found a desire within myself to do better, and be better, for them. My head was spinning around in circles, and I thought to myself, "Wow, I haven't felt this way in a long time". I had opened myself up to the possibility of romance and a connection with someone. Which was especially difficult for me to do. Unfortunately, we decided that we were not looking for the same thing, and that was kind of soul-crushing. I am still thankful that I met this person, in an unconventional and somewhat serendipitous way. If it wasn't for him, I probably would still think that I am not capable of feeling love (note: I did not/do not love him). Now, I know, that my heart hasn't entirely turned black, and there's a glimmer of hope for me yet. 
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 I do have a tendency to come across as guarded and am very selective when it comes to dating. Meanwhile, I am really the mushiest gal you ever did see. After some much needed soul-searching, I realized that I am probably this way for two reasons. They are to do with attachment and rejection, and are deeply rooted in my childhood/adolescence. Growing up, I was the fat kid (no surprise there... cause I'm still fat) and I was rejected on the regular. I went solo to my grade-school graduations and Prom, and rarely dated in high school or University. Instead, I channeled all of my energy into my education and career (note: I have an amazing job in healthcare now and I get to help people everyday). Regardless, at the end of everyday, I was left wanting more. More social interaction, more attention, more love... and I never received it.
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{here I am, walking away from everyone I have ever loved}

I also have divorced parents, and honestly, I am scared to let someone in because I have seen it all fall apart. I hope and pray that true love exists. I mean, I know it does... but faith and hope can be tested when there is nothing tangible to grasp.  For some reason, I haven't been so lucky in finding love. I have put my heart on the line countless times, only to have it used and discarded. I too have broken a few hearts, because I am afraid of getting hurt. It can be a self-sabotaging cycle, that I am hoping to break with this blog post. Deep down, I know that I am worthy of love and appreciation. We are all worthy of love and appreciation (yes, you!). In many ways, I am tired of dating. I'm not really sure where that leaves me... perhaps back on the path to self-discovery, yet again.
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Outfit Details// Jersey: Forever 21+ (available here); Turtleneck: Yours Clothing (available here); Pants: ASOS (similar here); Boots: Penningtons (previous season)
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Soon, I will be some more of my thoughts on love, as well as more photographs (and kind of an outfit change?) from my shoot with Yani! Stay tuned. Xoxo Erica Exposed
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