To All Those That I've Loved Before & Now

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Happy Valentine’s Day to you beautiful humans that always come to shower me with love and support. I’m first and foremost eternally grateful for every small act of kindness, warm praises and hard critiques passed my way. Without it, I would not be able to flourish the way that I have.

This year, I am no longer in a relationship and this is truly a change of pace after going through the traditional motions and customs for 4 years. You might be wondering if I am bitter or sad but the truth of the matter is that I love “love.” Every form and drop that this universe has to offer. I might not be able to handle the over the top romantic stages quite yet, but I savor the true and steady love that endures time and seasons.

I am a soul that cares and when I care it goes deep. If you’re in my life, I’m sure you’ve seen the loyalty and dedication first hand. I genuinely care and love you with my entire being. It doesn’t mean everything is a bed of roses or filled with praises and hype. I will call you out on when necessary and I sure hope you do the same for me. It’s for that reason that I seek connections that endure and push my limits. Connections that encourage both of us to grow and flourish because at the end of the day, I want what is best for both of us.

I haven’t really addressed some things and today was a day to come to terms with a lot of it. It’s strange because the universe definitely brought things to my attention and maybe it is because it is Valentine’s Day that people began bringing up things from the past. As I say, there is strength in vulnerability and I believe that this might be my most openly vulnerable post yet. (If Ariana Grande can write a song about her exes, I suppose this blog post will suffice? However, I will not condemn anyone, don’t fret.) Although, I do want to address lessons learned. Therefore, in its place is an open letter to all those I’ve loved before & now— romantic & platonic; good & bad.

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To all Those I Love Now

2018-Present: The way we met was clandestine and random at best but I believe the universe did not have us meet by chance. This could be said for all friendships, although, ours was the most unexpected. I honestly will never forget how we met. You’ve taught me to be open-minded to strangers and that it is okay to let my guard down sometimes. You’ve also shown me so much love and support in such a short span of time and I am grateful. Thank you for the morning texts, checking in on me and listening. You’re a beautiful friend and I hope you come to see just how amazing you truly are. I genuinely look forward to all the shoots, memories and times we will share in the future.

2018-Present: You’re full of surprises. The way you live your life reminds me to ease up and be in the moment. Thanks for taking care of me and reminding me to relax. I’m curious about the lessons to be learned from this. Until then, I need to just let things flow and let go for a little while.

2017-Present: I never imagined we’d get this close the day we met but look at everything we’ve been through. You’re full of adventure and vibrance. You’re one of my biggest supporters and I am thankful for it. I’m glad that I gave you a second chance when I did because sometimes I really get in my head. You’ve introduced me to so many wonderful people in this city and we’ve gone on some crazy adventures. Here’s to more travel and warm weather in the future. I’ve got your back and I know you have mine.

2017-Present: You brought me back to my faith. Although, I’ve honestly fallen off again lately. I’m so glad that we met because you’re such a genuinely kind and caring friend. You’re so dear to me and I am sorry that the distance can’t help me convey that sometimes. I can’t wait to visit you and try all the best food spots wherever we travel. You've touched my heart and I thank you so much for all the love, encouragement and support from far away. I’m here for you always and there’s no distance that can change that.

2015-Present: I remember that I did not like you initially. (I almost missed out on such a fantastic friend, wow.) Anyone who sees us would be shocked. I’m so happy that I gave you an honest chance because you’re such a genuine and thoughtful friend. I just want you to know how much I cherish our friendship. Thank you so much for traveling to see me as much as you do. I love sharing music, going to concerts, hiking, going on adventures and just spending time with you. I know we’re not too affectionate but I love you! I really hope that we can begin opening up more and just know that I am here for you whenever you need a friend.

2014-Present: Dad jokes aside, you’re a pretty cool friend. Always easy going and open to any and all experiences. I didn’t realize we were such good friends until more recently but I really am happy to call you my friend. Thank you for the advice and hearing me out randomly when it all hits the fan. I hope we can hang out more in the future and become even better friends!

2014-Present: This goes out to a handful of friends that I met during a really tough transition back in college. My world literally got flipped upside down and I was withdrawing more than I realized. I was depressed and definitely had some PTSD. None of you truly knew what was wrong but your openness and kindness helped me let go of some of my nightmares. You all helped replace the fear with happiness and security. I felt safe, loved and most importantly I belonged. I healed and you all played a role in that whether you know it or not.

2008-Present: I love you so much. You’re one of the most genuine and hard-working people I know. It’s hilarious that we’ve been acquaintances more than friends over the years but I am glad that we’ve overcome so much together. I remember back in college, I was going through so much turbulence with my friendships and I definitely took ours for granted. Someone even pointed that out but I was doubtful, hesitant and afraid that this was a one-sided kind of friendship. I wish that I actively pursued our connection more with you back then but there’s always more time in the future. I’m eternally grateful that you are there to support me even when I feel like nothing can go right. You listen and let me be a crazy friend that texts you a million times a day. (Don’t worry, I know you have so much on your plate and I am patient. I will forget if I don’t tell you immediately, though.) You’ve taught me how to handle things with grace and what it truly means to be a good friend. I honestly hope to be a better friend to you as time goes on. I’m here for you whenever you need and I will always have your back because you truly are my ride or die. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a genuine friend like you and I cannot thank you enough for sticking by me through the highest highs and the lowest lows. I just hope to see more of you in person and actually hang out in the future. Wouldn’t that be something? I honestly don’t know what I would do without you and I hope to see your smiling face when we’re old but hopefully not wrinkly. You’ve taught me that it truly is quality over quantity.

2000-Present: Honestly, I’m not sure when we all first met because you’ve just been in my life for the longest time. To the oldest, I admire you for the strong, independent and hardworking individual you are. You’ve taught me that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. You’re full of vibrance and lust for travel which I admire. I hope that we can go on an adventure soon but in the meantime thank you for checking in on me from afar. To the second oldest, I love how pure and gentle your view of the world is. You remind me not to be jaded and to see the good in everyone. You’re a boss and keep paving a path that inspires me to do the same. Keep striving and inspiring. I can’t wait for our next adventure and I miss you tons. To the second youngest, you’re something. I can’t believe we even had a couple years where we hated each other. I can’t even remember what that is like because we talk literally everyday now. That just shows that blood is thicker than water and that we can take on the world. You’re beautiful and determined. I can’t wait to see what you achieve in the coming years. Make me proud. Thank you for letting me vent and for always making sure I don’t do anything too foolish. (Keeping me grounded is a good thing?) To the youngest, I see so much of myself in you. We have similar interests and it is so exciting to see you grow. I hope that we can continue to bond and become closer now that you’re grown. Just don’t follow my footsteps to the T. Overall, I just want to thank you all collectively for reminding me the importance of family and that it does matter. I always say I am not family-oriented but that is a lie. You’ve all made me realize just how important family is and I hope we all stay close as we age. #familyovereverything

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To all Those I Loved Before

2015-2018: You’ve taught me how to voice my frustrations healthily. You’ve pushed me to try new things and to be unapologetic in my passions. I think us parting has been a catalyst to my growth and I want to thank you for always protecting me, looking our for me and providing for me over the years. You’ve also taught me the importance of honesty and trust. I hope that I can become more able to discern this in the future. I’ve learned to never settle and to leave what doesn’t bring me joy. I’m sorry things came to a close and I wish you the best.

2014-2018: I’m sorry things were left the way they were. Sometimes things get miscommunicated and I do miss our friendship. I’m just not sure how to go back after everything that happened. I genuinely wish you the best though.

2007-2018: This one is similar. We’ve been such good friends for the longest time but I think we grew apart. I won’t close the door on us but I just don’t know how to progress at this time. We’re on different pages and things have gotten too mixed up these days. I am not sure if our connection refreshes or drains me. It keeps alternating and I am growing weary. I need time to work on myself and maybe one day, I will feel better about us. Until then, keep doing great things.

2008-2017: You’re a friend that I will miss dearly. We’ve gone through so many ups and downs. I’m sorry miscommunication and blame was thrown your way. You’ve taught me to be accountable for myself and to not be so reactionary in the heat of the moment. I own up to what happened and I shouldn’t have ever let something like that come between us. You’re too great of a friend for that and I will always cherish our memories and lessons learned. I hope you’re kicking butt and being a boss. I’ll always be proud of you and support you from afar.

2008-2016: I ghosted you with no explanation. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t stay in that environment or group. It wasn’t good for me and I felt that interactions had become duplicitous and disingenuous. This has taught me to look at actions of not only individuals but as a group. Sometimes group mentality creeps on you and it can be toxic. I had to get out before it consumed me. I am so grateful for all the fun memories and late night adventures. You really were one of my ride or dies. At the time, you were still a great friend who didn’t deserve to be ghosted.

2010-2014: I wish we handled this better. I was not equipped for that incident and I should have spoken up. I was in shock and scared. I was in denial and didn’t want to make it real. I thought if I told you, it would become real. I would have to face that person and everyone else. I was not brave enough and I could not face any of you after that. If it stayed in my head, it never happened. But it did and I spoke up when it was too late. I’m sorry that you got mixed up in it and that we never really could tell anyone why we aren’t friends. “I don’t know, it just is what it is.” I’m sure you had good intentions but the tension became too much. I feel like we could have resolved this peacefully, especially because you were a bystander. Although, bystanders are just as guilty and I need to remember that. Otherwise, thank you for some crazy adventures and experiences. You were such a vibrant and fun friend. We really had the best times.

2013-2014: Thank you for all the love, adventures and friendship. I truly loved you and had the best times with you. You were my best friend and we had the best times running around doing ridiculous things together at all hours of the day. I could count on you for anything and you were my partner in crime. I miss us and our friendship. I wish we stayed just friends because that wouldn’t have messed everything up eventually. I’m sorry I got frustrated and that it all got so complicated. A complex series of jokes as we would say.

2012-2014: You’re such a genuinely good person and you were always there for me through some crazy time zone differences. I still remember the mornings/evenings you would wake me up for basketball practice. I appreciate you playing me songs on your instruments and talking me down from my panic attacks late at night. Thank you for doing all of that without any expectations or conditions. I’m sorry that things got complicated. If I could go back, I would have chosen you but you know that. It just wasn’t meant to be and I hope you’re doing amazing now.

2009-2013: This helped me grow the most. I learned what not to do in a relationship. We were better off as friends. I wish I handled this with more grace and I am sorry for everything I said and did in the end. I’m so grateful for your kindness and support through some tough times back in the day. Once again, this was a mess and I guess that is what immaturity does to the best of us. Just know, I’m not the same girl I was back then, you can relax.

2011-2012: Wow. What a mess. I think our closure happened when we sat and talked for an hour that one time. I’m glad we’re on good terms now after that nightmare. This showed me that time heals all wounds and that we grow and change every day. I certainly know I’ve changed since then and vow to never repeat anything like that again.

If you’re reading this, you’ve reached the end of what I want to say was an extremely therapeutic post. While I did not cover everyone in my life, just know I am thankful for each and everyone of you. These experiences have shaped me to be the person that I am today and I send you all my love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo,

Christine Celine

P.S. If you could write an open letter to those past and present, would you? Also here’s a tutorial on my makeup, hair & outfit!