Friday, May 13, 2011

Memory #28: A New Adjective

Way more then half of what happens to me on a regular basis is totally unexpected. Having observed patterns in my life this way, I try to plan the rest of my life around knowing this.

When I started this blog, besides trying to find an excuse to have sketch assignments, I thought it might help me embrace and welcome my 30's. After about 8 months of updating, I started running on empty. My brain ached to live in the present and not in the past. I had a pretty long roller coaster ride from age 20-30 and I think having this record of events will give me a slight advantage when I become old and those little random gray hairs take over my head. I referenced a lot of journals that I kept mostly between the ages of 22-25. Why only those years? I don't know. Life was more confusing for me then and it was easier to think on paper, I guess.
I've come a long way... :)
I left a lot of stuff out, too. I left out all the vacations I took...Italy, Seattle, Vero Beach, the Bahamas, our yearly Cape Cod trips. Besides Michael Burns, I left out all the friends and family I've lost... Aunt Mary, Jan, Danielle, Robert Kaufman. College, boyfriends, Weddings, Mix CD, Babies. I left out my best friend's courage to conquer Hodgkin's Disease. I even left out the time she threw her beer in a guys face because he told me I was fat (awesome). But, I got tired and to be honest, I started to get worried that it was making me depressed.

In this process I discovered there is a reason people tell you to look to the future. I remember at one point saying "Please God, can I just turn 30 already so this can be over?" Mission accomplished...30's embraced! And when I let the memories go, I felt happy again to leave them in the past, tucked away very carefully of course.

With two weeks to go until 30, My boyfriend Keith and I went to Boston ComicCon where we spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out with some really cool people. That morning, the sky was overcast, but it was still sort of warm. We parked our car in the Boston Commons garage and planned for a day in the city. I've discovered over the years that one of my most favorite things to do in this city is park and walk from the Public Gardens to Newbury Street. I love the Back Bay because it holds not only all my precious college memories...but the very first memories made in Boston when I moved here 12 years ago.
That day, we spent time with a lot of his friends who were selling comics and prints and I remember at one point during the afternoon...just feeling happy...watching Keith interact with people. I could have hugged him over and over again. But anyone who's ever been to a con knows that if you don't eat, you might just pass out after a while. When our faces started to hurt from smiling, and our stomaches wouldn't let us take another step...we dragged ourselves to an open booth at Pour House and got lunch, where we ordered the exact same meal. The Bruins were in game 1 of the playoffs against Philadelphia, it was our server's first day.

Afterwards, while we walked back to the car to drop off all the stuff we acquired, the sun poked itself out of the clouds. We walked down the Comm. Ave mall which triggered millions of memories. Discovering that Ryan Luby as just as obsessed with Pearl Jam as I was! Smoking cigarettes on the stairs of 127. Waiting for my parents to come pick me up for the holidays. Big pants, bikes, Ben Harper, daisies, and the smell of oil paint. I pointed out all the spots to Keith as we walked by. "That's where I used to live!" "That's where we almost got kicked out of school for having a barbeque in the alley!" I'm sure he gets tired of hearing those stories, but he listens. :)

We made it to the car and back to the Public Gardens where we walked around the Swan Boat Pond looking for a good bench. We sat in one and Keith spied another. "I kinda want to sit over there, it's nice under that tree." There was a weird man sitting there fiddling with his headphones. "Err, what about that rock? Let's go sit on that rock." "Ok," I said. We walked over to the rock and just as we were getting close, another couple stole the rock. We ended up in the grass, close to the water, across from the dock where all the ducks were quacking at each other.
I closed my eyes, trying to shake off a headache and Keith started rambling about wondering whether or not I liked where we lived...if I still wanted a house. (A conversation we've had a million times.) So I just started laughing. "What?!...hahahaha" And then he said, "Well what about us...our relationship?" I just continued laughing, "I'm happy with you!! Why?!" "Well I have a question...for youuu..."

Keith said that my face wiped itself of all laughter immediately. Now that I think about it, it was the biggest shift in emotion I have ever felt. The tears came almost immediately.

"Will you ma..."


"Waiit! You have to let me finish!"
"Ok, ok ok ok..." (sniffle sniffle)
"Will you marry me?"

I've always wanted to do that experiment where you make a list of adjectives about yourself. I'm constantly thinking of what I would write: Quirky, Happy, Funny, Artistic, Creative, know. Those are all boring, but now I can add... ENGAGED!
Keith said he had the ring for about a month and never could find the right time, and I don't really know how the universe works...but something aligned in the stars that day. You can't plan around that! Now I get to start my 30s engaged to the most wonderful guy. He makes me laugh, he makes me feel wanted, he shares the same affinity for books and funny toys, and he has the best family who has always made me feel welcome. That's the short list...(I wouldn't want his head getting too big) :) But, I love him so much.

I never thought such a big memory would be made with such little time left, but I guess that's the beauty of the unexpected!

Another huge thank you everyone for following along! Maybe I'll see you again in 10 years when I count down the memories of my 30s..... errr, I'll probably think of something better by then. :)


  1. Ciaoooo!!

    This post is toooo cute :D I love it! I've been following you religiously since you started posting on this blog. I love your stories, your illustrations, you as person. Funny & positive!

    I just started out in the illustration world and who knows maybe in a few years when I turn 30, I will do a blog like this as well. My journey to finally do what I love to do has a lot of confusing moments! So thank you for inspiring this idea!

    Also, thanks for sharing it all with us! and a huge CONGRATS to you and Keith!!

    Take care & have fun planning your wedding :D


  2. I LOVE IT!!! congratulations to both of you. You are perfect for each other. :)

  3. OMG I'm getting all weepy AGAIN! Congratulations on the beginning of the rest of your life...the 30s really are great. For so many reasons, but mainly because all those questions like "Why does life suck so bad" are so far behind you. And if you ever think them again in the next 10 years, you'll have WAY better, more productive answers. And now you'll have Keith there, always, to help. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! love you!

  4. YAY! I'm so glad you made your last post your engagement story...I really wanted to know how he did it :) Congrats to both of you again, and thanks for making this blog!

  5. Hooray for this amazing undertaking and for your breathtaking honesty about how it made you feel. The 20s are amazing and memorable, but for many people, it feels good to leave them behind. I love you, Renee! So glad to have been along for part of your journey.. And much more to come. Make sure you look at that shiny ring and also at Keith's cute face a lot this birthday.

  6. what a great story!! I loved your blog, and hope you have a fabulous 30th birthday today!! I'll be there in about 6've made it much less scary for me!!! :)

  7. Goosebumps! It only gets better from here, my friend. Congratulations again :-)

  8. LOVE this post so much... I wish you the best in your new chapter of your life. Hugs, hugs, hugs!!!! :o)

  9. Here's to you, Renee! Wishing you all the best of everything!

  10. Thanks so much everyone, your comments are making me so emotional and thankful. :)

  11. Congratulations, Renee! What a fabulous way to start the 30's..and many years of happiness - but enjoy the engagement period--it's awesome!

  12. Thanks a lot for your useful posting and I have bookmarked this for later!

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