what I've learnt from 3 years of love

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Disclaimer: Please be warned this may be a little over sentimental, soppy and a with a  pinch of cringe .

The end of last month marked three years of being in love. The best three years of my life and also probably the biggest learning curve I've faced. In the space of three years my mind set has completely changed and I can't even remember (or ever want to) what life was like before. A life without him, It all feels like a totally alien concept now. I can't imagine not having a partner in crime or that one person who just gets me.

In the past I was very much the girl who was scared of being in a relationship. To lay myself bare and feel vulnerable with someone just didn't feel worth it, my anxiety issues usually made me push people away at the first hurdle. If I was into someone and they seemed to really like me, then that would usually put me off them (silly, I know - but apparently a very common thing, who knew?!) but that all changed the night that I met Matt. We were introduced by someone we both mutually knew - he was invited to The End of the World party that I had already bought tickets for. After spending a fun night at Scala and getting to know each other a little, albeit a bit tipsy (mostly on my part) and increasingly on his, he was training for a marathon at the time and hadn't drunk for months but that night apparently I had him heading for the beer because of nerves.

The following day we sent tweets back and fourth. I threw caution to the wind and sent a DM (pulling out the big guns there) with my number and we just didn't stop texting. He then asked me out on our first date, he bought tickets for us to go and see Book of Mormon. He remembered seeing a tweet that I was desperate to go and see it. We hung out a couple more times before our date but in the company of the girl who introduced us. He ventured all the way to Kingston to see Temples (but he didn't even get to see them play as he had to get a train back to Essex) we also went to a DJ set at a grotty pub and ended up having a really fun night and following morning in town. After our third date, which involved lots of horror movies, american sweets and watching Louis Theroux documentaries as we feel asleep on the living room floor, he made me pancakes for breakfast and drove me home. I was the one who kissed him first (something I thought I would never do) as I left because I wanted him to know I was interested and I could feel the tension building on the journey home. I showed myself that when a guy is worth it and special I can actually put myself out there, even so I was still slightly hesitant because I hadn't had this connection or feelings in such a long time and couldn't quite believe it was happening.

One of the things I've learnt in these three years is that being in a serious and long term relationship is easier then I thought it would be. I can just be myself, in the truest sense of the word and he can be totally himself. He's my best friend in the world, we spent time becoming good friends and making sure we were compatible before we jumped into a relationship, even though we were already heading down the road of falling for each other. We don't fight (not that there's anything wrong with that, we're just both not really that type of person) of coarse sometimes we will irritate each other or be a bit a little short and upset one another, but it never lasts very long and we always feel awful pretty much immediately.

Something I know that I definitely need to work on and improve with is communication, as said by the girls from Haim 'it's the hardest thing for me to do' I keep things bottled up and because I know Matt will mirror what I'm feeling and he will end up being bummed out and I hate seeing him feeling sad. Although he can usually tell,  because I'm not that great at hiding my emotions and he basically knows me inside out, so go figure.

Love really is the best feeling in the world. I will always treasure that complete overwhelm of emotions and how quick it happened which took me by the biggest surprise. I waited 24 years for it to happen and I'm so glad that I did. I now know the reason why I held back and was so hesitant in the past, it clearly just wasn't right and they just weren't Matt.

I've also learnt about myself that I will always be nostalgic in a relationship and I hold on to the past and how things use to be. It annoys the hell out of me as well because I know things are pretty great, I have the love of my life by my side who is the absolute best guy, he constantly astounds me with his work ethic, talent and attitude. I really bloody love our relationship - we do so much fun stuff, spend quality time together, love each others families, we make each other laugh all the time and make each other feel totally loved, respected and supported but still I can't help my brain slipping into past mode.

I remember the boy who pursued me, that time he bought me the Wes Andseron book that I couldn't find, the way he would go out of his way to buy me macaroons because he knew they were my absolute favorite treat back then, showered me with flowers and made me feel like the only person in the world that mattered, the days of doing absolutely nothing at his flat in Essex when we were getting to know each other, when he would remember a place or something that I had mentioned in passing and subsequently surprise me, when we would send each other the cutest texts that would make my heart race and butterflies in the pit of my stomach. I also don't want to make it sound like we don't do any of these special things for each other anymore - because we do and Matt is so thoughtful, caring and we treat each other so well. It's just something I've realized about myself, I'm a nostalgia fiend! I know things change and won't be like it is at the start but does anyone else feel like this sometimes? I hold really high expectations about how I think I should or someone else should be in a relationship, which I guess sometimes is a good thing but also can be really tiring and a hindrance.

All in all what I've learnt in these three years is that I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic (21 year old Jaymie would not have believed this) and love really is the best  feeling. I'm so lucky that our paths even crossed and we met in the first place, I still have to pinch myself regularly. Last month was also a big one in our relationship as we put a deposit down and booked the date for our wedding next year. I'm not going to lie I was starting to get really despondent with the whole affair mainly due to outsiders who would ask straight away 'so how are wedding things gong? have you set a date yet? you really should get a move on!' etc. It was really starting to upset me as I felt like I was doing something wrong and as a Woman in particular I felt judged that I wasn't swinging from the rooftops and making weddings my be all and end all. I know they had no idea what other things were going on in my life and it was only natural for them to be inquisitive about it and think it was an interesting and happy thing to ask when in fact it just made me sad. Lauren puts it quite perfectly in this blog post. We finally found the perfect venue for us and everything just slotted into place and we can now start moving forward and it's all actually starting to get exciting now, watch this space.


Morocco Photo Diary: feeling blue & yellow

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Last weeks trip to Morocco was full of colour, sunshine, fun girl time and exploring. Ella and I took what felt like millions of photographs but they were either all of the same thing, already been shared on Instagram or taken on our phone. These were some of my favourite colourful snaps from our sun drenched trip to Marrakesh and for me the absolute highlight was the beautiful and inspiring Jardin Marjorelle also known as the Yves St Laurent gardens, a tropical calming oasis just outside of the busy city and (v.scary) roads.  We rocked up just as it was opening at 8am, I really recommend doing this too if you're planning on visiting as everyone told us the queue can be ridiculous and then once you're in, it is just far too crammed and busy - we were the only ones in the gardens for the first 30 minutes and it felt like are own little private paradise to photograph (and do flashdance: see last snap) flounce about and drink mint tea in. Full of cactus, palms and the most exquisite yellow and blue coloured buildings and wall, which looked incredible with the vast green backdrops. I already know that this won't be my last visit to this place.


America after the fall

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'During the great depression, the idea of the American dream motivated a nation struggling with mass unemployment, urbanisation and industrialisation. The arrival of the 'talkies' from Hollywood provided relief from the harsh economic realities, while novels such as John Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath brought into sharp focus the reality of life in rural America.'

On Saturday Matt and I attended the RA Late evening for the 'America after the fall' exhibition. The Royal Academy hold these great 'Lates' where they open from 7-11pm and dedicate the whole night in celebration of a new focal exhibition.

We were greeted by the characters from the painting American Gothic standing at the entrance, before taking our complimentary cocktail of bourbon and ginger and heading inside to see the academy which was decorated as you can imagine in an all American way.

As part of the evening they also had an Art Macabre life drawing class which you could take part in. The last time I did any life drawing I was about 19 years old and it was Matt's very first time. It was fun to work in a fast paced and expressive nature once again. We watched some swing bands but unfortunately my feet were too mangled from my shoes to partake in any dancing (sob) we dressed up in vintage clothes - playing with all the hats and fancy jackets that were available to try and buy, listened to an interesting talk that different lecturers did throughout the night and interacted with characters in 'Hollywood-land', as well as seeing a preview of the exhibition itself.

It was a really fun evening and I loved seeing everyone's costumes and their take on the theme. I would definitely be interested in going to another event. The upcoming ones look like they're going to be corkers in the form of the The Electric Forest and The Other Paradise.

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