I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker. Some people may argue this (especially after I’ve had a couple of glasses of red), but relative to my chatter-box (endearing) family and friends, I’m dubbed by most as the ‘quiet observer’. This makes writing a post like this a bit difficult; I’ve got a lot to say and am about to get all clumsy in my attempt to do so…

      (I’m hoping you haven’t bounced yet) – See, about 3 1/2 years ago – Ok, if you must know it was exactly October 18th 2008) I was surfing through the classifieds on ye ‘olde craigslist. I had recently moved back from Toronto and was trying to find creative people to collaborate with and discovered an ad; a new online magazine was looking for a photographer to shoot creative editorials. Perfect. Later that week (on the aforementioned date in October), I met with two stylish gals in their mid-20’s. They liked my portfolio and I liked their energy and creativity. We decided to start working together.

      A couple of months and a couple of meetings later, I called on one of the girls to be my subject in a creative editorial thing I was shooting. It was very last minute, very cold, and very outdoors. She agreed and was a great model, never complaining, and giving me exactly the character I envisioned for the story…I was really enjoying the ease and flow of our working relationship at this point.

      The magazine dissolved and her business partner moved on, but our own friendship began to grow, and kept growing – for the next 3 years. We would get together once a month for drinks, talk about shoots we wanted to do, impersonate the Simpsons, laugh, work, laugh, create, shoot projects, discuss our mentors, analyse photography, and laugh. We became close friends but never moved further than that – mostly because she was in a committed relationship, and I was in the ‘dating scene’ – you know, looking for a funny, creative, beautiful girl who I could discuss photography, the Simpsons, share many a laugh with. Right.

      Last Spring her 3-year relationship ended and I found myself newly single (the details of which are ironic and serendipitous and would make for wonderful reading, but I choose not to out of respect to others…) . About a month later, we met at a lounge to talk about it all when we found ourselves with an awkward pause in the conversation. She asked me if there was something I wanted to say…I think I in-appropriately quoted some Simpsons line (ha!), then told her how I felt about her (at the risk of making this blog post 5 pages long, I won’t get into the details of what I said – sorry, some things I have to keep to myself). She beamed. We held hands for the first time. It was amazing.

      It’s coming up to about a year now that we’ve been together (well, June) and I’ve never been happier. We have over 3 years of awesome friendship under our belts and we transitioned into a beautiful relationship. I’m grateful for her everyday I wake up, every night before I fall asleep, and tell her I love her every chance I get. It may be an old cliché, but sometimes what you were looking for was right in front you the whole time.

      I love you Justyna.


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