I’m no author, but usually writing comes to me pretty naturally. This blog post, however, has been deleted and restarted so many times. I just couldn’t find the words to describe how humbled, amazed, and blessed I feel despite the stress and overwhelming emotions this summer has brought on. I never would have thought this is where I’d be 4 years after moving.
This summer has been crazy. Between graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, 17 weddings between Royce and I, a 1 on 1 workshop with Jill LaFleur in California, moving to Kelowna, my sister’s wedding, my other sister’s best friend passing from a courageous fight with cancer, finding out 4 of my friends are pregnant, a wedding with Ryan Ray Photography (incredible film photographer from Texas featured in every major wedding magazine), a feature in Style Me Pretty Canada, a feature in Adore Magazine, and now our own wedding just 18 days away it is amazing to me how much can fit in just one summer.
Here’s my honest, secret story of how I got there:
4 years ago today, I moved from Saskatoon to Kamloops to get a diploma in Events & Conventions Management. TRU was the only university (not college) with an event management diploma close to home and it’s all I wanted to do with my life so it was really my only choice. I also have this tendency to make decisions very quickly based on where my heart is pulling me even if I haven’t thought it through entirely (99.9% of the time). Moving on… my parents always had a way of knowing what my limits were, even when I didn’t. Before I accepted to TRU my dad said to me, “Nikki, if you go, I hope you know you’re not coming back until your diploma is finished. You’re not changing your mind.” “Yeah I know, I won’t!” I said a thousand times… And then I called home almost every 2 days crying about how homesick I was and how much I hated Kamloops and wanted to come back. Honestly, I flew home 4 times between September and winter break. Looking back on it, I was going probably going through depression. I was barely eating, I slept as soon as I came back from classes, I didn’t talk to anyone since my roommate and I hated each other, I had broke up with my boyfriend, and my best friend from back home said to me while hanging out with my ex, “the world doesn’t stop just because you moved.” It was the hardest and worst 4 months I can remember. The only thing that was going well was my 3.8 GPA and my love for event management. It was the night before I was flying back to Kamloops for second semester, bundled up in as much winter clothes as possible (it was Saskatchewan after all) and I was out walking our dog with my dad and crying as usual begging him to let me just come home. He reminded me about not coming back until I was finished, and said things would get better and that they’d come and visit in second semester. (My parents sound so mean here, but truly it was out of nothing but love knowing how badly I wanted to be an event planner and they weren’t going to let me give up so easily.)
The next week I flew to Dallas, Texas for a conference with an event management club I joined in school. A girl in the club and I became friends and she happened to work as a resident advisor (RA) in the residence I was living in. She said she’d get me switched into a different quad and help me meet some people. And she did (my new roommate is now one of my bridesmaids). Two days after we got back she invited me to come to Thursday’s coffee house night where many residents hung out. I grabbed a caramel macchiato (still my favourite drink) and went into the RA lounge where another RA was sitting with some friends. He asked my name, my program, and started firing funny questions at me like a game show host. He asked if he could have my number to let me know when rez events were on so I could meet some more people. He then had an event to go photograph so he left, but continued to text me all night. If you haven’t guessed yet that RA was Royce. When he came back later that evening, we hung out in one of the lounges talking until 6am. It was like I had instantly met my best friend. And I had.
Three months later we were dating, 6 months later he started a photography business, 1 1/2 years later we were living together and I graduated my diploma, 2 years later I started my wedding planning business, 2 1/2 years later we were engaged, and 3 1/2 years later we ended up here…here in this incredible summer that if you had told me 4 years ago this is where I’d be I never would have believed you.
I met Royce over the perfect cup of coffee and in 18 days I get to be his wife. God is so good.
And no, I never moved back home or called my parents begging to let me come back after that night.