I know this post is super late but considering how 2020 has started, you can’t blame me. Certainly this year hasn’t exactly been the exciting, hopeful start to a new decade, it’s barely been 2 months and it seems the world is in chaos. As I reflect on the year 2019, it was such a critical year for AVPEvents. There were many personal challenges that I had to endure and at times, I wasn’t certain my business was going to be able to sustain. Family matters really needed my attention and it was crisis mode for months and I just wasn’t sure if I was coming or going and it was a super uncomfortable place to be. In fact I had given myself the year to decide whether or not I was going to continue.
I contemplated making this post personal but I think it’s time I shared a few pieces of me that are a big part of my life, after all if people want to judge they will.
Let's rewind quickly back to July 2018, I lost one of the biggest loves of my entire life, my moral compass and a huge part of the fabric that wove me into who I am- my granddad. I still find it difficult to talk about since it happened somewhat suddenly and really threw our family into a tizzy. Then that October my husband’s son moved in with us full time, for multiple reasons I can't really get into, but it was in the name of his health in every way. Even though we were living in this teenie 1 bedroom condo in Yorkville, initially I was over the moon excited, he was 8 years old and an absolute blast to hang out with-we made it work. Our thing is to pull pranks on his Dad and let me tell you, some of them are just horrible but so hilarious!
Anyhow, our boy has had some serious, emotional and behavioral challenges and we’ve been dealing with it for some time but have never known exactly what the source was. Once the end of September 2018 hit and he was really in crisis, and we had gone to various hospitals including sick kids and kept being told he was fine. He wasn’t. It was at a point where he was needing to be picked up from school multiple times a week and it was going to result in him injuring someone or cost someone their job and him to repeat a year at school because he was so behind. The doctors’ appointments and assessments and poking and prodding and child psychologists and pediatricians, it was beyond draining. It took a toll on our home life, our marriage, our finances and we were mentally and emotionally spent. After 3 months of sheer hell, our boy was finally diagnosed with level 2 ASD.
For me, it was a relief- he wasn’t dying, he has a disorder and now we have a starting point to work with and we can get help and research programs that he would benefit from. For my husband, he was devastated and felt guilty for weeks, it was hard for him to come to terms with. Thankfully, because of how dire the situation was for our kiddo at school, we had a few crucial resources lined up and ready. This meant we would get support for him and as a family on how to help him cope and how we could manage together and try to start putting the pieces back together again.
The majority of this year was trying to help him rebuild, learn and cope with his diagnosis and it took months and months of parent groups and doctor appointments and medication for him. Exhausted doesn’t even come close guys, there aren’t enough hours in a day, there was no such thing as “me time” or “self-care” or time with my husband to maintenance our marriage. During this time, I had started planning probably the most difficult wedding that I had in 2019 (difficult for various reasons, one of them being that it was in Montreal which required some traveling).
When you live in a world that is so egocentric and you have a business that is focused on providing a service to someone, on one of the most important days of their life, you don’t want your personal life to interfere with work. As a wedding planner, reviews are everything, they give other couples the “green light” so to speak to hire you. It’s a part of your reputation and follows you everywhere, the last thing you want is for your clients to feel like they don’t have your full attention.
On the day of the wedding and seeing it all come to life in various aspects, I felt a sense of pride and relief- I did it, I’m still here, it looks beautiful and I can breathe. The day after, I was on my way back from Montreal only to get a call from my husband telling me he had lost his job and we had 2 weeks to pack our things and find a new home for our family. So! Another curve ball thrown directly at our faces and we didn’t have time to freak out about it, it was straight action.
Despite the butt kicking it seemed we had taken, I saw our boy was adjusting to his new school, was starting to catch up on academics and was overall in a better place. We were both so incredibly relieved and in a way, it gave me permission in a way to refocus on AVPEvents. So I did and I booked a few other weddings and I rediscovered my joy. 2019 took so much out of me and my family and yet it gave me back so much as well.
What do I expect for 2020, I have no earthly idea, I am so used to my life being at the mercy of others in some ways so my goal this year is to just let go. I have proven to myself that I am so resilient, more than I give myself credit for, I have acquired wisdom and strength and that has to be enough to catch me, I have to believe it will. Embracing change is NOT a natural thing for humans, we crave stability, consistency and when your world gets blown up and turns into chaos, that’s when you find out what you are made of. One thing I do know is that I am not a quitter. I wasn’t raised to quit or to stay down when I fall. So I look forward to whatever this year has in store for me, whatever it is, it will be met with the force of nature that is me. Fear is something I looked in the face this past year and finally released myself from it’s grip, it was is incredibly liberating. Awareness that we aren’t always in control and that you don’t have to feel guilty for not having it altogether or all figured out. I’m definitely done with the expectations of others and going to create more time for self care so I can be better in every aspect of my life.
I hope you all do the same, no matter what 2020 hurls at you. Recognize and focus on the good moments, the incredible ones, the things that bring you joy. Learn and grow from the moments that try to break you and I can’t wait to share this next year with you all. I want to take a brief moment to thank every single vendor I had the pleasure of working with last year. White Lotus Wedding Studio, L'orangerie Photography, Le Crystal Reception Hall, Casa de Ramo, HSWARD video, Coriander Girl, Marianne Rothbauer Studio, Crushed Ice Productions, Babylon Decor, Scarborough Convention Centre, AM Motion, Azra Photography, Whistle Bear Golf Club, Luv With Flowers, Nikki Mills Photography, Oakview Terrace, Secrets Floral, Cari Zhu Photography and many others. I want to thank all of my clients who trusted me with their vision and day. It was one of the hardest years but one of the most rewarding. Here is a highlight from 2019, enjoy!