Let me start off by introducing myself – Hi, I’m Kana ( the blonde one), co-founder of @dosmundoscreative and the primary Instagram poster for this account and this is why I no longer hate this mushy commercial holiday.
Honestly, Valentine’s Day used to be one of those days I absolutely dreaded. Full of pressure and terrible memories. In fact, I used to organize a big anti-party every February 14th year jam-packed with the appropriately early 2000’s emo vibes.
The man in this photo is my fiancée Andrew, the guy that changed my perception on love. He is the main source of my sanity and the reason why I have the confidence to pursue my passions. Supporting me, even when I am convinced that I am the worst, garbage, human alive ( it’s a creative personality thing, right?). The cheesy truth is, he is kind and noble and inspires me to be a better person. He’s awesome.
Like most relationships that start out in your early twenties, ours didn’t start out great. February 14 is the 8 year anniversary of our break-up. Which of course was aweful, but I’m glad it happened because it gave us both the time we needed to find our sense of selves that our relationship would not function without.
I was never the cute girl growing up. In fact, I was usually the weird girl. Overweight, with terrible acne and clear braces ( that mostly looked yellow). I was also ALWAYS the new kid. By 9th grade, I had been to 10 schools, and 0 social skills. I watched a lot of TV and movies but had no idea what people talked about aside from tasks. Whenever I did try to socialize, I ended up saying something bizarre so I was usually made fun of.
Needless to say, by the time I finally started dating at 21 years old not being myself seemed like the better idea. So like a lot of young girls, I took on the interests of my boyfriend and mimicked what I saw other “cooler”girls do. I had become an impression of what I thought a person needed to be accepted and feel loved.
This pattern persisted in varying degrees through that fateful V-day break-up.
When we broke up I cried so hard. Until finally, I began to laugh at myself. I realized that my love life had become a bad Lifetime movie, with the most cliche break-up scene imaginable. So, I decided to focus on figuring out what I really liked and cared about. Which was when I finally learned to love myself in all of my weirdness and I was able to embrace my creativity in a more confident form.
The thing was…Andrew and I still had the same friend group, so we saw each other most days. Which. Was. Terrible. At least at first.
About 10 months later, we had become closer than ever and started dating again, this time for keeps. We had both grown a lot over that course of time. The crazy thing was, he LOVED my personality. Not the one I had fabricated from years of TV watching and boyfriend imitating — just the creative, strange person that I had always been. Turns out he was a nerdy weirdo too (but obviously so dreamy ) so we were finally able to drop the cool kid act and find a new kind of happiness.
8 years later, 4 job changes between us, 1 new business venture and a very scary bout with cancer and we are still together and getting married in a few months. We still want to kill each other 70% of the time, but the supportive genuine love that we share is what keeps life exciting even when it gets tough. So what the hell, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks to @leahmusephotography for capturing us in such a beautiful way!