Love You Long Time…or…Looooonnnnggg Time No See. You choose

Clearly this semester has not been going too swimmingly. A few of you have mentioned my lack of posts. I took on too much like I normally do but thought it would be a good coping mechanism. I would flood myself with school and work to avoid thinking about things I didn’t want to think about. Reality: thinking about things I didn’t want to while drowning in school. I have felt like I can barely keep my head above water this semester, and I balance my social life and school life so horribly. I crave people. I love being around my family and friends. I love meeting new people. And if Bryan’s death taught me anything it was to NOT take moments for granted, so I haven’t. I have spent countless hours enjoying one too many meals out with friends. I have micro-managed my weekend hours in order to get the most out of every minute, and I still miss out on time with so many people I think about.

I guess I thought that being single would allow me the freedom to excel in school while spending every spare moment with friends. Who was I kidding? That’s not me at all. I don’t like free time. I like to be busy; so, when you hear me complaining about being busy it is really me boasting about how full my schedule is. Or at least I thought it was me boasting, until I fell asleep the other day with my eyes open having a conversation. The minute I was still enough and not adding to the conversation I am almost positive I was asleep. I don’t remember anything from that conversation. I don’t even remember what I added to it. Looking back, that is not the only conversation I think I fell asleep in. It has nothing to do with the other person or my lack of interest. It has everything to do with me being completely exhausted.

Not that I thought anything would go away when I chose to be single, but I thought things might be easier…or different. No matter if you choose to be single or “singledom” chooses you, things will happen around you. You will change. Things that never bothered you will become game changers for current and future relationships and friendships. You grow. You learn. You still make mistakes. Being single doesn’t mean you stop feeling. Not at all. Often, you feel more. More than you ever thought possible. Sometimes you feel great, other times not so much. And that is OK. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you don’t fall in love. You still experience heartbreak. You still wait for prince charming to show up on your front porch in the pouring rain wearing a wet white t-shirt, levi’s and boots. Wait…maybe that’s just me. Anyway, he doesn’t show and probably won’t, but you can be hopeful. You don’t stop hoping for love. You want someone to come along who makes you forget about that year long singledom you committed to. You want something anything to come along and whisk you away from school/work/life. Being alone makes you realize so much more about yourself and gives you the opportunity to learn from your past. Even if you are not single, you should find time to be alone.

If you can’t learn from your past I feel so sorry for you. Learning from my past has given me a freedom and confidence that you can’t get anywhere else. You must grow. You must move forward.

Sometimes you feel great, other times not so much. And that is OK. I used to feel so dumb if I felt anything. I even found myself justifying my feelings to sound more positive. It is OK to feel sad, angry, happy, blissful, indecisive. And oh how indecisive I can be. There are things I want to walk away from on a daily basis. It is even more OK to be indecisive than to just feel. Society makes us feel like we must resolve any and all issues immediately. I say it’s ok to brood over things as long as needed but you must take action for your life. Eventually you have to make decisions based on what you have learned about yourself.

I will say this though:

Not once in my indecision have I picked up my Bible. Actually, other than the two or three times I dared to step into a church building have I even held my Bible since Bryan died. It’s weird the things that distance you from God. Even more so, the things that scare you about God. I know as soon as I open that book there will be answers. They may not be what I want to hear. In fact, the probability is high they won’t be anything I want to hear. God’s guidance protects us from hurt and pain yet we so often stray from it. When I have needed him most I have pushed Him away. I have been absolutely angry with Him. And it’s OK to be angry with God. If we understood everything He did we wouldn’t need Him. If we had no emotion toward Him then what kind of awful relationship would that be? Sometimes you turn away just to see if He will remain. He does.

My point is it’s OK to be in an awkward stage. It’s ok to not know what you want. But if you are not learning and growing then you are NOT in a good place. Do not be stagnant. Do not hurt the people around you because you can’t take time to learn to love yourself. Do not get complacent in something just because it’s comfortable. Figure out what YOU want and go for it. If that means picking up your Bible, then do so. If it means planning a road trip or going for a run or going camping, DO IT. Do the things that lead you to peace. If you cannot find peace in your life, you cannot truly love. You CAN’T.

Embrace your awkward learning stages. Here’s a hint: they don’t stop coming. You will overcome something now, and hit another road block of indecision in 3 months, years, decades. Life happens, but learn from it. Love YOU! Don’t depend on someone else to love. And don’t expect love from someone else if you can’t love yourself. I am not perfect. There are days I do not love myself, my body, my actions, my mind. Those days happen, but I have a peace and confidence back that I lost a long time ago. I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself and make decisions-even if it is just choosing a restaurant. I have grown from my past mistakes, past relationships, past friendships. I sincerely want the best for each of my past boyfriends and old friends. Even the few I don’t talk to anymore. I want happiness for them. And if you can’t get to that spot in your life, my heart truly aches for you.

Love is so not about a relationship. Love is a decision every morning. I never understood that until recently. I thought love found us and we couldn’t help who we loved. You decide to look in the mirror and become better because you love yourself or you decide to hate yourself and destroy the confidence you have built. In your relationships, love is a decision every morning. You decide if you will be building someone up or destroying them…every day. Be as indecisive as you want about things in life, but if you hold true to deciding to love yourself I bet things will start falling into place. 

No Regrets

I have one regret in my life. If you really know me, you know what that is. Most days I don’t even think about it. I don’t let it consume me. I know that the result of it led me to spending the last four months of Bryan’s life knowing him better than I would have. I can find the silver lining. I typically don’t regret things. I learn from them. This one is harder. It’s not detrimental in any way. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a decision that led to me having my own version of PTSD. There are places I can’t stand to be because thoughts consume me. I can’t wrap my head around this one…rather I can’t clear my head of this one. The lack of fairness of it all is my own judgement and misunderstanding of what God is doing. And that is ok, but nonetheless frustrating. Today it bothered me, and today I missed Bryan…a lot. It just hits me sometimes. My regret has nothing in the world to do with Bryan. It actually led me to him, but regardless when I think of one I think of the other. They are not even comparable other than the fact that, now, they both make me sad. One stayed too long and one left too soon.

If I have learned anything in the last six months it is that life is short. How arrogant of me to think I will even live through this year of being single. At least four people my age or younger have died in the last six months. Did they truly live? Were they happy? Am I happy? Am I living? Are you? It’s a lot to think about. It makes me really cling to the people I love and really push away the people I don’t, even more so the people who don’t love me in return. It’s sad to me how often petty drama gets in the way of happiness. Little insecurities creep in all too often and jealousy rages or your self-conscious denies you of that chocolate ice cream you’ve been wanting for fear of the calories.  

Death is so powerful and cunning. It moves us. It changes us. It can make us better if we let it. I think of death as a person almost who sends out these messages, reminders. Reminding us to love and to live, to put away those insecurities and jealousies.  

I have thought a lot lately about death and where I am in life. I am happy now…even though the contents of this post do not particularly express that, but I am. I have thought, “What if I died tonight?” I am lucky to have lived, truly lived. I have loved and been loved. I have been kissed under a waterfall. I have ran through the streets in the rain. I have sat in silence by a cold lake and cuddled under a blanket. I have laid underneath the stars and contemplated the smallness of humanity and the greatness of God. I have spent hours learning to love all the people in my life. I have traveled to foreign countries. I have created friendships on a global level. I have been heartbroken, and I have grown from each of those heartbreaks. I have lived. I have felt when I thought I was numb to feeling. I have held my niece and nephews into the wee hours of the night. I have dreamt and I have achieved. I have laughed, oh how I have laughed. And I’ve cried…which is a big deal if you know me. I have lived!

 

Have you?

The Romantic

Once upon a time, when I entered “singledom”, I did rash things such as dye my hair and move apartments. I would quit a job or start a new path in life or book a vacation. I had no responsibilities to hold me down. I was free to be. Now, in my mid twenties, I have to hold back my innate nature to run or change or be irrational. When I ended one of the most committed and longest relationships of my dating life, I bought a car, moved back to my small hometown and bought a house. Then after the next breakup I quit my job and dove into graduate school. While all of these current decisions were in the works before the break-ups, it still felt quite liberating to be in the midst of life changing events when the break up actually did occur. 

 

So now, as I journey through being single, indefinitely and purposefully, I want to make a rash decision like old times. However, dying my hair is out of the question because I have a heating bill to pay on a 100 year old house in the dead of winter. So, a trim is doable…maybe. That thirty bucks could go toward schoolbooks though or just a couple cheap bottles of wine which are much more important than chopping a couple inches off my hair. It’s killing me to be responsible. Part of having a free spirit is a fear of commitment which of course could be an entire topic about my relationship woes. And here I am having to commit to a mortgage and car payment when in reality I love my life. I love my warm snuggly cottage farmhouse 

 

My rash decisions are still boiling inside of me, but of course now they take planning. So, they are more or less not rash but well thought out decisions. My options and current in the works plans are to potentially hike the AT at some point in the future to honor sweet Bryan. I am more likely to take a road trip I have wanted to do for years because I think Bryan would want me to do something on my own bucket list. I plan on applying for many of my dream jobs this year because why not? I can actually look for things a little out of my reach because I have the security of school. I am not in NEED of a job so I can take more risks in applying for them. I am sure I will blow my minuscule tax return on a trip like I usually do because years ago I said I would go somewhere new every year. Of course this makes me wonder if I will always live paycheck to paycheck because I kind of enjoy the thrill of it all.

 

Ideally, I want a job that allows me to take part in owning this adorable little house of mine while participating in all major city events and entertainment in Nashville as well as NYC. I want to be able to garden every summer while also taking part in rooftop pool parties on Wednesdays in the Gulch. Ok, in reality I want a job that means I don’t have to work ever again. Can’t I just make money for being the life of the party? Aren’t there people who do that? In fact a quote that describes me perfectly is from Pride and Prejudice, a book I actually trudged through and as an English major should be burned at the stake for despising such a classic novel, “‘When I am in the country,’ he replied, ‘I never wish to leave, and when I am in town it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either.’”

 

There are so many things bouncing around in my mind. I imagine a robust game of ping pong going on in there or one of those old pinball machines. Yea, that’s more like it actually. For brief moments I am calm and collected and feel like I have it figured out, but then, just like pinball, something shoots me into a thought process that bounces back and forth and I get stuck in little corners that are lonely and saddening or even shot into high energy mazes. Something always saves me and I come back down from the highs and lows. Of course, writing this sounds much more dramatic than it is, and it makes me realize that my indecisions and not knowing what I want have nothing to do with me being single. I would be like this regardless of a relationship. Stability is something I desire but not something I am good at. I don’t even like to make plans because plans never work and require you to depend on other people and yourself. Those of you who are my friends probably hate this about me, constantly hearing my classic line of, “Let’s just play it by ear.” I am truly a romantic at heart. I believe in going about life based on feelings. Finding order is boring to me. Yet I crave it sometimes. See how this can be like a pinball game? Imagine actually being in my head. I constantly want the best of both worlds. I am happiest when I embrace that and run with it. I like things to change. 

 

So here I am just bouncing thoughts back and forth as you can tell. There really isn’t any order to this post so God bless you if you made it this far. I want to end with encouraging words, but all I can tell you is to LIVE. Be where you are. 

Potential

No one wants to be told they have potential, and I’ve heard it all my life. You know what that really means? It means you COULD be awesome but you aren’t. It means you are not living up to what you were created for. It means you are wasting space, time, and the skin you are in. And I find myself saying this in my dating life about the person I am dating. “But he has so much potential.” So why do I constantly find myself and my friends choosing guys with potential who aren’t striving to live up to that? It’s not an admirable quality. I mean I don’t expect everyone to fully live up to his or her own potential, but I do expect everyone to be TRYING their hardest. Circumstances in our lives definitely hinder us in fulfilling our potential, but it doesn’t stop us from trying. And so, with that being said, these men that my single friends and I are finding are not even trying to live up to their potential. The problem here is that we are falling for the potential in these men guys and avoiding who they really are. I don’t know how many times I have caught myself saying, “Well, this isn’t who they really are. This is just because of circumstance A or B,” instead of realizing who they are is actually who they are in that moment, not who they could be. We fall in love with the IDEA of someone, rather than who they are. And then we wonder why we are disappointed. It’s time to take the blinders off and realize who people are. Stop making excuses for their mistakes and then maybe you won’t be embarrassed by who they are later. For some reason we find ourselves looking at these men as if they might be someone we should take a risk with. These best friends of ours that we think we should risk things with because how romantic would that be to have known someone intimately as a friend for thousands of years and to all of a sudden realize we love them? In reality, they are unemployed, living at home, deadbeats. But we think because they have potential that we will somehow be the ones to bring it out in them?! Sure…keep dreaming. 

 I am not a fixer. I don’t like dating men with the idea of fixing their problems. I want to genuinely fall in love with someone because of who they are. And I do. Well I start falling in love, and then all of a sudden these huge ridiculous dysfunctions arise. That is when I start making excuses for their potential, because they have shown me  lied to me about  who they are in the first place. I saw what I thought they were and fell for the charm. Maybe it is because I have so hopelessly loved love. I have always wanted it to work, so I force it… with potential. All for the sake of not being embarrassed by publicly ending a facebook relationship status in such a short time.   

Good Riddance 2013

Dear 2013,

Seriously?! Seriously?! What an ironic year you were. I love how you decided to throw good things at me that were really extremely negative, hidden with glitter and a big bright bow. I will give you this: you started off right with graduate school. Even though you felt the need to drag out my working full time well into the semester, I was able to cope and persevere with straight A’s and eventually quit a job that sucked too much out of me, which actually led me to believe I deserved more. Thus I ended a relationship that I wasn’t quite ready for because I knew myself better than ever, and I booked a flight to Haiti. I do thank you for that. You gave me courage.

While you gave me the solace of running, hiking, and kayaking you also gave me running injuries and over 100 mosquito bites. I thought it just HILARIOUS that you delivered jury duty. I bet you slapped your knee at that one. As soon as jury duty was over, you delivered a full semester of Shakespeare. I am not sure which one you got more joy from. I got you back by attending Wine Wednesday with my girls every week before my night class followed by weekly dinners with my gay best friend. You tried to kill my spirit, but I am too resilient for you. 

I thought you had given me the gift of a man with no complications about halfway through the year. Really, it was just your way of showing me I need not break promises to myself. I jumped into a relationship instead of keeping my promise of not dating until the summer was over. Your message came through LOUD AND CLEAR. No more broken promises to myself. Thanks for that. 

You gave me a breath of fresh air for the rest of the fall. I finally took the plunge into singledom and greatly enjoyed every second. You brought me friends from NYC to Knoxville. You connected me with people I needed, some even from my hometown who I wouldn’t have met had I not been through some of the horridness you brought me. You gave me nights on the town, road trips to visit someone I had no idea I would miss so much, strength to walk away from annoyances. You gave me life again. 

And you took life. You were all about tough lessons and tears. You took two friends’ dads, an iconic country legend, and a best friend. That’s enough don’t you think? You made me cry, which I don’t do very often. You even found the need to make me cry in front of my entire family at a wedding I was PHOTOGRAPHING!! That’s real mature 2013, real mature. 

Well, let me tell you something 2013…you may have taken a lot from me and you may have taught tough lessons, but I came out on top. I conquered you. I have the best group of friends. I have life. More than ever…I have life. 

Sincerely,

V

Letter to him…

My dear, my lovely…Bryan,

The words that follow are things I never thought I would write. I never thought I would cry this much again. I don’t even know where to begin. There are no words, honestly. I miss you. I can’t seem to articulate anything eloquently enough to describe the way I feel. The gratefulness that I had you in my life again for four short months. The last time you hugged me as if it would be the last, and it was. I am fighting believing it all, even now. You were my strength in so many ways. I know you probably didn’t realize it, but knowing we were in similar places in life made it so much easier to go through it. And talking to you every week made for some peace of mind. You always made me feel that I truly deserved the best. 

This is worse than any breakup because this is so final. You are gone…and my first thought was, “How could you leave me?” We were supposed to talk through life together. We were supposed to work through being single together and encourage each other to get through it. We were supposed to hike some of the AT together because that’s what you do when you go through a breakup. You do something crazy that you’ve always wanted to do and I dye my hair because that’s what women do. So we were to do both. And you left me.

But before you left you gave me the best gift you could, your time. And now, I have something I never thought I would with you. Memories. I can see you drinking coffee in my kitchen and harassing me for not recycling as you slapped my knee. I see you on my front porch looking out at views you missed. I remember our conversation as clear as day when you decided to visit on a whim. You had this excitement in your voice as you did something you normally wouldn’t, and I will never forget wrapping my arms around you for the first time in years. I will forever remember dancing with you…if that’s what you call dancing. I will cherish the stories you told me as you described your growth in the last eight years, and your voice will resound when I think of the excitement I felt seeing your name show up on my phone. I will forever soak in every thought I have of you and the memories we were able to create in such a short time.  I am so grateful to have had those sweet moments with you. 

Missing you,

Virginia

Thanks for the memories?

I have started searching through some old writings to find some inspiration. Wow, talk about digging up some demons. It’s wild how some things haunt us and how you can remember things like it was yesterday. Such as an imprint on the floor of your first apartment left behind from the suitcase of the one you loved. It stayed there for days as a constant reminder that he was gone leaving a looming question of when you would see him again, and it is now imprinted in your mind forever. In reality, it was just a duffle bag with too much crap for one man in it. In your head, it represented utter and complete loneliness. It reminds you of the taste of dry toast because that’s all you could eat through the copious amount of crying, so NOT discreetly done in your bathroom so no one would hear. And then you realize you never want to feel that lonely again. So a wall begins to build. A wall with a promise inscribed saying you will never let yourself cry like that again, and 7 years later, you haven’t. In fact, when you want to cry like that, you can’t. You just kind of stare aimlessly thinking that the emptiness will fill. But then your best guy friend wears the same cologne as someone you never thought you would fall for. And that immediately puts you back in this stupid chair in his bedroom on the night he, the one you thought you could never love, came up behind you and tilted your head back to kiss you. Then you wonder how many girls he did that exact same thing to, because you found you could never trust anything he said. And then that reminds you of the many others that have deceived you and brought you right here where you are. At this suffocating circle surrounded and all consumed by doubt that you will ever make the right choice when it comes to men because you have fallen for all the wrong ones. So, when you do start liking someone and they have one small negative characteristic remotely similar to someone within the past 8 years, you run. You shut down, you stop listening, and then you question. You have lost all concept of what you can and can’t handle and everyone is practically yelling at you telling you they are different and it’s not the same or they have changed or they will never treat you like so and so did. Or the worst one of all, that maybe your choices are a little extreme. The wall that started building because of a few tears is now a fortress that is almost immovable. And it’s only you that can decide how those walls will break, if  they should, and who will get in. With each new person, it’s this  viscous cycle that spins and spins and you are no longer part of it, you are in the middle of it and everything spins around you. Memories haunt you, people are yelling at you, deceit is everywhere and you are only able to watch and shut yourself in…OUT OF FEAR! Fear of continuing to do everything wrong and choosing wrong. And then all of a sudden, you break free. You realize you ARE that fortress that you built and the reason things are the way they are is because you have chosen them. That circle around you explodes and you have truly embraced the choices you have made, including the one to remain single for 10 more months or maybe 10 more years. You are CHOOSING to break free of all that crap. You are running from the norm and doing the best thing for you. While there are memories that will continue to haunt you, you are the one choosing to let them. React differently. Dig deeper. Find out why things affected you certain ways. Learn when you need to remove yourself from situations. Listen to God when he says things are over. Don’t argue. Don’t make deals with God especially when your heart is on the line. Trust me…I am still mending from when I decided to take over. He knows what He is doing. Learn to break free of those pesky memories. Figure out YOU and what YOU what and who YOU are!

A little advice

It’s funny how things can make you numb. It’s kind of frustrating. I mean, there are things that I call my best girls about because I know I should be feeling something more. So I question more than I should, and I make smaller things into bigger things because I don’t know how to feel sometimes. Aside from an initial attraction to someone I can’t connect romantically when the moments are right. (Not that I am supposed to right now.) I guess I am saying, even though I have sworn off relationships for a year, I still want to feel feelings toward someone so that I can execute will power in saying, “In a year, we can do this.” Things that used to sweep me off my feet all of a sudden don’t. Either I am getting unabashedly less romantic, putting walls up for the better so I don’t fall so hard and get hurt again, or I am losing hope that love actually exists. Not to be depressing, I just don’t see it much anymore. Of course maybe I never understood what love really is in the first place. Divorce rates are probably higher than they have ever been. Affairs are all to common. What’s happening? Well, I can’t answer that, but I can tell you some tips I have learned from my past relationships disasters. And these apply for both men and women. 

  • First and foremost, follow your gut. It’s not just gas from dinner last night. That weird feeling that makes you concerned is not butterflies in your stomach. You know what butterflies feel like. You know the difference, yet you make excuses and justify the bad behavior of a first date or lack of dates. If you have any bit of doubt, don’t continue. There are so many people out there. Don’t stay with someone who makes you feel like you have gas.
  • Secondly, women, don’t be with a man who can’t take you out on a date. And guys, if she’s not worth a date then she’s not worth a relationship. Dates are not over rated. They are old-fashioned, romantic, and necessary. Yet somehow, asking a woman where she wants to eat and paying for it is considered a date these days. Surprise us! Take us out and make us feel special. Don’t make us plan it. Women, let the guys do this. Don’t get all controlling about it. Let them romance you, as they should. I’ve been guilty of fighting off the romance and I regret it. Don’t be prideful. I’ve also been guilty of letting guys think that coming over to watch a movie is a first date. I’m sorry, if you aren’t picking me up at my house and taking me out somewhere, it’s not a date. We ALL give up on pursuing and desiring each other. We put ourselves on a couch making out before we’ve even awkwardly held hands at a movie theater. We are TOO comfortable.
  • Pay attention to the relationships with family. If a person cannot honestly find something good about their parents, they are not ready for a relationship. I know not all parents are as great as mine 🙂 (love you mom). I know some dads are abusive and moms are hateful, but there is ALWAYS something to be learned in bad relationships. With parents and family, make sure the person you are interested in can say something nice about their family. Pay attention to how often they talk. What do they talk about? Heed negative jabs as warnings. You know when someone is joking and when they are not. I received so many warnings that I ignored and shrugged off as jokes.
  • On the same note, make sure their own family actually likes them. Believe it or not, I have dated more than enough people whose families can’t stand them. THAT’S A REALLY BAD SIGN!!
  • In the same way that a person should be able to find good things about bad family relationships, so it goes with past romantic relationships. When relationships end, a person should grow. I feel like I have grown and am continuing to grow. If a person can’t look back to someone they loved and remember why, then there are still feelings there that shouldn’t be. Hatred toward a person is a very strong emotion. It means there is still pain there. It means things have not been let go. If they haven’t let go of someone, they can’t hold on to you. DON’T JUSTIFY THIS! If they haven’t moved on, they don’t have time for you, and you don’t deserve that.
  • Make sure they have friends. Good friends. Make sure they hang out with their friends. Someone who has to see you everyday is not healthy. They are not well with their own being. They should want to see you, but they should have friends that are just as important. They should want you meet their friends. And by gosh, they should want to meet yours. The whole “your friends, not mine” argument is invalid and usually means they are hiding something. If they are genuinely interested in you, they will genuinely be interested in your friends.
  • Don’t date someone with kids if you aren’t ready. If the other parent is still alive, you are in for it. Don’t let them tell you otherwise, there will ALWAYS be another woman or guy in the relationship. If you can’t handle that (and I clearly couldn’t at the time) DO NOT do it. Don’t think it’s gonna work because you have “such a romantic connection blah blah blah.” It won’t. Refer back two bullet points. If it’s gonna work, you should never have to see the ex early on in a relationship. You shouldn’t even meet the kids for 6 months. Be strong about that. Honestly, you shouldn’t have to be strong about that. The parent should be strong enough for the both of you.
  • Pay attention to what your interest does in their free time. If they can’t bring something to the conversation, they aren’t worth your time. They should have hobbies more than just video games. Nothing is more disgusting than someone who lays around all day long, all the time. Granted, there are days allowed for vegging out. When someone literally means “nothing” when you ask what they did that day, it’s a BAD SIGN! And pay attention to how they eat and take care of their body. You will adapt those habits.
  • Manners are not overrated. Much like dating. Pay attention to manners. Guys should be opening doors. Girls should be classy.
  • If you talk about faith, ask them why. Find out more than if they just believe in something. Ask why.
  • Ask the tough questions. If they say something odd, dig deeper. Don’t shrug it off. Deal with it then and there. If you feel they are lying, they probably are.
  • Lastly and most importantly, KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! Be confident in who you are, what you want, what you believe. Don’t be shy to walk away from the weirdos that line up at the door. Surround yourself with people who make you better.

(For my readers, I have a project for you. I want you to comment lessons you have learned. I will add them to a separate post later.)

Here’s to avoiding past mistakes and always growing.

 

Sick of This

Let me just give you the rundown: I’ve been a little sick this week. I only get sick like twice a year which of course means I am totally incapable of handling it when it does come around. I am the one that self-diagnoses through things like webMD which of course means I have every type of terminal illness and likely a new strain of the flu. I become patient zero and must contain myself within a plastic bubble, notifying everyone I have come in contact with in the last seven days. We don’t need an outbreak by golly!!

So, Monday: Productive day at school. Woke up two hours early all on my own with time to primp and make it to Lowe’s for some home repair errands. I was on top of it…as was my best friend, J-Dub. It was a Monday mind you, and we BOTH had it together so we BOTH knew the world was ending. Mondays are typically an accomplishment IF we get our coffee and make it out of the house. There was an impending doom because we were both happy on a Monday morning. 

Impending Doom: Celebratory Chinese Food. My brother-in-law and I decided we had both aced some major test and it was just necessary to indulge in some Chinese. BAD IDEA! Chinese needs to be planned…not made into a spontaneous trip to a buffet in the middle of an afternoon. Per usual at a Chinese buffet we ate our weight in General Tso’s and proceeded on with our drive home.

Now I am not blaming the Chinese…but it surely didn’t fight off whatever was culminating. By the time I get home I have a fever and chills. Not just any fever…the Bubonic Plague fever. Wrapped in sweats and a sweatshirt with my biggest blanket I curl up to watch my go to movie…Beauty and the Beast, of course. Feeling like my clothes are made of needles I fall asleep with all the lights on and call it a night. I made sure to inform my sister of my hide-a-key spot to collect my dead body the next day.

Tuesday morning: Definitely couldn’t make it to work or school…the fever and chills migrated to produce a horrible headache and sore throat. “No biggie,” I thought, “I will just go to mom’s house. That’s the cure all.” Mom was at work though…and the less comforting words of my brother were slightly uninviting. It’s ok though…tomato soup will help. Tomato soup is easy they say. Open the can they say. Not so much. I use Mom’s little handy-dandy mechanical can-opener that hangs under the counter. My soup drops…and not only drops but erupts all over the counter and walls and cabinets and stove and refrigerator. Every bit of me wanted to throw myself on the floor and cry…but after a few expletives a roll of paper towels I cleaned it up and proceeded with my soup. And that night…I gave up…so I passed out after a NyQuil.

Wednesday…I hope no one looked at me all day. Despite the lack of makeup, puffy eyes, and over-sized plaid button up I managed to get out of the house for school. Surely some hydration and cough drops would help. Except I couldn’t swallow from my tonsils being so swollen, so as I choked water down I grimaced…every time. If anyone was looking, it must have appeared that I was disgusted with their existence. I probably made countless enemies just by trying to hydrate. The cough drops I conveniently found in my medicine drawer were probably five years old..thus the wrapper was caked to the actual cough drop. I was able to pry one open in the middle of Brit Lit but the conversation I was having with myself about how disgusting they were probably made me look delusional.

I decided to self-medicate with Father Tom’s Pub. My lovely bar-tender John provided me with a nice coffee stout to warm me up and soft pretzels with this amazing HORSERADISH MUSTARD…I can’t explain the healing effects of this mustard. One must experience this on their own. Needless to say, I looked like I was crying…alone…at a bar. Pathetic. But hey…it helped me survive my night class.

Thursday: After a full night of coughing and turning and coughing some more, I took Thursday to rest again. And again I drove to my mom’s. I was appalled at my brother’s lack of desire to indulge in a two-hour Boy Meets World marathon. What a loser! 😉 Oh, and my poor mother…she endured my father and I arguing and being sick all evening. If you have ever seen Brian Regan’s skit about the femur ward you can envision my father and I. Actually…I will attach the link…it’s a must watch.

And finally…enough is enough. I headed to health services Friday morning.

“Hi! I am Dr. So and So and will be running a strep test and mono test. Is that ok? It involves a needle? We will also be amputating a limb and doing open heart surgery. Do you comply?”

Me: “Yes yes that’s fine.”

Dr: “Ok great! All tests are negative. I am going to issue you with some meds..blah blah blah and also you don’t need to run for at least 5 more days. Mmmkk?”

Me: “WHAT?!#&#*^A*#$(&(#&(#A&(^#(#(^#”

And he sends me on my way to class. Jerk. He needs his license revoked.

Honestly, Honesty

This is going to be a tough post for me to write, but I feel like you all deserve my honesty and raw emotions. I knew it would slap me in the face eventually. I think there is a honeymoon stage in being single just as there is in a relationship. I can’t reiterate enough how thankful I am to be where I am, but like I have said before, that does not mean I am not going to feel things other than happiness. While deep down, I have a joy about life and where I am, I do not always have the strength to smile just because I am happy. Sometimes other emotions override my ability to be happy.

The truth is I have, all my life, loved love. I have always anticipated that moment when I meet “the one.” I have never been ready to get married, but I think I have forced the idea of “the one.” I do believe it’s out there, but I feel that maybe my anticipation of it has rushed things for me in a lot of relationships. And for that, I apologize to any exes brave enough to read this. At the same time, I have always studied relationships and love with books, the bible, other people’s relationships and mentors to life as well as my fair share of field work. I wonder if my studying has prevented me from truly loving or if it has set my standards higher, where they need to be. And has my love of love made me rush things or just be a hopeless romantic to the core?

I started pondering on these thoughts this weekend. I want to start off by saying that I am so completely happy for my Aunt Lori. She has found her “one.” I was blessed to photograph the occasion and in the middle of the ceremony I broke into tears. For those of you who know me, I don’t cry often or publicly. I was overwhelmed with joy for her and her daughter as well as my new Uncle Mark.

While tears of joy fell for her, an overwhelming sense of loneliness came over me. You know, once the tears break, happy or sad, they don’t stop. I knew it would happen, that overwhelming-crawl-in-a-hole feeling. The problem was, I was in the middle of photographing a wedding. A wedding I was overjoyed for. Talk about a train wreck in my head. I thought I would be alone when it hit me.  I couldn’t escape all weekend and I didn’t want to because I hadn’t seen my family in years, but I so desperately wanted to at the same time. As I caved in and shut down on the inside I couldn’t escape that feeling. There was nothing I could do. I don’t remember much of my last day on that trip for the wedding because I just wanted to hide away, and regretfully, I know it showed. The hard part is that I do not want the obligatory responses of “Plenty of fish in the sea” and “with time, you will heal.” I know those things. I embrace those things. Right now, though, is the time for me to be lonely. I can’t explain why it hit when it did, and even now I am glad I am experiencing it. The loneliness brings solace because it is confirmation I am doing the right thing.