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“What Now?”

Happy New Year 2016

I began the new year watching The Aristocats with my partner all cuddled up in bed. Two and a half hours later, we were putting her suitcase into my car and left for the airport. Two hours from that, we entered the terminal together. And then fifteen or so minutes later I watched her enter gate 82 with tears streaming down my face. I left the terminal alone.

It happened so much faster than I thought it would. One second she was there and the next she was gone. Just like that, a giant hole of uncertainty appeared in my life. After months of disappearing into my classes and my partner, I finally came out the other side—uncertain and scared as ever.

My first thought was “Don’t go!”, of ‘course. But even in the midst of heartbreak I knew that sort of selfishness wasn’t what was right. My second thought was “I wish I could be getting on a plane right now.” I envied my partner’s freedom to start a new life when I was stuck in my old one. I wished I could be as brave as her so I might be able to one day leave behind my family, friends, and lover in order to achieve my dreams. But here I remain with my insecurities; there’s still work to be done.

What now? If only I knew. After bouts of sobbing, I decided to distract myself with sleep and binge-watching Girls. The productive moments of my day were talking on the phone with my friend Polly and skyping my partner after she settled in her new, temporary home. As for tomorrow and the next few months, who knows. I have ideas about painting, lifting weights, finishing the book I’m reading and trying to connect with friends. But ideas are flimsy and motivation can be hard to find—I pray I can be strong enough to fulfill my wishes to be self-relying, self-improving….that I can bat away ideas of self-destruction (a.k.a. bad distractions) and use my time wisely.

Something that’s been on my mind lately is my partner’s willingness to commit and talk about our future together. I see her hopefulness and it reminds me of the same kind of home that left me so broken-hearted this past year. I have a lot of fear about saying too many “One day…”‘s “When we [do this]…”‘s and “Someday”‘s. But I look at the way she treats me and it makes me want to shake out all of my fear, because who could ever love me or care for me better than her? However, I remain hesitant.

I’ve decided to quit worrying about planning my future extensively and  what I’m “supposed” to be doing. This year I want to focus on the now, and the things that will make me happy now. So, what makes me happy now is planning to visit my partner in Central America during spring break. I don’t care that there’s a lot of time in between now and then, and that other people may try to steal both of our hearts in the mean time. I don’t want my heart stolen; I don’t want to waste time on “what if”‘s. I’m not going to let these insecurities stop me…just because I may not have a plan for my career or my love life or my friendships doesn’t mean I should stop living.

There are bound to be screw-ups in 2016. And while I’m scared of making the same mistakes I did in 2015, I’ll be damned if I don’t at least try to take a chance on dreams, love, and inspiration this year… If I don’t keep opening myself up to experiences, I’ll stay this way forever.

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A Rant Session, From Me To Me

Sometimes, when I write on here I write for all of you WordPress people reading. I sit and I try and think of things that will matter to you and help you throughout your week, month, maybe even your whole life. But not today, not this post. This post is for me. I need to figure some things out, and those things just aren’t going to be in a nice and neat format with conclusions and introductions and explanations. They are coming straight from my head onto the keyboard:

 

What the fuck was that? That conversation we had

You went from pulling the maid position, sweeping all of your feelings and reservations under the rug to the prosecutor, airing out all of the things wrong that I made wrong

But where was your evidence?

“Something has changed” “I don’t know what I want” “I just feel like we are different right now” All of this was sprinkled onto the fix-this-mess cake, only where was my fork? Where was my knife? If I’m going to devour this mess I need the tools sitting in your hands and you just aren’t handing them to me

Until, oh get this:

“I think maybe we should try an open relationship again or take a break, because I don’t want things to stay like this.”

WHAT???!?! I’m sorry, WHAT?!?!?!

I was expecting you to put the fork and knife in my hands, not stab it in my fucking brain!

How was this a solution? It was like bombing a building that had the heat on too high…if that fucker is too warm, turn it off or open a window or blast the air conditioning…don’t just blow the whole thing up! And this wasn’t any old building, this was my home. You were bombing my home, our home, because somehow the heat was turned up too high.

“I just didn’t expect you to fall in love with her.”

And you think I did? You think I thought to myself, “Gee, she’s nice, why don’t I just hand over my vulnerability to her on a silver platter and stir the pot in my relationship of two years to the point of spilling?” You think I want my life to be this complicated? You think I want to sort out my feelings like I do laundry every time I come home to you?

I didn’t force you, I didn’t ask for this, you offered it. You told me you could handle this; how do you expect me to react to “something has changed”?

I want to fix it. I want things to be okay, to have that comfortable ease back in our steps and to float through this moment in our relationship with confidence and support. But I don’t want to have to be forced to let you fuck other people or to rip our relationship apart to do that.

That’s another thing, the sex. Stop looking at me like that

Stop saying “It’s okay, it’s okay.” I KNOW it’s okay to say no, it’s MY body. Stop constantly putting your hands all over it and reaching in my pants and breathing hard on my neck when I’m hanging out with my friends or cooking dinner or trying to wash my goddamn hair. Why can’t you just let me come to you, so I can remember what it’s like NOT to feel like I owe you sex

Why does it have to matter so fucking much to you when I don’t want it? It’s not personal, it’s not that I don’t find you attractive or that I don’t love you or that I’ve suddenly become a celibate monk—

It’s that I’m going to be on my fucking period here soon! It’s that my head is somewhere else and my body feels far away and that you aren’t saying what you are really thinking to me, you are just wanting the sex to fix what I didn’t even know was broken….

Until that conversation. That fucking conversation.

If you won’t say what is wrong than I will. What is wrong is that you aren’t talking, not about your feelings, about your life, about what dreams you had last night or what conversations you had with your mom. And what is wrong with me? I got busy, I got my life in a bit of a windstorm but I like it, I like to mix it up now and then. So I’m sorry if I’m not as readily available as I once was. But even though our future is on hold and my dreams are on hold and my heart seems on hold you know what isn’t on hold? NOW. This moment.

I’m so happy, and I want to share it with you. So tell me how to fix it, and if you don’t know than figure it out. Because I miss you and love you and want to get back to that place we were in when we conquered the world together, if that is possible with these new circumstances.

That fucking conversation. It put silence where should have been words.

“I Think I Can, I Think I Can…”

Here I am, world, lying in my bed typing out this silly thing, while the man I love lies asleep next to me at thirteen minutes past midnight. It’s like I’m already some ambitious 40 year-old who writes on a blog at the wee hours in the morning in semi-secret when she isn’t working some mediocre job and raising a couple of mangy kids.

While it may sound like that, I assure you that I’m still in college, and because I’m ambitious I have no mangy kids and no desire to be the person I just described 20 years from now.  If anything, I’m going to do this soul-searching bullshit now, so later in life I can write about less self-oriented things and start writing novels like I used to. But, here I am, listening to my boyfriend breathe deeply (slightly on the verge of snoring sometimes, but it’s more cute than bothersome) and trying to write something about my life that will be both meaningful (ha!) and something people actually read (double ha!).

On a side note, I really do miss writing stories like I used to. My last one was getting sort of good actually, and for the longest time I was so excited about it… But it’s not good enough. I always wanted to write a story that impressed people, but I think next time I should just try to write what I think people need to hear. After all, the books I love aren’t necessarily highly intellectual pieces of poetry, just stuff that I can relate to that sometimes makes me cry, fall in love with fictional people, and spend hours in curled up reading positions that make my entire body one giant foot cramp.

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So in my last post I had that to-do list. I’m making more progress than I thought I would!! I’ve done 8 of the 14 things, and started to do at least 2 other things. One of the things I’ll have to wait until I get to school to do, and another isn’t possible for me to do either. I’ve also been doing other productive things that weren’t on the list like spending time with my mom, figuring out what I’m going to give my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day (because let’s face it, once that swings around I’ll be totally focused on participating in the Vagina Monologues), getting my car looked at before I make the two hour drive back to school, and spending time with my friends before they go back to school. It’s been a wee bit stressing, but actually more fulfilling than I had imagined. More than ever, I feel hopeful and positive about this new semester at school. There’s a lot of changes since last semester, such as:

  1. My dorm is now on the opposite part of campus that I never went to because it is completely out of the way…but it is also closer to downtown, so hopefully that will inspire me to go exploring!
  2. My best friend at college, Caitlin, is now no longer two floors above me and is in a different dorm on the opposite part of campus…looks like I’ll be getting a lot of exercise going to see her.
  3. My work hours have changed…get to meet more co-workers!
  4. My classes are all in the morning/early afternoon…at least I won’t be having my two o’clock nap in class anymore.

It’s a major disrupt to my comfort zone at school, these changes, but I know I’ll get into a new routine in no time. Plus, this semester I’m focusing more on branching out and trying new things, so what better way than with a brand new space and some brand new people! I’m really proud of myself for putting it in those positive terms, by the way. Whenever I first got my new dorm assignment, I believe my words to describe it was, “I’m not fucking living in that hell-hole!” So as you can see, I’ve adopted a more zen approach to this semester.

One thing I’m still not all chipper about is the knowledge that my wonderful boyfriend and I will be parted once more. Long-distance relationships suck you-know-what, and I highly recommend not falling in love with someone who doesn’t live at most an hour away. The worst part is, a part for the distance itself, is that every time I try to talk to him about it I end up crying. I hate crying!! I feel like he’s watched me cry like five times over the duration of Christmas break and the last thing I want to be is a giant sap-pot. If only he wasn’t so comfortable to talk to and cry on….he brings this on himself.

Anyway, all I want is to love him and be loved by him. Even though the distance is an issue, I’ve realized that I’m happier loving him than I am pretending I don’t (a prime example: our entire three week break-up). I know we won’t be able to have the same physical comfort and affection we have when we are together all the time, but if last semester taught me anything, it’s that I only want those things from him, even if they don’t come as easy. I want to be with him, to love him, maybe even for the rest of my life. But life has a funny way of taking everything familiar to you and turning it upside down.

I guess we’ll just see how it all turns out. Maybe we will get through this, maybe this semester will be the best of my life (or at least better than the last), maybe I’ll complete my entire to-do list and I won’t end up still pining after my teenage dreams while I’m forty. I don’t know if any of that will become true, but it’s what I need to believe.

I_think_i_can

 

(Click below to hear what I’ve had stick in my head while writing this!)

Friends, Frats, and Feelings

One of my biggest anxiety traps is when I begin to compare my social life to everyone else’s. That’s when the doubts and the insecurity fill me up–after all, if I’m not having as much fun as most people or am being hit on as much as most girls are or even have as many friends as most people it must be because I’m too shy, not pretty or skinny enough, not interesting… And I will admit, that’s pathetic. I know I am better than that bullshit. I had my insecure years through middle school and my doubts whenever guys have treated my unfairly; I need to stop thinking that what is right for other people is necessarily right for me. But…that doesn’t take the sting of occasional loneliness away. Well…actually I wouldn’t call it loneliness, just a lack of comfort that I had with friends from home. You know that comfort you have around old friends where silence is okay sometimes and there’s never any pressure to be more or less than what you are? That’s it. That’s the sting I’m talking about.

I did however, make one big step onto the social scene yesterday. I went to my first college frat party! And before you get the impression that I got rip-roaring drunk, let me tell you that I did not. I did drink a little bit though, and I did actually have fun without being drunk. My new friend that I went to high school with (see last post), let’s call her Caitlin, had a great time cracking up about what the completely trashed girls we went with were saying. And I don’t mean that in a cruel way, just in a goofy way. They were very open about what they wanted (to have sex) and very affectionate (“you’re SO NICE!”), and if was just sort of funny to hear them go on about things (“I am not a drunk…I mean, I party every night and everything, but I am not a drunk, I pinky promise.”). And it was fun to dance and see what a real frat house looked like. The frat guys were ridiculous, though. Most of them were completely wasted, and took things like minor eye-contact as an invitation to come over and introduce themselves and their sleazy, crooked smiles. So some stuff like that was pretty stereotypical. There was chugging, there was grinding on the dance floor, there were guys in togas, the ol’ same things you’d expect from a university frat. Girls were dressed as angels from heaven and satan from hell, but then there were others in cocktail dresses, jean shorts, and T-shirts. The floors were always sticky and wet from spilled alcohol, empty cans and cups were scattered about. But like I said, not bad time. It was interesting to witness all of it and think, “So people actually live like this…”.

It made me miss my boyfriend, though. Sure, there were tons of cute guys, but that only made me think of how much I wanted MY cute guy. And around him I never feel insecure about if I have a pimple on my nose or am not wearing the cutest outfit, I know he doesn’t just see someone to sleep with, but someone to BE with. I only have 6 more days until I see him, though, so I’m trying to stay positive. Not having him around isn’t as easy as having him at my side all the time…that’s were some of this insecurity comes in. Around him I feel great, but not having that confidence boost constantly is going to take some getting used to. As bad as it sounds, convincing me to like me takes more work than convincing anyone else. Somehow my boyfriend knows how to convince me, though. And if it wasn’t enough to miss him for him, now I also miss who I am when I’m around him.

But after a day of sleeping in and watching three Harry Potter movies with Caitlin, being the sort of girl who is only satisfied by going out every night doesn’t sound too appealing, anyway.

Signs Of Life

Well, here I am. I am here, in this dorm, in this campus, in this city, this state, this world, this life. What’s it like? Like the first part of my life was a quiet pasture, and now I find myself wandering in the mountains (grand, steep, and slippery…). Suddenly LIFE has rushed into my space, a wave of wonder and independence live on my doorstep. There are people everywhere, there are events all the time, and how much or little of it you take is all up to you. Some parts of college I expected, but others never crossed my mind. Such as, how friendly people can be that first week. Nearly everyone will just introduce themselves to a stranger and be interested to know where they’re from, what their major is, and what dorm they’re in. With so many people swarming around, I’m surprised I felt like I had air to breathe. And getting a routine down, getting used to my new surroundings? A snap. Feeling at ease? That happens as soon as you make your first friend.

What about my first college friends? Well, I was standing in the dining hall, holding my plate, when these girls at a nearby table asked if I wanted to join them. I was sort of hovering near their table, hoping they would do this. Not that I didn’t have the guts to ask myself, but because the only time their mouths weren’t open talking was when they were waiting to see if I would sit down or not. I sat down, and people got up from the table just as more came along. So I met a lot of people, and ended up staying at the dining hall until close with three of them. And then we all walked around campus. And then, just like that, I had friends. Now that it’s been over a week, our friendship has faded a bit. They all live in a different dorm, and stick together like glue. And I guess glue just forgets to invite the outsider to lunch or whatever. But life goes on. Ironically, this girl I went to high school with is not only in my dorm, but is the cousin of my roommate.  Though we didn’t talk much in high school, we’ve actually become pretty close lately. She has a long-distance boyfriend back in our hometown, so we like to discuss how much we hate seeing couples around campus because our boyfriends aren’t here to hold our hands and make us seem obnoxious to other people in long-distance relationships. It’s been going well so far.

How did I feel when my parents left me? Relieved. Sad. Alone. Unsure. They cheerfully told me I’d have fun, gave a hug each, and hopped in the car to drive away while I sat in my car crying. I would have been ok if I had someone familiar and comforting like my boyfriend at my side, but realizing that he was also gone made me cry harder.

Speaking of him, long distance actually hasn’t been too bad. Don’t get me wrong–it sucks immensely. But we talk everyday, and staying busy helps a lot. There’s also little things that help, like counting down the days until I see him again (8!) and talking with my new friend from high school. I miss cuddling, hand-holding, hugging, even just seeing his face….but I know if I wait, those things will come back to me when I come back to him.

As for my mental health, I’m very proud of myself. I’ve been working out everyday, sometimes with a few girls from my floor, and try to do something social everyday too, even if it’s just grabbing dinner with someone. I’ve also been taking my medicine everyday, and only talk with my old high school gang or family every once-in-a-while so I don’t start to feel homesick. Also, I’ve started my new job at the on-campus copying center, which makes me feel good too.

So, no, nothing about college is perfect (especially the classes, but I’ll get to those another time), but I’m confident that I’ll be able to stand back up in moments of weakness and brush the dirt off my shoulders. That’s what being an adult is all about, isn’t it?

The Perks of Being Scared Sh*tless

I haven’t written or checked the ol’ blog in a while, so here I am. And what do I have to say this time? A lot. About what? A lot. A lot of bullshit, probably, but ultimately things that matter such as:

-College. Have I mentioned that I leave next Tuesday?

-My last post. Someone actually read it.

-Long-distance relationships. Will we make it?

-Sex and pregnancy. It seems as if everyone is getting pregnant and it’s freaking me out.

-My last group therapy. *Sniffle sniff*

So, let’s begin. I move into my dorm next Wednesday, at about 8 or so in the morning. Not only will I probably be sleep deprived from insomnia and anxiety, but I will also be engaging in physically demanding work while a) trying not to have a complete freak out, and b) loving my parents while also hating my parents for being so old and clueless. And then, after my half of the matchbox-sized dorm room is filled with crap, my parents will leave me. Suddenly, that first day of preschool will become totally understandable again, as I try not to cry when my parents abandon me in a strange, foreign place. And then what? I unpack? I go out and try to make a friend? I hide under the covers?

At least I know I’m not alone. My high school friends are freaking out, too. Lately we’ve all been spending time together, soaking up our low-maintence fun before having to begin the high-maintence task of making new friends. One of them actually approached me about how I was handling everything going on…see, she read my last post and was a tad concerned. Immediately I felt bad because I thought none of my friends ever bothered reading this anymore, and wrote about it in the post she read. I also felt bad because I realized she cares about me a lot, and I’ve always neglected to come to her when I’m feeling upset. And then there was also just maybe fifteen minutes ago when I logged onto my blog and saw that a few WordPress readers liked it. That made me feel a bit bad too. But, alas, everyone gets in a bitchy mood sometime, and at least when it is written down it is optional to listen to.

Speaking of listening, everyone who has given me advice about my upcoming long-distance relationship is saying the same thing: make it or break it. It’s all about the work you put into it, and how much you both want it to work. Well great. Great. I’m left with the realization that if my relationship fails, it will be because one of us will either cheat or be too lazy to keep trying. That information is like a sack of potatoes, awkward and pressure-filled, balancing on the top of my head while I hula hoop with a ring of fire.

One thing about working at McDonald’s in this day and age is that the majority of my coworkers a) have kids b) are pregnant and c) are around my age. Everyone is squeezing them out. And all of those after-school specials I watched as a goofy middle-schooler are catching up with me; if you are having sex, does that pretty much make you doomed to have an unplanned pregnancy? That’s the LAST THING I need before leaving for college. Maybe I’m just worried because I don’t want to end up like Candace off of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, aborting some unwanted baby. The only thing I want to abort is Taco Bell from my stomach after one too many tacos. And even then, I’m aware of the down-sides.

There is just so many endings going on right now. Tonight I said my goodbyes to my grandparents, Tuesday night I said my goodbyes to group… Ugh, it was so sad. I’m happy that everyone in the group is in a good place now, but I know whenever I’m all screwed up again I’ll need them and want to hear about their lives. A few of them have become part of my family in a way, and I want them to be in my life still. For over a year we’ve been spilling out our souls to each other…that bonds people, you know?

But I know I’m doing the right thing by going away to college. It’s a new beginning, with new possibilities to change my life, blah blah blah, inspirational garbage. All I know is that the things that scare you are the ones worth while, so I’m right where I should be.

Being-Optimistic

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