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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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Trusting Time (and Nothing Else)

I guess it just takes time. Time to go from wanting to tear up at their voice to being unable to recognize it. Time for songs that used to be “our song” to go from utterly heartbreaking to enjoyable. Time to become someone else, without him.

This is the post where I rant and talk about how much I hate him while fully knowing that it’s not true. I want to hate him, is all it is. I want to punch him in the face so he might feel a fraction of the hurt that I feel, but I won’t. I’m trying my hardest to be mature and act like an adult in this situation…but that doesn’t mean I’m not seething on the inside.

I hate seeing guys that cram their pockets full of receipts, random change, and a wallet they’ve probably had since 8th grade. I hate seeing guys with freckles and calm, reassuring voices. I hate hearing people talk about politics and current events, or video games or even cheesy TV shows. I hate seeing people on the sidewalk with their shoes untied. And I hate him for ruining those things for me.

I hate tomorrow. I’m going to this amazing concert with one of my best friends Polly, but I know that the whole time I’ll be thinking about the wedding I was supposed to go to with Fred. I’ll be thinking about how much I love his family, how dressed up I wanted to get so he could dance with me and I could pretend he was mine. I hate that I no longer get to be there to share in that special moment with all of those people I love. I’m ready to write off Fred, because he’s an ass that cheated and lied, but I can’t bear the thought of breaking up with his family. I thought they were only to be my family one day.

I hate not having one of my best friends around anymore. I hate that in moments of uncertainty I still want to call him and ask for his advice. I still want to tell him when I try something new, like a TV show or food or even a new song. I still feel myself miss his arms wrapped around me, and waking up to his breathing…even though I lost those things way before I found out he cheated. I had lost a lot of things already, but I hadn’t lost my best friend. He might have been a crappy partner, but he was a great best friend.

But we can’t be just friends. I’m not naïve enough to convince myself I can get over him if he visits my college town or texts me now and then. After a while I would get used to him caring, and that would probably be the precise moment he would stop. He’s hurt me so much already, there’s nothing left for him to love or hurt anymore.

And it’s all left me with this big mess of a life. Most things haven’t changed, but my relationships with other people definitely have. I don’t know what is right for me to do…I don’t know what is best for me. All I know is that as soon as I got off the phone with him after I told him I never wanted to see him again, I dove into my roommates arms and sobbed, “How am I ever going to trust anyone again?”

I don’t know what’s scarier, the fact that the person I believed was my soul mate cheated on me, or that I was foolish enough to ever think otherwise. The trust I lost in my own judgement is what keeps me up awake at night.

The Story of This Blog

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Here’s the thing about having a blog–I constantly have so many ideas about things to do to make it more interesting, so many possibilities gripping me every time I see the plainness of each page (or lack thereof) that I’m constantly dissatisfied. Everything I write seems really whiny and awful too. It lacks the depth I desire….but at the same time isn’t fluffy enough to be entertaining to most. Having a blog is such an antsy process…you constantly want change, but are completely uncertain of how to go about it!

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 When I started blogging, I did not picture myself an old hippie dude sitting on an English-style toilet. And, thankfully, that’s not a completely accurate example of how I write today. But it still isn’t the stylish image society leads you to believe where I’m sitting in some indie coffee shop drinking chai tea and wearing a beret. It’s more of a sitting-in-my-sweats-on-my-bed-in-my-mess-of-a-bedroom. There’s no beret, and to be perfectly honest I’ve never drank chai tea because it sounds disgusting. I know, I know…I sound like such a terrible writer. After all, it’s a complete abomination to be a wannabe writer and not live in New York City, not wear mostly black, and to be a non-hip  coffee drinker! *cue Alfred Hitchcock sound effects* But I guess I’m a rebel that way. Wait–except I’m not a good rebel either. I don’t have a cool tattoo, I’m not some kick-ass roller derby chick, I don’t have a short, edgy haircut. If I matched the person I am in my head, I’d be that person. But instead I’m this sort of misfit, less-read and Eminem-listening-to version of Hermonine Granger from Harry Potter. Only the Hermonine from the books–not the stunning Emma Watson. Who writes a blog. About depression and the weird stuff that happens in her life. (If you’re not familiar with Hermonine, I’ve also been compared to Tina Fey in the most modest sense.)

I decided to start the blog for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I was writing these essay-type journal entries about issues I couldn’t change,blogging20requires20passion20and20authority but still wanted people to listen to and read. But I didn’t want anyone in real life to know it was me. So I decided to make an anonymous blog where I could just be myself without having the people I knew in real life picking apart each word and twisting it into something that would fit their judgements of who I am. I wanted a place to put all of this passion, this need to do something helpful in one spot where people could read and listen if they wished. Only here I am, over a year later, and all of this passion I had about the world has been pasted over with criticisms about not being funny enough, not being smart enough, not being entertaining enough, not being tech savvy….and where do these criticisms come from? From me, of course.

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There are so many times when I will come to the ‘Add New Post’ menu only to exit out, afraid that what I have to say will not be worthy enough. I live so much of my life through misplaced emotions, relationships that have gone astray, and that is what I write. But what I truly want for my life is the ability to roam, to go witness people and places and things long forgotten that once meant something—maybe even meant everything. That is what I want to share with the world, and write about for you all. But that is not the life I am living right now, and until I do, I will never be good enough for myself.

So far I have only lived a life of wanting this–when will I finally have a chance to live it? When will there come a day where I feel good, feel useful, and feel at ease with the knowledge that I am doing what I was meant for?

People write blogs for all sorts of reasons…maybe this is just proof to myself, to everyone, that I am indeed alive when I feel so stagnant where I am. 59-love-is-writing-a-blogOr maybe this was always about finding a way to love myself while time passes…While I felt alone.

There is one question I always like to ask myself when I make decisions about what I’m doing in life—“I am alive; but am I really living?” I want to start living…now.

Click here to listen to what I’ve been listening to while writing this post!

Status of Life or Standard of Life?

Here’s one of my many problems with Facebook. Whenever I log onto it I expect to be emotionally numb. After all, I really don’t care about how much you hate your job at Wal-Mart and are about to dye your hair red again, even though your eyebrows are a totally different color. I just sift through this information as I drink my coffee in the dining hall, silently musing about how rare it is that people who are actually interesting never post on Facebook, yet people log on it all the time. Oh the information age, how you have lowered our standards… Anyway, what gets my gears going, though, is how you can be friends with someone on Facebook and out of the blue you can have this strong emotional reaction to it.

We all experience this–whether it’s your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, your old best friend from high school, or that crazy relative we all have in the family. Someone starts posting stuff about politics, how unhappy or happy they are, or even shares a link to one of those YouTube videos where someone with cancer is asking for help, and BAM! Suddenly while you’re waiting in line at Taco Bell you’re pissed as hell or on the verge of tears.

And it can be the dumbest things, too. SoAndSo is off surfing in Hawaii while you’re at home doing laundry on a Saturday night, or just got engaged to someone they met six months ago, or just uploaded a bunch of horrifying selfies and all of a sudden we are sitting there wondering why the heck we care as much as we do. After all, it’s Facebook, the website made for keeping track of people you won’t bother to text or call. You’re not supposed to give a damn–so why do you?

Life, that’s why. None of us have the perfect life we want, and few of us are content to be happy with what we have. So we pick at other people’s lives to make ourselves feel better–or compare our lives to theirs to make ourselves feel worse. It’s a vicious cycle that crops up at the worst of times, like when you are sitting at work taking a break from studying and BAM! There’s that asshole who never texted you again after a week of blowing up your phone. And look at how happy they are! And look at what one of their friends said in the comments of that picture! Don’t you flirt with them and say they have a great smile! They’re mine!

…Well, they were….

And there you have it. Bam, just like that, you start to feel crappy. Why did you even like that asshole? Didn’t you see it coming, how they’d ditch you so suddenly? How could you be so stupid? The real question is, though:

When did treating ourselves like this become a part of society?

And I’m not just ragging on Facebook, because after all, it’s not the website’s fault. It’s how people use it. Why do we analyze every aspect of our lives and compare them to this unrealistic image we have of the lives of the people around us? Why are we never content with what we have, and our goals all come from what we think would make our lives that much more perfect. Why is it all about trying to be perfect? Why do we think that equals happiness?

The happiest people I’ve met are the ones with average lives, who are content with their crazy families, their small houses, their run-of-the-mill jobs, and their imperfect spouses. They are the people who know that what matters now won’t matter in twenty years, and that all you can ask for in life is to have things to be happy for.

Just some thoughts for the night that may be right or wrong.

Ah well, back to studying.

Stressin’ On Lessons

So, here I am, about thirty minutes away from taking a philosophy exam, and am I studying? Nope. Am I thinking of sex? Yup. Gotta love being a human, right? If I was a damn computer I could focus, but instead my mind is buzzing with possibilities. I guess that’s just what happens when you are infatuated with someone.

Well, I shouldn’t say infatuated. Just…curious. And curiosity is dangerous, which is kind of why I like this so much. Every step I take that is closer, is a step that sets me on edge, and I love that feeling. I love it so much I could get addicted to it.

I guess I should explain. See, a week ago I was determined to make a solid guy friend like all the ones I have back home. So I hung out with this guy I met at a party, just studying over some pancakes. I told him about my boyfriend, and he was totally cool with that. And the more he kept talking, the more we kept talking, the more I knew I had to kiss those sweet, full lips. I knew if I was going to be friends with him I would always want him in the back of my mind. So when he dropped me off at my dorm, and he hugged me goodbye, I stayed in the car. I just couldn’t get out. Finally I looked over at him and said, “Please don’t judge me.” Then I leaned over and pulled him toward me until our lips locked furiously. It was taking a giant breath of air after holding it for hours… My entire body felt ALIVE. “This can never happen again, okay?” I said to his eyes, those huge blue eyes, after I pulled away. “Okay,” he said back, and then I dove straight back into his arms. In that car, we were safe from the outside world, the decisions that were considered “right” and “wrong”. I never wanted to leave, but in the back of my mind my boyfriend was haunting my thoughts. “Fuck!” we both said, realizing again that yes, there was a boyfriend in the picture. I got out of the car and was shaking as I walked up the stairs into my dorm. Once I closed the door to my room behind me, reality came crashing down. It was only a few kisses, but it wasn’t at the same time.

Fast forward a week. Here I am. And I’ll be seeing him tomorrow night. But what about my boyfriend, right? Well, over my birthday weekend my boyfriend was super sweet to me. A real saint, making small talk with my parents, joking around with my friends…and all I could think about was having to tell him we needed time apart, to not be so serious. He was a saint, and I was a dick. I was really struggling that whole weekend, lots of crying, lots of smoking up some leftover high school habits. It’s pretty safe to say it was the wort birthday I’ve ever had. But I hate my birthday, anyway, so I don’t really give a shit. Anyway, one day while I was at work I wrote my boyfriend a sort-of break up letter that explained how I needed us not to be so serious. So that night on my birthday, I gave him the letter. And he read it, and he understood.

But let’s clarify some things: see, if I hadn’t met that one guy over pancakes I would still be in this big, serious committed relationship, and eventually someone else would have come along and did what this one poor bastard did–which was made me realize how I don’t want to look back on these four years of college wishing I had done something else. It’s the things you don’t do that you regret, and if I am meant to be with my boyfriend I will find my way back to him. But for now, I’m not taking my chances on regretting not being the average college student. I’ve never been around so many available guys to date, and to tell myself to stay away has so far limited my experience to just being friends with girls, to not drinking, to not staying at school on the weekends and hanging out with people here. I just…Look, I don’t want to be an asshole, but I can’t ever get this time of my life back again, you know? This is the time to be young, free, and celebrate life…I can’t pass that up.

So here I am, maybe making a big mistake, maybe a big opportunity for something great, but either way I will learn a lesson I know I need to learn… Is this the right the right time for love, or is timing never an issue for love?

Passion & Passive

The quest to survive the hell-hole we call high school continues. Slowly.

So here’s what my day is composed of….I’m sure that you all are interested what this next generation is learning to prepare them for being in charge of the state of this country when you all are supposed to be enjoying retirement…. 1. I have pottery class, where I carve into clay for 45 minutes 2. I go to psychology, and we talk about all the scary mental illness and drugs we hope we never have to deal with 3. I go to Journalism, which means I waste time online 4. Astronomy, which usually means I sit and write what is on the board and sometimes sleep 5. Study Hall/ Nap Time 6. English Composition & Literature, time to sit and wish I was somewhere, almost anywhere else, and also think about what a failure I am 7. My Independent Study, where I read about the Crusades in between drifting off into la-la land 8. Creative Writing, I either write or wait for the final bell to ring

Does any of this seems productive to you?! Okay, so I know I could care about things more…or at least sleep less…but there is something to consider about these classes. After all, my body is simply reacting to my boredom. I want to graduate. I want to get my finals over with and done. I don’t want to be wasting my time day after day, waiting to get started on my future.

The stagnant pace of my life is catching up with me. Last night I was with my boyfriend, just playing around on the computer, and suddenly my thoughts started catching up with me. Sitting there watching him complete a level of this brand new game he downloaded was the most interesting part of my day. And I felt so disgusted with what I was doing with my life.

Not that watching him play computer games was at all bad, it just made me realize how spending time with him is the air I breathe to keep me going with everything I’m doing now. And I just feel like I should be more passionate about my life, EVERYTHING in my life. I want to be excited when I wake up in the morning! I want to be excited about everything I’m doing, not just about being with him (even though that is pretty exciting :)).

Summer will be here soon, I know, but soon isn’t soon enough… It’s time I start falling in love with life again, instead of waiting for it to fall in love with me. (I mean, think about it, people don’t fall in love with you if all you do is sit in your room, how could anything else? ….Damn you laziness, and your tempting ways!)

When Glasses Aren’t Full Or Empty…

Many people like to compare life to a rollercoaster. You have your highs and your lows. It all goes by too fast, and you can freak the fuck out when it gets to dangerous—especially when you know you can’t get off the ride. So what’s to do? If life were an actual rollercoaster, would anyone really want to choose the timid, kiddy coasters in comparison to the thrilling, scary ones? Or the other way around, would anyone take the risk if they were exactly sure what it was?

Usually in the books and movies, main characters are hit upside the head with a moment of clarity at the climax of our story. Maybe someone tells them the truth, maybe their best friend gives them advice, maybe a lover pours out their heart, maybe they are standing out in the rain and a solution is suddenly pulled right out of their butt. Either way, they look back on their life and realize what is important. No one does it before the mistakes are made. No one figures it out before their lives are completely screwed up. People tend to know how to fix things after the fact, if they ever figure it out at all. That’s just how it usually goes. Hindsight can be life altering, but it can also seem like a pain in the ass—mocking you with the answer as soon as the test is over.

  And as time goes on it changes. For instance, if you had an obsession with High School Musical when you were eleven. At twelve, you may shrug your shoulders at the thought of it. At thirteen, you may shiver. At fourteen, you may gag. At fifteen, you may deny it. At sixteen, you may not care the slightest bit. Time alters our perception, and even though the memories may not have changed, the way we look at them does.

So how are you supposed to know what the truth is? How are you supposed to know if you should admit to your boyfriend that you used to make out with your Zac Efron poster and sing “Get Your Head In The Game” in the shower?

Well, I’m not a geisha or anything, so I’d say the misconduct of Teen Bop Magazine and misuse of your shampoo bottle as a microphone is your own call. Personally, I’d laugh right along with him after I’d fessed up. But all I did was the poster mishandling.

Anyway, whether you believe in regrets or not, when we look back on the things we used to do, the people we used to know, the places we’ve been, and who we used to be, our reactions are almost never repeated. Take relationships—initially after a break-up, you may feel remorse or denial. Then you may feel anger. Resentment. Wistfulness. Next you’ll want to stop feeling anything and move on. After a nice rebound and recuperation, you may look back and be glad that it turned out that way. Or proud of how you handled it. On the flip side, you may be ashamed, but years later you may be glad you learned your lesson earlier. Our feelings go through a cycle about the same situation. The only thing that changes is us. That’s how we are able to get past the low points on the rollercoaster. We keep moving and climb up to the high ones. Once I mentioned to a friend that I had been better when she asked how I was. She said to me, “That just means there’s something better around the corner.” Sounds corny, I know, but I really appreciated it. Lows points are usually stumbles on a path that’s leading you somewhere good, as long as you keep believing that’s where you’re headed. So sometime when you’re looking back on a recent setback and are trying to figure out if the glass if half full or empty, stop. Remember that this moment is just that, a moment. How it all turned out doesn’t have to spin our whole perception of life, especially since your perception of that moment will change time and time again. It really can be as simple as what they say if you let it: sometimes you just gotta learn your lesson and then go learn some more.

Who needs that glass of Dr. Pepper when you have a bottle of Lipton Diet Green Tea, anyway?

Originally written: 3/28/11

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