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In The Beginning.

First blog post, ever.

For some reason I feel the need to justify starting a blog to myself (and others, I suppose).  Here it is: This will be my comfort…I will make it so. I don’t have many people, especially here, where I’m currently living. I have D, my boyfriend, but I’m going to alleviate some of his stress (from me) by making this my place to unload my words.

Anywho…speaking of D– August will be three years we’ve been together. We technically got together in September, but I remember the night we met. It was August 25, 2012. We met walking down the street. I was spinning around in big, drunken circles when he approached me. I’d like to say the rest is history, but for some reason I knew my entire life was going to be different in that instant.

I was not looking for a relationship when I met him. Not one bit. He texted me “Good morning, beautiful” every day for at least a month. The texts would come in right before 9 0′ clock every morning as I was making my way across the parking lot to my classes. Other guys had done similar things for me in the past, but for some reason, only D’s texts put a smile on my face.

Being the party animal that I was, I went out every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night (sometimes Wednesdays too, if I was feeling ambitious). I like to think the universe wanted D and me to be together, because after the night we met, I saw him everywhere I went. He was working three jobs at the time, I was going to school full-time and working long evening hours. Thinking back, it was difficult to see each other at first. Finally after several possibly coincidental, possibly cosmic, possibly stalker-ish (on his part haha) run-ins every weekend, we made time to see each other sober.


Finally. The text popped up on my screen. He was here. Here to see me.

I closed my textbook and took one more look around the apartment to see if I could do any last-minute straightening up. Living with five other girls though, it would have been no use. I didn’t waste my time. I walked out the door and pressed the button for the elevator.

I saw the number above the enormous elevator doors light up. B. Sheesh. The elevator had to come all the way up from the basement. Oh well, at least this gave me some time to prepare myself. 1. I intently stared into the blackened screen of my phone, attempting to make any last minute improvements to my appearance. What if he didn’t think I looked as good sober? 2. It was halfway here. I could feel the pulse in my stomach. Ew. What is this feeling? 3. Oh, God. What am I doing? Are we going to have sex? Did I shave my legs? 4. The elevator had arrived. I pushed my doubts aside and stepped in. I was seconds away from seeing him again.

I stepped out of the elevator and headed towards the foyer of my dorm building. I could see him leaning against one of the brick pillars outside of the double doors. I opened the door and he turned, smiling easily. Sheesh. His black jeans were really worked for him. He had paired them with a black v-neck shirt, red Polo shoes, and a camouflage Chicago Bulls hat. I couldn’t resist letting my eyes wander from his head to his feet–lingering a little too long on his smile…his muscular biceps…his bulge…and back up again. I could feel myself blushing.

He followed me inside and back on to the elevator. Once inside, he took me in his arms, tightly pulling me against his body. It felt nice. I couldn’t remember ever having this feeling when being hugged by any other man. I could feel the tension of his muscles as he released me and handed me a bottle of wine and a rose.  This makes me smile. I think it’s probably a big, cheesy smile, but I cannot tell. This is certainly new for me. Wine? A rose? I’ve never seen or experienced romance of the likes. I am suddenly filled with a feeling I’ve become familiar with since meeting D. My life is never going to be the same. It scares me, yet floods me with excitement all at the same time.

The elevator arrives back on the fourth floor. We step out and I punch in the code to my apartment door and let him in. Yikes. It looks more messy than before I left, not five minutes ago. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to mind. Although there is a couch, albeit with an uncomfortable wood frame, a rolly chair, and six wooden chairs situated in a jumble, he walks past all of these. He chooses my roommate’s black mushroom chair as I find glasses for the wine.

Finding two glasses I pour the wine and walk back towards where he is sitting. I contemplate taking one of the wooden chairs that is situated across from where he is, but something guides me across the room. I sit down on his lap. I am immediately unsure of my choice. I am shocked at myself….this is not like me at all. I don’t like to be touched by other people. I don’t like to get too close to people I have no intention of being close to. Something is different about this though. D puts me at ease. This action feels natural.

I smile to myself as he wraps his hand around my hip. Whew–I’ve made a good choice. Or have I? What the hell am I doing? The conversation flows easily, but after awhile my curse makes an appearance. I immediately regret my words as soon as I blurt out– “You know, I don’t really do the relationship thing. I’m just–not good at it.” I cannot pinpoint the source of these words. They are irrelevant to the previous topic of conversation. An intrusion.

But at least it’s out on the table now. I find some comfort when he finally absorbs what I have said and says, “Me either, K.” It’s good to know we are on the same page.  I am still uncomfortable with my latest announcement though. The train speeds by outside the window. I am struck with an idea.

“Let’s climb up the hill to the train tracks and look at the stars,” I say, fully expecting him to say no.

“Okay, let’s go,” he replies. I am stunned, but I intend to make good on what I’ve suggested.


We are here. It only took crossing a hill, an apartment complex, jumping a fence, and climbing a steep hill to get here. I’m amazed. Not only has this man agreed to journey to the top of these treacherous train tracks with me, but he is here looking up at the sky with me. We sit on edge of the embankment just past the train tracks. We talk about our mutual interest in the stars and space. We laugh about how terrible I am at jumping fences. I feel good in his presence.

I immerse myself in the night sky. I cannot fathom its expanse, but I try nonetheless. After awhile, the sound of a train’s horn breaks through the air. I look over at D. The moonlight lights his face, his eyes are still intent on the stars. Once again, I am intrigued. He has followed me up onto these tracks in the darkness, ruining his brand new shoes in the process. Why me?, I wonder. I decide not to dwell on the thought though.

We amble back down the steep hill, jump the fence, cross the lots, and arrive back behind the building in which my apartment is situated. It is dark…peaceful. Only crickets ease the silence of the warm summer night. I feel nervous again. I know that he has to leave soon and I must retire to my bed for the early day ahead. I allow my mind to wander, but am interrupted when his hands pull me close against his body again.

He looks deeply into my eyes. I move my mouth upwards to meet his soft, waiting lips. We meet and I feel my soul dance beneath the stars. I feel alive. My lips glide against his, my hands move across his muscular back. I am full of desire. He leans against the brick of my building, taking me in his arms, kissing my lips.

Our departure is bittersweet. My lips, my body, my soul yearns for more. I know in this instant once again, that my life will never be the same.

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Flawed.

When I first started my blog, I vowed that it would all be happy, informative, and/or insightful posts. That does not match how I have been feeling lately though. After all, I am a multi-faceted being with more than one emotion. So I resolve to show it all.

“My house wreaks of depression,” I told my best friend over the phone. She paused for a second before asking, “What does that even smell like?”

It’s not a smell though, it’s just the current state of existence. I can always tell when I am down because the (dis)orderliness of my dwelling relfects it. Clothes are heaped in random piles, drink bottles line the nightstand, the pillows on the couch are not aligned just so, wine bottles litter the counter– just to name a few. 

This cycle has existed for as long as I can remember, even as a child (minus the wine bottles). Weekends, I scarcely make it out of bed aside from relieving my bladder or letting my dog out to do the same. *Maybe* I hit the Taco Bell drive -thru once the sun goes down. But it is equally as likely that I stay in bed and eat nothing.

It’s not that I don’t want to get up and go see friends, it’s just that I do not feel the will to do so. The will has flown out the window. 

At some point during the day, my dog usually rolls over and gives me a lick on the face and a sad look. He is bored. And because I want to be a better human for my dog, I oblige.

That’s why it is Sunday and I am the only one at the dog park. It is raining slightly and I can see that the red mud is going to stain the interior of my car when pup hops in. I’m trying to put those worries aside to be a better human and dog mom. 

It’s worth it. When I ask my dog if he wants to go see his friends at the dog park, he knows exactly what I speak of and his excitement is palpable. He jumps up and down on his front paws, body half hanging out the window as we pull up. He knows we have arrived. None of his friends are here because of the rain, but that does not stop him from sniffing every tree and blade of grass within the confines of the gates.

Occasionally, he will come running up to me, full speed, with a goober-like grin, spanning his face. He makes it worth it to get out of bed, and I am glad we came. Usually our visit is followed by a trip to Bojangles for a Cheddar-Bo (Moose eats the bread, and I the cheese). It’s our Sunday ritual.

Sometimes I cannot help but think my dog deserves a better human. Someone not depressed at times throughout the year. But as we share our Cheddar-Bo, I am thankful for his acceptance. He perceives my pain and licks my tears. He wedges himself closely into my abdomen and lets me cry into his coat. He does silly things that make me laugh.

Through my worst days, my dog eases my pain. And that is why I am trying to be a better human. I want to match what he brings to the table for me. No– I want to exceed that. He deserves it. I am flawed, but he accepts me.

Forgiveness.

There are many facets at the core of love. Many, many, many– an insurmountable number. Perhaps one of the most underrated though, is forgiveness. 

It does not matter if it is friendship, family, or romantic love– forgiveness is key. After all, nobody is perfect. And we are all bound to fuck up royally at times. 

I will admit, forgiveness has not always been one of my strongest qualities. I have stopped talking to people in my life at a moment’s notice for the slightest of infractions. I have let go of many people in my life. While some are warranted, I cannot help but feel that had I been more forgiving in certain situations, I would have more friends and better relationships with these said people. 

If love has taught me one thing in life, it is to forgive and be forthcoming with my forgiveness. Admittedly, I am not immediately trusting of people who have wronged me right after they apologize, but I try to make it a point to forgive as soon as possible.

Trust me…it’s not for the person at questions sake. It is for my own sanity. The person I was before I became a forgiver was angry, and hurt, and resentful. I was too blinded by my own feelings to stop and realize that forgiveness could easily minimize those feelings. I dismissed people from my life. 

Love has taught, and is still, teaching me that if you love someone, and you want that person in your life, you have to forgive. Now I’m not saying you immediately have to forget what wrong occurred, but forgiveness is essential. 

I like to think of it this way: I fuck up sometimes. A lot of times. Where would I be and who would I have if everyone in my life had dismissed me at the slightest indiscretion? Lonely and hurt. I believe in second chances. I have been given them, and thereby, I believe in giving them.

The stress of day to day life is enough strain on my being. I cannot fathom, nor do I care to recall, the emotional toll that being an unforgiving person causes me. I am not perfect, and I recognize that none of us are. If the people in my life are willing to love me enough to forgive me for my wrongs, I can be strong enough to practice forgiveness as well.

A Blessing and a Curse

I am a sensitive soul. I am sympathetic, easily moved, and wear my heart on my sleeve. This is despite the abrasive and callous exterior that I wear around. I present myself to the world as though nothing can get to me — no word, no deed, no tragedy. The exterior could not be further from reality though.

For as long as I can remember, I have dealt with all emotional upheaval in my life the same. I present a face of stoicism to my coworkers, friends, and family. I allow few people to see my tears, let alone wipe them. I like to appear as though I have it all together, resiliency being my strong suit. I face rejection, loss, and failure by brushing them off. It is only when nobody is around that I get in my car, or my shower, or lie down at night and feel. 

I bottle it up until I have no choice but to face it. The hot, salty tears stream down my face. It is then that I contemplate the anger, the hurt, the sadness. I realize in these moments that I by no means “have it together,” and in actuality, most times, I am just barely holding it together.

It is a blessing and a curse. I pretend not to feel, when in complete honesty, I feel everything so deeply. The abyss of my being stretches to accommodate each emotion, ensuring that I do not bother another soul with my needless worries. It is only able to stretch but so far before the elasticity snaps back and hits me with a wave of feeling.

I’m trying to improve my relationships with others with communication. If I am bothered by someone in particular,  I have been working to let them know in that moment that they have moved me in some way — good or bad. Of course, others are only a sliver of the equation and I am striving to learn to deal with my self-inflicted worries. 

It’s still a work in progress, no doubt. I’m trying though. I do not want to be seen as a stoic, unfeeling person. I want to present to the world all of my being rather than bottling it away for when I am alone in my mind. 

If I can only control how I react to things, it is my duty to do so in positive and productive ways. I’m learning to harness this curse and make it a blessing of light to the world.

Right where I am meant to be.

Unlike most people my age, I do not use social media sites. It’s not that I don’t want to keep up with your life, or your gym, tan, laundry routine, or your kids, or your job, or what party you went to, or your drama…it’s just that keeping up with those things in no way advances my life. I’m a pretty low-key person–I wake up, go to work, come home, do my Graduate classes, play with my dog, spend time with my boyfriend, cook, and do homework. I cannot, and do not desire to, keep up with my old self, or you for that matter. I no longer go out partying Wednesday – Sunday as I did in college. I no longer feel the need to accept every invitation to do an activity that crosses my path.

Okay, I will admit….I’m getting old. But the fact remains: I am content in my lifestyle.

For all of the things in which I no longer choose to indulge, there are a myriad of things I do instead, which in my opinion, make me an adult and are advancing my life journey. Rather than scouring Facebook to see who my ex is dating, or causing political election drama, or posting pictures of me wasted, I am busy.

Busy with what?, you may ask. Well, I’m busy carving out my path in this life. I mentioned in a previous post that I am on a journey. I am busy doing the things that I sometimes do not want to do, so that later on, I can have the means to do what I want to do. I am making a weekly budget, putting money into a 401k, meeting with my financial adviser, paying my bills, paying for and attending school, working on my credit, trying new recipes, stargazing, doing yoga, reading books, training my puppy, fostering the few friendships that mean the most to me, nurturing my relationship with my boyfriend, attending meetings, advancing my career, working on my health and well-being, cleaning the toilets and doing dishes, shopping around for the best deals on food, and too many other things to name.

I know, I know, it sounds dull. Many of you probably do these things too. But for every person who has accepted that your parents will not do those things for you for all eternity, there seem to be just as many people I know that are caught up in trying to live an unsustainable lifestyle. It may sound like I’m saying: don’t have fun. But that’s not the case at all. Have fun, but take care of your responsibilities FIRST. Just because you stayed out all night last night doesn’t mean your responsibilities aren’t going to be waiting for you in the morning.

I see too many people I went to high school with unprepared for the endeavor of life. They do not plan, they do not set goals, they do not advance themselves. Instead of coming to terms with life and becoming an adult on their own time, they are forced to do so when some other adult responsibility pops up in their life—like having a baby, or a tragedy, or loss of a job. I want to experience life, but I want to do it my way. I want to be financially ready, stable in my lifestyle, and prepared. Call me a control-freak, but whatever. It pays to plan.

Yet, for all of the people that are not doing all that they can to advance themselves on their journey, there are so many people I know who are. They are on world-wind adventures, getting promotions, getting married, having children, buying houses, and more. I am genuinely happy for them.

This happiness does not override the overwhelming feeling I get from hearing about others’ successes though. This is a key reason that I stay off social media. I think there is an innate reaction to seeing other peoples’ good news, in that it makes us compare what is going on in our own lives. We tend to forget that those people who seem to have it all and be doing it all have real struggles too. Just as it isn’t all happiness all of the time for you, it isn’t for them either. You know you’re guilty of this too…

Recently, a friend sent me a picture she had taken off Facebook of an ex. He and his new girlfriend had put up pictures announcing that they are pregnant. Most people who know me realize that kids are not in my near future. However, seeing someone I know having wonderful news happen to them, made me feel inadequate in my journey somehow. I asked myself if I was behind in life. I asked myself if I had my priorities out of order. I asked myself if I needed to reevaluate the steps I am taking to achieve my goals.

I have had similar feelings to learning of engagements, weddings, travel trips, work advancements, and other accomplishments.

But, I always snap back to my senses.

My journey is different. Markedly different even, than anyone else’s. This is, after all, MY journey. I have no reason to compare what is going on in the life of another being to my own path. The circumstances are different, the background is different, the context is different, the goals are different, their entire existence is different. And not a bad different–just different than mine.

Remember next time you log on to your social media and see something that makes you question your journey or feel inadequate in any way, that you determine your fate. You hold the keys to unlocking each door you encounter in your journey. You lace up the shoes that hurdle over every obstacle you encounter. You are the common denominator in your journey. It’s okay to be a little selfish, your journey is about you.

If you are taking the steps to achieve what it is you want, you are handling your responsibilities, and you are thriving…then you are right where you need to be in life. Make yourself too busy advancing yourself to feel as though you have missed out on something that everyone else seems to be doing or accomplishing. You do not need to be further than anyone else, or even at the same point as anyone else.

So take a deep breath and remember: You are right where you are meant to be in life.

“Nothing in life blooms all year round. Be patient with yourself.”

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Work in Progress.

I had an interview for a job today that would be a huge step in my career. During the interview, a member of the three-person team asked me what motivates me.

Interviews don’t scare me and I know what motivates me. The [pursuit of knowledge] and [the journey of learning] (because let’s be real–it is a journey) are what motivate me. Maybe it is nerdy and maybe it does not sound like your cup of tea but– it’s me.

Those who are close to me know that I have a short attention span. Call it what you want. I often start one project/craft/painting/endeavor and quickly set it aside to take up something new. My parents utilize the (most annoying) phrase of, “it must be a season of change” when they see me take on a new pursuit. But it’s not a season of change. I set things aside and come back to them as my interest/attention span/time ebbs and flows with the subject. Everybody would probably be much happier if they followed a similar, self-adapted model for themselves.

The thing nobody sees is that I *always* come back to my undertakings. I, of all people, loathe leaving my endeavors unfinished. I love learning. I love the pursuit of knowledge. Yet, as I said previously, [learning is a journey], no matter what it is you are learning. This applies to life learning as well.

Just as my [pursuit of knowledge] and [journey of learning] is a {work in progress}…so am I.

While others may not see the logic behind my ways, there is a method to my madness. I’m in [pursuit of knowledge] in my [journey of learning], and this process is a {work in progress}, just as I am.

It’s the simple things.

The early evening, putrid smell of the marsh. The maze of bridges and tunnels connecting each of the seven cities. The radio. The fresh seafood. The landscape. My siblings…

suffolk-va


 

I could go on and on about the things I miss from home. I don’t think I really even understood the concept of “home” until I left it.

I moved to this area five (wow, that’s crazy to think about!) years ago to attend college. I went back to live with my mom the first summer. Perhaps things such as my address or my notion of “home” would be different had I not fallen in love.

My second year of college, I met D. Things progressed quickly. Instead of going home that coming summer, I stayed in my college town, got an internship, got a job, and started living with D. Despite all of these wonderful things, I’ve always held a grudge against my current city of residence. It has never felt like “home” to me.

I haven’t lived at my previous “home” since the last summer I was there. While I return for holidays and birthdays and softball games, I feel like an outsider at what was once my home. I look around and see what I left. I see the endless miles of marsh. I see the cranes of the shipyard lit up against the night over the river. I see the water. I see the osprey perched at its nest. I see the boats. I see the military uniforms. I see the poverty. I see the despair. I see the joy and the unity.

….My point is that you don’t see or notice it all until you’ve removed yourself from it. The things I once wished to leave forever are now the memories for which I long.

Don’t forget to take time to cherish the seemingly “simple” things in life. People can leave you. You can lose your job, your car, your house, anything really…but you cannot lose the essence of yourself. Some people have mountains in their blood. I, on the other hand, have salt water running through mine.

Grow.

Awhile ago, close to the turn of the New Year, 2015, I committed to a different kind of resolution. I figured if I didn’t resolve to work out 7x a week, or eat 1200 calories a day, or try to make social plans once a week, perhaps, just maybe, I could keep the resolution. I thought long and hard about what my New Year’s resolution would be.

Eventually, and after much consideration, I settled on something that held its roots in my very nature. I needed excitement. I needed something that wouldn’t feel routine and boring.

I finally settled upon resolving to [(try)/ (experience)/(learn)] something–ANYTHING–[(new)/(different)/(challenging)/(interesting)] Every. Single. Day.

The way you see it annunciated is exactly the way I felt about it. This was to be an experiment to test my boundaries, limits, and perceptions. For the first month and a half, I would keep track of my new endeavor, experience–whatever–in a 1-subject spiral notebook, college ruled. I numbered them and set out filling the first two pages. That’s as far as I made it. I had probably 47 new things I had tried or overcome. And then I fell off.

Really I should have known….it was a fleeting New Year’s resolution–it’s not like people stick to them anyways. Judge me if you want. I failed.

Any-who. Today is Monday, March 21, 2016. It has been some time since I last thought of my 2015 resolution. But today. Today has reawakened me to the importance of stepping outside of our boundaries at times.

D picked me up from work at 4 today because my car was stuck in the shop getting a repair worth the equivalent of my soul. He himself had the day off, and had taken the day to spoil his ten year old brother, J. After springing my Chevy from the car shop pokey, we headed over to Jump, an indoor trampoline park.

I was elated. It absolutely made my day to get out and do something fun. We got to Jump and bought an hour’s worth of jump-time. D, J, S, and I immediately let loose. We played dodgeball, jumped around for awhile, and then D and S started to flip around upon the trampolines with the ease of acrobats.

I watched in awe, taken with their ability, but immediately relegated myself to the negative mindset of, “Looks fun, but I would never be able to do that.”

Do you know why I (or anybody, for that matter) would never be able to do that? Because we refuse to overcome our fear of trying.

Let it sink in. When was the last time you convinced yourself that you would **never** be able to [(do)/(have)/(accomplish)/(overcome)] _________ because of [some reason]? It probably happens more often than you would care to admit.

I watched for a solid twenty minutes as D and S did backflips on frontflips on gainers on sideflips on more flips. I continued my negative thinking. I could never possibly do that.

 

Until I did it. Yes, I did it! I admit, it took much convincing within myself, and the encouraging words of D and S to get me to commit to fueling my energy through the momentum of a front flip. They showed me pointers on getting enough height and forward momentum to complete a full front flip.

But when I finally did it, it was the most rewarding feeling ever! I remember being on my fiftieth (or at least it felt) jump & tuck before I finally: looked at the trampoline in front of me– hit the height of my upward jump– wrapped my hands around my knees– crunched my abdominals– and threw my momentum forwards. I landed on my butt, rather than the standing position. BUT, I knew as soon as my rotation was complete, that I had committed to, and accomplished, something that was truly scary and seemingly impossible to me. I did it!

I even did a few more frontflips, each time landing in a more comfortable way. I felt like the shit, guys! It was wonderful.

Today is the first time in quite awhile that I did something that made me scared and uncomfortable. And as simple as it may seem to some people, I feel as if I have grown and bettered myself. And you know what?–I love this feeling. I feel in control of my being.

And you can too. It’s all up to you. Don’t be [The Reason] you are “not able to do/be/have ______.” I promise you will love the feeling on the other side so sO SO SOO much more! Best of luck and love in your new adventures :).

“Love the life you live, live the life you live.” –Bob Marley