Amy the Wombat

Alrighty, here we go. When we last left off, I had just adopted a new dog and met a cute waiter that was trying to work things out with his ex-girlfriend.

If you’ve been watching Jane the Virgin, you will totally get that I referenced the recap of the show in my opening monologue of this post. I am that much of a nerd. But seriously, can we talk about Jane the Virgin for a hot second? I thought the premise of this show looked improbable and mind numbingly dumb, so I waited until this month and became so curious that I couldn’t not watch it. Now I’m catching up on past episodes and I am in love. The humor of the show is right up my alley. If you haven’t seen it, allow me to give you a quick recap.

Jane is a virgin (obviously), who, during a routine gynecologist visit where she was to get a pap smear, ended up accidentally artificially inseminated by a doctor who was filling in for her own doctor and had never met her, hence the mix up. Oh, and the doctor had drinking problems, had been in legal trouble once before for malpractice issues, and found her girlfriend cheating on her the night before. Said doctor inseminated Jane with her brother’s sperm (The doctor’s brother, not Jane’s brother. Jane doesn’t have a brother.), which was supposed to go to her brother’s wife, and had she properly checked the charts before entering the room, she would have known her sister-in-law was waiting for her in the next room. Right after the artificial insemination comes to light, Jane’s boyfriend, who doesn’t know about the baby yet, proposes. After she tells him she’s pregos and he decides he doesn’t want to keep the baby, and she decides the biological father and his wife should have it, she accepts his proposal and decides to call the baby growing inside of her “The Milkshake” so she doesn’t get attached. This doesn’t last long. Her boyfriend is a cop who finds out that the sperm donor’s wife is cheating on him, and knowing that Jane wants the baby to go to a two parent home, withholds the info from her. She finds out and decides not to marry him, while the sperm donor decides to divorce his wife. Did I mention the sperm donor is her boss that she once kissed five years ago? And her dad is a a mega superstar on a Spanish soap opera? And she got a job student teaching at a catholic school where the nuns advertise she’s a pregnant virgin?

There is something so wrong with this show that it’s right. You have to watch it. It’s insanely ridiculous and ironically hilarious all at the same time. I’m in a serious non-romantic relationship with this show.

Speaking of relationships, I know some of you are dying to know what ultimately ended up happening with the Cute Waiter. In all my time of non blogging, I knew I was going to have to address this in the next blog, because my readers and friends always come to me curious when I don’t follow up with something I’ve previously blogged about. I’ve debated how to go about writing this post and what to say six ways to Sunday, and the truth is, I don’t have a good answer on how to address this. I always tell the whole story, written plainly for everyone to read, because I believe if you’re going to heart blog, you should do it with full disclosure. Someone out there will understand what you’re going through and connect with your post. I believe in connecting with people, and that’s why I blog and always has been why. This situation is a little different, and certainly something I haven’t dealt with before, so, for that reason, I’m going to keep the answer simple and discreet.

Cute Waiter and I met at a Starbucks on a Thursday night for our first face to face. We had been talking through text for a couple of weeks. When we met, the connection was immediate. We both agreed on this afterward – we had insane chemistry. And that caused issues. It caused us both to be a little weird with each other and a little crazy with the way we handled things. He walked away, apologized and came back. I let him. I saw him one night at his workplace after I had major surgery and was still on some painkillers. I don’t remember much of the night or what was said, but apparently I was an ass, and he walked again. Again, he came back. Again, I let him. In the meantime, during all of this, he and his girlfriend decided not to work things out. Two months after we first met, we finally, and I do mean FINALLY kissed. Things got muddled from there, and I’m sure there was a clear delineation of events that I will never quite understand that led to us not talking. Which was never my choice nor what I wanted. It is what it is.

Maybe that’s not the post you all were hoping for when you asked about what happened, but it’s all I can give. This is the first time I’ve felt the need to protect a situation and I have to go with my gut on this one. No one was the bad guy. I’m not mad and I don’t hate him or have any bad blood with him. I just keep telling myself that it is what it is.

My life has been busy and very happy and full. My little business is doing pretty well, but I make everything by hand and can’t keep up. It leaves little time to blog, but my heart is in my blogging and writing – something that I’m no longer willing to give up for this business. My goal in the coming year is to write and blog more – to take time for myself, doing what I love. What is your goal for the coming year? How was everyone’s Christmas?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the name of this post comes from what someone once told me. I was explaining to that person that I wasn’t a typical girl, and that I should have been an awesome gay guy or black girl. In turn, they said, “You’re not a typical girl. I don’t know what you are. You’re a wombat.” Wombats are my people, apparently.

Come Hell, Come High Water, You Push On Me I’m Gonna Push Back Harder

I had a super snappy post lined up. Controversial, but snappy. I had planned to roll it out last night, but then ended up inexplicably tired and unable to do much in the way of making sentences that were properly punctuated and fun to read. In other words, I was halfway between Sucksville and Snoresville and not living on a prayer of staying awake. I didn’t want to impose that on you.

Today, a few things happened that made me change my mind about that post. It made me decide to not go ahead with it, but instead use what I was going to post as a jumping off point to mesh what I learned today into an inspirational, honest, bleeding heart look at heartbreak, humor, and life lessons. I never started this blog just to document my own days. That’s what journals are for. I was inspired to start this blog by Keltie Knight, then Keltie Colleen, who wrote a blog called High Kicks and High Hopes. Her entire blog was dedicated to her honestly spilling her heart out and sometimes saying unfavorable things about people everyone knew and loved (Hint: Her ex boyfriend Ryan Ross, formerly of Panic at the Disco.) because she knew it could help others who were going through the same thing. She took a lot of flak for it, too. Since she was quasi-famous, I decided that I wanted to do the very real, very modest girl version of her blog, because I was so inspired by her. I wanted to prove to myself that I was brave enough to bare my heart and regular girl problems to anyone who wanted to listen. I’m also happy to report that I recently had a lovely little conversation with her on Twitter, and she’s as amazing as you would think. You can also see her on The Insider on E! Just saying.

Because of the honesty of this post, it’s going to get murky at first. I’m going to say some bad things about myself and admit to bad habits of my own. I’m going to lay things on the line and state my feelings toward someone else, and that may make people who know him mad, because I typically don’t talk about this situation in detail, so a lot of people really have no idea what happened from my point of view. They’ve only heard his, and they may be shocked at some of the things I say. If you are going to start reading this post, I ask that you read it the whole way through, because the way it starts out is not how it ends. It’s all rainbows and butterflies and forgiveness and gratefulness for all its worth. That is what this post is really about, but without the rawness of the situation being laid out first, none of those things mean anything. None of them let my readers identify with me and know that someone else understands them. None of that helps them heal through my experiences. I’m putting myself on the line in a way I never have before, because I want to share with every girl who has ever had a broken heart the things I’ve learned from it and those that I wish I knew back then. Had I known them, the myriad of emotions I felt would have made sense. I’m not Taylor Swift. I don’t have a multimillion dollar record deal to reach out to everyone and let them know that I get it, that I’m just like them. This is all I have, and I’m exactly like you.

If anything could sum up what this post encompasses, it’s lyrics from a song called “When the Right One Comes Along.” They say, “Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth, you think you know what you’re looking for, until what you’re looking for finds you.”This post has also been edited forty billion times over four hours to get it just right, because I want everyone to understand where I’m coming from and to know that there’s no hard feelings here. There’s no hatred. There’s no pain now. I have always been open-hearted and honest with y’all on this blog. If I feel like I can’t be that way, I don’t blog, which is why the blog sat lonely for so long over the past year. I never want to be anything but authentic, and whether you love me or hate me is your prerogative and none of my business. I love and appreciate every single one of you that reads this.

Because there is no way for this post to make the kind of impact that it should without telling you a little about what I was initially going to post and how it led me to this moment of truth, I will share a bit about the lost post. I knew what I was going to post was going to tick a handful of people that I knew off, but I also knew that the people who had been by my side through the situation and those who heard both sides of the story and not just one would get the post and find it hilarious. I was willing to take the risk of having a few people angry at me, because I felt like the point of the post was actually very funny in a satirical sort of way, which is really my niche. I knew the possibility of the post getting taken the wrong way was high, but also that I didn’t want to feel like I had to hide my feelings about how I had been treated because someone may not understand them.

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in friends who don’t know my side of the situations per my lack of talking about it, but if I were to write the post I wanted to write, would suddenly see me as the bad guy anyway. In saying nothing at all about the situation, this meant that I had also never said anything bad about the person the post referenced, but I still felt that because the person the post referenced had been so willing to talk about what happened between us and I wasn’t, that the odds were already against me. I also decided if bad things came out of a comical post because of that, then it was meant to be, because the amount of people who understood why it was funny far outweighed those few who didn’t have all the details. Even now I am taking a risk in posting this, but still feel it’s worth it. Now I am not comprising a controversial post for laughs. I’m doing it because I hope to help and inspire someone else. The chips will fall where they may.

The original post had to do with my recent posts about Craigslist. I was bored the other night and started reading my old posts tagged Oh, Craigslist. That’s when I noticed something utterly ridiculous, funny and epic in timing. On May 7, 2012, I wrote this post entitled Stupidlist. At the end of it I made a joke stating, “Who is Craig and where can I find him to slap him?” I found myself in a ball in a fit of laughter for about five minutes over this. Exactly five days after this post I met my ex. His name is Craig. How is that for timing? It’s like the universe was just shoving someone at me to slap and saying, “Here he is!” Up until then, I had never met anyone named Craig before.

More times than not over the last year and a half I have very much wanted to slap him, but not for anything that had to do with the breakup. I wanted to slap him for listening to other people that I hadn’t talked to in months, and then coming at me or my friends in an accusatory fashion well after the breakup when none of it was true. When I tried to tell him what I had actually said, which was vastly dissimilar to what he been told, he wouldn’t listen to me. Breakups don’t constitute me wanting to slap anyone, but stuff like that definitely does, because there’s nothing I hate more than putting my heart and one hundred percent of my trust into someone who I was completely honest with and told personal things I had never told anyone else just to have that happened. More than anything, I was hurt, because I thought I meant more to him than the words of other people. I thought he had gotten to know me better than to believe the really bizarre and downright insane things that were said about me. Even now I don’t know if I was hurt because I was mad, or if I was just mad as hell for the sake of it.

One night last August I was so damn mad that I put on my clothes, coat and shoes at 11:30 at night and was on my way out the door to drive to his house and literally slap him over a text he sent me when someone stopped me. My rationale is that he was too timid to call the cops on me if I smacked him upside the head Agent Gibbs style. That wasn’t my best moment, and neither is the next thing I’m going to say. I never said anything bad about him for over a year, until he did something that hurt a three year old girl because he and I just frankly couldn’t communicate in a way that didn’t piss each other off. It became about us, not the little girl, and things went down. All bets were off at that point. Say what you want about me, upset me all you want, and hurt me until the cows come home, but when a three year old girl cries over you, Momma just don’t play that game. I have a gun for a mouth in these situations, and though I didn’t run around bad mouthing him, if someone would bring him up or ask me what I thought of him, I stopped giving politically correct answers and spoke my mind.

Maybe all of the memories this one little lost post brought up are what made me change my mind about posting it. I had pushed so many things into the cobwebs of my mind when I moved on over a year ago, and maybe I never really dealt with them  or attempted to form an opinion on him or how I felt about everything that happened after the dust had settled. I just bid it adieu. I have a bad habit of kicking things under the rug like that. Those things form dusty bunnies, and they attack every so once in awhile if you don’t clean them up.

That one little funny post made me look back on things. It opened a door. After everything I went through with him, I find it hard to remember anything good about him or us. But ultimately I loved him for a reason. I was enchanted by us. I don’t think about him or us anymore. I haven’t in a long time. I don’t talk to him. I haven’t done either of these things in a long time, and I very much like it that way. What I don’t like is feeling like he’s an awful person. His actions put me on that path of emotions, but it doesn’t mean I like it. It forces me to only remember the bad, when there were more redeeming qualities about him that made me feel something after being closed off emotionally for so long. But the bad, it was a demon for him, and he fed it and let it feed itself, too.

I’ll probably end up crucified for saying this by someone, but anyone who knows Craig knows this is true. He has issues with alcohol, and no amount of feelings I had for him were going to change that. I couldn’t change that. I felt like I failed because he just wanted to drink so much all the time, and I knew he was worth so much more than that. I felt like a horrible girlfriend because I didn’t understand why he wanted to drink so much, but no one drinks as much as he did because they are happy. I clearly couldn’t make him happy. People drink like that to forget and to numb themselves. This was a situation that I had been through years ago with a good friend of mine and was able to instantly recognize. With Craig, much like my friend, he didn’t think his drinking was a problem. He could drink a pitcher of beer and not be drunk at all. There was no change in his personality. That is the problem. When we were together, I even bought into the logic that he was fine for that reason; he acted fine no matter how much he drank. The truth is, no one comes upon that level of alcohol tolerance unless they have a reason to consistently drink that much. No matter how things ended or how he made me feel, I don’t ever want it to be that way or see anything happen to him.

I have not always been the best person I could be in this situation. I’ve often times wondered if things that got said and were done post the breakup made him drink more, and I never wanted to be the reason he drank. I react to the way you treat me by giving you back the same, which isn’t always the most proactive way to handle a situation. Because he had accused me of lying about things when I had never once lied to him, I made the decision to use that to my advantage when we would periodically and tensely talk many months after we were apart. There was a time I had to text him about something, because when my friend tried, he wouldn’t answer her. He answered me immediately, but I wanted to make sure he knew I was only texting him for my friend. To avoid a bunch of crap, I told him I was in a serious relationship with someone so that there was no confusion and he didn’t think what was going on with my friend was a front for me trying to wedge my way back into my life. Was it optimal? No. Did it work? Like a charm. Lying is still not in any of my best moments, because I’m not that kind of girl.

These go-by-the-gut reactions don’t always culminate into my best decisions. I have issues smiling in someone’s face when they are not being straightforward with me, which is why I give them back what they gave me. It’s something I’ll never do; smile in your face and stab you in the back. If I feel like I want to stab you in the back, I’ll just tell you where to shove it to your face and cut out all the drama. I also have issues dealing with drama, so if a lie avoids it and simply fills in the gaps where the truth still may not, sometimes I will do it as long as it’s not a lie that matters or hurts anyone. Saying I was in a relationship, though wrong, didn’t matter or change anything between us. It just stopped the drama. Regardless, none of these are good things.

What also isn’t good is something that is a little funny, totally Mean Girls, and that I’m only sharing because the reference I’m going to make is actually the turning point of the situation. I’ll admit that my friends and I have nicknamed him Norman, as in Norman Bates, for the emotional fuckery he put me through. He single-handedly killed the old me. But that death was the best thing that ever happened to me. If anyone else felt like that, Psycho wouldn’t have been re-imagined into the television show Bates Motel.

When it’s all said and done, I’m grateful the old me is gone. I like the new me a lot better because, as it turns out, the new me is really just the girl I was when I was seventeen, before I had something happen that changed the way I felt about the world and made me unhappy, and before I got sick. These things festered for years and just got worse and worse. I was deep in a depression that I hid well and had been for many years. I was at my breaking point when I met Craig. He made me happy, and he was the only thing other than my Greta Hayley dog. That should sound sad, but my dog is awesome, so don’t hate.

And then he was gone, I was unhappy, and things got worse after the breakup than they were during it. Everything I was afraid of was thrust upon me, and that just mixed in with the depression I had already felt and it had me lying on the cold hard ground. (This is a tragic love story. I have to quote Taylor Swift. It’s the law.)

Having had a chance to be that happy, even temporarily, had magnified my depression by a thousand and ended up creating this little monster called PTSD. Every situation I had been through was no longer something I could deal with and was just depressed about. It was a panic attack and the inability to breathe. I blamed him for this, but honestly, it wasn’t his fault. He could have handled things with me better, told me flat out he didn’t want to talk to me anymore, and not just walked away like my dad did when I was thirteen. That was the one thing I asked him not to do, and that was the trigger point for the PTSD. I had a hard time letting go of that for awhile, but I learned to.

He’s just a person; a human being and I think a very confused one at the time when things happened. I don’t know if he knew what he wanted or why we had gotten so close so fast, because I didn’t have the answers to that either. I didn’t know if I wanted to get serious with him, I just knew that, for some reason, I loved this person I barely knew. I can’t speak for him and the way he feels now, because I don’t know who he is now. At the same time, I’m also not going to make excuses because, as it turns out, I couldn’t be more grateful for him and the clusterfuck of a situation we found ourselves in. I have never been happier or more secure in who I am. I’ve never been able to be the person who was able to say, “There is no one I can’t say ‘screw you’ to” and mean it. I would let people run me over, but pretend like I never let that happen. I’d make excuses for the person and make the situation seem like it was my fault rather than admit I couldn’t stand up for myself. Now I can say “screw you” to anyone who deserves it and walk away. I don’t take peoples’ crap. I speak my mind. I’m not shy and mousy and allowing people to consistently run me over anymore.

I always felt that I was the most me that I could possibly be. I didn’t know until six months ago that who I was inside and who I was verbally and emotionally with everyone else wasn’t the same thing. I’ve hid a lot of things about myself, even from him. I had always been that awkward, gawky girl who couldn’t get noticed by guys. When I got out of my teens, suddenly I had guys hitting on me and telling me how pretty I was at best, and trying to get me into bed more times than not. I didn’t know how to handle that, because in my mind I was a wicked amount of fun, but still gawky and awkward. Because of this, I felt like I had to impress boys, so I stuffed all the not so socially acceptable things in my back pocket and decided to pretend I was a normal twenty something when I have a very old soul and am far from it. I was emulating characters from television shows that were popular because I wasn’t confident enough to tell someone that if they didn’t like me, I didn’t need them in my life. I wanted to be liked and needed. I still mother people because of it.

The list of things I hid isn’t enormous, but crucial. I have a somewhat southern accent. I have no idea why, either, because I’m from Pennsylvania. Over the years I’ve conditioned it out of my voice with tactics I’ve learned from vocal coaches when I took singing lessons. It’s not cool to talk southern here in PA. I listened to super cool music on the radio and talked normal and tried to act like I was in with the cool kids and blend in. I acted as if I was always the pretty girl that got attention and that it came naturally to me, when really I’m the ugly duckling turned the nerd next door. I edited myself instead of saying what was on my mind, because I tend to say some weird things and wanted to say cool things instead. I am not very ladylike. I’m kind of like a guy. I think my body got confused and gave me boobs when it shouldn’t have, but I try to act ladylike. I acted like I needed to go to clubs and party to have fun, and worse, that I liked doing these things. I bought some clothes that were more sexy, showed my lovely ladies, and tried to make myself look like girls do in magazines. I’ve always felt like I had to have a boyfriend, so I would date just to do it, even when I was unhappy with someone. Craig was the first time I hadn’t done that.

Y’all, that is not me. I like my strange little southern accent that I still sometimes, by habit, edit out. I like my country music with heavy guitars and a little kick ass, take no names attitude that you don’t get with pop music, and I am really, really good at singing it. I like dressing conservatively a la the impeccable Taylor Swift and forever southern Lemon Breeland. It’s so me. I like not being cool and hanging out at home and writing and crafting and baking while sober. I like being surprised by what comes out of my mouth too. I like that I can throw down with the guys, and that I’m not necessarily romantic or mushy and think a lot of women overreact to things their boyfriends do. I like not being the girl that cares if she gets married or talks about next month, far more forever. I’ve got more balls than most guys I know, and that scares a lot of guys away, but I really don’t care. I love being single, because I think I’m tons of fun and I like hanging out with me and dancing around the house because there’s no one there to see me. I’ve been told many times that I’m too independent for most guys, because I don’t need a man’s help and I have my own life. So be it. I don’t want someone that can’t handle me. I know why I’m single, but I’m having too much fun to change those quirks.

I pushed all of those things away because I’m a twenty something that should be hip, but I’m just not and I all kinds of love it. The one person who has known me since I was twenty and knows the real me and knows I am all of these things is also happier to see me being myself again, and he doesn’t like me any less for my lady balls. He does like me less, however, when I retract them. He would attest to this in a court of law, in front of his girlfriend.

I’ve taken control of my life because of one person, who, for a very, very long time I thought was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I had wished I had never met him. I hated everything about how things went down and kept thinking about how I wasn’t going to go to the party where I met him, but changed my mind at the last minute. I blamed myself for all of this because of that. I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t have gone. If I hadn’t, none of this would have happened.

Now I know that I was supposed to be there that night. I was supposed to meet him. Things were supposed to turn out this way. I don’t know how much belief I had in the saying that things always turn out the way they’re supposed to and for the best. When you’re so depressed you can’t deal with regular everyday things and you end up having to go to a psychologist because you end up with PTSD over a situation, it really doesn’t seem like the best thing and you want to go out and kick every single person who has ever uttered that phrase in the balls or va-jay-jay.

But it’s true. Sometimes the worst people to ever happen to you are the best, and it doesn’t mean that person is the worst person ever. It just means the situation you were in sucked a little more than it should have. Had we stayed together, I wouldn’t have started my business to earn a little extra money to help me save up and pay for important things like car insurance. Had we never gotten together, I doubt I would have started the business at all, because I just couldn’t motivate myself to function like a normal human being. I was so depressed from being sick for so long, and I knew I needed to talk to someone. The PTSD caused by the end of our relationship forced me into doing that just so I could stop having these horrible panic attacks. Therapy was the best thing for me because it taught me how to deal with everything I’ve been through emotionally, and all the medical things, such as my stroke at 22. I do want to experience life now, and I do enjoy baking dog treats and selling them here and there. I would have never gone to talk to someone if it wasn’t for what he I went through with him. I wouldn’t have found true happiness.

Not writing my initial post last night was kismet. I had to go through today to learn that everything I thought I knew about what had happened between us was wrong. Maybe I figured it out more than a year after I gave up the ghost of thinking about him anymore or missing him or wanting him back and getting over him. Oh well. It took a year. At least I figured it out. This is the first time I’ve thought about him in so long, but I’ve made the conscious decision to not hate him, because it is just that; a decision. I made the decision to respect that he is going through some stuff that I don’t know about, nor do I want to, nor is it any of my business. I do not regret the way things turned out or the decisions I made in the way I dealt with him. The only thing that matters to me is what I think of me, not what he thinks of me. That is simply none of my business. Sometimes the last time you think of someone has to be the best time you think of them, because you look back and know you learned something. You decide against ambivalence and instead have sympathy that they are going through things too, and hope that they have betterment in their life as well, even though you have a separate one from them.

If I could tell him anything, I’d hope he’d know that I hold nothing against him, I don’t hate him, I forgave him long ago and moved on. I don’t blame him. I would thank him for doing what he did, and ask him not to do it to anyone else, because he won’t be happy that way, and he should be happy. He deserves to be. I don’t think he ever saw the good in himself or what I saw, but I hope one day he does, because I thought he was pretty amazing just the way he was. I wouldn’t flip out at him if he tried to talk to me, and I don’t know how well it would go over either. As long as he finds happiness as I have, everything else that happened between us is just stuff from the past. No hard feelings.

There’s songs that resonate with the bad; with the things you went through with someone that made you feel empty and open.

There’s songs that help you find peace; with the things that you can’t control and know it’s not worth trying. But that was a hard lesson to learn.

There’s songs for when you realize you can make it through everything. This is exactly where I am now. This song defines me in every single way. Watch out, world. It’s gonna take more than that to put me under.

Valentine’s Day Memes For the Anti-Valentine’s Day Girls

Full disclosure: I hate Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a Valentine to call my own, but even if I did, I’m still pretty sure I’d hate it with a Grumpy Cat-like passion. The second my man tried to take me somewhere fancy or get mushy with me, it would be over. Not Valentine’s Day itself, but the whole relationship. I don’t do mushy. I’m not that kind of girl. I don’t like being dotted over or have someone drop a lot of money on me. All I want is someone I can trust and count on. Everything else is just material.

Because I got out today, I am in a particularly non-snarky mood for this holiday. Then again, the township kind of got their own eff you and trying to keep people blew up in their face when temperatures soared to a balmy forty some degrees and all the snow melted. Everyone left their houses anyway, and the township was forced to lift the Declaration of Disaster Emergency. So, like I said yesterday, their so called emergency was a bunch of bologna, no offense to bologna. It was a little zoo-ish out there, but I like when the weather sticks it to the man, so I went out anyway and supported it.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, and my first Valentine’s post in the ten or so years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve decided to go an unusual route. Since I have nothing to gush about, I’m just going to post a bunch of adorable memes that represent different sides of the holiday so you can squee over them, because meme squeeing is the only kind of cute squeeing I want to do on Valentine’s Day.

The most natural valentines to start with are those done up by my girl, Grumpy Cat. There are many more of these online, but these are the ones that I would actually send to people, and I’m sure they would send them back with a nasty letter. Nonetheless, I would send them. My favorites are the two stating “I think you’re…” because it totally goes with my Team Even My Compliments Are Kind of Accidentally Mean that I started in yesterday’s post by, of course, total accident.

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Grumpy10

Grumpy11

Grumpy12

Grumpy15

Grumpy18

It’s totally bizarre when you grow up and realize that every single human sees this holiday differently and loves different things. Take, for instance, Jennifer Lawrence. She don’t need no man.

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And even if she did, let’s just be totally honest about the sanction of love.

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And when you can’t get a date, just remember the below things, because they’re so true. And someone somewhere is really missing out and doesn’t even know it yet.

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And if that person does finally figure it out and they screw up, well, there’s always this option for making things right. Especially if you go in and yell nine on an alphabetical scale.

image-8With those nine on a alphabetical scale flowers should come this, because girls love punny things earmarked with cute animals of any kind.

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But remember, if you love something and it doesn’t love you back and leaves, it’s okay to feel like this squirrel.

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But after the initial devastation wears off and you decide you’re never dating again, please, oh please, do NOT take it out on your cat.

image-3And do not date guys who are kind of okay but also a little weird, because they could actually be related to this cat, and no one would want that.

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After you do date that guy in your period of bad judgment, you can come home to the one thing that always understands you, no matter how bad things get. The one thing that will not judge you.

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Because even if you think your cat gets you, he or she doesn’t. That’s why they don’t meow back, leaving you feeling even more rejected and alone.

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When your cat doesn’t get you, it’s important to remember that your dog is feeling the same rejection as you are feeling from your cat.

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At the end of the day, you can all come together knowing that, when relationships don’t work, the bed cradles you but never listens to your feelings, and the cat doesn’t meow back, the dog always has your back. As long as you have a dog, you have a Valentine of your very own.

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This is mine.

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Even if she did have a brief affair with Stitch the cat.

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And Mr. Giraffe the stuffed animal.

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And even if she is a little weird.

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I have no regrets. Best Valentine ever!

 

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You Say Bad Date, I Say Endless Free Entertainment

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving full of turkey comas and enough pies to make you go up a jean size. Our Thanksgiving always consists of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the comfort of our home and in our pajamas, and then pretty much doing whatever we want the rest of the day.

Today, I worked. Not out in public like most people, for whom we should bow our heads and pray that they don’t get pancaked by a stampeding crowd. I never left the computer, therefore, I “worked.” I have been selling stuff to help pay for my dog’s surgery for the last couple of months. He had a cancerous tumor on his shoulder, and if he didn’t have it removed the cancer would have spread or he would have been unable to walk, because the tumor was growing. Not having the surgery was not an option, though it was very expensive. I have a small website and webstore called Hello Leo, and I’m trying to be hip and keep up with the times, so I arranged a sale on the site during the weekend. The fact that I just used the word hip shows just how well I am keeping up with the times.

I really enjoy that I’m able to pay for his surgery this way, and we’re almost halfway there (Oh oh, livin’ on a prayer.) in paying off his bill. I’m not able to have a real job because of my medical problems, but being able to do this gives me something to do on my own time, when I feel well. It’s been a great experience for me, but when I do feel well, a lot of my time goes into it.

I miss writing. I miss working on my novel. I feel like I know where I want my novel to go, but not how I want to write it. I never get time to write anymore; to really sit down and plug away at the novel. I decided to try to remedy that with attempting to blog more. I don’t have to have a ton of time, nor do I have to sit through pages of notes and force all my ducks into a somewhat crooked little row to blog. All I have to do is have stories. This is fortunate, because boy do I have stories.

I could start with the story about how I have two bulged disks in my neck, and how funny that is since I can’t physically do anything that could have caused it. It’s kind of a dead end story, though, because apparently the bulged disks showed up in a 2009 MRI. No one told me, so instead of trying to fix it and going through therapy, I went on with my daily life, and now those disks are angry. So, thanks, neurologist that I had at the time, for not telling me this important information I needed to know. Now I’m in pain, on medication and going through therapy. Fun times, my friends.

Instead, I’m going to tell you my stories about my minimal adventures in dating over the past year from a sunny side point of view, wherein we make fun of my misfortune instead of complain about what horrible dating luck I have. These stories may not have been funny at the time, but they certainly are now. Some of them are absolutely my own fault, and I’m not afraid to make fun of myself.

As you all know, I went through a bad breakup last year. That story isn’t fun, so let’s skip it. Instead, let’s go straight to the long story short of the guy my ex’s best friend set me up with. Nice guy. Wrong time. I put the bitch in psychotic bitch. I wasn’t ready to date. I tried too soon. I ended up actually really liking the guy. I pushed him away. I say a few Hail Marys for the kid every now and then, hoping he’ll find someone better than me. We have all had this issue at one time or another. Up until this incident, I thought I was immune. You can laugh at me. It’s cool. I’m not afraid to admit that I would have ran from me too if I were him. I tried to run from me, but I kept smacking into myself.

Directly after this incident, my friend at the time tried to set me up on a date with her relative. He evidently mistook me for a porn star. Not even thirty minutes into our first text conversation, he began asking me explicit sexual questions and begging for naked pictures. Dumby over here, *points to self,* decides to give him another chance. He just went through a bad breakup too. Maybe he was upset. Maybe he wasn’t himself. Definitely, I was stupid. It should come as no surprise to anyone that this tanked. Horribly. Epically. Hilariously.

We talked things out. I agreed to meet up with him. I mostly did it because he was my friend’s relative, and I thought if she set me up with him that he must be a really nice guy and I should give him a chance. I told him that I could meet him any day or time. He picked the day and time on his own. The day we were to go out, I woke up in the dead of morning sick. By noon the next day, I was still hugging the porcelain throne. I let him know that likely I wouldn’t be able to come out that night, mostly because commodes aren’t portable or a sexy accessory. He told me he hoped I could make it. This should have been a sign, you guys, but I was too sick to be smart. Or just too stupid. He never even asked me if I was okay.

Rewind to later that day when I knew that I still was not going to make it. It was still several hours before we were to meet up, so I texted him and let him know that I was still sick as could be. Instead of being a gentleman, or any kind of decent human being, he went on a tirade about how he canceled plans for me. I found this interesting considering he was the one who picked the day and time. I also found this to be a flat out lie for the same reason. I told him off about it, because momma don’t play that game. He got super mad and basically showed his crazy, unhinged side that was inexcusable and made me nine kinds of glad that I hadn’t met with him that night. God did me a favor that night. I never thought I’d be so grateful to have been sick.

A little while later, the same friend tried to set me up with a friend of hers. It’s a known fact to people who barely know me that I like older guys and that I do not drink or like guys who get drunk all the time. The friend she sets me up with is just turning 21 and new to drinking, and he was quickly becoming buds with the bottle. His second text to me ever was to tell me that he drank an entire case of beer the night before. As in, he was bragging about it and expected me to be impressed. His entire Facebook was literally filled with nothing but posts about how hard he parties. Instant block. Also, there are reasons she and I aren’t friends anymore. These two incidents and a few other ones on the side were proof enough that she really paid no attention to anything I said, nor did she respect me enough to set me up with relationship material gentleman.

Somewhere in between this hootenanny of a hailstorm, I tried online dating. I know, I know. You don’t have to say it. It was super entertaining, though. I saw no penises, so that was a plus.

One of the first people to hit on me was a 50 year old guy with no profile picture or information on his profile, who immediately came at me telling me I should date him because age was only a number and I shouldn’t be stuck up and bitchy like other women. (Way to flatter a girl.) When I pointed out that this was coming from a guy twice my age with no profile picture, he told me I was being unfair to him and started telling me to submit to him. It became obvious very quickly how controlling he was. It also gave me the ha-has to find out that the situation didn’t go both ways. If I were 50 and he were my age, he would think I was too old. I guess when you’re middle-aged and lonely and don’t find women your age attractive, you have to bully people in to dating you. Never gonna happen, dude. For the record, had he started a nice conversation with me and been a gentleman and had information on his profile, I would have given him a chance. Age is only a number, when you’re not a chauvinistic jerk.

I met a few people here and there, but no one that I clicked with or had potential any kind of long term potential with. There was one guy who I talked here and there, not so often, for a few months. We hadn’t talked enough to really meet, but he was one of the only people who got my real email address, and overall he seemed alright. I’m overly cautious about online dating, what with Catfishing and scary rapists and murderers who troll these spaces, so it took until we started talking on the regular for me to give him my phone number. I’m no Penelope Garcia, after all.

Almost immediately I seemed to be talking to a different person. This guy who told me he was more of the stay-at-home artsy type was suddenly asking me to come out at meet him at the bar to drink, where he was alone. At a bar. On a Saturday night. On weeknights. Texting me the whole time. This was happening a few nights a week. I had a Johnny to my June once, and I couldn’t do it again. Not only that, but wanting to meet a girl for the first time in a bar in the dark seemed sketchy to me. His texts often came in at midnight or so.

Suddenly I was getting the picture that he wasn’t quite who he had told me he was, and now that we were talking about meeting, it was coming out. I should have backed away then, because men who sit at bars alone several nights a week have never been my type. Not that I have anything against them. There are lots of guys who don’t like girl-at-home types of girls. But not being a girl who enjoys bars and being asked by a guy to come to one several times a week is usually a sign. I’m so glad I didn’t back away, because this has become my favorite story to tell any and everyone who will listen.

One night, we happened to be talking about a little of this and a little of that, including this mysterious job that he had, but wouldn’t tell me what he did and never seemed to be anywhere but at the bar. But I digress. The topic of religion came up. It’s pertinent to tell you that I am religious. I am far from a Bible thumper, but I have a strong faith in God and want a partner who also has a strong faith in God. This was in my dating profile. From things that this guy had said to me before, it was clear he had read my dating profile. Unfortunately, reading and paying attention do not skip hand and hand off into the sunset. Boo.

Out of nowhere, he brings up that he feels God and religion and the Bible have no place in modern society. Uh, what now? When I think back on it now, I realize he had read my profile, and he was saying this just to be a jackwagon. Otherwise, who just comes out with something like that out of nowhere? Troublemakers, that’s who. His grandma would be embarrassed. I don’t know her personally. I’m just flying by the seat of my pants on this, because I know a lot of grandmas. None would agree with his behavior.

I told him that I disagreed, and that it was in my profile that I was looking for someone with a strong faith in God to date. I was over and done with him there and then. He had spent the last several months lying to me about such things and pretending like he had faith in God just to reel me in. I wasn’t even mad that he didn’t believe in God, but the lying is what did me in; the pretending to be someone else in more circumstances than just religion. I don’t understand what he thought he was going to get out of this, but I ended up being the winner of this situation. I will gladly take the prize of a good story any day.

It quickly came out that this guy was, in fact, atheist. I really don’t care if you’re some made up religion that prays to Martians that may or may not exist. You could wear hats and dance naked every day at 3 PM, regardless of where you are. I don’t give a hoot. I will be your friend. Some of my best friends are atheists. I’ve dated men of different religions than myself. Judgmental I am not. However, it’s a personal choice for me to want to raise a family with a man who also has a strong faith in God, whatever religion that faith may fall under. That’s all it is; a personal choice. When looking for a mate, you have to know what you want and what you don’t, and you’re entitled to have non-negotiables. That was one for me, hence why I put it in my dating profile. Heck, y’all, I would even take a guy who wasn’t religious but just had a faith in God. Seriously, not picky here.

He proceeded to berate me for this decision, telling me I was missing out on really great guys because of this. The fact that he chose to flip out on me over a personal decision said everything I needed to know about him. There was a control factor entering the picture when he didn’t get what he wanted. I was not judging him for being atheist. I never cared. I had made a personal decision, which I was up front about as to not lead anyone on, regarding wanting a partner who shared a faith in God. He went on about how he was raised religious and he knew the Bible inside and out. Then, you guys, he said inarguably the best thing I’ve ever heard to sum up an entire situation in my entire twenty-eight years on this planet. And I quote:

“You’re the kind of person that makes Jesus roll over in his tomb.”

I tried to explain Easter and Palm Sunday and resurrection to him gently, but none of those things rang a bell. He flipped out about how me saying Jesus has risen just showed that me, the “supposedly great, religious girl,” as he would put it, knew nothing about the Bible, and that he, the “atheist,” knew more than I did.

Obviously I blocked his number, because this kind of crazy I did not need. But I’ll be forever grateful for that little incident. And so will Jesus, who is not in his tomb and literally gave me an open joke at his own expense. This, folks, is exactly why I love the man upstairs.

I want to date, but then I reminisce about all of this and I think, nope, I’m good single. But man do I love the stories. I date for the stories.

As for the good dates, when I find one worth writing home about, you can be sure I will.

 

Thankful (Let Me See You Be Brave)

Some of you have been asking me lately why I don’t seem to blog anymore. See; this year. More recently, you’ve been asking why I wasn’t participating in NanoWrimo. I met a lot of my greatest, sweetest friends through there, and I was flattered you noticed my absence. The truth of the situation, however, wasn’t something I could talk about, or was willing to talk about. Until now.

I apologize if I’ve been short with you or failed to give you an answer when you asked where I’ve been. I’m also sorry if I’ve pushed you away just to avoid the truth and get rid of you, or if I’ve just plain ignored you. It wasn’t you – it never was. On Monday, the doctor found that I had two bulged disks in my neck, so I’m somewhat heavily medicated while I go through therapy for it, and I’m forever seeing pink sparkly ponies. It’s entirely possible that it’s the medication that’s making me brave enough to tell this story, or it may just be that it’s time, but I’m going to come clean with all of you about where I’ve been this year and why I’ve behaved as I have. Some of my closest, dearest and longest friends don’t even know this, as I’ve kept it close to my heart and away from the maddening crowd of life.

I started to notice something was wrong around Christmastime last year. I started feeling extremely depressed, often times thoughts of suicide crossing my mind. I had gone through a horrible breakup a few months earlier that had wore me down and broke me apart at the core, but enough time had passed for me to know that this was much more than that. I’ve always been a strong, resilient woman, and suddenly I felt like a timid little sheep facing down the cavernous belly of the beast. I was scared, but not ready to admit it.

Come January, things had only gotten worse. It occurred to me that I had started a new medication, Lyrica, to help with all of the pain I was in. When I looked up the side effects, they described the exact symptoms I was having. I went off the medication and in about a week / week and a half, I was feeling like myself again. The depression and confusion and anguish were gone and I was ready to move on with my life. But that didn’t happen.

It was a few weeks later that I started having severe pain in the left side of my head. It got to the point where I would completely lose my vision in my left eye. It wasn’t just a sensation. I really couldn’t see out of that eye. I went to the doctor, but no one could figure out the issue at first. I went to two doctors, and yet nothing. I was really starting to suffer and become extremely ill from the severity of the pain. While in the MRI machine, everything went completely black and I forced them to pull me out. I’ve had MRIs before and had never had that happen. It wasn’t that I blacked out, but that my whole range of vision completely darkened as if I were blind. As soon as I sat up, the lights came back on. Even after that, we still had no answer. Meanwhile, I was back to being an emotional tidal wave. I couldn’t control anything inside of me.

My autoimmune doctor was the one that that finally figured out that my blood disorder was wreaking havoc on my brain. The blood was pooling and thickening in one particular area of my brain, and there wasn’t much we could do about it. It wasn’t a clot yet, and if it turned into one, I was in trouble. If they tried to thin out the blood in any way, it would cause a hemorrhage. I was given orders to take it easy, and told that the place where the blood was the thickest was the cortex of my brain that controlled my emotions. The pressure from the thickening of the blood was causing my erratic behavior and feelings, and I just had to ride out the storm.

I kept hope alive that my problem was just that, but in my gut I knew something else was going on. I stopped being able to sleep, I wasn’t hungry anymore, and I was running around on adrenaline just to get things done because of my lack of sleep. I started taking pills at night just to knock me out and ones during the day just to keep me going. I started drinking alcohol, which I never do. Granted, it wasn’t to the point where I was drunk, but it was enough to know that I wasn’t myself. Yet the only explanation I had was the one given by the doctor, so I kept my mouth quiet and my issues to myself. I put on a fake smile for awhile, and then eventually just faded into the black and kept to myself in order to hide the emotional roller coaster I was riding until it slowly came to a safe stop, the blood thinned, and I felt like myself again.

The problem was, my blood had thinned, but I wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, I felt worse. That’s when I really started to isolate myself. I blew off everyone and everything imaginable to avoid people. I shirked my responsibilities. I didn’t care if I was being rude. I didn’t care about anything, especially not myself.

I tried everything to get back to me. I ditched everything that wasn’t me; the clothes, listening to the music on the radio, a way of talking like everyone else and fitting in. I went back to country music, I pitched all the clothes I didn’t like and got only the things I did, and I said and did what I wanted. None of it helped. I saw a piece of me shining through, but by the time that summer began to crest over the horizon, things had only taken a further tumble down the rabbit hole.

Around this time, I just completely went off the grid. When I did pop my head out to talk to a few people, I acted like I was fine, that nothing was wrong. There were only a half a handful of people who had any idea that something may be wrong. Everyone else basically thought I was being a jerk. At that point, I didn’t much care what they thought. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Other peoples’ opinions of me sure as hell didn’t matter.

The middle of July marked the shift in the shaky ground I was standing on, and I finally fell through. It was inevitable, really. I hadn’t been fine in quite awhile, but I wasn’t ready to admit that. I wasn’t ready to give up the fight. There’s a stigma that goes with not being okay. It means you’re crazy. It means there’s something wrong with you. But that’s not the truth, and there was still a dark veil in front of me that allowed me to ignore the truth just a little bit longer. It let me fall into a false sense of security each day when I would put on my cowboy boots and my country words and walk out that door falsely confident. That little ray of hope kept me going and kept pushing me through. It kept me telling myself I was okay even after the bottom had long fallen out.

This is when the panic attacks started. I had been acquainted with them occasionally since September of 2012 after not ever having any. This was different. Out of nowhere, I was slammed with the sensation of not being able to breathe or control anything. This was happening three or four times a day, and Xanax was barely helping. I still wasn’t ready to give up the fight, but I was slowly losing it in every way possible.

It wasn’t until a friend of mine threatened to 302 me that I realized things had gone too far. This friend knew me better than anyone else in the world, had an education in psychology, and would never threaten such a thing on me unless it was one hundred percent necessary. I literally trust this friend with my life, so I was forced to open my eyes and see that I was worse off than I had been telling myself, and the person I was lying to the most was me. Truth be told, he probably saved my life that day, with that one not so small threat.

For those of you who don’t know what the 302 law is, it’s a law much like the 5150 law in California that Steve-O and Mischa Barton were forcibly committed for a mental evaluation under. If a person or persons feels that you are submitting to erratic behavior, they can force you into a limited hold in a mental institution to be forcibly evaluated for mental disorders or conditions.

I had a doctors appointment lined up not long after all of this, and I had promised my friend I would talk to my doctor about what was going on. I had talked myself out of it three or four hundred times in those few days, and when I got to the doctor I planned on saying nothing to her. I wasn’t strong or brave enough to admit something was wrong. I had spent my entire life taking care of myself and everyone else around me, and I just wasn’t prepared to tell someone that I needed help. I was always the girl who didn’t; the girl who everyone went to when they needed something. And now, here I was, a shell of myself and unable to stand on my own, but unwilling to admit it because I felt it just wasn’t who I was or who I was allowed to be.

Though I had a standing appointment with the doctor for a separate issue, God had plans of his own. I broke down in the middle of the appointment, out of absolute nowhere. I just started bawling my eyes out and I couldn’t stop myself. I never cry in front of people, and my doctor knew me well enough to know that I was typically a happy, outgoing young woman who looked to the sunny side of life. She knew in that moment that something was very wrong.

I had to make a fast decision there or then about my own strength and free will. I had mere moments to agree to see a psychologist or be 302ed. At that point I almost wanted to be 302ed, because if I was, I could get away from everything. I could let the world stop and go on without me while I took time to myself to heal, because that’s what I needed most. Afraid of being pumped with medication when my body has issues tolerating it, and worried the situation would be made worse, I agreed to see a psychologist. My doctor told me I had every symptom of PTSD and that she wanted to continue to follow up with me, because what was going on with me was serious, and in no way my fault. There was nothing wrong with me.

I called the psychologist she suggested the next day. I remember thinking a lot of things about myself that fit the stigma of mental health disorders. I remember thinking something was wrong with me. Then I would think about the strangest thing – Demi Lovato and her battle with addiction and being bipolar came to mind. I remember thinking how brave she was for going public with her problems, and how strong she was to realize she needed help on her own, taking herself off of a world wide tour, and, at a mere 18 years old, checking herself into a rehab facility to get help. If she could do it with the world looking on, I could stand up and do it for myself, in this tiny little town.

The psychologist was quick to reinforce that there was nothing wrong with me. She was careful to diagnose, but overwhelming in assuring me that I didn’t have any mental health disorders. For me, it was a relief, but I knew even if I had, that I was okay with who I was, because I had sought help. I had decided to get better, instead of sitting around lying to myself for another eight months. I was simply suffering from PTSD related anxiety for all that I had been through, and it wasn’t hard to pinpoint the situation that threw me into a tailspin.

Almost immediately I was doing better and I was back to being more like myself, only a better, healthier version. I’m proud to say today that I am happier than I’ve ever been. It’s only been a little over three months since I started going to the psychologist, but I am already down to going once every two weeks, and I’ve been holding my ground pretty well. I’ve stopped caring what people say about me or what they think. I’ve got rid of people I didn’t need in my life – the ones that were causing unnecessary drama. I left the past behind me and became grateful for what I’ve been put through, because now I know myself better than I ever have.

Some days I still slip up and find myself in my room crying, or having a panic attack, but the days are so few and far between, and they’re part of life. No one gets better overnight. This may be something I struggle with for the rest of my life, or it may be something that goes away in a year. I’m careful to know when I’m losing my ground now, and not so careless and reckless with my heart. Those times when I’m falling down, I stop and take care of me now, instead of putting on a facade of makeup and fake smiles. I can deal with this on my own now, but keep up with my psychologist so I can make sure I stay on solid ground and that I keep going with my head held high. And I’m not ashamed to admit this now, but, rather, I am proud of how far I’ve come in such a short period of time and where I am now.

I know myself better than I ever have, and I’m working on getting back out there and becoming a part of society, getting into a little bit of life. I’ve learned a thing or two about dating, but mostly chalk it up to a comedic experience that leaves me none too eager to be a little fish in that large sea. When the right person comes along, I’ll know like I’ve known before, and I’ll give it a shot. (I’ll also soon share the stories of the dating mishaps on here, and hopefully you will all find them as funny as I do.) I’m not shutting down completely, but focusing on me, which is something I’ve never done before. But I have to say, I find that I kind of like it.

This Thanksgiving, while everyone is going around the table saying what they are thankful for, I can honestly say that I am just thankful to be here. There were times this year, more often than I’d like to admit, when I was taking a mix of pills just to sleep and another just to stay awake, that I didn’t think I’d be making it to see another birthday or holiday. I didn’t much care if I did or not, to tell you the truth. But I did make it. I’m here. I’m alive. I’m okay. And that’s as much as any woman can ask for.

Help! I’m Turning Into Rachel Zoe! (And Am Secretly Okay With It.)

As women, we grow up learning that our first love is our family and friends. Then we get older and find boys, and we talk about love and marriage and children. We love boys, who turn into heartbreaks, and then men, more heartbreaks and, if we’re lucky, the real deal. But for those of us who find boys and love and heartbreaks and not much else, there’s still hope for us. There’s shoes. They’re the third kind of right kind of love. (Try saying that three times fast.)

Taylor Swift once said, “I don’t know if you know who you are until you lose who you are.” Love her or hate her, she’s absolutely right, and every breakup teaches you to do that. A breakup from true love does so much more. True love is something that last, unconditionally through all time and space, interweaving into your life and never ending. You could hate your ex and hope a gorilla eats him. Getting back with him could be the like, ever kind of never ever. If you were going to talk to your ex in only cat memes, these might be the ones that would represent what you had to say best. (I’ve used the last one. I’m too nice to use the other two.)

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Regardless, no matter how definitively you’ve moved on or how much you’ve let it go and watched it run away, and how happy you are in your life, you will always love that person somewhere deep down inside, no matter how much you hate them on the surface and think they’re a piece of dirt. It’s those kinds of relationships that leave you feeling bare and empty and sad when they’re through. Something has to change, and you realize it has to be you. Back to me without you. (“You made grief my chief emotion. Why’d you have to do what you thought you had to do.”) Me. That’s who I need to find again.

We’ve all been there, so we resort to who we were before we got lost in trying to love the things he did because we loved him, and strip ourselves to the bare essentials, becoming a better us for it. It’s easy to get caught up in being “us” and lose yourself as part of a team, but when one team member quits, it all falls back on number one. It’s this incredibly saturating feeling to be the best you, and now even better; stronger.

This is a lesson it took me so long to learn, and I remained stuck in the past for longer than I’d like to admit, even if I had moved past the person. I started looking ahead and realizing that it wasn’t him that had me stuck, but I had myself stuck, because I was surrounded by my past. I’m one of those people who doesn’t throw anything essential out unless it’s completely ruined. One day I opened my closet and found that none of my clothes were me. That’s probably because every article of summer clothing, at least shirt wise, was something I had owned since I was in high school, prior to getting sick, a whole thirteen years ago, save for the few vintage pieces Aunt Bev had given me. I look young, and I was dressing like a kid. I hated all of my clothes and half of them didn’t even fit right. It was time for a change. It was time to find a new love that wasn’t a boy. It was time to really love myself.

So I changed my wardrobe and got rid of stuff that had sat in my closet for years without being worn, and the stuff that didn’t fit me right, and I found a few great pieces that were me. It killed me to give away shirts that were in perfectly good shape, but they were pried out of my hands by my mom, who insisted I did, in fact, look as ridiculous as I thought. I was feeling better about myself already. Even though I knew the ex wouldn’t have been attracted to me in the clothes I wore, that brought me peace, because I was finally myself. It showed me how many miles apart we were and how glad I was to have had the chance to part from him and get back to me. I felt lucky to have a chance to find someone who would love me for me; someone who appreciated the mature way I dressed and wasn’t looking to relive their high school days.

What I never planned on doing was changing my shoes. I’ve never been a shoe person. Even when I worked at a shoe store, I wasn’t a shoe person. Shoes were just some stupid things I had to spend money on so I didn’t walk around barefoot and was allowed in stores. I bought the cheapest ones I could find that fit and called it a day. That could be why, when I went to clean out my closet, I noticed all of my shoes were falling apart. I mean literally losing their souls, or discolored, or badly worn. I change out my tennis shoes every six months in order to keep good padding in my shoes and keep my back aligned, but I’ve had the same shoes for at least ten years when it came to every other kind of shoe, save for my cowboy boots, which were now also pretty dead to the world. I also had one pair of dress shoes that actually fit me right and didn’t care if they matched what I wore when I needed them. I had three pairs that didn’t fit. There was a lot of horrible going on.

Begrudgingly, I decided to set out on a search for shoes. I don’t even like shopping for tennis shoes, nor do I care what they look like, so I just go to Ross and find a cheap pair. However, the last time I bought tennis shoes, I got some fancy Skechers shoe and I love them. They’re so light and so comfortable, but I digress. It was time to go out in the world and buy actual shoes that actually went with my clothes and completed my new, adult look. However, every time I think of shoe shopping, I can’t get this out of my head, which wasn’t helping me take shoe shopping seriously.

One pair of shoes I don’t mind shopping for are cowboy boots. They’re kind of my trademark, but the last time I bought a pair, I got a cheap, not so authentic pair, and they died over the last year because I wore them all the time. I’m picky about my cowboy boots and couldn’t find a pair I liked, until I came across an authentic leather pair made by Laredo. When I was a child, I rode horses and lived in Laredos, so I knew that they were comfortably padded and guaranteed to last, unlike my other pair. I didn’t want to spend the money on them, but I found a terrific deal and went for it. I am truly in love with these shoes, which isn’t unusual since they are cowboy boots. They’re so me.

Cowgirl 1

cowgirl 2

Then, to sweeten the pot, I found a leather jacket on clearance at Target that matches them perfectly. Since I was in the market for a new jacket, they became the perfect pair. The cutouts on the jacket are the same as the ones on my boots. This picture, for whatever reason, came across with a weird glare that caused it to look vintage, but I like it.

cowgirl 3

Boots were the easy thing to shop for, because I was going to do that anyway. I wasn’t planning on replacing my other shoes, simply because I hate shoe shopping. I never find anything I like, so I buy cheap and go on with my day. This time, I decided I was going to buy shoes I actually liked. I knew this was going to be a disaster and a half and require a ton of online shopping, because I didn’t have the energy to scour stores, and the few I did, I hated everything. I felt like Grumpy Cat. My other problem is that, with my medical problems, I need something comfortable or I just get completely annoyed and won’t wear them. Every good woman can tell you that beautiful shoes are not comfortable. I also wasn’t willing to spend a fortune, so I was pretty much on a mission bound to fail on the principle of asking too much.

I decided to start the shoe search I didn’t want to do with sandals. This sounded easy, but royally sucked. Those things that go between your toes? I don’t do those. Apparently almost every shoe does. I had the perfect pair that didn’t do that and were as comfortable as all get out, but also just as ugly and the soul was coming detached from the part you slip your foot into. I also had another pair that broke at the buckle and had to be tossed.

I decided I didn’t want to shoe shop and only wanted one pair of sandals, so they had to be cute, go with everything, and be a little classy.They also had to be flat and easy to slide on. No one carried them, naturally. By accident, I came across a pair on Wal-Mart.com that they didn’t carry in stores. They were also Dr. Scholl’s, so they should be comfortable. Who knew Dr. Scholl’s made cute shoes that weren’t just for the retirement village folk? They were flat and soft on the feet like my one pair of old ones, but also had the pink buckle like my other pair. They were perfect. The only issue I found is that you can’t wear them if you’re going to walk all over the place like I could with my old ones, because the buckle will dig into your foot some. I was bummed about that, but learned long ago that sandals were not really made for long walks anyway, so they were sufficient for what I needed. Plus, they were only $15, so I was a happy camper. That’s more my price range. Actually, zero is my price range, but that’s how I ended up with crappy shoes I hated in the first place.

Pink Sandals 1

Pink Sandals

Just like that I threw out two pairs of shoes that were falling apart and I didn’t like anyway and replaced them with one pair I did. That was great and wonderful, but I really sucked at buying high heels for several reasons. I can stand a high heel, but I can’t stand the pumps in the front part, because that’s when I fall over and either break something or kill myself. My ankles swell because of my blood disorder, so straps were completely out of the question, as they end up digging into me. I just wanted a straight, basic pair of high heels. Apparently fashion has taken a couture turn in the past couple of years, because this task started to feel more like recovering The Ring from Mordor than buying something pretty.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m very pro Taylor Swift’s adorable style and that’s the kind of girl I am, but I never wear heels. This is because mine don’t fit and I can never finds ones I like, so I just don’t do it and I end up looking frumpy and not at all how I feel on the inside. Investing in heels I loved was something I was serious about, but also didn’t want to spend $50 for a pair of heels, so I had to be cautious about finding cute and inexpensive. I was dooming myself again.

A little birdy by the name of Fate told me that Forever 21 carried some cute classic country pieces, so I stopped in and picked up a few new shirts so I wasn’t so 2000. While I was heading toward the checkout, the heavens open and I about fell tit over ass over a display with shoes on it. There, I found shoes that were so very vintage Americana, and so very me. I fell in love instantly, and these came home with me. It was meant to be. Better yet, they were only $27.99, which, men, is cheap for heels. If your woman ever comes home telling you she spent that for heels, praise her and take her out for dinner. Take her somewhere she can wear those heels to.

Cherry 1

Cherry 2

Cherry 3

I have some very pretty dresses and shirts that would go amazingly with these heels, but with the pattern, there were some things that just weren’t going to have any of that at all, meaning I needed to find a plain pair of heels for those everyday events. I wanted just a classic black pair, but nothing boring. I was hoping for something with a little lace, but all of those were peep toes, and homie don’t play that. Discouraged post trying on several pairs of shoes that I found boring, I knew I needed to change things up.

I happened to be minding my own business when an incredibly obnoxious commercial come on. Lo and behold, it was advertising shoes, so I went to the website to find out it was Rachel Zoe’s website, Shoe Dazzle. I love Rachel Zoe in a weird kind of bananas way, so I signed up and took a look-see. The shoes seemed reasonably priced, but out of my cheapo price range, so I went for the clearance rack. There, I found a flowered lace pair of black high heels, with a shiny metal toe that can be used for kicking people you don’t like strongly in places they don’t like to be kicked, at the wonderful price of $25. Done.

Romance 1

Romance 2

 

Romance 3

My only mistake here was that I had looked through all the clearance shoes while looking for this perfect pair, and there I became completely obsessed with shoes, because I found a pair so perfect, so divine, so worth obsessing over and falling in love with multiple times a day for the rest of my life that I was nearly shitting kittens. I finally, FINALLY, understood being obsessed with shoes. It was just that I didn’t need them. Unlike the black high heels, they wouldn’t go with everything. The  problem was, I was already in love, and they were also on clearance for $25, so I splurged when I knew I shouldn’t have. Once I got them, though, I officially became completely shoe obsessed like every other woman. They are that perfect. They are, single-handedly, the shoes that made me realize shoes are more fun to fall in love with than boys, and definitely the perfect fix for loveless times after you lost a love. These make me feel so classy and grown up, but still young.

Love

Love 2

Love 3

While I was ordering from Shoe Dazzle, I decided to search the clearance boots, as fashionable boots have long been a staple in my winter wardrobe, but mine had detached from their souls and found their death. All the boots I was finding were ugly and made me unhappy, but then I found a versatile pair for $13 on Shoe Dazzle. They’re so versatile because you can wear them below the knee and buttoned, or above the knee for a new look whenever you feel like it. These weren’t easy to photograph myself in since they have to be on to show the true potential, so I used stock photos from the site. Not very creative. Sorry!

Obsess 1

Boots 4 Boots 5

I am completely and absolutely enamored with shoes now and Shoe Dazzle. The transaction was quick and easy, I got my shoes quickly, the prices were great, and they had shoes that no one in my area is sure to have, so I can be unique. I just have to remind myself that I can’t keep buying shoes. Thank you, Shoe Dazzle and the perfect high heels for making me cray-cray about shoes, or just plain crazy. This is problematic for me. I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with heels, especially that specific pair, and shoes in general. I’m practically as obsessed with shoes as Rachel Zoe now.

Sometimes you have to invest in you. It’s not a waste of money to make yourself feel good. Buy things you love, but buy in your price range and you’ll be happier for it. How you look on the outside is just a showpiece of how you feel on the inside. If you’re going to wear it, it’s okay to spend some money to update your wardrobe so you’re absolutely you. And someone will love you for it.

On a separate note, this song makes me so happy and the video is so cute. It gives me hope and makes me completely jealous of these kids all the same. Great, now I’m jealous of eight year olds.

If none of this stuff helps you get out of your breakup rut, because you are fabulous and need a guy who appreciates you, let me help. If you’re tired of listening to Johnny Cash to make you realize that, hey, you don’t have it that bad, then I suggest My Blood by Ellie Goulding. It got me over everything, even in the roughest times.

“And God knows I’m not dying but I bleed now, And God knows it’s the only way to heal now,
 With all the blood I lost with you,
 It drowns the love I thought I knew”

Everything But the Books

I don’t know what is wrong with me lately, and at the same time, I do. I’ve written and scratched out, crossed out, rewritten and deleted posts. Some are still hanging in the balance of the edit circle, where I don’t want to backtrack in my life to go over them before I post them, and only want to move forward. Our eyes face forward so we’re always looking ahead in life, not behind. It’s not the way God intended life to be.

Things have been strange lately. Not that they’re ever not. My life has a way of doing funny things and I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and roll with the punches. Health wise, I think I’m barely hanging on. I’m handing it better on the outside than I am on the inside, and most people don’t know there’s a thing wrong with me. I have a rare blood disorder that is causing an even more rare pressure on my brain. It’s one of those, “we’ve all heard of this, but we’ve never seen it” situations amongst my doctors. There’s not much that can be done. If they don’t break up the blood, the pressure will cause a hemorrhage, or worse, a stroke which will lead to a hemorrhage. If they do try to break it up, that will also cause a hemorrhage, since too much blood will be loose in my brain.

I also had an autoimmune neurological test come back positive, though the doctor who did the test has taken a month to let me know the results, and won’t discuss what positive results mean and what kind of treatment plan there is for me until my appointment in August. She knows we’re waiting on clarification on the results to move forward with treatment for the issue with my brain, as the positive test results greatly affect what route they can take to get the pressure off my brain before it does hemorrhage. Waiting three months isn’t acceptable and it could be too late by then. Clearly, it’s time for me to find a new doctor who cares about what’s going on with me. There is also something going on with my heart, and I have a pre-existing heart condition. She also won’t discuss that with me until August. No wonder I’m stressed in the moments where I’m supposed to stay away from everything stressful as not to cause more pressure on my brain. Doctors aren’t supposed to stress you out worse.

I’ve had a lot of weird side effects with the issue with my brain; anything from loss of vision, to blacking out, to severe dizziness, to barely being able to walk or stand, and also not being able to control my emotions due to where the pressure is sitting. Possibly the weirdest is forgetting people; ones I have known that have meant so much to me. A good example is Craig, my ex. I remember how I felt about him, I remember moments and things that happened between us, and I remember things about him. I just don’t remember him. When I try to recall him, he’s just a blank. I couldn’t tell you what he looked like to save my life, and it’s very strange. It’s a bit scary, too. I wonder how bad things will get or if this will or can cause any permanent damage before we are able to solve the issue at hand; if we’re able to. Every route we think we can take meets a roadblock because of my other health problems, and I’m scared. I can barely function right now and I’m worried about what could and will happen to me. Yet I still know there’s people out there who have it worse than me.

I’m not supposed to be using the computer, really, but I’m bored half to death, which isn’t funny considering. I’m trying to write my novel now that my heart is telling me what novel I was meant to write, but if I stare at the screen for more than a half an hour, my vision goes on me. I’ve been trying to brush up on paranormal stuff, ordering and reading books about the history – both paranormal and non paranormal – of the area so that I can piece together some absent parts of past cases I’ve worked. I have sewing to do and lots of Little Miss Suzy Homemaker types of things to occupy me, but I can barely move from the couch most days.

Little Miss Suzy Homemaker fits me fine. I found a part of me that I lost nine years ago when I realized that people can hurt you just to do it and not give a damn. You can’t find yourself until you lose yourself, and the last eight months have ripped me at the seams. I may not be the long-haired red head that dresses in jeans and rock shirts anymore, but I am a curly haired blonde who loves the south, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Lemon Breeland’s style and vintage things. This is who I am and have always felt like I wouldn’t be accepted for. But when I go to the store wearing a vintage dress that’s so very June from the 1950’s, guys still talk to me and bitchy women avoid contact with me. It’s a win. I’ve gotten rid of the old; the things I didn’t like and thought I should, and replaced them with things that make me happy and are so very me. That includes people. I’m more me than I’ve been in a long time and very grateful for that. I’m certainly not the same woman I was a year ago. Someone will love me for exactly me, and I’ll be my best me with them. I don’t know if that’s what I want; I may want to just be alone. I don’t need another Johnny to my June. I don’t want to parent my significant other through parties and too much drinking again. Only time will tell.

I’ve had a blind spot when it comes to the paranormal ever since I got sick. I was backlogged six months in cases before I got sick, and now it’s more like a year. Things have started to come back to me slowly. I can see Sarah again. I can hear Lauren. I’m trying to slowly get back into taking cases, without stressing myself out. I’m still not where I used to be, and I can’t sense things like I normally can. My friend thinks that, when I get better, I’d make a great television show. Maybe I should start taping what I do, I don’t know.

But I ask, dear readers, as I try to find a niche with my blog, should I tell my paranormal stories on here? Should I make a section for it? Should I do updates with videos instead of typing, and also include some of the cover songs I’ve recorded? What would you all like to see this blog become?

Through the years, I’ve had to learn a lot about stressing myself out, and this also comes from the paranormal side of things, too. I’ve always felt obligated that, since I could see and speak with the dead, I had to help everyone who had a paranormal problem, and I’ve always done it for free. This has recently led me to learn why people charge. I’ve taken the cases where the people couldn’t afford to bring in help, and most of the time it has gotten me talked back to from completely complacent, unappreciative homeowners who want nothing to do with getting rid of what is in their home, and don’t understand it’s a process in which they have to be involved, as well as a process that takes time. When someone pays you to get something out of their house, they are truly prepared to do any and everything it takes to get it out, because they are serious about it. I still don’t have the heart to charge, though, especially because sometimes I get the most wonderful, grateful people who are so delighted to have help and truly become such beloved friends of mine. They make what I do worth it.

I’m not going to be able to see to keep typing much longer, so before I go I will share a short story. Please let me know what you’d like to see more of on my blog and what you think is a good niche for me. Everything has changed and I’d like to start over.

I don’t wonder why the U.S. Postal service is going bankrupt. Our local post office is like a tiny violin playing the soundtrack to their own little movie, which would undoubtedly be some twisted, weird sequel to Dumb and Dumberer, just minus all the original stars and completely unscripted as cameras follow our mail carriers and postmaster around. I’ve told you stories before about leaving packages out in the rain and inside flower pots full of water, and then lying about there being something covering them. I’ve probably even told you about how they will never alert us there is a package at the post office for us, and only when the original sender gets it sent back do I find out they never bothered to do their job and simply returned it to sender. I’ve contacted the head office several times, but they keep kicking back the complaints to our postmaster. They don’t seem to realize that she is the problem, no matter how many times I’ve politely told them.

With not feeling well, I’ve found myself having to order things that I need online more and more because I have more bad days than good, and I can’t exactly go to the store when I’m having issues getting around. This has brought on a whole new stupidity of our mail people called, “we shall steal her mail and she won’t notice.” But I notice. Knowing how our mail people are and that most places don’t give you a cost efficient alternative to shipping besides FedEx Smartpost, I’ve downloaded all the apps to keep track of my packages. Still, they have a whole new plan of action.

Fedex’s website will tell me that my package was dropped off at my local post office, with a date and time. Oddly, my package will never arrive. I give it five days or so and give things a chance, but the package never shows up. I go to the post office with the tracking information and typically get the postmaster. Though I have the information right in front of me saying that the package was delivered and checked in by our post office, she tells me it’s not there, refuses to look up any tracking information on it, or look for it in the post office. She’s actually told me I was lying and refused to look at my phone to see that they did, in fact, check the package in. This doesn’t surprise since the one time there was a package with my name on it sitting two feet to the right of her and she refused to give it to me, saying it wasn’t my package, though I could clearly see my name on it, and then sent it back to the shipper.

With no help from her, I go to Fedex down the road, they print out all the necessary paperwork saying that yes, it was checked into our post office, and I take the paperwork back to the post office, where I’m still met with disdain and the lack of help. A few days later the package mysteriously turns up at my house, badly repackaged and re-taped, missing any packing materials and receipts. I’m not saying our post office workers are stealing my packages, holding onto them, lying to me about it, and then, when I get all up in their grill, putting them into a box and delivering them…oh wait, yes I am. And from the way the postmaster acts when I try to retrieve a package that I know is there, I’m also accusing her. Nothing gets done about it and I get to lather, rinse and repeat this cycle often since the higher ups still don’t get that she’s the problem and she will not help me when this happens. She also seems to have no shame about the fact that this keeps happening and I have to keep going over there when my packages don’t show up after five days or a week. I’m fair. I give them time to deliver it before I go over there. They just don’t deliver it, is the problem.

It’s only certain things that go missing. Stuff that comes from pet supply places I typically get. Stuff from Amazon, depending on the size of the box, I occasionally get, however, I’ve switched to Prime to avoid my packages having to go through the post office. Things from Kohl’s packaged in shipping bags I get. Things packed in boxes, I don’t. Anything from Wal-Mart is sure to go missing. I’m wondering if my order from Shoe Dazzle will too. I’ll know tomorrow or the next day.

But you know the one thing they never, ever, ever take? Books. My books come one by one, as I order them from different sellers used from Amazon. They always come in paper mailers and it’s obvious they’re books. With having ordered over twenty five books, not one has ever gone missing. This says everything about why our postal service is going bankrupt.

If the Ties That Bind Ever Do Come Loose

There’s only one thing I know how to do when I’m confused, upset, feel down or am debating throwing in the towel. That’s write. I’ve never been one for expressing my feelings. Even when I tell someone how I feel, I still feel like I don’t say everything I should tell. In my mind, I feel like all the words have been said, but in my heart I know they haven’t. I take a pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and I don’t think. I just write. I remember. That’s when everything I’ve bottled up comes out and when I’m able to figure out how I really feel. Sometimes, even after, I’m still confused. But I’m learning.

This month is Camp Nanowrimo, so I’m taking to working on my novel, but it’s not the one I thought I would write. It’s not the story that I thought I would tell. It’s just the one that needs told. Maybe it will get me in trouble one day, or maybe it will inspire someone. I can only hope it’s the latter, but if it gets me in trouble, as long as it reaches the person it was intended for, that’s the only thing that makes it matter.

It helps to write things out, to put the past on paper so you can put it behind you. It helps to remember so that you can forget and forgive. I can’t figure out which is harder to do. Even at twenty-seven, it doesn’t seem any easier. I still struggle daily with the confusion. The pressure in my head isn’t helping, but everyday is still an uphill battle and an eternal argument with myself and what I want. I like clean breaks. I like speaking my mind, putting things behind me, and never having to consider it again. The situation I’ve been put in by other people doesn’t allow for that right now, and I’m going crazy out of my mind trying to figure out how you deal with the unknown when you have no control over stopping it or changing it.

Everything is at a discord right now, and I feel like everyone I want to envelope me is taking me wrong and there’s nothing I can do about it. I have made the conscious decision that I don’t want to date right now and really like being single, but everyone’s even taking that wrong. In this day and age, it seems like you can’t be single without accusations of not being over your ex being thrown around. Nobody bothers to ask you if that’s true or not, even your ex. It’s like you can’t be single without a reason, and I have one, but no one asks what it is.

It’s simple. Dating isn’t for me. I’ve gotten my feelings in check, got myself where I needed to be, and I put myself out there. It sucked. I don’t do well meeting people I don’t know. I don’t like the process of getting to know someone and figuring out if you click while dating. I, quite simply, don’t want to put the work into getting to know someone, or the effort into making a relationship work. I want to be me. I want to do what I want to do. I want to go about my life without worrying about someone else or having one more stress in my life right now. I like my freedom.

This doesn’t mean I’m not lonely. I am. But the lack of wanting to put the effort in far outweighs that. Everyone I’ve dated I’ve always met through work or friends or acquaintances. We were friends first. I didn’t just pick someone up I didn’t know, agree to meet them and run with it. The relationships I’ve ended up in have developed on their own. We knew each other, the connection was there, and it just happened. That’s for me. That’s where I want to be. Finding that takes patience. I know what I want, and I’m willing to have the patience to find the right person, instead of consistently putting myself through bad date after bad date, feeling uncomfortable and trying to force myself to do something because I want people to stop thinking I’m not over my ex. It shouldn’t be like that.

I’m going to share something with you that you will learn as you get older. When you have a connection with someone, a real connection, you can get over them all you want. It’s the feeling you had when you were with them that you can’t get over. This doesn’t mean you aren’t over them. You are. You just refuse to settle for less than that feeling. Once you find it, nothing less feels worth it. That’s where I am. This has nothing to do with my ex. It has nothing to do with being stuck on him or wanting to get back together with him. None of those things are relevant or true. I just want to find that feeling again with someone else. It’s incredibly hard to for me to connect with someone, and I’ve learned that I either know right away or I don’t, and right now I don’t. So I wait until I do, and if I don’t, I stay single. At this day and age, a woman shouldn’t be burned at the stake and chastised for being okay with being single.

I never wanted to marry. There’s a lot of things I can forgive my ex for. In fact, I’ve been able to forgive him for everything, but I can’t forgive him for the way he made me feel. I can’t forgive him for bringing up marriage the last night we were together and making something click in my brain that made me know I could do that with him. I could do the one thing that I never wanted to do with anyone else with him. Likely, I won’t find that again, because I can’t imagine finding someone I want to be around every day. I’m like a cat. I like my space, I want attention when I want it, and I want left alone otherwise. I know I’m like this, and I know I’m not a good candidate for marriage. When someone changes that and you know it was because of the feelings you had with them, it’s hard to know where to go from there.

I’ve met someone I like since we’ve been apart, but he’s never made me feel the same way. He’s nice and responsible and on paper fits me better than my ex, but he’s not right for me. I’m sure I could be happy with him and have a perfectly fine life with him, but unless I find a feeling as strong as I had before, it’s not worth it to me. Everyone is going to have their bad points, and the guy I like has some that make me feel like crap, even though I know it’s just him and I can’t take it personally. He’s bad at getting back to people and making or keeping plans, and those are deal breakers. Those are things that I can’t live with without that feeling again, but you’d be amazed by the deal breakers you can live with once you find that feeling. Things you never wanted are suddenly okay. They’re cute. They’re quirks. You like them.

It’s hard for me to let go when I like someone or get emotionally attached, and I’m fighting with that right now. I’ve asked him to hang out and he doesn’t respond, but then suddenly I’ll hear from him, and it will bring everything up again. What do you do? You know he’s not right and he’s not a good friend, so do you block his number? Do you shut him out? Or do you just ride it out and see what happens and cause yourself enough consternation to take down a small nation? This is where I’m stuck. I want him here, but he’s not. He’s in the in between and isn’t putting effort into being friends. Is it worth it? Are relationships, of any kind, worth the work? Or should you only form them with the people who come easy, because, damn it, you’re worth it and if someone can’t see that, screw them?

If you thought your teen years were hard, you haven’t known pain or your own strength. This is awful, really. There’s little about my twenties that I’ve enjoyed, because unless you’re one of those people who falls in with the right people at the right place and right time, and you know love early on, you’re going to be confused as hell. But let me help you out.

You will meet someone you fall madly in love with. If you’re like most twenty somethings, it will end. You will go months where you will think about the person every day, and there will be things you can’t forgive them for, but it’s always because it has to do with feelings. You will wonder how to go on, and you will think you’re not over the person even though you’ve been dating willingly, which is a sign in itself that you’ve moved on. You are over them, and aside from a billboard waving you in the face, your subconscious is telling you that. You’re just not over the way you felt for them, but that has nothing to do with them. It has to do with not being able to find that feeling again, because you’re not meeting the right person. Once you do, and if you do, it will click. You’ll figure out that all this time you’ve been over everything and it’s been in your past. You’ve been strong. You’ve just been absent of a feeling, and you’re tying that feeling to the person you once felt it for, but wanting that person and wanting that feeling again are two separate things.

The important thing is that, even when you want to give up, you don’t. You use that as a learning experience to discover yourself and what you really want. I thought I just wanted to be with someone, but that’s not what I want. I would love someone to cuddle with and watch movies with, but I don’t want the commitment. Until I do, I’m good being single. I think I would even like to date a girl, because I don’t feel like I’m finding what I need in guys, and that’s okay too. Do what you need to do for you. Separate the feelings from the person and find yourself.

Most importantly, don’t listen to other people. Only you know how you feel, and no matter what other people say or accuse you of, as long as you know it’s not true, that’s all that matters. Let people talk. They’re only words. You’re the only one who knows how you’re feeling and what you want. Ignore the words, no matter how bad they hurt.

You’re going to cry. A lot. It’s going to suck. There’s going to be a song you can’t ever listen to without crumbling again. There’s going to be memories you never will be able to look back on without crying. You’re not going to know where to go from here. You’re not going to know if he was the one and one day you can work it out because it’s meant to be, or if there’s someone else out there and this was just a lesson for you. You’re not going to know if you’re ever going to find that feeling again, or if you even want to. I can’t tell you what happens next, but I know I’m going to find out. Whether I’m looking forward to that or not has yet to be told.

You Should Have Known

Many of you reading this know me in some way. You know that I am typically a very sweet girl who gets along with almost everyone, is never angry and is quick to forgive. I go out of my way to be completely up front with others, step in when they need me, and never hurt anyone. Which is why I want to send this message to everyone and hope they will pass it on.

I have been doing a lot of smiling when all I’ve felt for the last six months is empty and a pain inside of me that leaves me paralyzed and unable to get out of bed most days, but I hide it. I have never been like this in twenty seven years. I went through a breakup last September that almost destroyed me. I thought he was it for me. He brought up marriage and kids first and on his own – in a year and a half for marriage and two for kids, to be exact. The next time I saw him, he broke up with me and then stopped talking to me completely. I never knew why; I doubt I ever will. It broke everything in me. I lost my other half. To make it worse, I was going through cancer testing at the time and needed him. He was the only person I wanted by my side, even if it was just as a friend. I struggled alone, because I am alone ninety nine percent of the time.

It took me four months, but I started to heal, and in the time between met a really gentle and kind guy. He told me he was tired of relationships that didn’t go anywhere and wanted one that did. He told me he wanted to be married in around four years. He’s going to another state for school in the fall for four years, but there was nothing that he said that indicated he didn’t want to make this work between us. He got extremely sick and I was the first one to jump in and try to help, going out of my way to call doctors at home to try and help get him in with them, even though I was quite sick myself.

Today I found out, via some texts he sent to a friend, that he never had any intentions of dating me through school or having a serious relationship. He lied to me, but he waited to show that lie until I had already gotten emotionally invested in him. All of that work I did over those four months broke down, and I’m in a worse place than I was six months ago, when it all started. On top of this, I find myself extremely sick again with no official diagnosis or seemingly no way out, having also had a nervous breakdown on top of being sick over all of this, and I know things could get bad.

The point is, don’t lie to someone. Don’t lead them on. Don’t make promises to them or bring up serious things that you can’t commit to and don’t mean. Always be honest up front and you will be respected. Moms, teach your sons and daughters this, because it is the most important lesson to learn. One lie, one little piece of information you hold back, could become crucial in someone else’s life. You don’t know what someone else has been through, or how hard they’re struggling just to hold on. You don’t know how one little thing could break them, or make them want to commit suicide, or depress them into a place they can’t get out of, or leave them crying hysterically and on pills just to sleep. Don’t do it. Ever. If you do you are nothing but an asshole and you do not deserve to be treated nicely or with respect, so don’t be surprised and act like the victim when someone calls you out. You deserve it. You should have known.

Begin Again

Time is a hell of a teacher.

There’s questions I’ve wanted and needed answers to for awhile; reasons I couldn’t move on, but instead spent my time beating myself up and wondering what I could have done better and differently, and how I could have been more fair. It crushed me and it broke me, because I don’t do well with the unknown. I never have. And I never thought I’d have the answers as to why what was done was done.

Sometimes time is the best teacher, and often times all it teaches you is to be patient. Fate does the rest. There are people that are placed in your path to get you through the tough times, but they’re never the people you expect.

I’ve mentioned my tough time in various previous posts. What I vaguely touched on was that, in the mess of all of this, there was an innocent person that I thought had been ungracefully shoved in the middle of this situation without a choice. This person would be The Boy’s best friend, who I will call E, because I can’t remember if I previously revealed his identity before. I know I revealed The Boy’s, but I’m going back to calling him that, because I’m not in an otherwise place here and now.

Anyway, E is The Boy’s best friend from childhood. They grew up together. I didn’t know E until The Boy and I were together, and I only knew him about a month when The Boy and I broke up, having only met him once briefly and spent time with him once within a group after that. We had become friends, though, having Facebook friended each other, texted, and talked on the phone. He knew how much I loved The Boy.

What I haven’t mentioned is that The Boy, as sweet and amazing as he was, had some issues with relationships. As in, he didn’t know how to be in one. Sometimes I had to turn to E for advice on how to handle situations, and I really did try to help The Boy with his insecurities. So when The Boy and I broke up, it was natural for E to become the one who heard both sides of the story, seeing as he was there to help me help The Boy through the relationship, and help The Boy help himself. E was wonderful and kind and wanted to see The Boy succeed in a serious relationship, so he was willing to help while were in one. What I didn’t foresee was the help he would provide for me once we weren’t anymore.

This isn’t going where you think it is.

E was there to listen to me when the chips had scattered everywhere without my permission. He had tried to help me a million ways to Sunday, but I couldn’t be helped. Nothing anyone said was helping. E tried. But I think the things that confused me the most were the following.

E did two separate things that seemed to contradict each other after the breakup, and then another thing that just lost me from point one. Remember, E is The Boy’s best friend from childhood. But E listened to me and told me that I hadn’t done anything wrong. He told me that this wasn’t my fault, it was just a choice The Boy had made, though he believed it was the wrong choice, and that it was no reflection on me. It was always weird to me. Shouldn’t he not want to hear my side? I didn’t know him until The Boy and I were dating. Shouldn’t he be taking The Boy’s side? Shouldn’t he be telling me I did something wrong, since The Boy was the one who broke up with me and surely seemed to think so? But he never did. Not once.

Then came the part that contradicted itself. E and his long time girlfriend hadn’t been able to make my birthday party, so we had decided on getting together at his place the Thursday after. (He actually told his girlfriend, and she was prepared for me to come. Most people just play it by ear these days. It was so nice.) I was so depressed about The Boy that I felt weird seeing E, but after having a bunch of blood pulled and not being able to drive over and hour home and his house being right down the road, I ended up there. While I was there, he was trolling Facebook and happened to pull up the profile of one of his friends and say, “I have to introduce you to this guy. He’s weird, like you……You know how I meant that.” I am weird, I own it, I love it, so yes, I did know how he meant that. I was flattered, if you want to know the truth.

At the time, I didn’t think much of it or really care, but in the interest of being honest, the friend was pretty cute. Days passed, and I went in and out of a depression over The Boy. In that time, I had casually mentioned to E that he should introduce me to his friend. I don’t know what I was thinking really. I don’t think I was. I liked the idea of trying to move on, but really, I wasn’t ready because I didn’t have the answers I needed. The last thing I needed to do was get entangled with The Boy’s best friend’s friend, right? The whole situation was just beyond normal and more or less what I imagine rednecks who marry their cousins do.

Then, in the height of my depression, about three weeks back or so, E tells me he talked to his friend and his friend would like to talk to me. He had also mentioned that his friend, who we will call F for friend (Welcome to elementary school, my dears.), had his heart broken and shattered and torn up a few years back and was pretty much in the same emotional position that I was. It was now pretty obvious E wanted us to date, not that he didn’t throw in, “If you fell for someone, like F,” a half million times in the conversation and in conversations after that to make it obvious. I really didn’t know how I felt about this, but in an attempt to not tick anyone off since I was technically the one who said I wanted to talk to F and I valued E’s friendship, especially when I found out that E was actually also childhood friends with F and had known him longer than The Boy, I decided to go along with it. More about this later, because I know this sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen, but this is also not going where you think it is.

In the midst of all this insanity that was swirling around one very lonely, confused, angry and hurt girl, E tells me to keep my heart open for the possibility of The Boy and I working things out. But wait, didn’t he just try to set me up with his friend and hint to me in the most obvious way that it actually wasn’t even hinting anymore that he would like to see me fall for F and he thought we were well matched together? So why would he want to set me up with his closest friend of his entire lifetime, but tell me to keep my heart open for The Boy? I didn’t know if I was going left or right, so I decided to just throw myself headfirst into the situation, hit a wall, watch it crash and burn badly, hit rock bottom, and then decide to take Taylor Swift’s advice of not really being able to know who you are until you lose who you are. In my mind I saw flames and no firetrucks, chaos and no cops, yelling with no resolution.

I began to talk to F. I didn’t really know if I wanted to, but I did it because I didn’t want to be a jerk or let anyone down. F really didn’t talk back for a few days, and when he did, he didn’t say much. I mentioned to E that I thought F was shy, and sure enough, he was. Shy people have a history of not doing well with me, except for the one anomaly with the kid I used to work with of who was so shy he couldn’t even talk to a girl, but after three months we were friends and he had his first girlfriend. But that’s another story. Really, at that point, I decided I wasn’t interested in F and would just be cordial and nice and not lead him on since he knew that he was talking to me with the idea that E thought we would both really like each other and should see if there was chemistry and maybe date. I would just let it fizzle out, then I wasn’t a jerk and E wasn’t mad. I hadn’t been interested in getting into anything with anyone anyway with as heartbroken as I was, so his shyness seemed like a way out.

Somehow, something in my gut told me to try with F one more time and see if he was more responsive, and if he wasn’t, to go with the original plan. I’ve learned in life that my gut always knows stuff I don’t know and is always right, so I begrudgingly did it. There was just this feeling from the moment E mentioned us talking that we needed to talk, that we could maybe help each other. With him being so heartbroken and me being so heartbroken and us being able to understand that language, my gut told me not to look for a way out. I once heard that when the way you normally would react to things doesn’t work, react differently. Instead of listening to my head, I reacted differently and tried one last time.

But, before I did any of this, I was careful to check with E to make sure that F wasn’t a good friend of The Boy’s, because I was well aware that if E grew up and went to school with F, so had The Boy, which means they would have all been friends. I didn’t want a bad situation and I certainly don’t want to hurt The Boy by seeing if dating one of his friends could work. I know how hurt I’d be if he dated one of mine, especially when you had the kind of relationship that we did, the one that was serious and kind and sweet and like you see in all the annoying Christmas movies that happen overnight and you think can’t happen; let me tell you they can. The Boy hadn’t talked to F since high school, which was seven years ago, so I was clear, and even though it was weird having his best friend try to set us up, I was honored that he liked me enough to want me to try with his best and closest friend, considering he only knew me from dating his other best friend, of whom broke up with me. I never understood why he would do that either.

This time when I contacted F, he started talking back more. I even invited him to a hockey game and he said he’d like to go. Knowing how shy he was, that was far more than I thought I would get out of him, especially since we haven’t talked all that much. In doing this, I found out something. F is nice. Not just normal, run of the mill nice. Really, genuinely nice. Like, the boy everyone wants and Taylor Swift sings songs about falling in love with nice. In twenty-seven years I’ve never had a guy ask me about myself unless it was for selfish reasons and he wanted something. F asked me about myself, and he actually wanted to hear the answer. He meant it. Take it from me, that alone is near impossible to find in a guy. And I started to figure out why E had told me he thought we would go well together and how serious and right he was when he said F was nice, and that maybe we would fit together.

The still didn’t mean I was ready to try again, and knowing that F was two years out of a relationship and I wasn’t even three months, I was cautious about how to handle this. Then, E and I got to talking a few days ago. He kept telling me to fight for love, that it was worth it, and I yet again, reacted differently, confessing to E that I was stuck. I didn’t feel like love was worth it. I felt like I had done something to The Boy to make him break up with me so suddenly when the last time I had seen him we were so happy and perfect and talking about our future. He said after the breakup that he wanted to try again, and then he stopped talking to me the situation just spiraled and I had never understood what I had done. And, God help me, I was still in love with him. That’s when E, and time, provided me with the best information I could have gotten; the information I needed to hear. I credit time with this too, because had I heard this information any earlier, I would have been torn apart and waited for The Boy, instead of seeing it as closure and a way to move on. I also credit F here a little, because no one has ever been so genuinely nice to me as he has, and if this had been anyone else I was talking to, I wouldn’t be able to think of moving on, because I didn’t think anyone could be nicer to me, though he was a bit aloof, than The Boy.

In this conversation and in this moment, all the things that contradicted themselves made sense; E wanting to set me up with his closest friend after his other good friend had broken up with me and him only knowing me through him, him telling me to keep my heart open for The Boy one day, and him also trying to set me up with his closest friend though he told me this. (Whew. Is anyone else hanging on for dear life in Confusionville, Population You, yet?) The answer to the biggest question I had was answered. I finally had my why. Why did someone I could see myself spending the rest of my life with and thought he could see it too leave and then ignore me?

The answer was so simple. He wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. He was starting grad school and struggling. He did legitimately, fingers crossed, hand to God want to be with me. He just couldn’t handle it. He fought between staying with me and trying to make it work, but ultimately knew he would just be breaking my heart in the long run because he wasn’t ready. I understood this. I had been there with Friend, in that very place, and I chose not to get involved with him because of that. The Boy handled everything wrong, but his reasons were valid. And with this reasoning, I was also directly told by E that this wasn’t my fault. He felt I was good to The Boy, hence why he was more than happy to set me up with his closest friend, and that I hadn’t screwed him over or done anything wrong. I had truly tried with him, and the breakup wasn’t my fault. It was just bad timing, and had we been together later in life when The Boy was out of grad school and ready for a serious relationship, we would have worked, hence him telling me to leave a piece of my heart open just in case things with F and I don’t work out and The Boy finds himself at my door a few years down the road. The funny thing about this was that everyone had long predicted The Boy and I would end up together in the long run because of our chemistry and this fairy tale, movie like relationship that we have that hardly anyone gets to experience; something that is real.

Knowing all of this validated that what I felt was real, and that The Boy had felt it too. He wasn’t faking it. He did care. I had started to wonder after he had stopped talking to me, but now I knew. It also let everything fall into place and made things make sense. It made me be able to let go of the anger I held toward The Boy. It made me understand things, and know I had done nothing wrong, and that The Boy didn’t feel I had either. In my heart I felt like I was just going to hurt someone else because, when The Boy started to ignore me, I felt like I had done something horrible to him without knowing it and thinking I had been good to him. Now I knew I hadn’t. Now I knew all the hard work I had put into us had really been right and good. I hadn’t tried for nothing, because The Boy had no hard feelings toward me. He just didn’t know how else to break off the situation without falling back into a serious relationship with me when he wasn’t ready for one and putting us into a bad circle, than to ignore me. He was doing it for the same reason that I’ve long said if he contacted me, that I didn’t know if I could talk to him. We both knew we’d fall back together. We fell together without trying the first time, because we just had that chemistry, and we would do it a thousand more times until it bleeds and hurts and causes imminent scars and wounds. And the bad things he said to my friend about me? He did it hoping it would get back to me and I wouldn’t want to talk to him so he could forget me. It was an awful, terrible, childish way to deal with this, but now that I understood how he was dealing with this and why, I could move on.

Truth be told, I’m not over him. I don’t think I ever will be, but now I can at least let go and try to move on and let things be what they are. I don’t feel depressed anymore. I don’t feel like I can’t breathe without the pain hitting me in the heart and shattering it to pieces. I still cry because I miss him, and I realize that in trying to get over this, I’ve forgotten all of the good things about us and tried to bury them so I could deal with things, which was no more right or mature than how The Boy was dealing with things. And, last night, I even found myself asking my friend to make sure I remember what we had; that those things you see in all the Christmas movies where people meet and immediately connect, that feeling is so real. It can happen. Because that’s what I want to remember about us, and though it will probably always make me cry to remember that, I need to remember that something real and right can happen. I need to believe in love. I didn’t before him, but now that I know something like that exists, I need to remember, not forget.

Do I think I will ever have the connection and the chemistry that I had with The Boy again? I know that I won’t. We just met and that was it. It was instantaneous. Do I think I’ll ever love someone the way that I did him? No. I know better. But when you add all of that up, I don’t know if I should. I didn’t think with him. I never took a second to wonder if he was exactly what I wanted, and if the lifestyle he lived was one I wanted to be part of. I just dove in, because the chemistry and feelings are there. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, over and over, because it was right and good. I’d marry him tomorrow if he asked. It was always meant to be that way. And I don’t know if I actually want to get married ever. After the feelings, when they’re there, everything else can be figured out with something like we had. But when it all comes crashing down, the regret, the questions, the logical side of your brain, it crashes too.

This time, going into things, I’m taking things slow and logically. I’m thinking about what I want and need, knowing that I’m never going to crash into a force as strong as The Boy again, so I can afford to think logically. What comes most surprisingly to me is that I am willing to give F a chance, because he’s just so nice and solid and has a grownup job with a grownup life and is mature and sweet and understands where I’m coming from and I get him. There’s interest there, for me anyway, so it’s worth giving it a shot, even if I’m not over The Boy. But I never really will be.

I’m cautious. I’m not a stupid girl. I know that, if something were to happen, I’m treading on treacherous ground here. The Boy and I are still linked through E the same way F is. There will be birthday parties and celebrations, and eventually The Boy and I will end up in the same place, in the same room, in the same space, at the same time. And, if I happen to be with F, then things have to be handled carefully. The Boy always told me to find someone who could make me happy, because I deserved that. That doesn’t mean The Boy wants to see it, just like I wouldn’t want to see him with someone, no matter who it is. And I always feel like we will look at each other and just know, but have to walk away. This is made harder knowing that he grew up with the boy I would be with. And it’s going to sting. But I also realize they aren’t friends anymore and that I can be nice and cautious and make sure I don’t date anyone he’s friends with as not to hurt him, but I can’t so cautious as to not give someone he knew a long time ago a chance just because it might confuse him. I have to give myself a chance too. And this is why you always think ahead and of the what ifs. You have to prepare yourself and be prepared, because anything can happen. Maybe it just will.

“I think…I think when it’s all over it just comes back in flashes, you know. It’s like a kaleidoscope of memories, but it just all comes back. But he never does.

I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen. It’s not really anything he said, or anything he did. It was the feeling that came along with it, and crazy thing is, I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel that way again. But I don’t know if I should.

I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright. But I just thought, how can the Devil be pulling you towards someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?

Maybe he knew that when he saw me. I guess I just lost my balance. I think that the worst part of it all wasn’t losing him. It was losing me.

I don’t know if you know who you are until you lose who you are. “ – Taylor Swift