Senior year [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: Junior year

This summer I worked at Hewitt once again, this time working in the 2nd location since it was much busier than the other location they had me working at the beginning of the previous summer. I participated in a bible study with my mom, continued studying tae kwon do (this time with Joyce), and started my applications to vet school for the first time. I posted in a special blog daily to share what I was learning at the bible study (see the blog HERE). And I met my future husband without even realizing it. May 21st I started the job and met the guy who prepared my desk and cubicle name card. We got along just fine as friends, and seeing how he was married and I was in a serious relationship (two years!) that was all we were. Glorified acquaintances after I left for school in August.

Through the summer, despite being able to see my boyfriend often, I found myself getting more and more irritable with him. We did have some good times: a wedding, some concerts, some fun double (and triple) dates, etc. I even started envisioning my own wedding and looked forward to getting married one day, just not particularly to my boyfriend. I found myself drifting away from him. And a large reason for this was due to me finding out that he would check my emails many times a day, more often than I would check them. He also once told me that he wanted me to share everything that I talked about with guy friends of mine. Every conversation with a guy ever, he basically wanted me to summarize or send the conversation (if it was electronic). More than once, he would go on my laptop and would just read all of my chat logs with people. This brewed a terrible mistrust between us. I trusted him completely, and would never check his emails or messages or anything of that sort. I felt the world around me crumbling down, and went into my senior year fall semester knowing that I had to end this relationship that was falling apart.

I tried to keep myself busy with school: I had classes, my job, and a research project that took up a lot of my time. I lied to myself, and tried my best to see past what was blatantly obvious to not only me but even those who were close to me. Joyce would ask me often if I had broken things off with the boy yet. I dragged my feet, and eventually in October decided to take another “break” for some time. I remember my boyfriend being upset and asking me if we would be back together for Christmas, or Easter, or graduation… etc. Also, we kept falling into this cycle of setting up physical boundaries and then breaking them. I was struggling with what I wanted physically and what I believed spiritually. At this time in my life, I wasn’t able to commit myself fully enough to this relationship to move past this barrier I was enduring.

In November, I broke up with the boyfriend. He was in shock, and tried the bargaining phase first by threatening that his mom and grandma would have to return the gifts they got me for Christmas. Then he backpedaled and said it was a mutual break up. He ended with “let’s be friends after awhile- after we give ourselves time to heal.” I didn’t know what that would look like, but at first I was relieved to be free. Free from the pressures and being dragged down this rabbit hole. Also, free to change my email password. Right after the break up, I went to NYC with Joyce for fall break and to celebrate Thanksgiving away from reality. It helped me get my mind off things, but as the semester came to an end I found myself extremely alone without the guy I had spent the last almost two and a half years with. I went into winter break working at Hewitt and was asked out by two of my co-workers, both of which I turned down since the wound was still fresh, and they were two idiots anyways. 😛

The ex wanted to be friends again before I was ready, then when I was ready I was basically thrown back into his life. We started talking since this stupid guy I had just started talking to over the internet contacted my ex and said a bunch of stupid stuff. We reunited under good terms, but I found it strange that my ex was very concerned that I would date someone too soon. He asked me to wait until (?) when he was ready for me to move on. I didn’t have much time to think about this request since a week after we started talking again, his mom suddenly passed away. I was literally thrown back into his life, at his mom’s wake and funeral, and there with him after all of it. I even drove him back to school afterwards, and we got stuck in a snow storm so stayed the night at a hotel about 45 minutes away from school. This was the night I realized how much I missed him, and being around him. Despite everything, he was basically my best friend that I had drifted away from. My best friend who didn’t trust me while I loved and trusted him completely. My feelings came to the surface and I could no longer be around him since I felt like I had to get over him but couldn’t with him near me. I selfishly pushed him away during one of the worst times in his life. My only regret, even to this day.

But moved on I did. I graduated from college with a smile on my face, and I went into the summer trying to get my first “official” adult job as I reapplied to vet school again (I didn’t get in during my first try).

Next post: The year between

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Music, God, and everything inbetween [This is Thirty series]

::Tangent::
Previous post: Junior year

Music is an escape. Music is a form of expression. What I listened to affected me in multiple ways. I would listen to Nine Inch Nails and Tool when I wanted to release my anger. I would listen to Vanessa Carlton and Alicia Keys when I wanted to feel romantic. I would listen to Linkin Park and Incubus when I wanted to express my weirdness.

I have always been drawn to emotional music that helps express how I feel in that particular moment. I would often post lyrics on whatever blog or medium where I was trying to express myself.

So many moons that we have seen
Stumbling back next to me
I’ve seen right through and underneath
And you make me better

Sing to me the song of the stars
Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

Sometimes I get so weird
I even freak myself out
I laugh my self to sleep
It’s my lullaby
Is it enough?
Is it enough?
Is it enough to breath?
Somebody rip my heart out
And leave me here to bleed
Is it enough to die?
Somebody save my life
I’d rather be anything but ordinary please

If I could fall
Into the sky
Do you think time
Would pass me by
‘Cause you know I’d walk
A thousand miles
If I could
Just see you
Tonight
It’s always times like these
When I think of you
And I wonder
If you ever
Think of me

 

 
In addition to music, my faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit has also played a large influence on my life. I haven’t always been super religious, and actually don’t always go to church. I grew up Catholic and when I went away to college I decided to leave all that behind me. I did a lot of growing and soul searching in college (who doesn’t?). My sophomore year I joined Campus Crusade for Christ and a bible study. As time went on, I grew closer to Jesus and further from the people around me who weren’t on the same page as me. At the same time, I kept strong relationships with people no matter their beliefs. I was always very close to Joyce who was and still is agnostic. This doesn’t bother me at all, as I have always maintained a very open mind and heart to those around me. The exception I made was for those people who claimed to be good people and yet acted opposite from their supposed claims and beliefs. Those were the people I learned to push away over time.
I truly believe that my life has worked out the way it has because I took a step back from the (real) world around me and focused more on my spiritual journey. If I didn’t do this, I likely wouldn’t have completely destroyed my relationship with the guy I dated for most of my college life. But that is for the next post.

Next post: Senior year

Junior year [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: Sophomore year

This summer I worked desktop services at Hewitt Associates. It wasn’t my first choice given it was IT work, but the pay was the best I could imagine getting as a poor college student in the year of 2006. $11/hour and a full time schedule of 40 hours a week. I got the job because my dad had worked at Hewitt for the past 12 years prior to this and they had a great college hire program where they hired college students for the summer. Over the summer, I saw a vast improvement in both my brother and boyfriend. I purchased a Great America season’s pass and would go with the boyfriend and friends at least once a week after work on a weekday in order to avoid the crowded times. We also traveled to Michigan with my family for my cousin’s wedding in early July and attended a few concerts. I also did a few things on my own, now that I had a boyfriend it seemed like I felt like I had to prove that I was more than just a girl with a boy. I kept myself busy enough for the summer so that I thought I’d be happy.

I found myself struggling with my emotions often. I also found myself with a lot of free time since my job was too easy for me and they ended up switching me to a different department since there wasn’t enough to keep me busy. My doctor re-prescribed the pill for me, even though I had stopped taking the pill I had no choice but to be on it to control my cycle. I wasn’t having sex, so the pill was purely to regulate me and I hated the side effects it came with. I ended up emotionally crashing, and not just once. My boyfriend received the grunt of this, and I had trusted him to pick up the pieces. He didn’t fully understand what I was going through, and over time I realized that it was the lack of girl friends that bummed me out. I was feeling stuck with my boyfriend and his guy friends. Also, my brother and his irrational behavior was getting to me since I was around to witness what he was doing firsthand.

We celebrated our one year anniversary and I made my boyfriend a CD and some written letters that really showed how I felt for him. His initial response to hearing the songs was laughter and that crushed me. Being close over the summer helped our relationship, but there was still that same strain between us as there was over the previous spring semester. I tried my best to see past the strain and see all the good things that made me love my boyfriend in the first place. I told myself that I was young (I turned 20 this summer) and that I deserved to be happy. And if my boyfriend didn’t make me happy, I knew he wouldn’t be around much longer since he wasn’t my one and only.

I went back to school fearing things would go back the way they were, the strain between us rising again. I tried to focus on our relationship and he decided to apply to my school and got accepted for the Spring semester of our Junior year. While we were apart during the Fall semester, we once again made it work with visits every few weeks. We started reading the bible together and growing in our faith together. At school, I started a new job at the nutrition lab and I continued practicing Tae kwon do. I also continued Cru, bible study, church and playing my violin at church which I had done the year before. Thankfully, my brother seemed greatly improved and I was able to relax a lot more the first half of the semester. I also found myself growing in my faith and feeling a lot more stable and stronger emotionally.

Over time my brother got worse and my job/boss caused me additional stress. And icing on the cake, my boyfriend also started feeling anxious and stressed out as well. Once again, I felt all alone in my stress and sadness and had no one to turn to. It was in the midst of all of this that my boyfriend and I took a break, and he demanded that I read a book prior to us talking again. Some book about how to deal with anxiety. This book just made me feel anxious, but I did take away one thing from it: that I couldn’t deal with it alone. So I turned to my boyfriend’s friends and family for help. The book helped me to understand what my boyfriend was going through and actually led to me deciding to not break up with him at this time.

Over winter break, I volunteered at the local animal hospital and helped my mom out at her after-school care program. When I went back to school, my boyfriend came with me. All of a sudden, we were no longer a long distance relationship. He lived a few blocks away from me. We started working out together and he even did the foal watch class with me. At the end of January my boyfriend’s grandpa died, then my grandpa died a few weeks later. I was home for my grandpa’s wake on Valentine’s day. I remember I rearranged my schedule to be there for my boyfriend’s grandpa’s funeral but my boyfriend couldn’t do the same for me. I never felt more alone than on that Valentine’s day surrounded by family and friends at my grandpa’s wake. I was upset knowing that we once again missed another Valentine’s day, but told myself it was just a hallmark holiday anyways.

Over spring break I traveled to California with the boyfriend. I had wanted to do the Florida Cru trip again but for some reason thought it wasn’t happening until it was too late. We went to Disneyland (my first time there), San Diego zoo and wildlife park, six flags, and the beach. It was a great trip. I had to fork over additional money to get a room with two beds since I didn’t trust myself and the boy enough to spend a week in the same bed. The end of the semester I felt myself growing closer to the Lord and growing in my faith more than focusing on my boyfriend. It was weird, now that we were physically close, it felt like we were drifting apart emotionally. I went into the summer with a promise to myself that I would focus on growing spiritually and emotionally, with or without the boy. I wrote this in my livejournal at the end of the semester: Let the Lord open my heart and let me understand where I am to go and who I am to be.

Next post: Senior year
Tangent: Music, God, and everything inbetween

Sophomore year [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: Freshman year

Picking up from where I left off, I started the summer after my Freshman year feverishly applying to as many jobs as I could once I got home to my parent’s house. After a few weeks, I ended up being offered two jobs: a cashier at Jewel for $6.55/hour and a dog walker/care attendant at a pet motel for $8.50/hour. I took the higher paying job since it was closer to my goal of getting into veterinary care than Jewel was. I also took a summer Calculus course since I received a D in the class during my Freshman year. Once I had the job and class lined up, I decided to start taking steps to try and fulfill this bet I had placed with my friend Polina that we could get boyfriends for the summer, or “summer flings.” I was also tasked with the goal of getting over my internet crush mentioned previously.

I turned to the internet for help in my endeavors to find a local boy to date. Since I was a poor college student, I used a website called OKCupid. It was free and full of mostly creepers minus a few slightly normal people. Some people were on there only looking for sex, so I had to weave through quite a few guys before I settled on three of them to meet. I met three guys over two weekends in mid to late June of 2005. The first guy was nice and lived about 10 minutes away from me. The second guy was a dud, he showed up several hours late and had way too many weird quirks for me to consider continuing to see him. I found myself instantly falling for the third guy, especially on our second date. Over the next week, I broke things off with the first guy and a wave of patience overtook me as I continued to go on dates with the third guy but didn’t feel like I should rush anything.

On July 17th he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I gladly accepted. I liked him a lot but didn’t really see us lasting much longer past the summer. In August, I went to Ireland for the last two weeks of the summer. I missed my boyfriend greatly, and was surprised that he emailed me while I was away saying he missed me as well. Once school started up, our relationship became long distance. We somehow made it work, between me going home to visit and him visiting me at my school we saw each other at least once every 2-3 weeks. We also regularly talked via email, text, and phone calls. We even exchanged a few long-winded, heartfelt letters. Despite all this, in the back of my mind I had doubts we would work out due to the distance. I felt like it was harder on him than me, so I chose to give it a try as long as he didn’t get too lonely. When I went home for Thanksgiving, he told me that he loved me. At first I was struck speechless, but then I found the words to say that I loved him too.

At school, I started working at the meat science lab part time between my classes and I found myself trying to make friends but somehow got unlucky and found two creepers. The first was this guy I met while ushering at Krannert Center for performing arts. He hung out with my friends and me a few times, but one day was texting me about how he liked me and wanted to kiss me. I quickly ended that friendship. In December, I was invited out to a local bar on campus with a bunch of friends and co-workers. One guy in particular who was new to me was talking to me and being friendly. After some time, he told me he had had a rough week and needed a hug. I ended up giving him a hug. Since it was late when we left the bar, he drove me back to my dorm hall. When we got there, he got out of the car and tried to hug me… then tried to kiss me goodbye. Once I realized what he was trying to do, I pulled away and walked away very quickly into my dorm hall, not looking back.

This scared me to the point where I couldn’t tell anyone what happened. I completely cut any communication with the guy. After a few days, things died down and I felt a lot better. Unfortunately, since this guy got upset after I stopped talking to him, he found my boyfriend via facebook and ended up sending him messages. He made up a story that he kissed and made out with me, and that we liked each other. Needless to say, my boyfriend instantly reached out to me and asked me about what happened. I ended up freaking out all over again, but after thinking logically and talking to my mom, I told my boyfriend everything that happened. He believed me over this random guy, even though this guy doctored up a “chat” between us that never happened. He was upset I hadn’t told him right away, but understood that I got scared and was being stupid. I calmed down a lot once I knew my boyfriend believed me and thought things would get better from then on.

I also told myself I would never put myself in a similar situation ever again. I would never give out hugs to people I barely know, and I would be much more conscious of the vibes I was giving out and receiving from other people, especially guys. My boyfriend and I had a great winter break full of good quality time, but once I went back to school everything changed. On our 6 month anniversary, I received an email from my boyfriend on how he was confused since it felt like I wouldn’t open up to him and was feeling distant from him, even when I was right next to him. This started my Spring 2006 semester from hell. Between my boyfriend who suffered from anxiety and my brother who started having his own issues, I lost a ton of sleep and was constantly stressed out. I would go back and forth in my mind, I would want to dump my boyfriend one week, but then after we hung out I would love him even more and not want to end things. Somewhere between all of this, I decided that my boyfriend wasn’t my one and only, and since I felt this way I also chose to not have sex with him.

I spent my spring break with the Christian group I was a part of, in Panama City Beach. This was a great time and it helped me realize something that I wasn’t 100% sure of until this point. It was this week that I chose to wait until marriage for sex and everything related/close to sex. This also was the start to a new phase in my relationship with my boyfriend as well. At first, he felt jealous that I was learning everything that I was about God and Jesus, etc. But I reassured him we were both beginning our relationship with God and that it would be a slow and steady progress. We went into the summer looking forward to spending a lot more time together rather than apart as we usually did during the school year. I hoped to help my boyfriend feel less anxious and more calm overall. Being around him and my brother seemed to have a positive effect on them that I hoped would continue in the summer.

Next post: Junior year

Sunday Morning [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: Freshman year

::Tangent::

Sunday Morning is hands down one of my favorite No Doubt songs. It’s off their Tragic Kingdom album, and it helped me through many break ups. This song applies to where I am in my story: it helped me move on from many guys that I liked and/or loved and then chose to move on from.

My favorite verse:

I know who I am, but who are you?
You’re not looking like you used to
You’re on the other side of the mirror
So nothing’s looking quite as clear
Thank you for turning on the lights
Thank you, now you’re the parasite
I didn’t think you had it in you
And now you’re looking like I used to!
Watch the music video HERE. 🙂
A blog post that’s 12 years old, but shows a bit how I felt about Gwen even back then: Click HERE
Next post: Sophomore year

Freshman year [This is Thirty series]

Previous post: High School

I left off the story at the end of my Senior Prom. After Prom, I graduated from high school and had a graduation party. At this party, most of my friends and family celebrated with me. Right around this time, one of my guy friends flirted with me and confessed that he had a crush on me (not the same guy I went to Prom with, his friend who introduced us). I was about to leave for a two week trip to Europe with my high school orchestra group and my family, so I didn’t act on the news and instead chose to put it on pause until I returned. By the time I returned, he had already moved on. Over the summer before college, I grew anxious over the thought of moving out of my childhood home, away from my parents. I also got to know the guy I had taken to prom better, over AIM since he lived in Wisconsin and was about 2 hours away from me.

The week I left for school was the same week I left behind family drama by getting out of that environment. The night before I left for school, my mom had gotten so mad at my dad she left the home for several hours and didn’t show up back home until midnight. To say I was a wreck is an understatement. I started school with the thought that I was starting a new life. I stopped going to church (no one to make me go) and I found myself not eating much unless I was around people I knew. Over time, I ended up eating on average only a meal a day, maybe two if I was lucky. I soon decided to start dating that Wisconsin guy, even though I was even further away from him. We made it work: I visited him over labor day, he visited me one October weekend. We really liked each other, I gave him his first kiss ever (crazy). Then he exposed his true self to me. He told me some stuff about his past, which didn’t bother me. He told me he wanted me to know Jesus and be Christian and grow in the Lord with him. All of this scared me. I didn’t fully understand it and it came off as really strong from him. It took a toll on an already taxing relationship (due to the distance). I took a few weeks to think about what I wanted, but ended up dumping the guy right around Thanksgiving.

Shortly after this, I clung onto my other friends to move on as smoothly as possible. I mentioned this before, but this was when I called up my internet friend often and found talking to him helped me move on, but also found myself falling for this friend of mine as well. It was a very one-sided feeling that he couldn’t quite match with me due to the distance. Knowing this, I fell into a very emotional time in my life. Near the end of February, I posted some blog posts that were very dark and painful. One of my friends ended up calling the police on me since she didn’t have my phone number to call me to make sure I was ok. She was worried I was suicidal, which I wasn’t but I was glad for the wake up call. I spent the night in the ER and afterwards, somehow, felt a lot better.

I started making all the needed moves to try my best and move on from my fake imaginary relationship in my head with my internet friend. It took him emailing me “back to the bloody drawing board” to finally get it to sink into my thick skull and settle into my mushy brain. At this point, I definitely had a very poor outlook on my dating life, and the thought of marriage never crossed my mind in a positive way. In April, I met a guy through a mutual friend of ours and almost instantly had a crush on him. The first night we met, the three of us played card games. This was one of the first times I realized I had a thing for the nerdy boys. I pursued this one, ended up asking him out to dinner, lunch, and made him watch a movie or two with me. Unfortunately, it was already near the end of the school year when this was happening. He was from Texas and was going back to Texas for the summer. I was going to ask him if he liked me, but ended up losing my guts and never asking. Instead, I went into the summer apprehensive to leave school (I finally enjoyed it) and secretly hoping he would still like me in the fall.

Next post: Sophomore Year

 

Two worlds [This is Thirty Series]

::Tangent:: Previous post: Highschool

Growing up, I wasn’t your typical teenager. My dad was and still is a huge IT nerd. He always gave me the latest and greatest in the world of technology. I remember I was in 8th grade when he gave me my first laptop computer. My world changed once my friend told me over the phone about this chat room/website that she would go on to chat with other teens. It was called Cyberteens. This place was literally a brand new world to me. I could create any (and multiple) screen names, I could be whoever I felt like being. Any gender, any age, any location (the three main questions typically summed up in A/S/L?).

Because of this and the frequent use of AIM, MSN, and Yahoo messenger, I “met” many people over the internet. Throughout high school, I would go through online “relationships” where someone would ask me out via messenger, and I would agree. I had more relationships than screen-names. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to try and remember them all. But there was one person that stuck out to me.

I found myself growing closer and closer to this person, slowly opening up my world to him. He wasn’t anything spectacular, he was just a good friend who was always there to listen/talk to me. Over time, I found myself falling for him whenever I was single, aka not in a real life (other world) relationship, or other online relationship. We even tried the whole online relationship thing, but it wasn’t enough for us. And if anything, it made me feel more awkward around him. Weird how that works.

Over time, as we grew up and were in college, during my freshman year (which I haven’t gotten to yet so kind of getting ahead of myself here) I found myself single after breaking up with someone in my very real life. I somehow found myself back in the same pattern with my friend from the internet. Just this time, I found myself calling him often and hearing his voice made what was still not real seem more real to me. After awhile and some really hard and sad times on me, he ended up basically laying out reality for me. He helped me realize that what I was imagining was just that: imagination. Reality was that we were 800+ miles apart with no realistic chance of meeting any time soon.

And even if we met, it wouldn’t change anything. Long distance relationships don’t work. I took the advice, and actually grew from it. I did utilize the internet after that, but that was to find a local guy rather than a distant one. I ended up using internet dating websites several times to meet several potential dates, but I never met anyone else via chat rooms after high school. I’ve fallen out of contact with many of those people minus a few. And I did eventually meet that guy I thought I loved. He actually currently lives in the same city as me. And we’re both happily married now, to the right people. Funny how that works.

Next post: Freshman year

High School [This is Thirty Series]

Previous post: My childhood

It was right around the end of middle school/beginning of high school when I discovered a band named No Doubt. It was a few years after Tragic Kingdom came out, but one day I heard “Don’t Speak” on the radio, and I instantly fell in love. At this time, I also listened to other music such as Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears, and 98 Degrees. If you can’t tell, I really liked the mainstream pop music until No Doubt came along. Don’t Speak spoke volumes to me, and Just a Girl defined me.

I was instantly hooked on the entire album of Tragic Kingdom. I would blast it on repeat in my bedroom as I spent hours online, chatting to strangers I didn’t know but felt like I’ve known for ages. I would go to school and sing Don’t Speak with my best friend Jenny during gym class to help pass the time. Excuse Me Mr. and Different People from Tragic Kingdom became some of my favorite less-known songs. This started a phase of my life where I started listening to lots of different music, most of it not found on the top hit charts. For quite a few years, I was known as a music guru by some of my friends, since I knew new songs and bands that no one had even heard of yet.

Other than music, I went through High School starting out the super shy girl who wore ridiculously cute childish clothes (polo shirts and overalls) as a Freshman, to a slightly less shy, slightly more mature girl who wore more fancy clothes as a Senior. There was a sweet deaf kid who asked me out via pencil and paper during the first week of my Sophomore year that I said no to. There was a guy I had a huge crush on since middle school but couldn’t bring myself to even talk to him, even after I asked him to Turnabout through a Valentine during my Sophomore year. He ended up telling my friend Lindsey that he had baseball practice or something like that as why he couldn’t take me to turnabout. I was crushed and relieved at the same time. Relieved since I would have been so nervous around him, that I was scared of making a fool of myself.

My Junior year I met my first boyfriend. He was a friend of my best friend Jenny’s and went to a different high school. I think it helped me to be slightly less nervous knowing I wouldn’t have to see him every day in school. He took me out on a few dates. The first date he drove in the wrong direction for about 40 minutes. Yeah, we were both nervous. That was my first official date ever. He took me to my junior prom, then left for Japan for three weeks afterwards. When he came back, my gut instinct told me something was wrong. Then when we finally met up he took me out to see a movie, but then dumped me while dropping me back off at home.

I had never experienced heartbreak until that moment. I cried an ugly cry. I didn’t necessarily love the guy (we dated about 2.5 months), but I liked him a lot. I even kissed him a few times, my first kisses ever. That’s when Don’t Speak and Sunday Morning became my mantras for healing. I also remember some Linkin Park songs helped me through this time. After getting over the guy, I mentally told myself that I would never get dumped again. At that moment I decided that I would be the one to end relationships rather than the stupid guy calling the shots.

My senior year in high school was basically a prologue for college. I ended up having a date for my senior prom, a kid I barely knew but met once through my friend Lindsey. He lived in Wisconsin (even further than the first boyfriend), so we ended up developing our relationship over AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). We had a great prom, but I left him around 6AM after IHOP breakfast feeling like he liked me more than I liked him. And I walked away, towards the sunrise, in my yellow dress; looking upwards and forward to my future at U of I. I was just a girl, but with a big future before me that even I couldn’t predict.

 

Next post: Freshman year
Tangent: Two Worlds

 

My childhood [This is Thirty Series]

Full Disclaimer: This blog is changing, as all things in life change. I’m going back to my roots in this series. This is my story.

My childhood was a wonderful one. I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I was born to the very definition of a white American working class family; my parents worked their way over the years from rags to riches. When I was born, they were in their mid to late twenties and spent every dollar they had on the hospital stay. I wanted to come into the world feet first, so my mom had to have a cesarean section. When they moved out of their tiny Chicago apartment into their first home together (a townhouse in the suburbs) they had to buy all their furniture and necessary housewares using their credit cards. It took them years to slowly pay off their credit cards and actually begin to save up.
Growing up, I was a very shy child. My little brother Patrick and my cousin Shawna were basically my only friends until I was much older. I wouldn’t talk much, instead I chose to observe the world around me best I could. I remember I would play with my barbies and dolls often. What really stuck out to me was how I would view marriage when I played with my dolls. I would play with them through all the stages of romance: first date, dating, sex, living together, engagement, wedding day, and marriage. Whenever my barbies got married (Barbie and Ken), their lives would be over. I would do everything in my power to avoid them getting married.
Looking back, I’m not completely sure where this view of marriage stemmed from. I do remember my parents fighting almost daily, or what seemed to be daily to me. I remember thinking my parents didn’t enjoy being married to each other, and perhaps the only reason they stuck together was for my brother and me. I remember almost never seeing my parents show affection towards each other, and when they did it looked forced. By the time I hit middle school, I had no desire to ever get married to anyone. I had crushes on boys, but never acted on them since I was so shy and I thought I was too [fill in the blank] for them to like me.
Thankfully, over the years through high school and college, my feelings towards marriage changed. This is the story of how that happened, and the road I had to take to get to where I am today (happily married).

Stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more about me and my personal journey through life to not only find love, but actually want to get married and not follow in the same footsteps as my parents.

Next post: Highschool

Just when I thought things were better…

Does this ever happen to you? Just when you feel like things are going your way, and everything is looking up and cheerful, you get a punch to the gut that takes you back to square one.

This happened to me. And it keeps happening. I’m stuck in what seems to be a never-ending cycle, one that just gets more and more extreme as time goes on. My mom passed away almost 9 months ago, and I was thoroughly warned this would happen. At first, I didn’t believe it. I thought to myself I’m stronger than them (whoever the person was warning me at the time – there were too many to remember them all). Then it hit me hard when on top of my mourning process of my mom, after four months my dad decides to get engaged (and soon married) to someone I don’t know and didn’t feel like getting to know at first.

And this has gotten better with time, therapy, and kind family and friends. I actually reached a new level last week when I finally felt 100% happy for my dad. He’s happy, and therefore I’m happy. I still feel this way, actually, and can safely say I look forward to having Amy join our family. I may not be best of friends with Amy, but I do plan on trying my best to get to know her better and to be friendly with her. She may not be perfect, but no one is perfect. I’m willing to look past her flaws and see her for who she really is. My dad sees greatness in her and I am sure that I will see greatness in her as well. I love my dad and his happiness is number one to him. All I want is happiness and joy for my dad.

So as you can see I was on the up and up, feeling good and happy. I was even imagining the upcoming holidays as something to look forward to. Until this week. This past week hit me like a ton of bricks. I found out a friend of mine lost her father a few days ago, and today is my mom’s birthday. Or would have been, if she were still here. Needless to say, I’ve hit rock bottom again. I feel like I just lost my mom yesterday. I feel like she was just sitting here next to me, on my couch. I feel like I was just talking to her about this and that. 

This is not the first time this has happened, but every time it happens it feels more extreme somehow. And someone told me at my mom’s funeral that it’s like an onion, you peel off a layer and it’s really bad but then you get used to that level, until the next layer is peeled off. I was secretly hoping they were wrong, but unfortunately they were dead right. 

For me, these layers come off at random times. For the first few months, it was every Thursday or Tuesday, usually in the evenings since I would check my phone expecting a call or text from my mom and then remember all over again. Over time, it became better. I got used to the layer. Then my dad told me in April he was getting married. That just made me miss my mom even more, I cried for a week. Then Mother’s day. Then Father’s day. Then my birthday, but I didn’t cry or really miss my mom that much around my birthday. I tried, instead, to focus on the positive and the celebrations. And that’s why I thought I was on the up and up.

And now I’m back to square one, another layer has been removed. And my guts are becoming exposed. I’m still trying my hardest to fake pretend everything is okay. I had to use every ounce of energy in my body and mind to not hysterically cry during our Kung Fu class this past Tuesday. How pathetic is that?

And the cycle continues. Since Tuesday, food doesn’t have the same appeal. Sleep is harder to find. And crying somehow is the only way I feel a little bit better. Sometimes I hug myself and pretend it’s my mom comforting me. Happy birthday mom, I miss you so much and I know you told me to not miss you, but I can’t help it. I don’t know how to “get over” this. I don’t know how to move on. But I’m trying. Every day I try to look up, to stay positive. It’s the days I trip and fall that make me feel like I’ve made no progress. But I know I have. That’s why I write these posts. So I can see my journey and know that I am indeed progressing.

Thank you for reading.