Every single day is a battle. I’m so done fighting.

I didn’t even hurt this bad when Will left. But now, I’m literally sick to my stomach. Have you ever read something, or heard something, that drops your heart down into your stomach? Makes you feel like you’ve lost the ability to breath, speak, and tears hit you so fast you don’t know what to do? Well, I felt that today. I wasn’t ready for it. At all. I’m still not. I can’t get through an hour without thinking about it, and crying. I just don’t understand. I won’t get into the nasty details, because thats what they are. Nasty. Awful. Terrible. Crushing. For the first time in a year, I felt so disrespected and hurt by someone I let into my life. I felt safe telling Will things. I felt comfortable. He eased me into letting go of some of my fears. I felt I was wide open. I dropped every wall I could have built, and let him in. Let him so far in that he hurt me bad. If you have never had someone look you in the eye and lie to you, I can’t tell you what it feels like. You won’t understand. And for your sake, I hope you never do. I felt like Will cared about me. I felt like even though he left to go to school, he genuinely cared about me. Over the past few weeks, he has pushed me away. That hurt too. Knowing someone is consciously making an effort to ease you out of their life. I honestly don’t know what he tells himself at night to sleep. I have sacrificed a lot for him. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I cared so much. I enjoy making him happy. But it never even mattered. I feel like for the past year he took advantage of me. He understood how much I cared, and he used that to get what he needed. How do you hurt someone like this? How do you make someone feel so bad? Think so little of themselves? I was once a vibrant person. I feel like I’m fading. I never questioned myself, but now I do. I question why I’m not good enough. I question what I could have done in my life to deserve this? How does someone hurt you, and then just keep moving? How does someone know they are doing wrong, and just keep going on with life? I’m not going to stop being who I am. Life is hard. Really hard. All I have ever wanted was to show people, especially Will, that life can be really beautiful if you let it. People are actually good, if you just let them in. But how can I try to show people that if now I’m questioning it? I don’t get why anyone would be okay with hurting me. I won’t even try to understand. I want to move past this. I want to be able to think about Will, or talk to Will, or see him, and not feel like I do right now. I want this to be over. I’m trying my best to process this all, so I can move on from it. Lying, being deceitful, hurting someone you are supposed to care about. None of these are good. And for what? How do you feel now? You feel good about yourself? Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Probably not. And you know why? Because being a bad person leaves you feeling sad and empty. I honestly think that the way I move past it is to treat him like I want to be treated. We all make mistakes. I made one today too, which has caused me suffering. If I just treat him well, he will eventually learn that you aren’t supposed to do this. You’re not supposed to hurt people you care about. You’re supposed to treasure them, and treat them well.

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My heart may be broken, but Mama is always right

I grew up thinking there is no way my mother knows anything about what I’m going through. I never thought she was right, and we fought a lot because of it. Turns out, all that mumbling and nonsense was pretty on point. It wasn’t until about the age of 25 that I realized she is actually pretty smart, and gives really great advice. When she told me yesterday “You have to think about whats best for the both of you”, it got me thinking.
Never did I imagine that 10 months ago when I began hanging out with Will that I would develop any type of feelings for him. We bonded over small things like our love of the Redskins and college football, or that we were both involved in Greek organizations, or drinking. We also had in common the issue that we were both recently single, not really ready for a new relationship. But it was certainly nice to have a new friend, and a warm body. We spent more and more time together over the course of the next few months. What began as a friendship developed into more. At least for me.
I have no doubt in my mind that Will cares about me. But when I began to develop feelings for Will, we weren’t on the same page. In the beginning, I didn’t care much about a relationship. I didn’t need to say he was my boyfriend. It just wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t until my feelings got stronger, that I felt like I wanted that next step. And it was possibly for a selfish reason. I wanted to be able to feel like he was mine, and not available for any other girl. The thought of him with someone else makes me sick. Will was completely resistant to a relationship. So I patiently waited. I felt like if I showed Will that he could trust me, and that I wasn’t trying to hurt him, he would want to be with me.
Will and I have conversations about just about everything. In the beginning of the year, it was really apparent that he had a passion for the human mind. It wasn’t just because we work in the psychology field. It was a passion for the way media, advertising, and branding evokes a person’s thought processes and emotions. It was related to how these entities get through to a person. On a whim, I showed him the VCU Brandcenter website. I had vaguely heard about the school, as I had graduated from VCU, and I thought maybe it was something that would interest him. This little whim is the very thing that ripped Will away. He decided to apply for the Creative Brand Management track, and after months and months of prepping, editing, and stressing over his application, he was accepted. I will never forget the way I felt when he told me he had gotten in to the program. As he was jumping up and down, excited for the news, excited for the new adventure, my heart was breaking. I was a mix between being so absolutely happy for him, proud that his hard work had reaped the desired reward, and so incredibly sad. It was in that instant that I realized everything would change, and I would inevitably lose him. And lose every chance of moving forward into what I had hoped would be a happy relationship. He had told me there was no way he was willing to attempt a long distance relationship, so it was just the summer that I had left to savor before he would be gone on his great adventure.
The summer flew by. I spent a lot of it with Will. I cherished every memory we made, and every moment I was able to be with him, because in the back of my mind I was always thinking about the end. I like the think I’m a honest person. I try my best not to lie. But I kept a lot of my feelings from Will. I’m sure he knows how much I care about him, or that I’m sad to see him leave, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I became 100% honest with him. My heart is broken. For 10 months, we could have been happier. He continuously pushed me away. He wasn’t ready to commit to me, but I wasn’t ready to accept it. I spent those months trying to show him how good people really can be. I never did anything to deserve him being so closed off. I didn’t hurt him. But I came into his life at a time when he wasn’t ready to open up. I’m mad. Really angry and really hurt. I hate that I wasn’t able to get the chance that other people got. I would never have treated him like others have, others that were given chance after chance, and screwed it up. Screwed it up for me. I can’t change the way Will feels, as much as I tried. But my mom made me realize I can change the way I feel, or the way I think.
I’m very happy for Will. I never want to overshadow this great accomplishment by my sadness. I’m trying my best to focus on the positive aspects of this situation. I was able to spend 10 months getting to know a really great person. He became such a special person to me and one of my best friends. I told him things I’ve never had the courage to tell anyone else. He doesn’t understand why I care about him so much. But he pushed me to be a better person, though he made not realize it. I was terrified to share my true thoughts and feelings via my blog. He encouraged me to keep writing, and keep sharing, because thats what my blog is for. I was able to learn about someone completely different than me, and understand more about how different people can be, even when they seem so similar. He supported me when I needed him. I know he wants the best for me, and I want the best for him. I’m scared to be without him, and not see him often. I’m scared about the future, but no matter what happens, I hope I always have Will in my life.

I wasn’t down at the beach for our annual family vacation but a few hours before my mom told me she needed to talk to me. Tears in her eyes, I couldn’t imagine what she needed to say. We walked out to the deck and sat down. I braced myself for the absolute worst. For the past few months, my grandma, my Mimi, has been dealing with minor medical issues. She felt tired, out of breath, loss of appetite. She had told me she was losing weight. When I questioned what she was eating, she said she hasn’t been eating much. She would either forget, or just couldn’t stomach anything. I knew she was going to the doctor off and on, trying to figure out what was causing all of these problems. After a month of testing, she was diagnosed with emphysema. Immediately, I tried to pull all of the medical knowledge out of my head. Thinking of treatment options, prognosis. I connected all the dots in my head. I used Google to connect all of the dots I couldn’t on my own. I would cycle between moments of relief, reading all the treatment options, to moments of hopelessness, realizing that my Mimi is nearing the end of her life. She has always taken care of herself. Growing up, she wasn’t the grandma who spoiled us with candy and treats. We were told the importance of taking care of ourselves and taking vitamins. I learned how to eat a balanced diet, and stay active. The women in our family live a long time, and she didn’t want to be any different. I still haven’t gotten over the shock that this is happening to her. I cried for a long time with my mom. We talked for over an hour about how this is going to affect her and our family. My mom lives with Mimi, so she has automatically assumed the role of caring for her. She’s watched firsthand the progression of her sickness, and she will continue to witness it. I feel guilty for not being closer, not being able to help out if she needs me. I’m thankful that the rest of my family lives so close together. Mimi has taken care of us all our entire lives. Anything we needed, she was there. And now its our time to be there for her. When my mom and I were done with our talk, I had cleaned myself up as much as possible before walking back into the house. It didn’t help. I opened the door, and Mimi was sitting right there. I immediately began crying again. I’m not naive. I know there will be a time when she won’t be there. I know she can’t live forever. But I’m not ready. I’m not ready to handle my life without her. She has been a driving force for me, pushing me to succeed in life. I’ve always had her cheering me along. She hugged me in that moment and said “just be all you can be”. She is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. She is sick and all she is worried about is her family. Talking to her, she told me she hoped to have at least 4 more years of life. In those 4 years, Heather will make her a great grandmother, I will graduate nursing school, and Jaden will graduate high school. She is a fighter, so I hope she is able to get more than 4 years. She’s talked about death for years, making jokes about what her funeral will be like. I always thought maybe it made the idea of death easier for her to handle. But I think she is actually scared now. I don’t think she is ready to die, or miss out on any milestone in our lives. If it was just her, she wouldn’t fight. But I know she is fighting for us. She gives me an immense amount of strength. I feel more motivation to do well in my life, in nursing school, in becoming half the woman she is. I feel like its only right to fight for her too.

If you don’t get hit in the head with glow sticks, you’re not doing it right.

Everyone should at least once experience a music festival. And I mean really, truly experience it. But I think that once you do, one festival will not be enough. As I sit here post-Firefly, everything hurts. My feet, legs, head, body. Everything. I’m coughing up what I am sure is 4 days of dust that has collected and settled in my lungs. I’ve taken around an excess of 3 naps today, sleeping more than I’ve been awake. But I would not trade any of this miserable after-festival nonsense for the unforgettable experience of Firefly.
Going into Firefly, I had no idea what to expect. I researched, prepared, and packed over the course of weeks in order to make sure I was ready. Although it helped, it was no where close to enough. In an effort to beat the crowds, we arrived in Dover around 5am on Thursday morning. We hit zero traffic and enjoyed a relaxing car ride of music before getting breakfast and meeting up with our fellow festival goers. I was overwhelmed right when our car pulled into the line for the festival. So. many. people. But the excitement was able to mask how much anxiety I had. We ended up really lucking out on our camping spot. We were able to get in with everyone, minus one group, of the people we planned to come with, and were able to get a spot on the second row of tents in the lot. It placed us very close to the everything we needed back at the campsite, like water faucets and the toilets, and set us up for an easier walk than others into the festival. The overwhelming feeling continued as we set up camp. I’ve always considered myself a hands-on person, but putting up a tent for the first time without either my dad or my brother, both of whom are Eagle Scouts, made me panic. Luckily, Will does well with my panic and we worked together to get everything set up. At this point, half my clothes were already off, due to the heat, and they stayed that way for the course of the weekend. We began drinking, playing cornhole, and enjoying the crowd. Into the evening, we ventured into the festival. We didn’t have any bands we really wanted to see, so Thursday night was just about exploring and getting a feel for the festival grounds. It would have been more effective for me to not be so drunk when exploring, but whats the fun in that? The first band we saw was terrible. Terrible to the point that the group decided we had enough and moved on. Over the course of the night, we partied our way to Amos Lee. Never heard of him, but I was more than impressed. We danced and sang along to all the covers. For the first time in the weekend, I remember thinking that this festival was going to change my life. And I was so right. We began the long stumble back to the campsite. And I began the hurt that would stay the remainder of the weekend. The walk took forever, even despite the stop for ice cream and being drunk. I had read that it was going to be a long walk, but I figured I was in fairly good shape, so really how bad could it be? Remind me to work out my ankles the next time I’m at the gym.
I woke up the next morning in a good amount of pain. Surprisingly, not hungover. Will and I stumbled around the campsite, and he figured out how to cook us cup-of-noodles, which would become a staple meal for us. I joked Will when we were pre-festival shopping when he decided to pick up 12 cup-of-noodles. I wondered what was going on in that brain of his that made him think we needed that many. Truth is: it was the best idea ever and I wish we had gotten more. I also sucked down some instant coffee. Its absolutely disgusting, but it does the job. Once we were done with grubbing, we decided to figure out how to shower. What an interesting task. Punching holes in the top of a large jug of water, Will acted as my own personal shower head, allowing me to wash and condition my hair, and even wash my face. We finished the process of “getting ready” for the day, and began to consume alcohol for the second day in a row. Cornhole, tequila shots, and beer bongs. It was how we prepared for that day of the festival. Once we felt good and ready, we started the long walk into the festival. I found that the walk in was always so much better than the walk home. Maybe it was the excitement of the music we were going to hear or the fact that we still had energy. Friday was hot. I wore nothing but shorts and my bathing suit, shoving a shirt into my purse for later in the evening. We explored the festival grounds again, losing most of our group. We took refuge from the sun in hammocks in the wooded area lining the grounds. A haven of hippies, possibly sleeping off the night before or getting ready for the night that lay ahead. I was most excited for Friday night. Foo Friday. I’ve always been a fan of Dave Grohl. I grew up on Nirvana, like most of my generation. But Dave Grohl has always stood out to me most because of the Foo Fighters. After Nirvana, you think someone may feel a bit defeated. I mean, I know I would be if I had experience the loss of Kurt Cobain in the way he did. But he decided to push on, and created the Foo Fighters. Putting out their first album all by himself. I couldn’t believe that I would finally see this man in person. I would get to see him perform live. Perform some of the songs that I’ve placed meaning to in my life at one point or another. I remember the rush when he appeared on the stage. I felt like this was the whole reason I came to Firefly. I can’t put into words what I experienced during that show. Dave Grohl is a true rockstar. An amazing performer. And he put together a band that compliments his talents, and pushes him to go beyond. I left that show feeling like I had seen one of the best concerts I will ever see. My mom forever relives a Peter Frampton show. I’ve heard the story over and over again. So much that I feel like I’ve seen him. I feel like this concert was my Peter Frampton show. One day I will share my memories of that show with my kids, hopefully giving them the same love for music as my mom did. By the time the Foo Fighters was over, I was ready for bed. I had seen all I really needed to that day. But in the spirit of music festival and the experience, I pushed on. I remember at one point Will asking me if I wanted to go home. I did. I so badly wanted to crawl into that tent and fall fast asleep to bear cuddles. But I really thought about it. You can sleep when you’re dead. Push on. When are you ever going to be in this moment again. The weekend was a series of moments. Moments that made me feel alive again. I got to forget about everything in my life. I got to stay in those moments for as long as they lasted. I was so thankful for that, so I couldn’t be the one to end them. We danced to Girl Talk late into the night. And then we, yet again, stumbled back to our campsite, only stopping to get some amazing pizza.
On Saturday, I woke up feeling more pain. Still not as hungover as one would imagine. We completed the same routine as the day before. Breakfast of noodles, coffee, showers, and then began our drinking. Saturday was overcast, and it was seen as a relief. It wasn’t an overcast that bummed anyone out. We appreciated the sanctuary from the heat. Third Eye Blind was set to play in the afternoon, and one of Will’s fraternity brothers was the ultimate superfan. We got as drunk as we could, then worked our way into the festival so he could have his Peter Frampton concert. We were running late, so the group decided to literally run in order to see the show. I remember feeling an immense amount of pain in my stomach. All the beer I had consumed was sloshing around, looking for an exit. I had to stop running because I was not ready to puke on myself or any other festival goer. Will stopped running with me, while the rest of the small group continued. Will and I saw the show by ourselves, and I was actually happy with that. We got time to ourselves during the trip. Lots actually. But something about the little moments within the festival felt special. I felt like that Third Eye Blind show was a little special. Call me sentimental or call me drunk. We joined the rest of our group immediately after the show and ended up rolling around the festival, heading at one point to the Dogfish Head Brewery. It was at that point we decided we needed a bit of a festival break and headed back to our campsite to eat dinner and continue drinking. After that, we were ready for another night of partying and music. The events of Saturday are the most fuzzy to me, due to the excessive amount of drinking. There were moments of Arctic Monkeys, and walking around, and I vaguely remember seeing some other musical acts. Saturday night peaked with Outkast. Normally, I would not consider myself an Outkast fan. You won’t find me seek out their new album, or put on their Pandora station. But Outkast is one of those groups that when their songs come on, everyone is amped. And they put on a show in that manner. Everyone was singing along, and it felt like we were in a giant party. It was during this party we decided to bite a glow stick in order to release its glowing goodness. We bit the glow stick, which tasted terrible and my mouth went slightly numb, and sprayed the contents all over our clothes. The light didn’t last long, and it tasted so bad, but obviously in our inebriated and altered state, it was a great idea. Glow sticks were such a huge part of Firefly. I don’t think you can have a music festival without them. I felt like a glow stick magnet. It was a habit of the crowd to toss an exorbitant amount of glow sticks every time the beat dropped. Those glow sticks normally came right for me. I would be a rich lady if I had a nickel for every glow stick that bopped me on the head. Or a beach ball hit me. Or someone’s foot as they crowd surfed. Or even a rock someone thought would be a great idea to throw into the crowd. Moral of the story: I got hit in the head a lot with flying objects. It was just my festival luck. Post-Outkast we headed over to see Pretty Lights. I ended up taking some Fireball to the face to keep my drunk going. Problem was, I hadn’t had enough water to last me throughout the day. I felt like either passing out or throwing up was inevitable. Will was able to find me a cup, which I promptly filled up multiple times in order to rehydrate myself. I was able to dodge the negative effects of dehydration and continue the night. Another night at the festival ended with the strenuous walk back to the campsite. I couldn’t manage to stay awake to socialize with anyone. My whole body was aching, and I was ready to sleep it all off.
Sunday morning was unlike any other. I finally felt like the 3 previous days of partying caught up with me and slapped me in the face. I was incredibly hungover. Add the intense pain of walking around during those 3 days, and I was spent. I couldn’t believe we still had an entire day of the festival left. But thank goodness it was the last day. Will and I both opted out of drinking that day. We rehydrated, ate breakfast, and showered. At that point, we were ready for the end. But we decided to make the best of the time remaining and enjoy the final day. We headed into the festival and saw a band I had never heard of. At first, I was less than wiling to stand in the heat for some no-name band. But by the end of their set, I was actually enjoying myself. While we waited for future shows to begin, the group made their way to the silent disco. A highlight of our festival experience. Each participant in this uber fun dance party is given a set of headphones. Two DJs are able to play music, which comes into the headphones, and listeners can pick between the 2 stations. You’re dancing to a song, you look over and notice someone has to be dancing to a different song. You switch over, and OMG its the best song ever. It was not only enjoyable, but absolutely hilarious. But all good things come to an end. We moved on and found ourselves standing in the heat again to watch Weezer. I felt like my skin was melting. Once we felt like we experienced enough, we ventured off in search of a phone charger. During our charging time, we decided we wanted to spend a little downtime back at camp and headed back to make dinner. After dinner, Will and I hiked back into the festival to meet up with the group to watch the USA v Portugal World Cup game. Although the results were not what the crowd hoped for, it always feels great watching our country fight for something so big with a group of drunk American-loving people. The group decided to find a nice spot in the back of the crowd for Jack Johnson. We were all tired of standing so it made sense to relax in the back. Will and I were staying until Monday while our entire group was heading back home that night. During Jack Johnson’s set, we said our goodbyes and we separated from the group. Will and I were left to relax and enjoy the rest of the festival alone. We danced together and had another solo moment I truly treasured from that weekend. I was so happy spending that time with him. I consider the time we spend together to be very precious, and I was on cloud nine dancing with him to Jack. Finally we made the hard decision that our festival time was over. We began walking home, but we found ourselves yet again at the silent disco. Will wanted to go in just to see what songs were playing. Well, an hour later and we were still enjoying the experience. Firefly fireworks went off, and we kept on dancing. It wasn’t until I felt like I couldn’t dance anymore that I peeled Will off the dance floor and we went home. The last night of cuddling in the tent. Cuddling and hoping hippies didn’t try to steal our junk.
We woke up and all I wanted to do was jump in the car and get out of there. After my last bathroom trip to the disgusting port-o-potty, we packed up the tent and headed for the beach. Ocean City eased the pain and sadness of our vacation ending. Reflecting on the entire experience, I was so blessed to have been given the opportunity to go to Firefly. And more than that, I was so blessed to have gone with Will, met so many amazing people, and create memories I will never forget. We learned so many lessons to use for future festivals, and truly let ourselves go in those 4 days. I would not have traded those 4 days for anything.

Usually happy, can sometimes be bitchy, but totally not depressed

I think most people would stick me in the “usually happy, can sometimes be bitchy, but totally not depressed” category. Hell, thats where I would stick myself. But honestly, its not where I belong. The “sometimes bitchy” part is spot on. I try my best not to be a bitch, but I don’t feel like fighting it all the time. And lately, I’ve been fighting a lot of things, especially depression. Oh no, I said the D word. I’m not your typical textbook case of depressed. I eat, sleep, and I continue to do activities I enjoy. Mainly because, my knowledge of mental health has led me to believe that if I keep on with my life, keep trying to do all the things that made me happy, use my coping skills, then I won’t be so sad all the time. Truthfully, its been years since I could say “I’m happy”. If someone were to ask me today if I was happy. I would lie. I would say I was definitely happy. Because, really, who wants to be around someone they don’t think is happy. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around myself if I knew in the back of my head I was thinking about how sad I can be. And I really don’t need the sympathy from anyone, because how would that help me? I do not need someone asking me how I am all the time. Eventually, they would get tired of getting the same honest answer of how down I feel. I don’t need someone babying me, doing things for me, treating me like fine china. When someone treats me well, I want it to be because they care about me, they want me to be happy, or thats just what kind of a person they are. Not because they know I’m depressed and they’re afraid their actions will damage me. I’m damaged already and I can worry about myself. I don’t need someone else to feel like they have to also. It took me a long time to get to where I am today. Where I can say, yep, I’m depressed. Am I the depressed that thinks about suicide? Not even close. So get those thoughts out of your head. I’m the depressed that needs extra to get to a comfortable place. I work twice as hard as everyone else to be comfortable. I say comfortable, because I don’t think I’ve gotten to that happy place in far too long. But I’m really working on it. I’m working on getting everything right in my life, to where I feel happy again. Its been such a journey. Literally, every time I take a step forward I get pushed back 2 steps. But I continue to move forward because I truly believe that this is not as good as it gets. Anyone who knows me, knows that I cry. I cry about everything. But for me, thats my way of working through it all. Sometimes I feel like if I cry hard enough or long enough, I will wash away the bad feelings. I’ll wash away whatever has chosen to bring me down in that moment. Lately, its been the moments that have been sad, not the days, or the weeks. There was a time when the feeling of hopeless lasted for weeks. Then it was days. Now I feel like I can celebrate this time. The time where I realize I’m in that moment. That moment of depression. I realize it, then I don’t allow it to take me further. Maybe I need the cry to bring me out. Sometimes its a text that does it. Or the smile of a friend, or even a stranger. I’m going to continue to fight, because thats what I feel like I deserve. I deserve to be in a place, where those depressed moments are so few that I can’t remember when the last one occurred. 

Cheating isn’t black and white.

It’s not unusual to be in an undefined relationship these days. People really don’t think much of it. It’s becoming normal for you to be “talking”, “hanging out”, or “hooking up” without having to label exactly what you are. I’m not sure why this is becoming such a popular approach to relationships, but for some “couples” it works. I never thought I would find myself in this situation, but for the past 7.5 months I have been involved in a label-less, grey area relationship. Our relationship is not cut-and-dry, black and white, or anywhere near normal. What started out as having fun and hooking up turned into feelings and emotions. To be honest, I think one of the reasons we stayed in the grey was to avoid the feeling and emotions, but we’re too far past it now, although I can’t speak for the other half.
So when you find yourself in one of these situations, how do you define cheating? You’re not really dating, so you can do what you want, right? For me, that’s all wrong. In the beginning, I had less of a concern about my actions, though I never did anything I would consider to be cheating. But that’s speaking personally. I know there are people who can be hooking up with multiple people at one time. So for whatever reason you decided to stay undefined, cheating for you and the other person should be defined. This doesn’t involve sharing every detail of your day, but in any relationship, there should be a sense of trust. Defining what you, as a “couple” believe to be cheating, or crossing a boundary, builds trust. It allows the other person to know that you respect and care for them enough, despite the lack of label, that you won’t try to hurt them. I often thought about what, in my situation, should be considered cheating. Do I want to see someone I care about flirting with someone else? No. Do I get a little ping in my stomach when I hear he finds another girl to be attractive? Yep. But I don’t necessarily consider that cheating. It’s just more uncomfortable than anything else. Cheating, to me, is anything I would not want my partner to do. I would be heartbroken to find out that he hooked up with someone else, kissed another girl, touched them in a way I feel like he should only touch me. So I won’t do those things. When I’m deciding if I should do something or not, I always have him in mind. Could my actions upset him, hurt him, make him mad? Then I don’t do them. Would I want him to read a text from a guy? If I’m hiding something, then it’s cheating to me. Some might feel like that borders on the line of a relationship. But really, he is one of my best friends. I care about him, and I would never intentionally do anything to hurt him. So to me, it’s just respect for a person you care about.
At the end of the day, or more like the beginning of a relationship, no matter what label is or isn’t there, you have to sit down and say “what’s our version of cheating?” It will be different for everyone, but it’s important to know what boundaries you have so you’re not hurting someone you care about.

Swipe left, swipe right

Tinder, a “dating” app, is designed to provide users with a location-based method of finding their Mr. or Mrs. Right. Well, wrong. Although some will download the app for this purpose, the real reasons why people use this app are not to find love. More like find their next sexual conquest, or just flip through the opposite sex users in their area. The app allows users to swipe right if they like what they see, and swipe left if they don’t. Initially I got the app to see what all the hype was about, but now I find myself browsing just to pass some time. I’m not looking to find a guy, so it just gives me the opportunity to have a few laughs at some poor guys’ expense. Why would I laugh? Because the men of Tinder are absolutely ridiculous. I can’t say what men think of us Tinder-using women, but I could give the men a few tips/tricks on what to do and what not to do. Every woman is different, so I’m not speaking for all the ladies, but some of these are universal rules. 

Everyone takes selfies. If you say you don’t, you’re lying. However, I find it only acceptable for females to use them on social media. If you MUST use a selfie fellas, limit it to 1. I do not need to see 6 pictures of you at the gym flexing your abs. I’m sure you worked very hard for those abs, but now you just look desperate to show them off. 

If I look at your name and can’t pronounce it, then I have to swipe left. If I was really looking to date someone on Tinder, why would I want to struggle to say your name? I never thought I had a type but I think it might be white guys with common names (or Hispanic ones, named Will).

You could be a model, but if you have on a pair of cargo pants/shorts, then sorry but I’m not sorry to swipe left. I mean, what do you need with all of those pockets? Cargo shorts can take a 10 down to a 0 really fast.

How many of you Tinder boys really fish? If I had a dollar for every man on Tinder that was holding his catch of the day, then I would be one really rich lady. I mean, can we get a little more unique with our picture choice? This coming from a girl who has about 5 selfies in the same pose. Don’t judge me. But seriously, if you fish, that’s awesome. If not, don’t pretend to be some great outdoorsman. And while we’re on the subject, how many of you find yourself next to a wild animal (lion, tiger, bear), and think “This picture is going to impress all the ladies on Tinder”. I can’t count the number of those pictures I see too. But you definitely get points for the pictures of your pups. Pups are my weakness. 

Ugly friends make me swipe left. If I were trying to find a Tinder fella, why would I want one with ugly friends? I can’t set up my beautiful friends (although most of them are married now) with your ugly friends. 

So I get that she is your sister, best friend, cousin, etc, but why are you putting up a picture of you and some hot girl? Don’t make me have to read your profile to find out she isn’t your current/ex girlfriend. By then, I’ve already swiped left.

On a similar topic, the baby in your arms is making my ovaries hurt. Sure, it could give some women the impression that you’re going to make a great dad, or whatever. Its scaring the shit out of me. I’m playing on Tinder, which means I’m far from ready to be your baby mama. Stop it with the kids. 

No offense to your state or anything. Well, actually please take a lot of offense. If you’re a yankee, you need to be one hot yankee to get a swipe right. I’m immediately turned off by anyone born and raised above the Mason-Dixon line. 

If you don’t like sports, are you really even a man? I mean, you need to like at least 1 sport. You can be the creative type thats into photography, art, etc, but men should also like sports. I’m pretty sure this goes against all that gender role equality bullshit, but thats why its my opinion. Extra points for being a fan of Washington sports. (side note: If you’ve never been to Texas, why are you a Cowboys fan?). 

 When you message a female, please don’t be crude. I get it, we’re on Tinder. But really, do you think lines like “Are you dating, mating, or masturbating? “ are going to work? They don’t. Also, I don’t message anyone back, mostly because I’m not looking to find anyone, but if a girl doesn’t message you back, then stop after the first message and call it a loss. The guys that message me like 6 times before they stop make me wonder why they are so desperate or worry if they could find me and chop me into little pieces. I actually had a guy say “Is it too soon for me to say I love you?” Umm yes. Duh. You’re scary. But the guys that message with compliments about me being beautiful or gorgeous ALMOST make me want to message back. 

I could go on all day about all the things guys do wrong on Tinder. But really, I love the app. Its so honest. You get to base your impressions of someone solely on their looks and what they write in a tiny profile. If you’re looking for love, try match.com or eharmony, but if you want to spend your down time swiping left or right, based on how superficial you’re feeling, then head to Tinder. 

Big spoon, little spoon

It’s a common thought that the man assumes the big spoon position, while the woman is naturally the little spoon. But why? Why should it be assumed that the man HAS to be the big spoon?
I absolutely love to cuddle. It’s such a comforting feeling to have someone wrapped around you, holding you, making you feel safe. Will does that for me. He is bigger than me, and makes me feel so relaxed and at ease when he is my big spoon. We have snugs down to a science. The position we fall asleep. How his arms fit around me. But we don’t stay in that position all night. It’s impossible to lay in one position all night, without moving. Will is warm by nature, and while I am usually cold, sometimes we get too hot to be cuddling and we break apart. He might turn and lay on the other side, or his back or stomach. In an effort to offer him the same wonderful comfort he gives me, I will take on the big spoon role. (I also can’t help but touch him. It makes me know he isn’t too far). Of course, I can’t engulf him in the same way, but I wrap my arm around him and hold him. We sometimes joke about who gets to be snugs first. I usually win, but I know it’s only because he knows he will eventually get the snugs too.
He loves to be the little spoon. It doesn’t make me question his manhood. I don’t think any less of him as a man. He is still one of the most manly men I know. So why is it assumed that men can’t be little spoon? Sometimes I sleep light. It’s hard to get to sleep, or stay asleep, if Will is congested and breathing into my ear. So big spoon works better for me in that case too.
I’m happy to have a big, strong man who will snugs me, make me feel safe and comforted. But I don’t mind offering him a little of the same. He may not feel like I can protect him, because I probably can’t. But I hope I offer him some comfort when he needs it.

No one is perfect, right?

I could never claim to be perfect. Or be without flaws and faults. One of my favorite quotes, by Augusten Burroughs, states “I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” I find this to be completely true of myself. Though I have flaws, I do have good intentions. I have compiled a list of flaws, faults, shortcomings. Just a few though. I don’t want to highlight every negative aspect of myself. I have always thought if you are well aware of the negative attributes, you are better able to recognize them, work on them, or just own them.

I am a spoiled brat. I have been called spoiled and bratty my entire life. I always laughed it off, never really paying it any mind, until one day it actually stung. Usually people never said it in a way that made me want to question it, but when it was said that day I found it really hurtful, and it made me really think about why people pegged me as a spoiled brat. Although I am the middle child of 5, I was the youngest for a long time. There are 11 years in between me and my younger brother. By the time he was born, the damage was done. For 11 years, I was the baby. The baby girl. Of course my older siblings bullied me, as most do, but they protected me like I was a piece of fine china. If I felt incapable of doing something, they did it for me. They felt like they were taking care of me. My mom always had the mentality that she wanted to give her children all the things she never got. As a child of frugal parents, she was never really given the opportunity to just go out and shop. But thats what we did. We bonded over shopping. Every opportunity, we were shopping. We could be bored on a random Wednesday night, so we would head to the mall. I found that she had trouble saying “no” to me. I remember one shopping trip I found a pair of black shoes. I probably had 3 other pairs just like it. She told me I didn’t need them. She was right. But instead, I said “Fine. I don’t need them”. She felt bad. She went back to the store and bought me those shoes. My dad was a little bit more strict, demanded more from me. But he felt that if he had something to give, we should have it. Love, money, toys. I always get lectures from my dad, especially about the value of hard work. But he still gave me what I needed. I don’t want to blame my parents or my siblings for being spoiled, because I have continued this behavior. I manipulate situations to my advantage. I’ve cried in relationships in order to get my way. It happens a lot less these days. Its like people don’t accept a 27 year old crying about meaningless fights that won’t be remembered in 5 years, or even a few weeks. I can still manipulate a lot of situations to my advantage, with or without the tears. The only difference between now and then is the fact that I realize its not right, I feel bad about it, and even though I still tend to do it, I apologize and try better. 

I can be seen as terribly needy. As mentioned in previous posts, I am an extrovert down to the core. I need people. I always have, and I always will. I want to be surrounded by people most of the time. Its very rare that I need alone time. Usually when I do, its because my crying isn’t for my manipulative benefit. Its truly because I’m hurting. Hurting to the point that I need to cry a lot, take a hot shower, and sleep. Plus, most people don’t know how to comfort someone. Its either they stand there looking at you or say something unbelievably wrong like “I understand”. If you can’t comfort me like I want, as in you hold me and let me cry without judgement, then let me be alone. Other than that, I want you near me. All the time. I tend to forget people aren’t like me, so for most, I can be seen as clingy and needy. I’m really capable of doing a lot on my own. But its never as fun as having someone there with you. Picture this: you’re watching a funny movie. You laugh so hard you’re crying. You look to your side. And no one is there. No one is sitting there laughing with you. But picture it with someone there. Sharing the laugh. Its just THAT much better. When I have a problem, I want to share it. With everyone. I may not take anyone’s advice, but I would like advice from at least 5-10 people. Oddly enough, I live alone. But thats referring to my first flaw. I find that I want my space exactly the way I like it, and roommates tend to muddy that thought up. But come over anytime, and we’ll hang out and drink some beers. 

I tend to touch too much. I love to touch people. No, I don’t just walk up to strangers and touch them. But if we’re talking, I might just reach out and touch your arm. When I’m upset, I need to be touched. I need hugs, cuddling, any form of physical affection. In relationships, I’m extremely affectionate. I want to be touching my significant other a lot. I enjoy cuddling, laying together, holding hands, everything. It might shock people how often I touch them. This is definitely one of my qualities I am most aware of, especially working in a mental hospital. Sometimes, there are patients I just want to reach out, grab, and hold until all their problems feel as though they have disappeared. But real life doesn’t work that way, and some people don’t enjoy my touching. You can notice me putting my hands in my pockets, or playing with my hair, or talking with my hands. I keep busy so I don’t touch. 

I am hypersensitive. I’m like a female just before her period, all the time. Sorry if that was too graphic for the guys (If it was, grow up). I can be extremely offensive, but I can’t always take what I dish out. I tend to joke about how often I cry. 

I love compliments. Sorry if I like to be told I’m beautiful, pretty, have a nice outfit on. Its not because I’m insecure. I truly think I’m beautiful, but its always great to hear it. If  we’re dating, say it. Often. Theres nothing worse than never hearing a compliment. I don’t need to hear it every time I see you, but if you think it in your head, then say it. I will compliment you, so compliment me. I can guarantee someone else is, but I would rather hear it from you. 

I overanalyze everything, Typical girl, right? I don’t just overanalyze. I worry. Like unnaturally worry. If a guy doesn’t answer my text, I’m more likely to think he’s dead than cheating on me. I come by it honestly. My mom worries like its her job. I’ve always thought she was annoying about it, and now I do it. No clue why.

I am extremely sentimental. I think everything could be a memory. Let’s make sure we save the movie ticket from the first movie we ever go to together. We could look back on it when we’re 50 and reminisce. But really, I want pictures of everything. I want to make every minute count. We’ll be apart for a few days? Sorry, I’m going to miss you.

I could add at least 20 things to this list, but I really think these might be my major problem areas. So just let me have my way, hold me, text me back on time, don’t be mean to me, tell me I’m beautiful, and take pictures with me all the time. If you do that, we’ll be just fine. 

Why bother planning?

Life is really funny about the way it turns out. You can plan out how you want it all to go, but how often does it really happen that way? I can remember being a little girl, thinking my mom was so old when she got married and had children. She was married at 26, had my sister at 28, and then had me at 30. Here I am at 27 and the farthest thing from my mind is getting married and having children. Of course, I can’t wait until the day when I am blessed enough to have a wonderful husband and some little ones, but I also can wait. I’ve spent my life planning out what I wanted. I went to college thinking I was going to take on the world of physical therapy. Nope. I ended up graduating with my BS in psychology. I went to graduate school thinking I would end up as a licensed counselor. Nope. I decided I wanted to be a nurse instead. I moved to Northern Virginia with the notion that David was the man I would spend my life with. Well, nope to that either. I wonder why I planned at all. I planned out my life, just to have it constantly change. 

We really don’t know what the world has in mind for us. Its impossible to know. I’ve given up planning out every little detail of how my life is supposed to go. I figure I can avoid any disappointment that way. I can be pleasantly surprised at the many blessings I have instead. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan a little bit. I do intend to begin and finish nursing school. I’ve always had it in my mind that I want to work in the ER. Thats not set in stone. I will allow that to be decided as I move along. But for now, thats all I have planned. I don’t want to deny myself any joy, or any experience, because it didn’t fit into my original plan. Theres so many great things that have come from living without a plan. When David and I broke up, I thought I would enjoy time being very independent. To an extent, thats been true. I’ve come a long way in the time we have been apart. But I never planned on meeting anyone in particular, or spending time with any particular guy. But I did. And thats been one unplanned surprise after another. At this point, that situation still remains unplanned. If you’re not having fun, then whats the point? 

We can’t sit and plan out all the moments we hope to have. They just have to happen. You don’t wake up planning out when you will laugh during the day, or when you might get mad. So why should we plan at all? If it feels right, then it must be right. So far, I think I’m headed in a great direction. Going down the right road, if you will. But really, I have no clue if the road will curve, or take a sharp turn. I just have to wait and see.