Three

Three years. Three long, crazy, happy, depressing, wild years. In those three years, I’ve waited and contemplated writing this piece, and, until today, decided not to. I thought I wouldn’t do it justice. I was afraid to look back days, weeks, months, after the piece was written and think, ‘you could have done better if you had waited longer and constructed your ideas more carefully.’ But, today, I thought, ‘fuck it.’

I started this blog many years ago. I carefully picked topics that I thought about on a regular basis, and I wrote with careful consideration and care, wondering how I could appeal to the masses and gain an insane amount of followers…

But, about three and a half years ago, I stopped writing. Up until that point, as my frequent readers will know, I was in a long term relationship with Matt. But, I fucked up. And, I want to write about it so that I can reflect on what I’ve learned over the last three years, and put all of my feelings out on paper to close this chapter and move to the next. This isn’t to say that I haven’t moved on. I certainly have. I just want to make sure that everything has been fully processed. And, from this piece, I hope my readers can understand that they’re not alone. People fuck up. We grow, we learn, we have each other.

To begin, as my frequent readers will remember, Matt and I dated for seven years. The first time we got together, we were in high school. Near the end of our relationship, we began living together. And, I started to doubt if would be compatible in the long run. As we lived together, I realized that we were more like roommates and less like partners. Matt had his friends and his activities, and I had the books that I liked to read, shows I liked to watch, and workouts that I liked to do. I was a homebody. I was socially awkward. I hated myself, and I over-analyzed every sentence before it came out of my mouth. And, then, after it did, I replayed the entire conversation and scolded myself for things that I said that I thought sounded stupid. Needless to say, at the end of the day, being around people was exhausting, so, I preferred to stay indoors.

When Matt would go out, it upset me. When he would spend time at home, but not around me, it would upset me. When he did anything without me, I became frustrated. That same year, I found my tribe. It just became clearer to me that Matt and I would be spending more and more time a part if we continued our relationship. I wanted someone who was going to be around more often and liked some of the same activities that I did. So, right before Christmas three years ago, I broke up with Matt.

In my own stupidity, I thought that he would understand in a way. I thought that he could see it too. It was obvious that we weren’t spending much time together and that all of his activities were starting to annoy me. I walked out, and things only headed further south. Weeks passed, and we went back and forth on getting back together. Or, should I say, Matt pleaded with me to come back and work things out, and I wouldn’t listen. Deep down, I knew that I loved him and that I didn’t want to leave him, I just needed a change. In my bones, I knew it was a change that I couldn’t get from being with him. If I wanted to grow and get back to the old me, I needed to throw myself to the sharks and do it alone. I knew that if he was there, I would rely on his help, and I wouldn’t progress. I knew that if I stayed with him, I would rely on him to fix everything. I would become even more codependent than I was. I just needed to leave.

This isn’t to say that I regretted my decision multiple times and begged for him to let me come back. Oh, yeah, there definitely was that. I poured my heart out to him in a letter, made a list of everything that I would do for him if he decided to spend the rest of his life with me, signed off on the list, and left it with him. I showed up at his doorstep multiple times with food and gifts to show him how much I cared. Nothing. He had every right to feel frustrated too, hate me even. One day, I was sitting on his couch, and he told me that he didn’t love me anymore. It was about nine months after I’d left him. I knew then and there that there was nothing more I could do. If he didn’t love me, I didn’t want to keep trying to win him back over. At least, when he loved me, I had a fighting chance. I walked out of his apartment that night only to return two months later and tell him that this was the last time I would see him unless he called asking me to come back into his life. He never asked me to come back.

Since that time, I threw myself at myself. Does that make sense? What I mean to say is that self-improvement became the only thing I focused on.  I went to therapy, I found my religion, I planned out-of –state trips to places I had never been to by myself, I started online dating, I started (and finished) my master’s degree, I gained many new friends through work and networking connections, I’ve thrived. I could have easily given up and told myself that my life had no more meaning, that I had hurt the one person I loved more than anything beyond repair, and, therefore, I shouldn’t be allowed to live my life to the fullest. I should repent every day and embrace all of the shit that comes my way because I deserved it.

But, that wasn’t my path. It took a while to stand up straight again. It took a lot of love and care from the therapists, friends, and family members around me to get me to where I am now, but I want to keep moving forward.

I love Matt as a person and a friend. I always will. I’m not in love with him anymore, but I do pray for his happiness and success. I pray that someday, maybe further down the road, we can be real friends again. Maybe, we can support each other in our professional growth and in our personal growth. We spent a total of eleven years as friends and more. It would be stupid of me to think that he wasn’t/isn’t a huge influence on my life. However, I have long since forgiven myself for the way I ended things. Do I wish that the way we broke up would have been different? Yes. I wish that we had had long conversations regarding our feelings and what we thought we could do to help each other instead of ending things right away. I guess, ultimately, I didn’t know how he could help me. I didn’t think that he could. I thought that I would become even more codependent if I stayed. I didn’t know, at the time, how to express what I needed and wanted, so I ran. I didn’t know, truly, want I needed. I had to throw myself in the pool before learning how to swim to survive.

If I’ve learned anything about relationships from this experience, it’s that you have to wake up every day willing to work on being together. For some people, it comes more naturally than others. But, the love and respect have to be there. You have to try to get along the best you can and want to be the best version of yourself for yourself and the other person. You have to try, try, try every single day. Maybe, I wasn’t truly willing to try. In reality, I was so self-centered to the point where I thought we had been together long enough that it should just work, and he should want to be around me more often.

Truth is, it isn’t just about you. It’s about the team you’ve created. It’s work. It will always be work. And, you have to get up every day willing to get to work.

Dearest Readers – It is my hope that if you are in a relationship with someone, you can talk to that person. No matter what your feelings are, positive or negative, it’s important to connect with that other individual on a daily basis. When I was with Matt, I was afraid that if I told him any of my negative feelings, that he would leave me. I shouldn’t have been afraid to express how I felt, because, at the end of our relationship, I blew up. I blew up because I had been holding everything in for so long. That’s no way to live. If you are in love, communication is the most important tool in your relationship tool kit. Be kind to one another, be respectful, and communicate as if you don’t know the next time you will be able to.

Much Love,
GS

Dear, Self – Love, Self

Dear, Self –

Hi! How are you!? Have I told you lately how proud I am of you and how much I love you? The last three years have been so interesting and inspiring. I think it’s time to take a moment and remind yourself all that you’ve done to improve your physical and mental well being!

1 – Remember when you hated the idea of doing anything alone (traveling, eating, etc.)? Remember how you crushed that belief system by taking not one, not two, not three, but four solo trips within the last three years? You wanted to go to California, so you booked a trip to San Diego by yourself and ate alone at restaurants and explored all of the nature that the area had to offer. Then, you decided that you needed to fly out to New York to see a taping of Jimmy Fallon because of how in love with him you are. Remember when you flew there and back in one day? Phew. Crazy. Next, you decided that you had had enough of Wisconsin, so you flew out to Colorado and spent the weekend with your beautiful cousin. You partied with her friends, saw the sights, and even made out with her best guy friend! Wait, should we leave that part out? Nah, you two are still friends. Lastly, and most recently, you booked a flight out to Phoenix, Arizona because you wanted to go to the International Women’s Summit and see some of your favorite female authors speak about their lives and what they’ve done to overcome challenges. Remember how rejuvenated you felt after that conference? Hold on to that.

You didn’t only go on crazy trips by yourself, but you hang out alone in public places sometimes, and it doesn’t bother you. Remember all those concerts and movies you went to by yourself because your friends were too cheap to want to go with you? Yeah, man, they missed out!

2 – Ah, remember going back to school to receive your master’s degree? You always told yourself, “I’m never going back to school! After that bachelor’s degree, I’m done.” Well, look at you now. You finished your master’s degree in one year! You did it! Who knows, maybe, someday, you’ll find a topic that you’re all too passionate about, and you’ll want to go back for your doctorate. But, let’s just take it one step at a time. Oh, I should remind you that you got your master’s degree in one year while working full-time. You’re such a boss.

3 – I also want to commend you for asking for help with you food addiction and social anxiety. I know you didn’t know just how far down the rabbit hole you had gone, but I commend you for doing so. If you hadn’t, you could be a lot worse right now. With this, I applaud you for being open to different treatments. When you realized that hypnotherapy was the best option for you, you went with it! You put in the time, effort, and maintenance to make sure you were successful. You’re still fighting for yourself every day, and it shows. Just think about all of the friends you’ve been able to gain since seeking help. Even conversations that you have with strangers come with ease now instead of fear. And, you’ve adjusted your eating habits, and you’re healthier and happier. Go you!

4 – Remember when finding friends and dates online scared the crap out of you? I’m so proud that you decided to give the online world a firm handshake and a ‘can do’ attitude. You went on multiple dates and even found some new friends from creating profiles and putting yourself out there into the online world. Yes!

5 – Five has always been your favorite number. And number five on this list has been your favorite discovery thus far. I’m so glad that you took your cousin’s advice and conduct regular sessions with psychics and spiritual healers. Think about how much you’ve learned about yourself and the world around your from doing so! You now have a general outlook on your future and have practiced caring for your spiritual self through prayer. These sessions give you that piece of mind you’ve always searched for but couldn’t find on your own. They’ve also given you that confidence to just go out and be you knowing that everything will be ok. I’m just so in love with you for doing this!

6 – I know that the topic of religion has frightened you for so long because you thought you weren’t good enough to find your tribe, and I know you were afraid to talk about it because of how scarce it was in your life growing up. I’m so proud of you for taking a pause in your life and realizing that you want to do research on this topic and figure out for yourself where you stand. God has always been in your life, and now you know just how He fits in! I’m proud of you for continuing to pray and meditate every day and for asking the universe for help when you feel like you could use an extra boost! You have awakened the beliefs that have always been there and studied so many beautiful passages that have enhanced how you look at the world. Yes, life is beautiful.

7 – Oh, sweet, sweet social media. It’s enhanced our lives, but it’s also taken away some of the true connection that everyone craves. Remember when you used to refresh your Facebook feed all of the time because you wanted to take everything in that everyone was doing? You haven’t even logged in in the last week! There could be comments sitting there waiting for you, and you don’t even care! You’ve started to read more, workout for longer periods of time, and be fully engaged with your friends outside of your phone. I know this one was hard for you, but you’ve come so far. I’m so happy that you’ve started to disconnect and make more time for the things that really matter.

Self – Look at you and how far you’ve come! There’s so much exploring left to do! I’m so excited to see what you’re future will hold. Keep writing and sharing because your sole purpose is to make others feel less alone and to help create a community that you’re proud of. I love you so much. Keep going!

Love,
Self

I Can’t Be The Only One

A lot of people state that they can’t remember their dreams. Well, 99.9% of the time, I can. And, usually, they’re pretty crazy. And, a lot of the time, they relate to what’s going on in my life.

For example, last night, I had a dream that me and one of my ex-boyfriends starting chatting it up like we were old friends. In dream land, a few days had gone by and we were hanging out like nothing had ever happened between us.

This dream shouldn’t weird me out, and it’s by no means scary, but the fact that it’s happened multiple times before does. It’s also happened regarding another ex that I haven’t spoken to in many years. And, every time it does happen, we’re the best of friends, always. No negativity.

I hate to admit it, but sometimes, my dreams will take me back to when me and one of my ex’s were together. It will literally catapult me back through time and take me to a scene that once existed.

I always wonder how these dreams start, and I think I know. All of the guys that I’ve ever dated I’ve been friends with first. So, naturally, we have a few mutual Facebook friends. Would it be wrong to say that I creep on them from time-to-time? Hell no, everyone creeps on their ex’s! Anyway, the night I had my dream about one of my ex-boyfriends was the night that I had found some recently tagged photos of him on Facebook. So, I’m starting to believe that there’s a bit of a reality-to-dream connection.

Now, this connection isn’t the worst thing in the world because I’ve found that in works in other ways every once in awhile. For example, I haven’t seen my boyfriend in over a week. Coincidentally, I was thinking about him and the past struggles of our relationship the other night, and viola; I ended up having a dream about us being together. The dream was simple. We were spending the day together cuddling and walking around town.

So, it got me thinking. Am I the only one this happens to? Am I the only one who looks at a picture before bed or thinks of a memory and then has a dream regarding whatever I saw/thought? My uncle actually consistently falls asleep with the television on, and he always ends up dreaming about the last thing he watched before falling asleep….which explains why he always has his bedroom TV on the golf channel.

I’m curious. Tell me your stories in the comments!

Text, Call, FREAK OUT, Repeat

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I’m a worrier by nature. And every time I worry about something, I think of the worst case scenario, and then I start to believe that that’s actually going to happen.

For example, about a week ago, I made plans with my boyfriend, Matt, and a few friends to go to the beach. I told Matt the previous day (via text) that we were all going to meet up at the beach at 1, but that I would stop by his place first to drop off my stuff. That morning came, and I decided to call Matt at 10:30 to let him know when I would be leaving…no answer. At this point, I was fine, he’d probably call me back within an hour. An hour later, no call from Matt, so I called him back…no answer. Finally, it was 12:30. Still not having heard from him, I called again. Nothing! By this point, I was starting to freak out a little because he hadn’t responded the previous day when I texted him our plans…so, that meant I hadn’t heard anything in 24 hours. Who knows what could’ve happened in 24 hours time? My head was racing. Did he even make it home last night? What if someone high jacked his car? What if someone came into his place of work with a gun and everyone at his office was waiting for a hero?

I did the next logical thing and packed my bags and jumped in my car on a quest to find him. I couldn’t help it. Matt is usually really great a communicating with me, so I felt funky when he hadn’t even texted me back. I searched the area around his apartment and couldn’t find him or his car. So, he’s somewhere with his car or someone stole his car and he’s wandering hopelessly on the street, was my thought. Then, I checked the beach, thinking that maybe he’d lost his phone and was waiting for us there. There were so many cars and people as there happened to be multiple festivals going on near the lakefront that day…just my luck. After spending what seemed like years in traffic, I headed to one of his friend’s homes, nope, not there. Then, I texted a few of his other friends, no one had heard from him. I stopped at the mall, and lastly, his office. Nothing. It was almost 4pm.

I called my father and told him that I couldn’t find Matt. I stated that I was coming home and we were going to have to call the police, his parents, or form a search party…something, anything to make sure there wasn’t another wasted second that went by without having others know of his absence. As I drove home, I started crying my eyes out and I screamed at God, “Please let me find him!! He’s my everything! You might as well take me too! Where did you hide him? Why are you doing this? This isn’t ok.” Then, I began to think of what my life would become once he’d been pronounced dead, what I would say at his funeral; and I asked myself how I would feel if we never found the body. Would I be able to move on? No, probably never. Yes, I would take the oath to never date again and live the rest of my life as a spinster. Hell, my grandmother was a widow for 40 plus years before she died and she never dated, remarried, or showed interest in anyone after my grandfather passed away. If she could do it, so can I.

Then, the call came through. It was Matt’s face that showed up on my phone. But, I didn’t even rejoice at first. I thought, what if it’s the police calling to tell me they found him dead, or that he’s at the hospital and probably won’t make it? I picked up the phone and screamed, “HELLO?”

“Hi, what’s going on?” the other end answered back. It was Matt, he was alive…for now!

“WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? WHERE ARE YOU NOW? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?…” I went off. I’ve known Matt for almost 9 years now, and in all of those years I’ve NEVER, NOT ONCE, yelled at him. Unfortunately, that streak has been broken.

In the end, I went back to Matt’s apartment and we talked it over, but sweet Jesus did he scare me. It turns out that he was participating in one of his weekly activities, sailing down at the yacht club. He left his phone in one of the club’s lockers, thinking he would be back by noon. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case.

I spent the next few hours being as close to him as I could, hugging him, smelling him, cuddling with him. Good God, if you don’t know if you love someone, try thinking about what your life would be like without them, then you’ll know if you want them to stick around. It sounds stupid, but I realized that losing him would mean losing myself.

I also learned a few other things during that crazy day:
-Communication is so important, especially when you’re in a relationship: Terrible communication has got to be my number one pet peeve…and it’s probably why so many people piss me off! If you have plans and forget, that’s one thing, but if you deliberately ignore people because “you don’t feel like it,” then we can’t be friends anymore. I have a friend who gets invited to many things and just doesn’t respond. She figures, if she’s available that day, she’ll come, if she can’t, whatever. I’m sorry honey, but with that attitude, I can’t invite you to a big event… like my wedding. I understand if it’s just a bonfire where you don’t really need to RSVP, but if you NEVER respond to ANY event and you still won’t respond when people personally text you and ask, “hey, you comin?” Inappropriate. People have actually stopped inviting her to things because of her attitude. Be polite and at least give someone some sort of a response. Even if you don’t know right then, say it. Don’t make people assume! In the working world, shit like that doesn’t fly, and it shouldn’t in real life either.

-Worrying is interest paid on something that hasn’t happened: My dad literally says this to me all the time, but I don’t listen because it’s a part of my personality to freak out over just about everything. This is the part of me that I can’t stand. I work at a radio station part-time, and if you’ve ever worked in broadcast media, you know that those guys and gals are some of the calmest people on the planet. They have to be! There are hundreds of factors that can make everything NOT go as planned, and you have to have a plan B while being calm about it. You just need to take things one week at a time, one day at a time, and then one moment at a time. And just remember, if there is a lack of preparation on someone else’s behalf, then there should not be any case of urgency on yours. Try your best to live in the moment, sniff out danger, but it is OK to let some things fall by the wayside.

What about you? Are you a worrier? How do you deal with your worries?

Granny Smith – over and out

The Dreaded Ex

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Ah, yes, the ex. Most of us have at least one or more, and one of mine walked down the aisle last weekend. As I watched the pictures of his lovely day pop up on my Facebook page, I couldn’t help but think, what the hell did I ever see in that guy?  By the looks of the pictures, he’s gotten fatter and more obnoxious. All of this got me thinking about our relationship, and what a disaster it was!

As some of you may know, I’m writing a book about my past relationships and some specific situations I’ve been in where the outcomes were NOTHING like what I thought they were going to be. And, I would love nothing more than to share the story of myself and…(we’ll call him) John with you. Enjoy, and please comment with your own experiences!

 

Uck, John. Do I have to talk about him? Fine; here goes nothing…

 I met John in history class my freshman year of high school, and coincidently, we had three other classes together that year. I thought he was cool because he had on some dumb shirt about AC/DC and farts…I don’t remember how they were related, so I’m not even going to try and explain…Anyway, the two of us became close because I loved his charm and sense of humor and he loved my hair and how polite I was. But, not even a month had passed in the start of my new adventure called “high school” and I found out that not only did John not see me as a sex object, but he preferred my dork ass neighbor, Becky. Becky is probably one of the nicest girls you will ever meet, but she’s really into stupid shit like reality TV, snorting while she laughs, and wearing crocs and a tube top…not real cute.

Needless to say, their relationship didn’t last long, and after they broke up, I was looking forward to pouncing on that man meat! And, while John was taking his sweet time healing his broken heart, I was making sure that I was constantly on his mind, or at least in his line of vision. Like I said, we had half of our classes together that year, and our lockers were fairly close, so we were almost always in the same vicinity. Many months were spent comprised of constant flirtation and “buddy buddy” jokes. This period in my life was probably nauseating for some, and I get that, but what else was I supposed to do? I wanted him, so I had to play along!

On one particular day, I went to school and I was SURE that he was going to ask me out. We had been flirting for a long time and friends for what felt like eternity! As I was gathering my books for the beginning of the day, I noticed him standing in the hallway near my locker. As I looked up to make eye contact, I witnessed him cross the isle and lock lips with another girl from our class! THE FUCK! Really? Again? I’d been that bastard’s best friend! I responded to his cues correctly every time without missing a beat! Who is this bitch and how do I get him to realize that she is NOT the one for him? She’s not even PRETTY!….So much anger and confusion was all I felt for the next few days. I later learned that her name was Bethany and they had been in a class together all year. But, he’d never mentioned this “Bethany” girl to me before! I felt played, used, and once again, like I wasted my precious time and energy. I was done!…or so I thought.

Bethany and John dated for about 9 months, which in high school time is about 3 years. And, needless to say, their relationship came crashing down all because of me. One weekend right before school started, my family and I went to the high school to catch one of the first football games of the season. That summer, even though John was still with Bethany, I had tried to get his attention multiple times by visiting the park near his house and waiting for him to come outside…creepy, I know, but these we pre-Facebook days!! As my family stumbled into the stadium I kept thinking that the summer had been a complete loss because I never got his attention, and now we would probably have to start back at square one when we entered the upcoming school year. But, to my surprise, as I looked up into the stands I saw John and his best friend Chris enjoying the start of the game. I tried to pretend like I didn’t notice him, but he caught on and came to visit me and my family.

As we started talking, John became extremely overbearing when discussing his plans for the upcoming school year. He talked about how he was going to play a lot of sports, take multiple AP classes, oh yeah, and he was going to take me to homecoming. I was in complete shock! “You’re still with Bethany,” I said. “Yeah, I’ve been thinking about dumping her,” he said with no shame. “I’ll have to think about it,” I replied…and just like that, there was my cue. The game was over and my parents summoned me to the car. “THINK ABOUT IT!” he called after me, and I began running towards the exit.

About a week later, a new school year started and on one of the first days, John and Bethany broke up. When I asked him how everything went down, he told me bluntly, “I just told her that I was into you so I couldn’t date her anymore.” “YOU SAID WHAT?!” I shot back. And then, literally, every day for the remaining semester, Bethany would give me the stink eye every time I passed her in the hallway. To think that I had been the cause of someone’s breakup NEVER would have crossed my mind in a million years. Sure, I’d seen shit like this on TV, but I never thought that it would happen in MY life!

The next obstacle to tackle was homecoming. John would not let up! He asked me to go with him every day. “I don’t know,” I said. “Bethany is like REALLLLLYYYYYY pissed at me.” I feel like, if I go with you, she might attack me during the dance.” “Don’t worry about her,” he calmly mentioned, “I’ll deal with it.” Whatever the hell that was supposed to mean.

Eventually, since it had been my dream in the first place, and because I heard through the grape vine that he was going to take my best friend, Stacey if I said “NO” one more time, (in his words, “you have to keep your options open”) I went with John to the dance. The night started out great, and I made sure the steer clear from Bethany. Then, while hanging out in the back of the dance floor, John planted a kiss right on my lips. It was my first kiss, but I had no idea it was coming. I felt like I had lost that one moment that every girl dreams about because it was so quick and I had no idea what was happening. I finished the night a little pissed, but happy that we’d made an awesome memory in our relationship. I didn’t realize it then, but I was about to become even more pissed as time went on…

Every day since we started dating, John and I would eat lunch together with a bunch of our band friends. One day, a friend of a friend named Matt asked to eat lunch with us. Matt sat across from me, and we quickly hit it off. I met Matt a year earlier, but we never had gotten the chance to REALLY know each other. Every day at lunch, I would look forward to our conversations. Matt was hilarious and had a wonderfully positive perspective on life. Unfortunately, all of my conversing with Matt made John extremely jealous. “You’re supposed to be talking to me at lunch,” he said, “I’M your boyfriend.” “Jesus, sorry that I’m polite,” I yelled back, “I’m just trying to make peace with a stranger.” From that day forward, I tried to talk to John more and ignore Matt, but it was just so hard, Matt wasn’t “in” on “the plan” and you could tell that he didn’t understand why I chose to ignore him. So, eventually, I gave up and thought Tough shit, John will just have to deal with the fact that I have male friends.

Throughout the month that John and I were “together” we went through a lot of ups and downs (more ups and downs than I’ve had with friends that I’ve known for 15 plus years). The day before our high school band’s big trip, I decided that I was going to break up with John. I had never broken up with anyone before, but I knew it had to end. He was such a cocky asshole. The morning of my planned break up, I couldn’t find him at his locker, so I walked into the band room. “Ah, there you are,” he said, “I need to talk to you.” “Good, because I need to talk to you too,” I shot right back. We moseyed out into the hallway where he stated, “ladies first,” and gave me the floor. And, there it was, my shot to claim the end of our relationship, and I blew it. “No, you first,” I said. “Ok,” he exclaimed with a confused look. “I think we were better off as friends, and I think we need to break up,” he said. “I completely agree!!” I said…with almost too much enthusiasm. “Well…” he said. “Well, ok, see yeah,” I said, and walked back to my locker. The funny part was, I wasn’t even sad. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could finally go back to living my life. John had sawed the bars off of my jail cell and told me to “run like the wind.” I remember running into John’s friend Chris in the hallway after it all happened. “How you doin’,” he said. “Fine, why?” I shot back. “Well, I know that John broke up with you,” he stated. “What? How did you know that? It LITERALLY JUST HAPPENED!” “John told me on the way to school this morning that he was going to do it,” Chris said.

That son of a bitch.

As always, another failed relationship in my book means another life lesson, and with John, I learned multiple. First off, if someone is pressuring you to date them, there’s your first red flag. Obviously this person doesn’t fully care about your wants and needs (or you in general) if they’re applying any form of emotional pressure. And, for the love of all that is holy, don’t date the jealous type. John made me feel awful for being friends with other guys and not devoting all of my attention to him when we were out and about…and seriously, that’s just bullshit, and it probably means that the person who is the “jealous type” is self conscious. And I’d have to say the biggest lesson of them all, be friends with the person before dating them. Yes, John and I were friends for a year before deciding to date, but we weren’t really friends. I mean, I hung out with him during the school day sometimes, and we had a lot of the same classes, but I never hung out with him outside of school or even during the summer. I never found out who he truly was…and that probably would’ve saved me a lot of time.

Update: Shortly after John and I broke up, I found out that not only was he a huge cocky asshole, but he was also a psychopathic liar. He ended up telling one of my guy friends that while he was dating Bethany, “I used to call him all the time and we would talk on the phone for hours.” He told my friend that it was like he was dating two women at once. Unfortunately, no matter how big John’s dreams get, that one was, nor will ever be, true.

John went on to date one of my worst enemies shortly after we broke up, and I’m happy to report that they’re newlyweds. John also went on to school to become a firefighter, and he currently lives with his (beautiful) bride far, far away from me.

As always, I wish them the best….sort of.

Passion vs. Paycheck

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Dear Followers,

I’m having another dilemma and could use all of your wonderful advice and experience to guide me through! As some of you may know, I’ve been unemployed for close to five months now and I’m constantly searching for another full time opportunity. Recently, I had an interview with a great organization that has a job title similar to what I’m looking for and the capabilities to train, support, and help me grow! However, the pay is terrible, the insurance benefits are non-existent, and it’s located in a place I’ve never been to (other than for the interview), and is 2.5 hours away from everyone I love and care about. With that being said, let me paint you a better picture….

I have a few strong passions in life: music, animals, writing, and the arts. Over the past couple of months, I’ve tried to figure out what I really want out of a career and what would make me happy. I’m a fairly eccentric person (as you all know), but when it comes to my life style, I’m very old fashioned and thrive on following a routine and have strong family values. But, since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be some sort of famous (hopefully for a good thing). And with my passion for entertaining and music, I thought being a radio DJ might be a great career. However, it’s an extremely difficult industry to get into and very cut-throat. Owners of stations are always changing and individuals are losing jobs left and right. Most of the time, you’re really not free with what you want to do, and have to follow a set format.

But, what a thrill it could be! Currently, I host a show on a college radio station every week and I enjoy it because I’m allowed to play and say whatever I want (as long as I don’t break FCC guidelines). This new opportunity would allow me to get my foot in the door and I would be a real DJ trained on real equipment!

However, current DJ’s and station owners that I’ve talked to have stated that the radio industry has definitely died down over the years and it’s 10 times more competitive.

So, it leaves me to wonder, if I’m offered this position, do I take it and leave everything I love for the chance to join an industry that I’m curious to be a part of, or, do I take/search for a position that involves one of my other passions (the arts, animals, etc) and provides better pay, and keep my show on a college radio station and grow that following and my skills there?

It’s never easy making a crazy life decision, but I know that my choice will impact more than just me (no matter what one I make). If I look at my core values, I realize that being with my family, having time for myself, and doing hobbies/activities that I love come first before any career that I could possibly dream of. But, it would be great if a passion/hobby of mine could turn into a career.

At this point, I just want to hide underneath the covers and continue binge watching Chrisley Knows Best…but at some point I need to really examine my options and think about what’s best for not only myself, but the people I love.

And, this is the part where you come in. Have you ever been faced with a situation where you were struggling to figure out if you should take a position that you were passionate about that provided some flaws or a position that you know you would do well in and receive benefits, but you might not be as thrilled about?

Please comment and share your stories regarding passion vs. paycheck! Thanks in advance!

Granny Smith – over and out

A Childless Mother’s Day

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For those of you who live under a rock, yesterday was the famously Hallmarked, “Mother’s Day.” I spent a wonderful day with my mom and the rest of my family doing yard work, watching television, and eating ice cream! I can only hope that you all had just as wonderful of a day with your mothers and/or children. So, because yesterday was all about celebrating moms, I thought I would compose a post about how out of this world I felt not being a mother on Mother’s Day…or, just every day in general.

Yes, it’s controversial, and yes it’s a topic that’s been brought up before. If you’ve read TIME magazine within the last couple of months, you know that they ran a report regarding childless couples. In the report, TIME states that, “the birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history. From 2007 to 2011, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.”

If you’re anything like me, you proudly raised your hand, and maybe even shouted, “That’s me!”when you heard the “1 in 5 American women statistic.” It’s no secret among my peers and family; I can’t stand kids. I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I didn’t want babies, and that I would do ANYTHING to make absolutely sure that a child never formed inside of me.  So, you might be asking, “Why 12? Why not before then?” In all honesty, I was on the fence. I knew deep down that I didn’t want children, but I had heard from older family members, the media, and my Barbie dolls how great having a family of your own was. And, I thought that maybe having one or two kids wouldn’t be so rough. I mean, it’s the American dream, right? Graduate from college, get a job, get married, start a family. I can’t tell you how many individuals I know from high school and college who are in their early 20’s and doing just that. In fact, I found out today that one of my married friends is pregnant, and another is engaged.

At this point, I feel the need to shrug my shoulders and sigh. Sometimes, I feel a bit awkward because I don’t want what everyone else seems to.  At the same time, many tell me that “I’ll change my mind.” But, I’ve felt this way for more than 10 years,  and every time I’m around a child (or anyone who is more than 5 years younger than me) I cringe and become very uncomfortable after about 15 minutes. Sure, babies and young kids are cute, but after a few moments, I’m more than ready to hand them back to their mother.

Also, let’s just say I can barely take care of myself. Do you really think I’d do well adding a helpless individual to the mix? No. I also have a short temper for ignorant idiots, I mean…kids. It’s not that I think all children are stupid, it’s just that I tend to get frustrated when kids can’t get on my level. We can’t have a conversation about the election? You don’t know the name of our Governor? Fine; get out of my face; I can’t handle you right now.

Needless to say, I’ve always wondered if a lot of us TRULY want to have children, or if we’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that our lives take this natural progression and having children is all a part of it. 

When I was a senior in college, one of my favorite professors told us a quick story about when she was a new mom that, I think, a lot of new mothers can relate to. She stated that after her oldest was born, she was so sleep deprived, frustrated, emotional, you name it! This new experience really upset her because she obviously and quickly began to realize that motherhood was less than a bed of roses. One day, she went to her mother’s house said, “Mom! Why didn’t you tell me motherhood was going to be this difficult and crazy?” To which her mother replied, “No one told me. It’s something every woman needs to figure out for themselves.”

What a slap to the face! Can we pause for a moment while I get my tubes tied?

But, in all seriousness, at the end of the day, it’s our mother’s that brought us into this world and have helped us grow, learn, and become who we are. I know that I’d be a complete mess without mine! Almost every woman has the physical capabilities to become a mother, but not every woman can be a mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Granny Smith – over and out