wine and whiskey.

A shot of whiskey is abrupt; you feel pain then quick relief. It causes a rush of emotions in a very short amount of time, which is inherently addicting.
 
Then there’s wine. It’s a slow transition; but one that lasts. And rarely does it cause the heart to burn.
 
There’s something about heartbreak and the sudden transition that it demands. There’s a shock then a sharp burn, but once you get through that a comforting warmth overcomes your body. That warmth is intoxicating because it makes you forget the burn you once felt. However, because you know it’s coming, waiting for that warmth can make the shock and burn excruciating; and because you know relief is coming, the wait seems like a lifetime.
 
I think that feeling may be true in most aspects of life when faced with a trial. You know there’s a reason, and a light at the end, but it’s like having that knowledge makes you feel rushed into finding the answers instead of trusting the process. Or, in many cases, because you know the relief is coming, you then start to ignore the cause of the pain.
 
Unfortunately, you can’t predict this moment the first time it happens. Your life suddenly went from slowly sipping a glass of wine, to forcing fire down your throat. But why? Why do we do that to ourselves? Even in moments of transition and uncertainty, can’t we just continue to live peacefully in that moment enjoying a glass of wine? Why do we rush the process looking for answers when the methods to get to the end are so painful and damaging?
 
As I’m sipping a glass of wine and eyeing that bottle of Jameson on the wall at my favorite bar… I still don’t have the answer. Which is odd for me and a slight blow to my ego.
 
Usually I’ll mention an issue, then write about some great lesson I’ve learned through that trial. But this time I can’t. All I can do is recognize the pattern I am currently in, and try my best to break it.
 
You see, I have the predisposition to fall into the “oh well” tendency. Also disguised as the “on to the next one,” ” let go and let God,” “there’s a reason for everything,” and whatever else you tell yourself in those situations. I’m not saying they’re not true; but that type of mindset inhibits you from taking any form of responsibility. Which then forces the opportunity to grow to come to a screeching hault.
 
I’m starting to recognize the “oh well” tendency is symbolic of a shot of whiskey; because even though something may cause pain, I can immediately deflect the feeling and absorb the warmth that comes after. But if something doesn’t affect you, how can it change you?
 
I’m challenging myself to sit into the feeling and experience every bit of it; like I would with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Every note, every flavor. Even if it’s sour from the lime or sweet from the peach, I’m going to embrace it.
  
In literature, wine is often symbolic of happiness and relationships, and it can also represent a transformation–as grapes undergo transformation when they are fermented. I pride myself on my humility. An oxymoron, I know; but it’s one of my strengths. However, lately I’ve been too proud to make a change. Any conflict that has crashed into my life has been the fault of another; because unlike the antagonist of my story, I know exactly what I want and I communicate it very well.
 
But that sureness is coupled with arrogance because I am not willing to bend my needs or wants. Why should I? If you know me, you know I’ve bent enough; to the point where I am crippled in pain and paralyzed with fear of change. At that point, the only response was, “okay, whatever you want.” That response is a direct result of the need for immediate peace; warmth, if you will. A shot of whiskey.
 
I won’t do that again. I won’t be that person who looks for the quick and easy fix. I’ll sit in what I’m feeling. What I’m needing and why I need it. What I’m willing to sacrifice and what I’m willing to go to battle for. What I’ll forgive and what I’ll refuse to tolerate. I’ll think about who I am and who I aspire to be, and who will aid in my inspiration.  I’ll feel all of the pain and heartache that is a direct result of my empathy and sensitivity, and I won’t be ashamed or fearful. I’ll be proud; and I’ll be okay.
 
And while I’m at it, I’ll pour a glass of wine.

in the wait.

Active Waiting” is a term I’ve recently come across. Basically it refers to your state of mind while you are in the midst of a waiting period and challenges you to keep the end-goal at the forefront of your thoughts in an effort to rid your heart of any anxiety or sense of urgency.

I like to think of myself as a patient person. But there’s a delicate grace that is needed when you find yourself waiting for something that feels just out of reach; and that necessary grace needs to be a constant and active pursuit. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a hard time with this.

I would go through periods of extreme anxiety (and honestly, still do at times) as I watched the people around me move forward with a life I thought I wanted for myself; and as a response, I made myself available to be of service whenever I am needed despite what I was needing at the time. Maybe to get a taste of the life I was craving; maybe to feel a sense of importance while the people I hold closest to my heart moved on; maybe both. Don’t get me wrong, helping those I love fulfills me in many ways. But something was still missing. I soon realized that being too available to fill spaces in other people’s lives only made it so that no one could step into mine. I didn’t have room for anyone in my life, including myself. I lost my identity through years of trying to help others find their own. This passed year, however, that all changed.

I know what I want for myself, so I became more mindful of how I wait.

I still have my life structured so that I can be there for those who need me at a moment’s notice; but I protect my peace first. While I understand being there for someone can at times be inconvenient, it should still be done; and can be done in a way that doesn’t disrupt your own stability. You see, “actively waiting” for something you want to happen in your life means also coming to terms with the fact that you do not have it yet; and distracting yourself from that fact only lengthens the waiting period. Surrounding yourself with people who have the things you want can be incredibly motivating; but it can also be destructive if you then go home and think you are lacking simply because your life looks a little bit different. 

Take a moment, sit back, accept where you are, and marvel at your life. Be thankful for the grief that softened you, the heartache that wisened you, and the suffering that strengthened you. Despite everything, you still grew. Be proud.

Once you become content with the wait, you won’t settle for anything less than your standards. You are going to find what you’re looking for; and if you don’t, you’ll find something better. You will find happiness that exists on your own terms. But first you need to take the time to find what moves you, what inspires you, and what fulfills you. Then you need to find the courage to chase those things. One day you will find that you are brave enough to believe that you are deserving of all of things that set your soul on fire, and you alone are capable and worthy of creating the kind of life that inspires that fire to stay burning. Through that strength, you’ll learn to never let convenience talk you out of the life you are craving. You’ll learn that surrendering in order to make others more comfortable is not an option.

I hope you in turn find the kind of love that makes you a softer person; a love that makes you better but accepts exactly who you are in every moment. I hope you find someone who becomes your favorite thing and makes the fall less fearful. Someone who chooses you every day because nothing is more beautiful than when someone builds you a home in their heart.

But before you can find that love, you need to master the art of waiting gracefully, and learn to enjoy every minute of the journey.

Refuel your soul, girl. This is a long drive.

four walls.

I’m on Week Four.

Not sure about you, but four weeks with close to no human contact has drained me in ways I never thought possible. Being an introvert, I would think I would be very much comfortable with this whole concept of “social-distancing.” But oh, how we crave the things which are no longer available to us.

Naturally, changing times and stressful situations cause me to self-reflect. Mainly because I’m in the constant state of trying to find the why, or the lesson behind what’s happening. However, my usual methods of searching for my why haven’t been working. So…why?

I used to have an issue with looking at things too closely as opposed to seeing the full picture. As they say… the devil is in the details. That statement is very much true when the devil is exactly who you’re looking for (meaning you’re searching mainly out of suspicion or insecurity with the sole purpose of proving yourself right in whatever situation you’ve found yourself in). But, what if you sought out to look for something else in the details? What if, instead, you search for light. For good. Hope. Love. And better yet, what if you allowed yourself to find it? 

When all of this started I told myself I would keep my perspective in check and make sure I reminded myself daily to think of the entire situation, instead of focusing on how myself and the people around me are personally affected. That helped, for a bit. That is until I couldn’t ignore the everyday effects it had on my life.

Now I’m giving myself permission to miss the little things.

I miss going on dates then coming home and telling my sisters all about it. I miss spending hours in the gym then following it up with hours at my favorite neighborhood brewery (counterproductive, I know; but very much worth it). I miss hugging my best friend and her babies. I miss letting the neighborhood kids jump on me when I see them at the playground during my run. I miss lounging by the pool at my apartment complex after a grueling workout. I miss walking into my brother and sister-in-law’s house and getting annoyed with their barking Rat-Terrier because I’m desperate to hear my niece say “Tee Tee.” I miss waking up on Sunday mornings and sitting in the café at The Crossing with my coffee while watching people greet one another as they walk through the doors and wait for the service to start. I miss following up church with brunch and a full day downtown with some of my best friends because it somehow always results in bowling and consuming far too much sushi. I miss my sister getting mad at me because I won’t share my location with her because she obviously already knows where I am now. I even miss waking up at 6am on Saturday mornings to make it to a spin class that I’ve dreaded all week but am always thankful for at the end of the hour. I miss aimlessly wandering around Home Goods and buying things I definitely don’t need. I miss talking to strangers in bookstores about what they’re reading and not worrying about their proximity to me. I miss sitting at a crowded bar and people-watching while imagining what their life is like. Like many of you, I miss the moments I’ve been overlooking. 

Fear of looking too closely has only caused me to neglect the little, wonderful moments which make up my life. Moments I have taken for granted.

I will never again be annoyed when a neighbor stops me to say hello and talks a little bit too long, even if it means being a few minutes late to whatever it was that I deemed more important than this human-being standing in front of me. It will no longer be an option for me to flake on my friends just because I’m “not in the mood.” Hitting snooze seven times when my alarm goes off in the morning will never again be a part of my reality and the word “inconvenient” will not be in my vocabulary. I have time for that workout, or that trip to the store, or that drive to see my parents. I’ll make it work. Want to go for a walk? A drink? Get some food? Just talk or even sit in silence because you need some company? I’m in. Just tell me when or where. I don’t care what time it is.

These moments I took for granted weren’t just the external moments; but the internal as well. These last four weeks forced me to come face-to-face with how desperately I need to foster my heart. Before this, I would go through periods where I would dedicate certain hours of the day to reading, writing, and devotionals. Then after a few weeks I would slowly fade out of the habit, then return a few weeks later when I noticed my heart was unsettled and my mind was anxious. That cycle ends now. If missing a workout isn’t an option, then taking care of my heart will no longer be something I allow myself to “do tomorrow.”

If these walls of my apartment have taught me anything, it’s the fact that the little moments of our day, the small details that make up who we are and inspire us to keep going, are by far the most important.

It’s that simple. It’s love. The love for your family; your friends; the dog across the street or your favorite wine waiting for you at your best friend’s house; the love for your favorite book that you’ve read 20 times already but may just read one more because the fragile binding can hold up for another round of relentless page turns; even the love you have for yourself during the moments when you’re faced with heartache but still remember “I’ve got this.

As my mama says, “You miss the moments you miss.”

So remember the little things. Once this is all over, they’ll be the big things.

sixteen.

It will be 2020 in a few weeks. The start of a new decade, and the end of one. Naturally, I’m feeling emotional and reflective.

This past decade has been trying, and beautiful. It has changed me in ways I never could have imagined. I have learned lessons I never thought I would learn so young, and I have made mistakes I am sure I will make again. 

Facebook’s “memory” feature makes it easy to look back on years passed. Recently, I’ve been seeing what Christie from a decade ago was posting and it has been pulling me back to not only what she was feeling at the time, but who she was and who she wanted to become. This feature on Facebook showed me a photo from my junior year of high school and it launched me back to a moment in time where I so badly wish I could talk to 16-year-old Christie. 

If I could grab this little girl and say anything to her, this would be it:


Hold on. I know you’re feeling lost, unwanted, confused, and timid. I know your faith in the Lord is wavering and I know you have a battle ahead. I know that boy doesn’t want your heart, and I know someone else wanted something you weren’t willing to give to him. I know what has been taken from you; but I also know what will be given to you. I know you are hurting and I know you feel like nothing could ever be as bad as it is at this moment; and I know sometimes it will be worse. But honey, it will also be so much better. It wasn’t your fault. So hold on.

I know in this photo you’re rocking your blue eyeliner and red-tipped acrylics with your crazy curls as you watch your brother’s band play before a Cardinals game; but I also know who you are watching across the crowd. I know how your heart aches, and I know how well you hide it (which is a skill you will happily lose in the coming years as you grow to realize being vulnerable is the only way to heal). You feel things so deeply and at times you feel as if you are drowning in emotions you can’t yet understand or control. But he is not the one, love. He has his “one.” And one day you will find yours. I know how you feel sad and unwanted and this will become a hard lesson for you. Hold on. You will soon understand another person’s view of you does not diminish your worth or what you deserve. Your stubborness and loyalty will persuade you to fight for the person you want; but soon you will learn when it’s time to walk away and find better.

I know at this point in time you are fighting with your best friend who is sitting a few people down from you and you have no idea what happened to cause this fight; I know you won’t talk for several months and you’ll feel as if you’ve lost a part of you and it’s hard to handle because you feel like you’ve already lost so much. I know how much you need her, and during these months you will feel true disconnect and loneliness. But don’t worry, you two reconcile very soon. You’re even in her wedding 8 years later, and she’s still giving you the only piece of advice you need to hear in the most difficult of circumstances. You need to know while you’re holding on, people are also holding you. I know you forget sometimes, and may even take for granted, the fact that your family loves you. And through all of your trials, they will be the one constant. Love them. Trust them. Hold them close. 

I know your leg hurts and you feel like no one could understand so you don’t speak of the agony. I know how you get out of breath walking up the stairs to class because of the pain. I know sometimes you ask to go to the bathroom just so you can sit on the ground and take your sweatpants off in order to give your swollen leg some relief; and I know in those moments you cry the tears you so desperately try to hide from the rest of the world. I know you had to give up your dream of being an all-star athlete and none of it was your fault. I know you feel uncomfortable in a body you no longer have control over and will spend the coming years fighting to live a healthy and normal life. But hold on. Those stairs you’re walking up are leading you to your media design and creative writing classes, your AP art class, and a photography class which will open your eyes. Soon, you’ll find your calling is not on the soccer field, but in a world you get to create all your own. And love, it’s such a beautiful world.

I know you’re mad at God and you are about to close your heart to Him for the next several years. You’re heartbroken He could let these things happen to you; and while you know some people go through much worse, you’re still going through this. And it hurts. You feel your body breaking, your heart breaking, and your spirit breaking. I know you’re going to shut yourself off. I know who you’re about to shut out and who you are about to let in. I know what you are going to forgive and tolerate from those around you in a deserpate attempt to feel connection and it will become an empathetic habit many people will take advantage of; and it will hurt. But hold on. Your empathetic nature will also breed warmth, compassion, and understanding and will bring people into your life who are desperate for someone like you, and they will love you unconditionally. Eventually, it will bring you right back to the Lord. Because you’ll realize those empathetic tendencies you have are from God; and only through Him can you be confident and at peace knowing you’ll always be protected from those who want to take it from you. He’s got you; and He’s got people for you. You’ve found some of them, but a few of them won’t show up for several more years and I know you’re longing for a connection you cannot explain. Just hold on. Your tribe is coming for you; they just need to face their own battles first. When they do come into your life, the timing will be right and they will be warriors

I know who you dream of becoming. Someone who is whole on her own and who is responsible for her own happiness; someone who is confident in her individual beauty and someone who regains control of her own body; someone who has the strength to help others fight their battles without it taking anything away from your own peace. I know it hurts to walk now, and honestly, it always will. But hold on. Soon… you’ll run. You’ll run to those who fulfill you, and you’ll run from those who you know aren’t for you. You’ll run in search for the free, strong, happy, grace-filled and faithfully loving woman you’ve always dreamed of being.

And girl, you’ll find her. 

Hold on.

 

 

hush.

I have always thought of myself to be a good conversationalist.
Listening, talking, giving advice, repeat.

This belief didn’t just appear out of no where; it slowly emerged to the surface through years of people seeking me out to talk and asking for my advice. Even if I have never been through the situation being described to me, I always found a way to put myself in their position as well as everyone involved, and give my opinion based on each point of view. This really helped people get out of their own head and see the entire picture, then make a decision on what to do from there more clearly. At least, so I thought.

Self-reflection is terrifying; especially when the reflection forces you to undo everything you thought you knew about yourself. But, I guess, that’s the point. While I know my thoughts and opinions hold weight and can have meaning to others, I’m learning (slowly) that sometimes the most meaningful thing you can be is silent.

ECCLESIASTES 3:7
a time to tear & a time to mend; a time to be silent & a time to speak.


This lesson has been very hard for me; because if you’re talking to me then you obviously want my opinion, right? Until recently, I couldn’t accept the fact that that very belief is arrogant. Maybe, just maybe, this person is coming to you to be heard. And that’s it. Maybe their words and thoughts have been silenced by a sea of people just waiting for their turn to toss in their opinion on a situation that does not apply to them; so they’re coming to you for another chance to be understood. 

I am not saying that your input is never needed; I am saying that more often than not, all that is needed is your presence. Sit, listen, and wait. 

PROVERBS 17:27
the one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.


It’s hard to know when it’s right to stay silent; but there are a few moments that I am learning to reflect on to help me understand when it’s time to speak up, and when it’s time to be still.

  1. obedience.
    obedience manifests self-control. only when we are silent are we in a place to truly hear what is needed from us.
  2. rest.
    in the moments when we feel anxious, be silent. no good can come from speaking from an anxious heart.
  3. ego.
    stop letting pride control our tongue. sometimes, we are wrong. sometimes, others matter more. 
  4. regret.
    if we speak out of pride or anger, we will be ashamed of our words later. 
  5. repeat.
    if we have said it more than once, don’t speak. in these moments, silence says more.
  6. fear.
    do not be quiet due to timidness, be quiet to keep the peace. if one person is already angry, it’s best to quiet the mind, take in the situation, and revisit once things are calm.

JAMES 1:19
take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.


Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or heartache. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in our hearts. 

But, we are human. Sometimes, our emotions take over. Sometimes we speak out of hurt, fear, anger, insecurity. Sometimes, the need for peace doesn’t seem to matter until the moment we’ve realized we destroyed it. But luckily, we are human. So we have been given the ability to ask for forgiveness, and the ability to forgive. Peace can be rebuilt. 

It just takes patience, understanding, calm conversation, and sometimes, the ability to be silent

All relationships come with a middle ground in the event of conflict; but if we’re too busy shouting at each other from opposite ends of the battlefield, we will never get there.  Hush, & be still.

 

 

header image by pynk magazine

the list.

It all starts with a list; an idea. These credentials paint a picture of our idea of the perfect person who we have convinced ourselves we are meant to be with. Typically,  we are influenced by fictional movies and books from our childhood that have become deeply rooted in our minds.

Tall. Handsome. Funny. Successful. Dresses well. Employed. Independent. IDEALLY, a prince. 
You get the idea. 

The list is undoubtedly what we will spend the rest of our lives using as a checklist for the potential “love of our life,” and thou shall not deviate from The List. Settling is never an option.

But consider this: what if never deviating is, in fact, settling? What if having one specific idea of a person is just a one-way path to disappointment? Not because the idea of this person doesn’t exist, I’m sure they do (to an extent); but because you would be selling yourself short by adhering to The List. You could argue that The List was created for the sole purpose to ensure that you wouldn’t be settling; but, what if the result of your list ends up not being at all what you want and you’ve fooled yourself thinking this specific idea of a person could fulfill you? What if the result leaves you completely unhappy?

Well, you’ll undoubtedly keep looking for another somebody; but with the same requirements. Whether you realize it or want to admit it, you are once again running through that list in your mind weeding out the possible contenders. You may not be always thinking about it; but it has become so ingrained into who you are and your standards  that it has become difficult to look for anything else. You have developed a “type” that is tough to walk away from. You might even consciously tell yourself that you need to “try something new,” but do you actually listen to that advice? 

If your answer is no, then your result will always be the same.

Here’s your solution: make a new list. 

Literally. Write it down. Not a list detailing the person you want; but a list detailing the  l o v e  you want.

The love of your life shouldn’t be a list of credentials describing what a person is, it should be a list detailing who a person is and the feeling that they give you. 

Warmth. Security. Protection. Adventure. Excitement. Support. Commitment. Humility.

Whatever the feeling is that you’ve been searching for and longing to experience, those are the standards you should seek out in a relationship. Who cares if he drives a nice car if he doesn’t open the door for you? He may say “all the right things” but does he take the time to listen to you? Who cares if he buys you dinner if he holds it over you in the future? Does “quality time” really matter if you can’t be off of your phone for an hour to give your whole heart and mind to the person beside you?

This new list requires your partner to be kind without pride and expectations; to be protective and have your back without the risk of the anxiety brought on by jealousy; to commit without regret or the need for constant reassurance due to insecurity and doubt. 

This new list also requires you to be the same kind of partner in return because rethinking your priorities and expectations forces you to look at who you are and what you bring to the relationship; and if you are lacking in an area that you are requiring from someone else, then maybe look inward and work on that aspect of yourself as well.

We need to start looking outside the cliche need for “tall, dark, and handsome” and begin prioritizing how we are being treated. 

Your list may be different from mine, but we should all be looking for a love that satisfies the feelings that we crave. 

So, what’s on your list?

iridescent.

Have you ever thought about how a movie about yourself would begin? 
What would it look like?

I’ve always pictured my opening scene the same way:

I’m sitting by a closed window in a quaint, aesthetically pleasing café with my notebook, a laptop and a cup of coffee. The weather and mood of this scene has always changed depending on my disposition and the stage of life that I am in; but I almost always picture a cold winters day or a brisk fall morning with deep, de-saturated colors. It gives a sense of yearning and contemplation, with an ever so slight essence of hope for more things to come. I was never sad or feeling downhearted in these scenes; just always waiting for something. My gaze went consistently from my writing, to the window, and back. Even as a I read through my old journals and study every instance where my “movie” is mentioned, I never write down what I’m looking for. I just know that I’m looking.

I haven’t thought about the opening scene of my movie for quite some time; in fact, the only reason it’s on my mind now is because I did a deep-dive into the drafts patiently waiting to be published on my blog. Out of the  s e v e r a l  unfinished posts in that folder, this one captivated me. Not for the moody setting or the unanswered question of what exactly I was hoping to find, but because my opening scene that I picture today has changed entirely.

I’m still in a quaint little café by a window with my laptop, journal, and cup of (now iced) coffee; however, the colors have changed. It’s no longer deep and brooding. It is full of light and vivid color. It must be spring because there are flowers framing the window where I sit; and instead of being on the inside looking out the window, I’m outside on the patio—and from time-to-time, I look up. The feeling is of overwhelming gratitude. I don’t feel the need to gaze in front of me in search of something more to come because I’m genuinely happy and thankful for exactly where I am.

So what happened between these visions?

I’m still me. I still prefer my coffee to be mostly cream; I still write in 3 separate journals for different purposes that only make sense to me; I still go out of my way to say hello to every dog that crosses my path and I will wave across a sea of people if I see a baby make eye contact with me; I still put way too many chocolate chips in my undercooked-mostly-dough cookies and no, I will never stop; I still clean the counters and somehow miss all of the crumbs from my sandwich earlier that day; I still giggle when the little bubbles from dish soap spurt out of the top; I will still choose a decade-old cheesy chick flick or classic Disney movie over a thoughtful documentary on my nights alone because nostalgia always wins in the end; I still drop whatever I am holding, especially if there’s no saving it once it is dropped; I still sing way too loud and out-of-tune; I still have an uncontrollable urge to buy every pink water bottle I see especially if it has gold writing on it; I still haven’t figured out how to properly hang wet clothes so that they don’t wrinkle and, honestly, I probably never will; and I still get way too emotionally invested in fictional characters and refuse to throw out any book I have ever owned.

Yes, I am still me. The difference is, I’ve humbly accepted it. I am blissfully and irrevocably happy to be who I am. I’m no longer gazing into the distance waiting for something to come my way; because I have absolutely everything that I could ever need. I have my family, my friends, my love, my health; I also have insecurities, and heartache and doubt from time-to-time. But I no longer see those moments as setbacks or something to dread. Life happens; and while life happens, God is right there by my side. He’s got me, and He’s got the ones I love. One of the biggest realizations I had during this journey is accepting the fact that God needs to be with me before He’s was ready to give me to someone else. I have to put in time with Him and myself before I can offer anything to anyone else. That relationship had to mend first. Once it did, everything else started to make sense. I stopped searching for a picture-perfect life, and started accepting the bright and messy life that has been put in front of me.

My life is no longer filled with fleeting and de-saturated periods of waiting; but it is bursting with fulfilling, never-ending moments of pure joy and vibrancy. I may drop my miso soup that was generously bought for me, and I may trip on absolutely nothing and feel the need to dramatically fall to the ground; but I will do so with a smile on my face and laugh uncontrollably leaving my mouth. I’ll have moments of deep sadness and need some guidance, and I’ll have moments of pure joy and try my best to spread that feeling to everyone around me. Exactly who I am, whether I’m on the ground covered in soup or standing on the balcony of a 5 star resort in Mexico, I’ll be happy.

Because that’s life. Isn’t it wonderful?

hello my old heart

I’m realizing that one of my biggest fears is to no longer be desired by the people I care about; a fear of “over-staying my welcome.” So I intentionally distance myself until they miss me, then I return to their lives. And the cycle continues.

I’m also realizing that I’m not the only one who feels this way or tends to do this. How many times have you felt that you’re putting too much into a relationship or a friendship and thought well maybe I should back off and see if they notice and reach out ?

We all have either done this or have been given this advice. But where does this fear stem from? Well, I think I’ve finally figured it out. This fear is the result of countless relationships throughout our lives where people leave, then a few weeks later come back with the “I miss you” texts and phone calls. It’s that simple. 

We’ve learned to believe that in order to create desire, we must first create distance. 

It’s true that distance can make the heart grow fonder. But there comes a point when the distance that’s intentionally created to mimic that effect becomes perceived has indifference, and this is where the problem begins. When did we become so afraid to openly express what we are wanting? When did this fear of seeming “needy” become so ingrained in our minds that we would willingly rather be distant and alone than speak our minds and possibly get what is it that we’re longing for? More importantly, what does it take to overcome this? 

It seems that my whole generation feels the need at some point to prove a point. Whether it be to themselves or to someone else, we feel as if we need to prove that we are independent and self-sufficient in order to feel worthy and respected. And while those are great attributes to aspire to, trying to prove them to others for the wrong reasons can result in an innate disdain for any opportunity to rely on someone else. So maybe the tendency to create distance to see if others reach out is a way to prove to yourself that you’re needed. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to feel needed. But to intentionally put someone you love in a situation where they’re missing and needing you in order to prove your own worth seems selfish to me. I never realized how destructive that type of action is until I began writing this post. The behavior is destructive because it then creates tense and dependent relationships that rely on one person having more power than the other.

If we were able to accept that we can be both independent and reliant upon those we love, then we wouldn’t be so afraid to express whatever it is that we would need.

It’s okay to ask for help.

It’s okay to tell some one you want to see them. Right now. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever.

It’s okay to bare your heart and soul to the people you love while also knowing that it’s okay if it doesn’t work out. Because one day it will.

It’s okay to be strong and independent, and it’s okay to be weak and broken and allow someone to help put you back together. 

We need to stop feeling guilty for the things we feel and start feeling grateful for the opportunity to feel them.

Confessions of the Not-So-Single Single Girl

Not quite single, not quite taken. It’s an odd relationship status, but it’s the only one I can seem to identify with. I’ve been single for so long that forfeiting that title almost seems wrong. The words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” sound so odd coming out of my mouth that I can only assume it’s because I’m simply not ready for that step. But I’m also not interested in dating multiple people; I’m a one-guy-kind-of-gal with an odd set of commitment issues. So “not-so-single single” seems like the right title for me.

“Working on my high hopes…”

I have happily mastered the art of singlehood, but it’s becoming more apparent that I am completely clueless on how to conduct a real relationship. Yes, I know exactly what I want for myself and what I’m looking for in a lifetime partner. I know down to the tiniest detail what kind of relationship I want. But I have no idea how to get there.

I know how to be single; I know the kind of partnership I want; I don’t know the steps in between. 

“…going to make you cross the tight ropes…”

The hopeless romantic in me wants to say that those steps will just fall into place with the right person; but the realist in me knows that’s complete bull. Watching the relationships around me between the people I love has taught me that any relationship is work regardless if it’s with the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks or your soulmate. A relationship is a choice you have to make every single day; and I honestly think the lack of that realization is why so many relationships fail, and is why I’m so reluctant to give up my “single” title. I need to know without a doubt that the person I choose to be with is also choosing me every single day despite my faults; because that’s exactly what I will do. Only then, when we irrevocably choose one another, will the “steps in between” fall into place and I will be able to cast aside my “single” title with confidence.

“…I’ll see you there.”

The biggest mistake I could possibly make is rush into something that may not be right. So for now I’ll remain open and love for as long as it feels right, and have enough courage to take a step back when it starts to feel wrong; I’ll remember to breathe a little more and stress a little less; I’ll write until my mind is clear and my worry is gone, but remain calm on the days when that just doesn’t seem possible; I’ll cry when I need to without an ounce of shame because I’ll know that my smile will return; and I’ll know that everything, no matter what, will be okay. 

So, until I am chosen by the one whom I also choose I will remain the not-so-single single girl. And that’s perfectly fine, because I can wait. 

 

Subheads inspired by "High Hopes" by Glen Hansard. Amazing song. Go listen to it.

For the girl who has not yet been chosen

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” – Luke 1:45

It’s someone saying, “I know you, inside and out; good and bad. And I don’t want it.”

That’s the risk you take when you decide to open your heart. So how do you justify this risk? How do you justify willingly putting yourself in that position when you’ve never really been in love and all you’ve experienced is the “I don’t want you”? Because that happens. Some people never get the opportunity to experience what it’s like to have someone truly want you. Even if it doesn’t ultimately work out, some people never experience the feeling of someone saying, “yes, I’m in this. You and me. Let’s see where this goes.”

I’m one of those people. I’ve never had someone choose me and reject all of the other prospects; not completely at least. Anyone I’ve ever been with has always had one foot out the door and in another. So why do I keep trying? The answer is simple:

It’s those brief moments of pure happiness; of peace. Those brief moments that show you what forever could feel like. That’s why I keep trying. I have faith that one day that fleeting and temporary feeling will last a lifetime.

One day I will meet someone who will add so much to my happiness that those passing moments will seem like nothing; because this moment, this man, will make it all worth it.

I know I’m worth this. I’m worth the chance to give my heart to someone and to know that he’s not going anywhere.

The hardest part of this realization is remaining patient and holding on to the standards you’ve developed throughout the years. Being in this position will irrevocably shape you into a stronger and independent being, which in turn will make those brief moments of loneliness seem so much longer. Everything is so much more intense for those who handle their emotions on their own; but, that can be kind of beautiful, can’t it? Yes, those hard moments are heartbreaking; but that just means the incredible moments will be breathtaking in a way that people who have experienced love over and over again could never understand.

To those who are considering settling for anything less than amazing… stop making excuses.

“But he made me laugh.” Someone else will make you laugh. “But he held my hand.” Someone else will hold your heart. “But he texted me ‘good morning.'” Someone else will be there when you wake up. And this “someone else” will do what no one else has done–commit to you.

“Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.” – Joshua 1:9