Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Contradictory New Year

[This post was actually written on December 30, 2011. It is heart-breaking to read now, but I wanted to post it, to remember. Not to forget and erase these wonderful feelings and memories with the painful reminder that life kicks you in the balls... or womanly parts...right when you finally realize you're happy.]
In a lovely contradictory fashion--because let's admit, I'm all about that-- this post is in complete opposition to the last. 1oo Reasons Not To Be In A Relationship? Great, it really was. Was I jaded, defeated, and feeling alone? Absolutely. Was I justified and realistic in my post? You bet. I admit, I was content in a weird- happy to be sad- kind of way. But something happened this year. Something amazing and scary and altogether life-changing.
After writing a small Facebook status, my brain wouldn't turn off with all of the ideas and theories that I learned this year. Thus, like all aspiring post-modern writers, we must write down our thoughts in a beautiful stream-of-consciousness fashion so that we can feel justified for having these feelings, and feel a little more like Sylvia or T.S..
So, here goes. I apologize in advance for all of the romantic notions and straight-up girliness. I'm completely aware that I've turned into one of those girls I hate. Only, I have semantics and rationality on my side. I hold tight to those.
What I learned this year: It's okay to try again. You are not defined by your past, but how you try to make it right. Life is funny sometimes, and you can't take it too seriously. And as much as we all hate those trite sayings, I believe now that one is true, when you stop looking for it... sometimes God throws something great your way. You just have to find the courage to let yourself have it.
I believed for a long time two things: vulnerability is weakness and that I didn't deserve love because I didn't believe in it. I put little effort or promise into my relationships with people. Since I was a tween I was taught that "People Always Leave." I still feel that way, but that burning hatred for those who left me is now just a tiny flame somewhere lost in the back of my mind, locked in a cupboard. I don't let myself go there, and quite frankly, I've moved on. I can completely say that I am no longer that lost little girl just trying to hold on to something, to feel real and understood.
It took awhile, two whole years in fact, of being on my own to build up this shatter-proof confidence and love of myself. I learned the hard--and slow--way that love is real. How did I finally figure it out, you ask? No, it wasn't from some boy who came to sweep me off my feet, but from a quiet whisper from myself, telling me that I am good enough. That I am worthy of anything and everything. That I am my own person, and I am a unique snowflake. The world often tries to tell you that you aren't, but if I've learned anything these last two years, I know that to be true. No one will ever be able to replace me on this world, and this gives me strength. Thus, I learned to love again. And it's true, once you love yourself, you can love others.
I then found the best group of friends that I could ever ask for. Like clockwork, after my devastating 2009, I started working for JCPenney. There I met the new loves of my life. Sam, Jess, and Dee have become my other family. Although we have our own busy lives, we see each other more at work than I see my own family. They gave me something to look forward to each day and made me feel a part of something when every one else seemed to fade away. They accepted me for who I am, even on my weird or cranky or pessimistic days. They were always there to talk to and offer advice and simply just to hang out with. I have had more fun with them than most of my long term friends, and I know that when we all move on from JCP, they will always have my back. As most of you know, I am notorious for not answering my phone, but for them I always try to make an exception. They make me want to be a better person. I can honestly say that I truly love them.
As I continued to get stronger and build up my own confidence, I concentrated and put effort into the things that I could control. I kicked ass in school and will be student teaching in January with a 3.8. I couldn't be happier.
I also learned this year that it is not healthy to hold on to things that are no longer good for me, but let them go, forgive, and concentrate on the people that love you and the things that you love. I spent far too much energy on one person who--honestly--could give a shit less about me. I still think about him often, but I've found days now, or periods of time where I don't. For the last 8 years I thought about him every day. It's started to fade, and I knew this day would come. I sometimes wish that we hadn't ended it the way we did. It's been two years since I've spoken to him and sometimes I wish I could see how he's doing. As awful as it was, I do hope that he's happy. People do crazy things sometimes, and I can't hold the grudge any longer. A few months ago I forgave him, and then something amazing happened.
At the beginning of the year I started dating again. I figured I might as well get a few free dinners and some entertainment. I had no hope for any of them, and ended most of them after a few weeks. Most of them turned out to be weird or awful, but none of them were really worth holding on to. And then one fateful summer night, I was sitting alone outside on my swing when I got a call from Corrie, a friend from school and Lyceum. We had never been too close, but had hung out a few times at parties. She said she had a friend of Dane's, her boyfriend, for me to meet. She sent me a picture and he was adorable and had a humble smile. At that point, I still had no intention of keeping anything long-term. I had big dreams of moving to various countries--hoping to find happiness there.
I met Mike on a Thursday night at a trivia game in the basement of a bar. Initially I thought he was cute, but as another Aryan, a little too close to he-who-must-not-be-named. I had vowed to only date brunettes, but like most of my intentions, he easily shattered them.
We went through a "non-label" period because I obviously have issues with commitment. I didn't trust him for a majority of our beginning period. I was a wreck but tried to hide it as best as I could. I kept telling myself that this would only last through the summer, and then I could go back to how I was. But like everything else, nothing goes as planned. Without sounding gay, yes, that's the best word I could come up with, he helped me change in the best way possible.
High five to Sara Quintana and I for trying something new this year. I honestly couldn't be happier. =] I hope everyone has a great and safe New Year.

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