Thursday, December 18, 2008

So, we've been in the house almost on month and I figured I'd give an update on how things have settled down so far.

On Thanksgiving, we headed over to Craig's mom's house for lunch with his family. Shortly after, while perusing the newspaper ads, Craig decided he wanted to get a Christmas tree - RIGHT THEN. we went to Garden Ridge to get a 7 ft. Christmas tree for our living room. I took this opportunity to get some new silver, turquoise and baby blue Christmas ornaments. That evening, we went to my parent's house for dinner and the A&M/tu football game. I was wearing my Aggie shirt while Craig was in his Longhorn gear - needless to say, there were a few tense moments but I think that he'll still be allowed in my parent's house in the future.

So, we have the Christmas tree set up in all it's perfectly matching ornamental glory. There are several presents underneath, all wrapped in turquoise, baby blue and silver wrapping paper, courtesy of Target. We have stockings that have been hung by the fire with care - mine being brown velvet and fur that matches the living room, while Craig chose a red and green stocking with a teddy bear in a Santa hat sticking out of the top. I made a mistake when I told him he could choose the stocking...but whatever makes him happy. In addition to our stockings and tree, we also have two 3D Advent calendars (also courtesy of Target) which are filled with clues that lead to treats each day. So far, I've gotten lots of candy, ornaments and two tickets to the Meyerson Christmas concert on Sunday evening! I must say...being this close to Christmas vacation, the promise of a treat hiding somewhere in the house has definitely gotten me out of bed and moving on some of these cold mornings!

As far as the rest of the house goes, there are only a few more boxes to unpack and they're all hidden in a closet or the mancave, waiting for Craig to unpack them. All the rooms are set up, with the exception of the mancave and the trophy room...because as previously stated, they are still waiting for Craig. I managed to get everything put in it's proper place by the time my brother Mike and his wife Laura Renee came in for their annual holiday visit last weekend. It was very important for me to have the house in order when they and the rest of my family came over after a satisfying dinner of Anamia's mexican food.

Sadly though, I can feel the novelty of living together already wearing off. I think the honeymoon period is officially over...with the constant schedule of basketball practices, games and tournaments, as well as Cross Country season looming all combined with lesson planning and Christmas shopping?! We definitely come home exhausted and needing our "alone" time - me up in the bedroom watching tv and reading celebrity gossip and him downstairs on the couch, zoned out watching any sort of sporting event. I truly did have aspirations of home cooked meals, but we just don't have that many free evenings...or energy for that matter. Hopefully over Christmas vacation, I'll be able to try out some new recipes for us to eat. Wish me luck!

I did ask him the other day if there were any moments when he was really reminded of why or how much he loves me. (Yes...I fish for compliments. I'm okay with it and he complies...most of the time.) He answered with "waking up to you in the morning." It took me back to that time when he answered my question of why he loves me with the simple "because of who you are." So simple...but yet so telling. Although he doesn't always express it in the way that I do, I know that he is truly happy and content in this house with me. I really have tried to provide a "homey" atmosphere for him - I just want him to be happy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poker Face

As I might have discussed before, I really don't have a poker face when it comes to hiding my emotions. We could also add onto that - I don't have poker friendships. Basically - if I'm not a fan of you and your will most likely know it. Not because I'm out and out RUDE...I just don't really invest or infuse the same enthusiasm when interacting with you that I would with a friend.

I have never expected to like everyone that I come in contact with and nor do I expect that everyone will like me. I have always had the general philosophy that if people didn't like me it was okay...most likely, I didn't like the person either. And I have always been okay with that. I had my good group of friends and I really didn't waste time with people outside of that circle.

Well, life doesn't allow you to just interact with only the people that you like while conveniently ignoring all the rest. And currently, I am really struggling with being "nice" to those people who aren't exactly in my Circle of Trust. Actually...I'm probably making a not-so-nice name for myself at work with some of the negative interactions I've had recently.

I can't help it...I just don't have the patience for those people that bother me. I try to just ignore them and show no emotion when interacting with them because I'm afraid that if I talk to them too much I will really say something I will regret. Work is not a place that I want to have enemies, but at the same time...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coming Clean

For several years now, I have been squashing an intense addiction and obsession in my life. It's always been something that I had to hide - I could only indulge myself in solice. If people knew about my addiction, all respect for me as a mature and well-adjusted woman would fly out the window.

But I think it's about time to come clean...there is freedom in the truth.

I love Britney Spears. I have loved her from her pig tails and stockings in "...Baby One More Time" through her snake dancing phase in "Slave 4 U" and even despite her head-shaving-umbrella-wielding mess.

I absolutely love her and I am so excited about all the new music that she is putting out. Her birthday is today and it also happens to be the release date of her most recent CD appropriately titled - Circus.

More importantly though...she is going back on tour!!! March 31st she will be in Dallas and I am totally stoked...but yet I need to find another person out there that is hiding the same obsession and addiction to go with me. Any takers?!?!?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Honey! I'm Home!!

In the words of my favorite late night comedianne Chelsea Lately, "What---a whirlwind!" After a month of waiting, packing and stressing the moving process is complete. We have been in possession of the house for almost two weeks and it already is already feeling like our home. But it came with a hefty amount of time and energy invested. With the help of our friends and family, this house has truly been made into a home. From Mom cleaning out the shelves and taping off rooms to Dad diligently detailing the paint around the ceiling to Craig's Mom cleaning and painting baseboards and even to MeMa butt scrubbing the floors...we could not have done it without everyone's help. We now have a houseful of furniture and a turquoise and silver decorated Christmas tree - complete with turquoise tree skirt and blue and silver presents wrapped neatly and lying underneath. Many pictures have been hung, new bedding has been bought and the mammoth baseball card collection has found a home in the new "trophy" room.

And through this entire stream of highly stressful housing events compounded by a tragic death in my family, the ending of volleyball and beginning of basketball and two sinus infections...not once did we fight. Sure, I got stressed and vented - even some tears were shed. But there were no blow-ups and I'm very proud of us. But not surprised really. We're not that kind of couple - maybe it comes from being on so many sports teams growing up, but we really have a "team" mindset when it comes to being with each other. We both trust each other and take turns leading and following, as well as knowing that we're stronger if we work together and compromise.

I really do love the's just the right size for us. When first faced with the prospect of "cohabitating" with him, I was scared to death - to nightmares actually. Nightmares that boiled down to my fear of losing my independence. Everyone has those times when they just want to be alone doing whatever they want to do. Whether it's watching mindless TV, playing video games or's important to take the time to maintain your own space. And in this house, I definitely feel that we have the space to be ourselves and on our own...but he's not that far away from me and that's the way I like it. Tonight after cooking a great dinner (Yes!!! I cooked!!!) I kissed him and left him happily settled on the couch mesmerized by the History Channel. I came upstairs and after taking one look at my beautiful jet bathtub I knew exactly what I was going to do after a hard day of raising the youth of America and cooking dinner. I lit my favorite candles, turned on my most relaxing Beatles playlist from the iTunes, grabbed a glass of wine and the latest issue of Glamour and I settled into the most fantastic bath ever. I know that these times will not last - we will eventually have little rugrats running around and I will be thankful for five mintues to myself to put on makeup and brush my hair. But I also know that there will be nights when he will know that I need an hour for a bath and relaxation and corner the kids into some sort of game or activity.

I am not nervous at all about us living together anymore because I think that it truly is the best thing for both of us. I'm so excited to provide a "home" for him - he's been living in apartments and between my apartment and his mother's house for so long. I know that he feels so accomplished in the fact that he "provided" a beautiful home for us (even though it's all 50/50...but the caveman in him needs to feel that he has provided for his lady...whatever). And I just want to take care of him and provide the sanctuary from the world that he desperately needs sometimes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Are you there God? It's me...Laura.

It's no secret that God and I have been very distant in the past few years - since my Senior year of high school, really. I was super involved in the church for most of my high school years, but for some reason...more exposure to the real world, I suppose...I became disenfranchised with the whole "God will save all" idea. Probably because I realized first hand that bad things did happen and I questioned where God was at those times.

Anyways. I went through college basically a faithless neaderthal who, at times, was worshipping the porcelain god more than the God I had been taught through years of Catholic religious education. I was in that in-between stage of having been taken care of by my parents and being completely self-sufficient. For some reason, I believed that I could and had to take care of everything on my own...pull myself up by my bootstraps one might say. I looked at people who relied on "God" and "faith" to help them through a difficult time as weak individuals who weren't emotionally strong enough to do it on their own. I truly did not believe that there was any higher power looking out for me.

Or maybe, deep down inside, I knew that what I was doing wasn't something particularly "sanctioned" by God...and I was ashamed. Kind of that "I'll break up with you before you can break up with me" thing.

I started praying to God for an answer to my "why is everyone else falling in love and getting married and not me" dilemma when I started writing this blog...and for a year and a half, I didn't get an answer. The answer was sitting right in front of my face the entire time but I think that I was praying not just for a man to stand at the end of an altar, but for a real life-long-best-friend-soul-mate person. And I know now, looking back, that God knew what I truly wanted, but yet he also knew that both myself and my LLBFSM person needed time to get things straight in our own minds before we could be happy together.

So then he was there and I thought to myself that all my prayers had been answered...I hadn't been forgotten by God, although I frequently forgot about him. Oops. But then he screwed up and again, I had to rely on what little faith remained from my years of disillusionment and believe that he was telling the truth. And everything turned out very well...which has led to me thinking this God character might be a pretty important person to invest more time, energy and emotion into.

I've just started praying little prayers here and there:

Prayer: "Please God, give me the patience to encourage my volleyball team this year to do their very best."
Outcome: My team was in the top 4 of the district at the end of season tournament.

Prayer: "Please God, give me the strength to fight these cravings."
Outcome: I quit smoking this summer. Applause is welcome.

Prayer: "I know that God has the right house out there for us."
Outcome: We're moving into the most beautiful first home on Thursday!

Prayer: "Please God, don't let him go to deep. I know he's hurting and there's nothing I can do to change it. him that he's okay..."
Outcome: It's a daily prayer and it always will be...but so far - he's doing very well.

Those are just a few of the ones that I can truly remember at this point in time. But the moral of the story is that I'm coming around on the God thing. Still not to the point of an actual church attendance...but the spirituality is returning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


All the pictures are off the walls leaving the faint outline of an apartment once lived in. The bookshelves have been emptied and now resemble a toothless grin. The sound of doors and cabinets shutting echo a bit more off the blank walls, adding a shuddering, melancholy soundtrack to the finality of what path my life is about to take.

I look around and my apartment is filled with memories. Memories of Girl's Night with Meggie and Jennifer and a round of Taco Bueno for everyone. Singing Les Miserables and High School Musical with Jenn, enhanced by a bottle of wine of course. Quiet and lazy Sunday mornings spent on the porch with a book and a cup of coffee. Writing this blog while desperately praying for inner peace. The sense of accomplishment when my new couches arrived. Curled up on the couch with my ankle the size of a softball while my coworkers made sure I had food and water within reach. My mother painting the letters "LAUGH" with me, while she was praying that I too, would someday laugh again. Hot summer days, cold winter nights, and throughout the storm season that ravages North Texas in the spring...I've been here for two and a half years.

I feel as if I grew up in this apartment. I learned how to pay bills and how to save up money for big purchases. I took off the training wheels and became an adult here. I stopped spending my money on drinks at the bar, and instead on books that quench my inner thirst. I have opened the blinds and let the sun shine in on my joy and closed up the curtains in an effort to shut out the world.

Although great joy and contentment await me in the new house and new life, it will be bittersweet to say good-bye to this little home I have created.

Extreme Blog Makeover!

After perusing some of my friends blogs, I realized that I was way behind on the "make your blog cute" bandwagon, so I have updated this blog and come clean on who I the giant picture of me shows. So...there you have it. I like the new look - enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day!

I'm not a patriotic person. I don't wear red, white and blue on the 4th of July and I don't get misty-eyed at the playing of The Star Spangled Banner. I think a certain extent...patriotism can at times become commercial, much like Christmas. Anyone can put on a stars and stripes shirt and wave a flag...but I believe that our true patriotism can be found in the voting lines wrapped around thousands of buildings scattered across the United States. I find patriotism in the idea of people passionately caring about what is happening in the country and taking advantage of the freedoms we have here. I'm not that super "patriotic" of a person, but that doesn't mean that I don't love and appreciate my country and the choices I have.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Not About the Ring

We went looking at rings a few weeks ago after a particularly depressing Stars hockey game. I must admit, as exciting as it was to imagine him proposing to was incredibly nervewracking. Not because of the prospect of spending the rest of my life with one person, but because of the pressure placed on you by the salesmen at the jewelry store.

Upon placing a certain ring with diamond on my finger, the impeccably dressed saleswoman breathlessly asked me "Do you love it?"

Upon hearing these words, I was immediately hurtled back in time to a certain shopping trip with two of my good friends to David's Bridal. In my world, David's Bridal is synonomous with hell. During this particular trip, we were accosted by an overeager, but yet under educated "bridal professional" who made it her personal mission in life to find my friend Meggie the PERFECT wedding dress that she was going to LOVE. Needless to say, this woman...appropriately named "Alexis"...made me absolutely nauseous. The idea of the "dress" or the "jewelry" creating the perfect life together really bothered me.

In response to her obviously perfectly practiced pitch, I looked her straight in the eyes and told her:

"I love him...I like the ring."

And that's what this whole experience is about...the house, the ring, the future wedding and honeymoon. It's about being with him. End of story.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Running Scared

For much of this blog I have reiterated the fact that I wanted what I saw all my friends getting - a true love, a best friend, the stable life. I have hoped, prayed, dreamed and reassured myself that someday it would happen. But honestly, I'm not sure if I ever truly believed that it would happen. I think after living on my own for so long, I got used to being just that - alone. I relegated myself to the fact that being single and living on my own was just the way it was going to be. I knew what I wanted to have in the future - the house, the husband and the family - and it was exciting, but yet sad because all my friends had it and I didn't. But looking it straight in the eyes is an entirely different matter. Because now it's sitting in front of me - the true love, the best friend and a stable life, complete with a big house, mortgage and swimming pool. And I'm totally running away from it and he doesn't understand why.

He is an amazing person - not just successful, funny, kind and all those other wonderful attributes; but it's amazing that he puts up with me. He just takes me in stride and accepts who I am and loves me because and despite of everything. He is one of the most patient, even-tempered, logical and rational people I have ever met. Maybe that's why we work - I'm probably the opposite of all those things!

Last year, I wrote about how I wished Christmas had that magic again. I was in one of the lowest points in my life. Period. I remember sitting at my computer, bathed in the glow of the white Christmas lights from my carefully decorated turquoise tree, just praying for the magic to return. Not just the magic of Christmas, but the magic in my life. He brought that back to me without me even knowing it. I sit here now, on October 12th, listening to Christmas music...totally ready for the holiday festivities. Not just because of the presents, but because of the promise of spending it with family. I'm not sitting here imagining a fairy tale life filled with lazy mornings and cozy cuddling in front of a fire every night. I'm picturing getting up in the morning, getting the paper for him (well, the sports section at least), drinking my coffee while reading a book as we relax in front of our own Christmas tree. I want that comforting feeling of "home" with him that you're supposed to have around the holidays.

And so, as I am sitting here again, in the dark peace of my apartment with only the dim glow from the parking lot lights illuminating my living room, I am praying again. Not for the magic to return, but for some sort of assurance or sign that he is the one. But then again, I think - do I really need anymore signs? Yes, he screwed up this summer...don't think I haven't forgotten! But, she isn't an issue - I know in my heart that he realizes what true friendship and companionship is about...and she never showed him that. I am content and secure in what we have between us to not be intimidated by her anymore. I still am damn curious to meet her though. He was there without question when I was in the hospital this summer, and when I went to the ER for my ankle last spring. And the weird thing is that when he would look me in the terror filled eyes in the ER when I had just found out that I was going to have to have surgery, I 100% believed him when he told me that I would be fine. And on several more occasions, if he tells me things will work out, or if he knows that it's going to be okay, or whatever he's giving his opinion on that I'm worried about...I feel so peaceful knowing that he is confident in the outcome. I trust his judgement without question and I look to him to give me the strength to persevere and be courageous. Not because I need him around in order to do things, but because I have to see myself through his eyes before I know I can do something. Does that make sense? I know that he sees me as I am, even when I doubt myself. Which is very often sadly. But if he believes that I can do something...I know that I can because he knows what I am capable of.

I know that I'm totally rambling, but I can't sleep until I get all this worry off my chest.

So, the bottom line is that there is a house hunt going on and I am petrified. Almost to the point of paralyzing fear. And I am really trying to figure out where the "fear" is coming from, or what it is aimed at.

- Am I afraid of making a commitment to him in the form of a house without a commitment on my hand? To a certain extent, yes I am. Because I see the world in black and white and it is hard for me to see any grey. I like definite answers, definite plans and rock solid evidence before I believe anything. But if I'm waiting for a handwritten letter from God stating that he is the one for me...I might never get married or move on to the next stage in my life. I have to trust him when he tells me that yes - he indeed wants to spend his life with me. I saw the look in his eyes when he told me that - it was open, honest, firm and unwavering. He meant his words and that's what I have to believe. Would I like a ring? Yes, of course. But I'd rather him have wait and have the time to save up for a really big one. Ha, ha, ha. But seriously, there is a sense of cart-before-horse during our house talks, but I also have to remember that every couple's path is different. We aren't going to be like any other couple. Not just because everyone is unique and all that crap. But because we are both very individualistic, independent and stubborn people - we do what we want and what makes us happy regardless of what the "norm" is.

- Am I afraid of losing my independence once we combine our lives? At first, I was having terrible nightmares about being chased by a figure of death, knowing that my life was about to be over and there was nothing I could do about it. I was honestly oblivious to the meaning of my night terrors, but being the man that he is - he laid it all out for me and explained my terrifying dreams. I was afraid of losing the independence that I have developed over the three years that I've lived on my own. Once I realized what my dreams meant, I dismissed that fear as silly. He's not the type of guy to ever want to clip my wings and not allow me my personal freedom. I think my fierce independence is one of the things that he truly loves about me. And plus - hopefully we'll get a house where we can "escape" each other and do our own independent thing.

- Am I afraid of failure? Always and forever will I be afraid to fail. It's been what has propelled me to be successful in my life. My goals were never to achieve great things...but to just NOT FAIL at anything. Probably not the most optimistic outlook on life, but it's worked so far. I think by living on my own I have established myself as a pseudo-adult in a certain extent. Sure, I have bills and rent and car payments and everything, but living in an apartment is still a sign of a certain "youthfulness" that screams "I'm not TOTALLY settled down yet like a 'real' adult." To me, a mortgage and a yard to mow would completely cement my feet in the real adult world. And I'm afraid I won't be any good at it. I have to trust myself...I am more capable than I give myself credit for.

I think the bottom line is that I'm afraid of the financial gravity of it all. It sure is nice to have a rather disposable income where spending money on frivolous things every once in awhile doesn't really throw my budget out of whack. But at the same time, even in this crazy financial situation the country is currently in, I know that both of our jobs are fairly stable...but more importantly...I believe in us. I believe that when the two of us are working together we accomplish some pretty great things. We are very similar in that aspect - if we have a goal, it's going to become a reality. We're both stubborn that way.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Generation Gap

I'm sitting in my bed, feeling a little bit under the weather, watching the VMA's...and I'm just a little bit confused.

What do young women find attractive in the Jonas Brothers? I just don't understand the skinny girl jeans, out of control and overly styled curly hair, and their slight traces of eyeliner. What is attractive about that?! They're so....androgynous...weird.

And then, what comes up next? A young man jumping around on the stage dancing half naked with his pants around his knees. I don't want to see his boxer-briefs! And then the worst part - half of his song had to be muted out because it was full of cursing. What's the point of even performing if your song is lost on all the viewers nationwide?

Yeah. I know, I know. It's not like the pop stars and performers of my generation did much better. Remember Britney and the snake?! Or Britney and Madonna?! Or Britney at all in the past few years?! I mean, maybe there was something a little ridiculous about five guys in a boy band dancing around in unison to slightly cheesy pop songs...but at least they were fully dressed and their lyrics could be enjoyed by everyone and not censored because of foul language.

In essence what I'm trying to say is...where's the wholesomeness?!

Okay. I know that I'm talking about MTV - not exactly breeding ground for the Conservative Christian Coalition, but I KNOW that my impressionable middle school students are sitting around watching the very same VMA's that I am and I must wonder - how is this affecting their idea of fashion and what they deem is acceptable behavior?

On a different topic, but somewhat related...I watched the new 90210 last week, as well as the season premiere of Gossip Girl. Not because I'm really "into" either show, but I had to see what all the hype was about. On the subject of 90210, I wasn't interested in watching it when it first came out because I was still mostly in the Full House age demographic. As I grew older, Brenda and Kelly became a staple in my Wednesday night television repetoire. I was wholly anticipating a completely crap version of an old classic. And I was not let down! I must admit - a little shiver of anticipation and nostalgia ran down my back when the signature "dun nuh nuh nuh...dun nuh nuh nuh" came on. But...the rest of the show - take it or leave it. The strangest thing is that the kids that are in middle or high school watching this version of the show have absolutely NO idea the impact that 90210 had on the older generation.

On a side note of the generation gap between me and my far as they're concerned and according to one onry young man - Green Day has been around since 2000 or so. Oh. And they're from Ireland because of the "green" in the name. He looked throroughly confused when I corrected him and informed him of Green Day's birth in southern California in the late 1980s and fame in the early well as their musical journey from hard core West Coast punk to the more mainstream rock-punk breed.

So, then a few days later I watched the season premiere of Gossip Girl. Having never watched a single episode, I had to see what all those steamy ads are about. At the end of the hour, I was convinced I had seen this show somewhere before. After some thinking it came to me. Cruel Intentions + The OC!

So...basically the teenage drama has never gone away. 90210 (the original), Dawson's Creek, The OC and now Gossip Girl. And I also guess that

I know that I'm sounding conservative right now and I have to be clear on things. I work with kids and I see the negative effects of the advanced teen culture...some of them seem like little adults and not the 13 year olds that they are. I hate the fact that they have to grow up so fast - there are so many experiences that they will get to have...but in time and when they are old enough and have the maturity to truly handle it in the best way possible. I think back to what kids my age were doing when I was in middle and high school and all I can remember is how "old" we thought we were at 14 and 15 years old. We got into things that we didn't know how to handle and we didn't understand the future consequences of our actions. Not just the tangible and physical consequences...but the emotional impact it made. I became so cynical and jaded by the age of 20..that's ridiculous and unnecessary! I just want to shake some of them, especially the 8th grade girls, and wipe their pretty little faces of all the ill applied make-up, and put some better fitting and more covering clothing on them. I almost feel, well not sorry for them, but I do pity them in a way. Having to feel so much pressure at such a young age to live up to what society is shoving at them. I don't remember having that pressure from the media at that age. We didn't have the Miley's, the Serena's and the Demi's...yeah, there was N'Sync and Britney, but they were when I was a bit older - high school at least. I don't know. I just don't remember being like such a little adult while I was in middle school.

It kills me to admit that I'm feeling something soooo conservative when, for the past few years, I have prided myself on being an open-minded person and fairly liberal when it comes to my political views. But this goes beyond being left or right - it's about protecting children from things they don't understand or aren't ready for.

BUT, having said that about teenagers and their current culture, I don't believe that it's ALL bad news and influences...I must admit that I totally love the family friendly High School Musical. Plus. Who didn't wish their high school classmates would spontaneously burst into song?!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Year, New Me?!

I'm beginning my 4th year of teaching this week and I must admit that it kind of tripped me out at first. I remember being the "baby" of the faculty...just kind of floating along and letting people take care of things for me. Coincidentally much like the same way I lived my life when I was younger and the "baby" of the family. In my first full year at the school I teach at, I was the bubbly, outgoing and eager young teacher - always up for a happy hour and trying to make everyone like me. To a certain extent, I still felt that same "youngness" last year even though it was my 3rd year teaching.

But something in the past year has switched. I've've evolved. Feel free to disagree, but I feel that I have gained a level of maturity about what is important in my life and where my priorities lie. My circle of friends at work has grown smaller, but closer. The number of evenings and nights out has diminished greatly, but yet the contentment and satisfaction in my life has flourished.

I look back on the girl who started teaching 3 years ago and I imagine her as a little girl dressed up in her mother's clothes. I was trying so desperately to figure out my place in the grownup world, but I ended up realizing that you can't "find" your place in the world - you have to create the person you want to be. I feel like I honestly had an awakening in the past year as to what is truly important...
- the fact that a person brought you your favorite meal from Taco Bueno because you sprained your ankle.
- giving kids the benefit of the doubt and showing compassion and concern.
- spending time with the family...thanks to my appendix I remembered how good it feels to just be in my parent's presence (and home cooking!).
- friends that know if you don't talk for awhile it's nothing personal...everybody's life is getting busier but that doesn't mean they don't come running when you need them.
- being myself.

I feel as if I've started another year at the school, but people expect me to be the same crazy girl that I used to be.

Case in point: it was my appendix - NOT a hangover!!! :)

To a certain extent, I'm embarrased of the person that I used to be - because she was completely out of control and incredibly immature. Not to say that I'm not still immature. I can't help but giggle everytime someone says the word "balls," which is unfortunate since I do coach volleyball...

Regardless, there has been a major shift in my outlook, my persona, my interactions with people, my level of commitment, and my priorities.

Wow, you must be thinking. Where did all this come from?

Let me tell you - he's a pretty inspiring person. He has inspired me to completely be myself and cherish who I am. He has challenged me to approach life's sticky and uncomfortable situations with maturity, dignity and grace...yet allowed me a safe place to be completely silly. I haven't CHANGED who I am or what I believe in by any means. I think he's just encouraged me to be my "adult" self.

Of course, there have been other contributors - I couldn't have done it without three very important co-workers. Women who have not too long ago been in my position. All three who have come from entirely different backgrounds, lifestyles and mindsets...yet are all incredibly successful and supportive of my personal growth. I have really looked to them as to how to not only handle the professional world, but find balance and contentment in my personal life as well. I hope that they have seen a growth in me...and I hope they know how grateful I am that they took the time to help me along the way.

It's almost as if I have women in my life showing me along the way of who I am at the present time, ten years down the road or so, and then the ultimate impact I want to leave on the world.

In the present, my personal friends - the ones with whom I shop, eat, drink and lean on. They cultivate the persona that I am right now...and as we get older, we will all mature at more or less the same rate. They almost serve as a mirror as to my position in life - the fears, frustrations, challenges and triumphs of being in your mid twenties. We experience everything together and find our way through this grown up world by leaning on each other.

Then there are my co-workers, most of whom are approximately 5 to 10 years older than me. Generally married and some starting families. They show me my nearest goals - what I want to be in ten years. Married, successful, confident, compassionate, fun....and content with who they are and their place in this world.

And then we come to my mother and grandma. Two women that have had several lifetimes of experience and learning. They embrace life and all it's challenges, quirkiness, irony, gloriousness and beauty. There is no experience that they do not learn and grow from...nor is there one that they haven't endured with grace, dignity and a wry sense of humor. I want to eventually be their age and look back at my life with a triumphant and satisfied smile at the life I have lead. conclusion...I have a lot of people to be grateful to in my life. More people than could actually fit in this blog at this point in time (I do have to get up early tomorrow!). I can't forget my patient and hard working father, nor my playful and protective big brothers. But those shout outs must come at a later time. I have the youth of America to raise at a VERY early time in the morning.

Love and Nutra System

I am a good girlfriend. I am a good girlfriend. I am a good girlfriend.

Just keep telling myself I shove down another piece of salad, when what I really want is a big fat Taco Bueno burrito drenched in cheese and salsa.

The BF has started subscribing and eating the Nutra System diet plan this week. Coincidentally it is also the first week of school...therefore moderately stressful and a bit chaotic. The perfect emotional recipe for lots of dinners out, lunches from Chick Fil A, as well as beer and wings while watching the Cowboys play tonight.

But no. He decided that the first week of the new school year was the best time to turn over a new leaf and start leading a healthier lifestyle. Don't get me wrong - I am totally supporting him becoming healthier and therefore happier with himself.

But he's HUNGRY. And that makes him CRANKY.

Wish us luck while this whole lifestyle sets in...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My List

I turned 25 last week and while filling out a survey on myspace, I realized something...I'm going to be 30 in five years. Not that I'm afraid of turning 30 - but I see it as a sort of milestone and a slight turning point in my life.

So...on a recent flight home from my birthday celebration in Las Vegas, I began thinking about my place in life (very content with it currently) and where I want to be in five years. So, I began making a list of things that I wanted to do before I turn thirty and just kept going.

Here it is...

Before I turn 30, I will...
- pay off my car and NOT immediately buy a new one!
- buy a house. I'm tired of renting!
- go back to Italy with just my mom and take it more leisurely.
- find a church where I can find faith and attend regularly.
- get a really awesome dog.
- buy and keep plants alive.
- take a cooking class and learn more than just pasta.
- learn to speak Italian.
- participate and volunteer in a non profit organization.
- make a list of places to go and start checking them off!

Before I die, I will...
- go on a really long mission trip to a third world country.
- write a book of my life and experiences for my children like my Grandma did.
- have a daughter and name her Elizabeth and raise her in my Grandma and mother's images.
- marry my best friend.
- make sure I've left the world a little better than it was when I entered.
- Go to the Olympics.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My summer vacation is coming to an end in the next couple of weeks and it has not gone exactly as planned, but I have grown up just a little bit more and learned more about myself and the life I want to lead.

I felt betrayal, but learned unconditional forgiveness.
I felt like throwing a fit, but learned to speak so that things got sorted out.
I felt excrutiating nausea and pain in my abdomen, but learned it's not ALWAYS a hangover.
(Those appendixes are tricky!!)
I can't stand not knowing, but learned being surprised is half the fun.
I have become my own adult, but remembered how good it feels to be taken care of by my mother.
I feel anxious and have cravings, but I realize for the happiness of my future - it's better to quit.

Awhile back, I blogged about how I wanted contentment. Not eternal happiness, but contentment. It might not last forever, but in this moment - I feel content. I look around my apartment, see my couches, my curtains, my furniture, my pitures, my bedding, my clothes, my mementos, my movies, my books - and I see myself reflected back. And I'm proud of the person that I am. I am proud of the people in those pictures. I'm proud of the relationships I have and even more proud of the unhealthy ones that I have either let go of, or stopped depending on.

The thing about growing up, is that it truly never is over. I remember my Senior year of high school, I reflected on my four years of high school and couldn't believe how far I had come in just 4 years. I did the same at the end of college...and then my first year of teaching...and now I'm just looking back 8 months. Although I know that I started this most recent growth process on my own, I couldn't have done and can't continue doing it without the loving support of that best friend turned boyfriend I talked about awhile back.

Yes...the very same one who royally screwed up at the beginning of the summer. We've moved past that incident - but no, even though it was forgiven, it has not been forgotten. On that note, a little explanation: I couldn't sleep one night because I was so ANGRY with him. I wanted to just love him the way that I used to, but because of his crappy judgment call, I couldn't. So...I prayed. A lot. I prayed to God and I prayed to my Grandma. Not just for everything to be okay, but for a real resolvement of the situation. Tears were shed and it was sometimes hard to breathe. But then I heard this clear voice...and believe me - it wasn't that little voice in my head. It was some other being, presumably my Grandma, and it told me this: I can't love him the way I want to until I truly forgive him. I realized I was going about things the wrong way and therefore in order to release the anger, I had to forgive first. So, against my more logical judgment, I did what the voice inside told me...and it worked. He and I talked. And talked. And talked. I asked questions and he gave answers. The situation is resolved and he knows the expectations that I have for the future. In short...we're back together and actually more connected and stronger as a couple. That's a big lesson for me fo sho.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I hate that in one weekend, you ruined two years of trust.
I hate that I can't believe you when you tell me where you are.
I hate that I question your feelings for me.
I hate when you mention her name.
I hate that you thrust me back into that dark place I thought I had left.
I hate how you made our relationship feel less than adequate.
I hate that I can't ever live up to the relationship you had with her.
I hate that you placed her needs above our relationship.
I hate that I can't look at you the same way.
I hate your dad for what he did to you.
I hate that you underestimated how badly your actions would hurt me.
I hate that you think that just because we talked about the situation, it's resolved.
I hate her for still relying on you.
I hate you for not seeing her unhealthy reliance on you.
I hate that I can't get over the anger.
I hate that I can't forgive you and move on.
I hate that I still want to punish you for what you did.

And I hate that I still love you.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Yesterday sucked. Finding out my boyfriend had lied to me and jetted off to Miami with his ex-girlfriend? Definitely a day for the record books. After some liquid therapy, lunch and a pedicure, I was feeling better. I visited with my friend Kate and my mom in person, as well as with others over the telephone. The hardest part was wrapping my head around the fact that he had gone round my back to do something that he knew would upset me. It was deception pure and simple. I was and still am very hurt. And the hurt was particularly deep because I didn't expect this from him - I thought that he had respect for my feelings and for our relationship. I had so many emotions running through my head at once, I honestly thought I might explode. The funny thing is...I was laughing throughout the whole day. Because 1) I didn't want to cry and 2) the whole situation was so absurd. It was truly a clusterf*ck of emotions.

But, I did talk to him last night for about an hour. I didn't necessarily "let him have it" but I expressed every emotion and feeling that I had throughout the day. I'm not sure if he still really understands the depths to which he hurt me. I think I'll have to see his face when he looks me in the eye to know for sure.

So....where are things with us right now? I'm not particularly sure. We made a step last night towards reconciliation because he did listen to me and he admitted both guilt and remorse. He knows that I don't trust him. I flat out told him that there was no way that he was going to be able to talk his way out of this one. What he did was wrong and that's that. No getting around that fact. His relationship with her needs to be remodeled. There are a few of my exes that I'm still in contact with, but my main priority is always the person that I am currently involved with. You have to have that boundary and know where your priorities lie. His priority should lie with me. I didn't feel that yesterday.

I felt small, duped, insignificant, a "Trophy" girlfriend, dumb, naive and used. I want to have sympathy for this woman because what she has and is going through is quite tragic. But when her problems cause problems in my relationship, that's where my sympathy stops. Where in his thought process did he think "How is this going to affect 'The Cheese?'" I hate being that girl that screams "What about me!" But seriously...what about how I was going to feel about this little vaca to Florida? He deliberately didn't tell me he was going because he knew it would upset me. To that, I responded - then you shouldn't have gone. It makes sense to me, that if I know something I was going to do was going to deeply upset and hurt my significant other - I wouldn't do it! Yes. This point was reiterated over and over and over. I shot down my exes innocent invitation for wakeboarding sessions on the the lake this summer because I knew it would upset the bf. I mean, seriously. That doesn't even COMPARE to him buying plane tickets, reserving a hotel and jetting off to Miami with HER.

I was the one that was there when she broke his heart. I was the one that patiently helped him pick up the pieces. I drove to Fox and the Hound at 11:00 one cold Sunday January night. I am loyal to and protective of his heart because I have seen what happened when she broke his heart. How could he turn around and do that to me? With HER of all people? Seriously?

I know that I'm still angry. He can't expect me to get over this one in 24 hours. Trust is broken. When I found out where he really was, I immediately ran my brain through all the times when he was going to stay at his "mom's" house, or the times he was texting for "business." I am doubting everything I heard or saw him do...or more importantly, the things I DIDN'T hear or see him do. This is going to take a lot of time and work on his part. He has to show me that he is worth my trust again. That he is fully, 100% committed to me. I also have a lot of work to do as well. I have to maturely discuss my frustrations and anger with him. Unfortunately, I don't think that involves the swift kick to the nuts that he really deserves. Once I vent my fellings...that's it. I have let him know how I feel and the ball is in his court as to whether or not he would like to truly be with me.

But once I vent...I have to let him be about it. I can't keep shoving his nose in what he did wrong. That's only going to create a division between the two of us. Me, holding this hurt over his head while only torturing myself by keeping the anger around. Him, cowering in the fact that I have this power over him while only making him resent the fact that I'm not letting him out of the shackles.

But just because I let go of the anger doesn't mean that I automatically forgive him. Forgiveness is earned and I can't just forgive him because I'm tired of the work and effort that will have to go into rebuilding our relationship. But once I forgive him...I can't keep punishing him. Like in SATC when Carrie keeps punishing herself for cheating on Aidan with Mr. Big. If I tell the bf that I forgive him, I can't use this situation as a trump card in a disagreement six months into the future. If I forgive him...I must truly mean it.

Will I forget what he did? Never. It's going to take me a long time until I'm not suspicious about text messages and what he's doing when he's not with me. Although I'm confident that nothing physical occurred between's emotional cheating. There will be parameters set with their relationship. If he wants to be with me, he has to let go of her. I hate to be the girlfriend that declares an ultimatum...but come on. He flew to Miami with her.

Ugh. Why is he so retarded? He has a brain - why didn't he use it?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

One More Thing...

To my friends and family...

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying, "Lord, I just don't care"
But you've got the love I need to see me through
Sometimes I see that the boy is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now it feels like life is just too much
You've got the love I need to see me through
Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying, "Lord, I just don't care"
But you've got the love I need to see me through
Time after time I say, "Oh Lord what's the use?"
Time after time I say, "This just won't do"
But sooner or later in life the things you love you lose
Just like before, I know I call you
I can't believe my palms, degrading friends of you
I can't believe my fire, oh Lord, what must I do
I can't believe what I caught up, master made me new
But you've got the love I need to see me through
Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying, "Lord, I just don't care"
But you've got the love I need to see me through
You've got the love
I need to see me through
You've got the love, yov've got the love, you've got the love
You've got the love, you've got the love, you've got the love

Nothing Left To Say...

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you
With or without you
With or without you
Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And Im waiting for you
With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away
My hands are tied
My body bruised, shes got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away
With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you
With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you
With or without you


How do you forgive a stab to the heart? How do you knowingly stab someone that you "love" in the heart?

It is no secret that I've been hurt in love. After David I didn't form any long lasting relationships. I just dated freely because I couldn't bear the thought of giving my heart away to someone who could potentially rip it to shreds...again. My life was full of friends, late nights and lots of hazy memories. My dating life became a sort of joke - the punchline being my inability to commit for longer than three months.

But then, finally I met this guy. We formed a unique little friendship over beer and sports which gradually morphed into a loving relationship that lasted a whopping four months. I was happy - I was ecstatic even. More importantly, I felt loved for the person I truly am, and I was with someone whom I believed I could truly trust.

But...I was betrayed and got my heart stomped on by him - someone I believed would never hurt me. There's that cliche saying that girls tell other girls when boys make them cry...something about how no man is worth your tears and the one who is wonm't make you cry. Well, this morning, he made me cry. He made me sob. He made me feel as if the walls were closing in. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't speak. Apparently he's not that man over which I should be spilling my tears.

As everyone knows, I am a Sex and the City fan - not only because of the fabulous clothes and shoes, but also because of the frankness, the realness and the wittiness through which real life relationships are discussed and portrayed. There are dozens of episodes in which I can visualize myself having the exact same conversation with my own circle of girlfriends. I am not sure if it is art imitating life, or the opposite, but I have found my own personal Mr. Big. He's the guy that can take you everywhere and give you the world if you asked for it. But there is always that element of "do I really have him? Is he really mine?" Apparently, my Mr. Big was not mine. He is a loyal guy - to the fault actually. So loyal, in fact, that when an exgirlfriend is in need of a good friend...he takes her to Miami, less than 24 hours after he and I returned from Florida. Is that normal? I didn't think so. Should I be upset? Yes. Should I forgive him? Not sure yet. I just know that I feel like Carrie did in the SATC movie when Big doesn't show up for the wedding and then she sees him in the street. All her friends are so upset with him for hurting her, yet again. Right now, my friends and family are circling up the wagons and putting up the defenses. He's not going to get into my heart anymore to hurt me. He had his chance to be the man that I thought he was. He ruined it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Living in the NOW

First of all, I've got big news. HUGE NEWS!!!

I finally got internet, cable and DVR at my apartment!!! I know, I know. Like the ATT guy told me at the store - shouldn't I be part of the generation that is always connected and really into technology? Well, I probably should be but I could never really get into it - getting it set up just seemed like a lot of confusing work for me. But, in the effort of becoming a real grown up, I bit the bullet and signed my life away to the internet company. I now have a laptop (earned through work, but a computer nonetheless) and wireless internet! I must admit, after it all got set up and my computer was sitting on my desk quietly humming away, I had visions of Carrie Bradshaw-esqe writing. You know, sitting at my desk in a quiet and serene apartment, looking out the window at the busy New York (okay maybe not that part) landscape contemplating life, love and relationships.

As those of you who know me, the last few weeks of teaching this year were rather rough. Just the stress of making kids study for exams who REALLY would rather not be studying combined with the monotony of actually monitoring kids studying and taking exams was exhausting enough. Factor that in with a boyfriend (yes - a real boyfriend for more than three months, more on that later) who in addition to his teaching position also has a hectic and demanding outside was just plain rough. But summer vacation has come and settled in. I have made a resolution each day to leave my apartment for some substantial amount of time. Whether it's going down to the pool to get some sun or running errands, I must leave my apartment so that I don't turn into a complete mushpot. It has worked out pretty well for me so far. My apartment is staying clean and the laundry is getting done. And I'm going to Florida next week for a little relaxation. Everything is pretty good.

Okay. This guy. We've been together since late February, and by my calculations that's almost four months. It feels like a lot longer, but not in the bad way. We've been very good friends for over a year and for a lot of it there were these strange back and forth flirtations and feelings...very much a yo yo. I knew I loved him as a friend, but could I love him in a romantical sense of the word? Could we actually form a functioning adult relationship without ruining our well built friendship?

I hemmed and hawed. I put off his advances and his confrontations about how he knew that we could be good together - why wouldn't I just give him a chance? For some reason, I still had those hesitations - I was stuck back in the college mindset. What would people think? He's ten years older than me and has a Rebel Without A Cause attitude when it comes to what other people think of him. He can be rough around the edges if you don't know him. He lives in Adidas t-shirts and gym shorts. But I knew there was something about him. The way he could make me laugh and that slighty cocky sparkle in his eyes when he worked a giggle out of me (most of the time, against my better judgment). The way he would cut through the crap that sometimes spews out of my mouth and force me to see the clear picture. Ordinarily, I would balk at someone calling me out like he can...but from him, I somehow appreciate it and rise to the challenge of being completely honest and true to myself and with myself. The way he is passionate about his work, his friends and his family. It was all there for me to take---I just had to get over my own insecurities.

So I worked on it. I saw myself separate from that girl I was in college. I realized that I shouldn't care about what those "Mean Girls" thought of me or my life, because I didn't want any part of their lifestyle either. I wanted realness. I wanted to be the type of woman Oprah preaches about. So I quit worrying about living my life to make everyone else happy and started doing things that made me happy. I gave up drinking for awhile and I hung out with him. As my best friend. Went to sporting events, saw movies...just hung out. And yet, I couldn't break that friendship barrier. Instead of worrying about what other people thought, I began wondering - would I be ruining another friendship with trying to make it fit into a relationship? I tried that with Justin and it took over a year to rekindle a basic friendship with him....

On February 20th, I was still contemplating these thoughts and flitting around in my brain were all the possible outcomes of a full blown relationship with this guy. And then I fell. And sprained my ankle. Like my knight in shining white Nike's, he took care of me, despite my pleas of "I can take care of myself." Have you ever tried to get up three flights of stairs on crutches? Yeah...I needed help. And without ever asking for anything in return, he jumped in head first to take care of me. Fixing my couch pillows, bringing me dinner and making sure I made it into bed okay. It was those moments that I knew. He truly loved me and cared about my overall sense of well being. Plus...he thinks I'm pretty funny (but he won't admit it). I guess the rest is history.

Yeah, the past four months haven't all been roses and sunshine...we're both pretty stubborn and hard headed. But I want him in my life because he makes me laugh. Not that girly little giggle, but the head back, mouth open, full on belly roar. He makes me want to be the best ME I can be. So, I'm learning to compromise. I'm learning to understand him, despite his lack of using words. I'm learning to stand up for what I want and need in a relationship without being...well...demanding and needy. I'm learning to relax and just enjoy sitting next to him on the couch watching tv. Not thinking about the future and not worrying about the past - but just enjoying being with him in the present.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wasted Energy

I've spent my life wasting energy on being angry. Angry at the kids who tormented me for being tall in elementary school, angry at my mother for not being what I thought I wanted her to be in middle school, angry at God for making me the way I am, angry at the superficial girls in my sorority for making me feel less than them because I didn't have the right clothes, boyfriend or car, angry at David for leaving my life in such shambles, angry at so many guys for tossing me aside.....but mostly, I've always been angry at myself for everything I am and everything that I'm not.

I have spent a lot of time moving forward along in life, but yet at the same time, looking back at events in my life and how they have created the person I am today. Retrospection can be a good thing - learning from past mistakes, such as bad haircuts, too much alcohol on an empty somach and not studying for tests. But blaming the way I am on things that have happenend in my past? I can't blame my insecurities on other people any more.

I've been angry at myself for not being "perfect." For not always knowing exactly what to say, when to say it and how to deliver it without stepping on any toes. For not always looking perfectly put together. For not having this adult life totally figured out. For not keeping everyone around me happy with me. An entire doctorate thesis could probably be writeen on my self-anger. But what has it led to? At certain points in my life it has shown itself in the form of self destructive behaviors like drinking excessively. At others it surfaced as devastating anxiety attacks. Most recently it was a deep and debilitating bout with eating disorders. Were any of these healthy? Obviously not. So therefore, one could logically conclude that the self-anger isn't working out for me anymore. Well, it was never really working out for me, but it has definitely taken a turn for the worse recently.

It's time for a new life plan - a mental adjustment you might say.

I can't be angry at myself for any of those things anymore. The only thing that I can be angry about is that I haven't noticed this sooner, which is again - counterproductive.

I've doubted myself every step of the way - was I wearing the right clothes, did I say the right thing, am I making the right choice? I always looked to other people for the answers because I never trusted myself enought to come to the right conclusion. And, if things didn't work out the way they were supposed to, I didn't have to take any of the blame - I could just pass the buck on to someone else's poor decision making. But why shouldn't I trust myself? Look at my parents - they are responsible, well adjusted adults. They have provided me with more than enough tools to become a functioning adult on my own. But more than a functioning adult (anyone can pay the bills on time) but an acutal functioning human that learns to adequately cope with day to day events.

Life is short. At the end of a person's life, they don't look back and regret not staying angry at themselves or other people for longer amounts of time.

This anger takes up so much of my time and energy. And it's pushing people away.

I remember the moment when I woke up one morning and I was tired of being angry at David. I realized that he wasn't a part of my life anymore and therefore blaming him for me having a crappy Tuesday afternoon wasn't working. I refused to give him anymore power over my feelings.

Therefore, today I am refusing to give the power to that little voice inside my head that tells me I'm not good enough because I'm not perfect. I was made exactly the way God intended me to be.

I must come to reconcile the fact that I'm going to make mistakes. People will get angry with me. I will have to deal with the consequenes of bad decision making. I can't go through life desperately trying to tip toe around anything and everything that might cause me failure. In my head, I always was of the notion that failure wasn't an option. Growing up as an athlete, it was a phrase ingrained into my head. Of course failure isn't an option, because if it was, everyone would obviously choose success. Failure is an inevitbale event. It will happen in my life and I can't keep avoiding situations in which I could possibly fail. If I do that, nothing exceptional will ever happen. I will never have the life I truly want; more importantly, I will never have the love that I desire.

I have been so decided determine din my life not to screw up in relationships, that I think I actually end up being my own worst enemy because I lose who I am by turning myself into a pretzel trying to be the "perfect" girlfriend. And now I think I might have someone in my life who sees me not through rose-colored glasses, but with a clear view of who I am and what I'm about. And my own insecurities are getting in the way of allowing him to love me in his own unique manner. As much as I realize that I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be, I must come to the logical conclusion that he is not perfect either, nor should I expect him to be. He will make me mad sometimes. And I will most certainly piss him off as well. Is this the end of the world? It shouldn't be. I should have the confidence that I'm a pretty spectacular person and even though he might not want to be around me because of his frustration, that in no certain terms mean that he's throwing me away. I guess I have to trust him and trust his feelings for me. But at the same time, that pesky self-anger issue sneaks up again. In retrospect, I look at how I behaved and I agree with him - he should be angry at me, which in turn makes me angry at myself for my actions. Then the evil self-deprecating cycle begins and before you know it, I am in a very bad and dark place.

So what's a girl to do? How exactly does on banish that nasty little voice in her head? Grab an old priest and a young priest and hope one doesn't end up head first down the stairs? I think the voice will respond best a big fat dose of "SHUT THE HELL UP."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What's Love Got To Do With It?

All throught this blog, which has spanned the course of one year of my life, I have discussed my relationships and issues with men. I've talked about what I want in a man, the trouble I had finding one that matches my needs and wants, and I have touched upon my stormy past with certain young men. But never once have I truly broached the subject of love.

There have been great sonnets and renowned literature written about love. If not for the concept of love, Hollywood and the music industry would not have made millions. Real people have lived for love and died from it. The word is tossed around so carelessly in our culture. "I love that shirt!" "Have you heard the new Madonna song? I totally love it!" (Yes, I have heard it. And yes, I totally love it.)

But what does love truly mean and what form will it take in my life? What form do I want it to take? What do I expect when I hear those words or feel that emotion from someone?

I suppose each individual's first impression of love is that of their own parent's relationship. I got lucky. My parents were college sweethearts and were married after only nine months of courtship. They are currently approaching their 40th wedding anniversary. When asked how they got married so quickly, my mom just answers "I just knew." I can't decide if I like a hair color enough to keep it for nine months, much less the rest of my life...

I want a marriage like my parents': supportive, understanding, compassionate, passionate and stable.

My parent's relationship reminds me of that story of the two swans on the farm. A grandfather is telling his grandson about how swans mate for life. One day, the female swan is found dead in the pond and the male swan is visibly upset. The grandson says that the male will find someone else - he'll be okay. The gradnfather predicts that the male swan will soon die from grief over his partner. A few days later, the male swan is found dead in the same spot as the female swan. Soon after, the grandmother passes away, followed a few months later by the grandfather. My parents are like that. It's not that they physically can't live without each other in some sick, addictive, co-dependent's that they don't WANT to live without the other one.

Their love has transcended the passionate infatuation and graduated to this state of complete connectedness and partnership. They aren't just a married couple - they're best friends. I want to marry someone who is my best friend because one day the initial passion will face and I will have to have something left over. Unfortunately...statutes set by the state of Texas and because she ran off with a Mexican sailor...I can't marry my best friend Amy. Just kidding. But weirdly enough...she did marry someone exactly my height and with a similar personality. :)

Have I ever been in love? I've been infatuated. I've been filled to the brim with lust. I've been co-dependent. I've worn the blinders. But the type of love that my parent's have? Even the prospect of that love? Nope. Never even close.

I know that someday I will have that love. Will it happen like in my favorite love indulgences The Notebook, Love Actually or Gone With The Wind? Will I be awoken by my true love's kiss after biting a poisoned apple? Will I get a letter from God telling me the plans he has for meeting my true love? Probably not. But I have faith. I will have that love in my life eventually because I want it. And I always get what I want.

I know what I do have though. I have a best friend. A drinking and watching sports buddy. An "I'm having a horrible day and need a hug" support system. A conversation-just-by-a-look psychic partner.

I have seen this person at his absolute worst and it terrified me. It was so frustrating - being able to so clearly see all the amazing things I loved about him; the reasons I was his friend. But he couldn't see it for himself. Because I was his friend, I didn't fix him...for once...I allowed him the space and time he needed to do it for himself. Like I told him "I will support you 110% as long as you're doing something positive to change you life." And he has come through a completely amazing person - which is even more reason for me to be proud of him and love him. He supported me through a devastatingly depressing time in my own life through which I was repeatedly hurting both myself and the people around me. But he didn't abandon me despite my constant pushing away. I hated myself so much and I didn't want anyone in my life to be a part of it. But he was persistant. He loved me when I couldn't love myself.

But everything about our friendship hasn't been doom and gloom. We've laughed at inane and ridiculous things, we've celebrated each others victories and talked shit about our defeats. We've high fived at Mav's games and grumbled about the Cowboys' playoff loss.

Our friendship hasn't reached the point when I could say that I know everything about him - because even my mother quotes that she doesn't know all of the recesses of my father's mind. But, I can anticipate what he is and isn't going to say, how he will feel about something and most importantly...I know when to just walk away and let him be.

I once asked him "What do you like about me?" And he, being the enormous wordsmith that he isn't, just shrugged his shoulders and said "I just like who you are." At first I was completely frustrated with his lack of response. I delve into topics, entirely dissceting it to the nth degree. I could be that person writing the sonnet about what I like about him becasue I am never at a lack for words. How his eyes twinkle when he knows he did or said something that made me laugh. His total and unwavering loyalty to the people he cares about in his life. The way he truly doesn't care about what people think of him. The list could go on.. But he just summed it up in six words for me. I pressed for more specific information, but there was none forthcoming. I had to be content with what he said. So, after chewing on the words for awhile, I came to a conclusion: I am who I am and he likes that. It's that simple. I don't have to put on pretenses about who I am. I don't have to change myself in order to be more appeasing to him. I just have to be myself. Which has proved repeatedly to be one of the more challenging tasks in my life. He has provided me with a reason to be okay with myself - he accepts my slight craziness, my occasional outburst, all of it. He wipes away the previous notion that I held about being completely unlovable. Sure, I know there are things about me that he gets frustrated with - I have a hard time making decisions at times, I overreact about small issues and stress myself out, you know - I act like a girl sometimes. He just takes it all in and rolls with it.

But, is this love? I can look in his eyes and be moved. I am comforted by his presence. I am so filled with contentment at the sight of his personal happiness. I worry about him overworking himself. We can sit in silence together and it's not awkward.

I don't know if it's that lifetime love, but I know that he's my best friend and I don't want to not have him around in my life.

Graduation doesn't mean education...

The WE network on television (yes I do watch it...even better - I ENJOY it!) has an interesting show on Monday nights called High School Confidential which chronicles the lives of several teenage girls throughout the four years of high school. In watching this show, I am in somewhat of a purgatorial position. Although I graduated high school almost 7 years ago, I don't feel much older than I did at 18 when I graduated. In some ways, I feel much younger. Graduating high school, I felt on top of the world. I had completed my mandatory 12 years of public education. Technically, I had learned everything the state felt was necessary to produce a functioning human being, and I did it quite well; graduating with honors while escaping minimal reputation tarnsh and with a fair amount of trust and respect from my parents. I had everything figured out - relationships, finances, friendships, religion and politics...nothing was going to change. I was ready to take on the world and I had every confidence that my life was going to be charmed and special.

I was a tad bit naive.

The premise of the show is to follow these girls throughout their high school years and document the different experiences the girls have navigating a large high school, which is eerily similar to the one I attended. There are some girls on the show that I would have been friends with - the girls that were involved and moderately popular in school, but struggled with the battle of good and poor life decisions. There are some girls on the show that, unfortunately, I would never have known existed in my school. Looking through my senior yearbook at all the names and faces that are utterly unrecognizable are a testament to this fact.

I entered the 10th grade with the facade of a hopeless gooy-two-shoes involved in every activity and a head full of possibilities. I graduated my senior year a little bit more cynical and a lot more cautious. In the years that have followed, I have realized that while everyone might grow older, not everyone truly matures. And maturity means a significant more than suppressing giggles during sex scenes and being able to sufficiently hold your liquor.

How have I changed since high school? And have these changes produced a mature adult?

I guess I'll have to start with my definition of an "adult."

Being an adult means...
- resisiting the urge to audition for the Real World because you realize these kids stay up way past your bedtime.
- flipping past the Top 40 and hip hop radio stations because as an evolving woman and human being "apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur" are no longer an acceptable part of my wardrobe.
- finally understanding what my parents meant when they said "nothing good ever happens after midnight." Except for Conan O'Brien of course.

In all honesty, when I graduated high school I defined "adulthood" as having a real job and paying bills...on time. Adulthood isn't a checklist you can evaluate a year after graduating high school or college. It's not a gold starred diploma that arrives in the mail once you've secured your first IRA. You won't find a clause on your marriage or child's birth certificate stating that in signing these papers you have earned the title of "ADULT."

So, am I an adult yet? Well, I've certainly grown in the seven years since I graduated high school. I redefined what I need and want in friendships. I don't have nearly the circle of friends I had in high school and college, but yet the few people that are in my Circle of Trust are incredibly supportive and fulfilling relationships. I am slowly learning that a person's worth cannot be measured by the amount of clothes in a closet, but instead by the positive impact made on the surrounding environment and people. I know now that life isn't a competition to win at EVERYTHING...because that person who is always stressed about being the best and having everything first will most likely reach the ultimate finish line earliest...and have nothing memorable to show for it. I am learning to see the forest and not the individual trees. I am learning that I am my own person and I must live my life to make only myself happy. If I am confident that I am making the best life decision for myself, then that's all that matters.

And yes, I have also learned to pay the bills on time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blank Horizon

I have always had a plan.

- Go to college. Check.
- Graduate with honors. Check.
- Get job at great school. Check.
- Buy new car and live on my own. Check.
- Be New Teacher of the Year. Almost check. I got close enough.
- Travel through Europe. Check.

I always knew what came next. It was always about the next adventure - whether it was graduating high school and going on to college. Or graduating college and getting a job. I was always obsessed with getting to that next level and doing it better than anyone else.

Well, I'm here. I'm in my second full year of teaching. I've got the job, I've got the accolades (new teacher of the year nomination and district championship), I've got the totally decorated apartment, I've got the decked out car, I've got the wardrobe full of clothes and shoes. And now that I've accomplished all my goals I think I'm bored. I don't have a new challenge on the horizon and it's frustrating. I am a competitive, ambitious and driven person. I don't know how to operate without climbing to the top of some new goal in my life.

But for all the good that attributes like being ambitious can be in one's life, why do I feel like I continually have to prove something? Why can't I just sit back, bask in the fact that I've accomplished so much at 24 and relax for a bit? What demons am I running from that I feel I always have to be accomplishing something in order to be a worthwhile human being?