Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017

There is nothing more intimidating than a black space for my thoughts. I love writing, but find myself never taking the time to sit down to do it. Partly because by the time I get off work I'm exhausted, but mostly because I never feel as though I can express my thoughts as succinctly and as meaningful on a blank document as I can in my head.

But I wanted to take the time to share my journey. Now I know that maybe no one will read this, but if one person does, I hope it means something. I hope it provides you with strength and hope and the drive to carry on. Always carry on.

It's May 8th and I'm wondering why this morning it was 35 degrees when I woke up and why I felt goose bumps, instead of sweat beads, on my skin every time I stepped outside. To many people, little details in the weather might not mean much, but to me it does. It means so much to me because I struggle with seasonal depression and when I feel the heat of the sun and the warmth of the air wrap me in a hug, it shines a light within me and offers me hope and strength. It reminds me that today is always a new day, that there will always be the sun and warmth to embrace me, even when I feel I do not deserve it. It doesn't reject me, but always welcomes me with new breath. It reminds me to inhale a little longer and to slow down and enjoy that exact moment.

There have been a lot of changes in my life in the past year. These changes could easily be grouped into three main categories: friends, family, and love. I have had friends move and I continue to have my closest friends move. This change makes me feel a lot of different ways. The first being that I feel like I am being left. I know this is not the truth, I am not being left... my friends are simply just moving to start their new journeys, just like I did. They're moving to places far away, places I can't easily drive to like I have been able to in the past. And the excitement of traveling to visit them overwhelms me with joy and stress. Please, friends, do not ever think I am not happy for you. I am your biggest supporter, I will always be the one to tell you to go out and explore because you can always come back home. But please know that I will miss you and, as silly as it may sound, I worry I will not be missed.

The second change in my life has been family. With recent events, such as my car accident and my dad having a heart attack, I have valued, even more so than before, the importance of my family. I have seen people who have lost a parent, or parents, or other family members and it breaks my heart. For those of you who know me, or who knew me, I think each one of you will be able to speak to my kind and caring heart. My heart is too big for my own good... sometimes so much that it gets me in trouble. But know this, when your heart breaks, so does mine. When I got into my car accident, I thought that was it. And many times I asked God why I survived when I knew there were so many people who had gotten into accidents that didn't. But I think God has a plan for me that is bigger than myself. When my dad had his heart attack, it took me a while to digest it. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't think it was fair that I got into a car accident and then a day later my dad had a heart attack. But what was more than fair, was that we both survived. To this day, we both are able to make changes in our life to ensure we are living each day healthy and graciously. Please understand that family and friends are not forever. Cherish each moment you have with them, and make time for them. Because tomorrow is a gift, just like each person in this world.

Finally, love has been the biggest change in my life. For those of you who know me, and I mean really know me, you probably know I struggle with this the most. I constantly push good love away and I ache for the best, something I don't think any of us could comprehend or know how to judge. I have loved and I have lost love. To this very day, I am still trying to understand how I can love and be loved same way in return. I told you that my heart, so big, gets me in trouble. Sometimes I cannot detach my heart from my head, and it results in what you are all too familiar with. To those I have loved, I have placed the love you have given me on a very high pedestal, that neither of us can reach anymore. You have and always will mean the world to me - any words and actions exchanged between us will never change that.  Please know, that if I have loved you, which is few, I have loved you with every cell in my being.

I hope this finds you all well. As I continue my journey of change, please follow along with me. We are all in this together and as one of my role models and favorite author says, "we all belong to each other". We are all family and we are all in this crazy journey called life together.

With all my love.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hello? Anyone there?

I have not blogged in over a year. I have realized that I usually only come back if I am sad or struggling through something. I think it is sad, most people usually only write when they are angry or sad. Or maybe it's just poetic. I think we want so badly to find someone who can relate to us, maybe someone to pity us, or maybe someone to love us. Whatever the reason, we're all in this together.

Before writing this, I read my last post from June 2015 and felt utterly disgusted with myself. But then I read part of my last paragraph, which read:

"To sum it up, hearts break but also mend, love finds everyone at different ages, love yourself the most, be all-consumingly selfish, spend money or don't spend money. Find what you love, no matter how long it takes, life isn't in a rush for anyone. Slow down and enjoy what you have when you have it. Stop spending so much time in your head, focus on the people and world around you, you'll find yourself richer in friendship and love."

I have realized that over the past six months, I have been spending an extreme amount of time in my head and have missed some really great memories because of it. I am an introvert by nature - if I could spend days on end without talking to people, I would be happy. Unfortunately, I cannot, and that's OK, because on the flip side, I know that isn't healthy for me. I need genuine human connection and attention, just like the next person. However, because of who I am, I tend to get lost in my thoughts and overanalyze situations that mean less than a fraction of what I think they mean. It's irritating and I beat myself up about it all the time.

I think most people are ill-intentioned. Which, I know, is terrible to think. Because most people are not. In fact, there are far more good people in this world than bad. I think people who love me are out to get me and it is a terrible feeling to constantly feel like that. I have been let down so many times, abandoned by people I have truly loved and I have never forgiven. Forgiveness doesn't happen overnight, I get that, but for me, with some relationships, it's taken years to move past the pain. It's a constant struggle between my own thoughts and the true intentions of people. It's a constant battle between my own thoughts on a daily basis.

I am not asking for pity, I just think, for anyone reading this who may actually care, this is a good thing to know about me. I do not love or care any less for you because of the things I may so or the way I may act. I allow my short-term feelings to consume me in a way that hurts me and the people I love. Patience is all I ask for. Being hard to love would be an understatement. I am a hassle to love. But please know that when I love, I love fully. With all that I have and then some. I care more about you than I do myself.


Friday, June 19, 2015

on being

Gosh, I'm not even sure where to begin. I don't even remember what I put in the last post, so if I repeat myself just know it's because I'm too lazy to read my last post.

So I've been home for over a month now and I just finished my 6th week at my internship. I have every other Friday off... today's my off Friday and we have no AC. The bottom of my laptop felt nice against my thighs for a minute. It's the little things, right? Anyways, I woke up feeling drunk. I'm pretty sure I was drunk in all my dreams, which is a weird feeling. I woke up completely out of it... it was 9 AM and I usually wake up at 5:15 AM for work so I slept extremely late this morning. Daddio stopped by to fix my car... nothing was fixed. Did I mention we have no AC?

Anyways, let's get to the point of this post. This post is for those who need to hear it from someone else. Therefore, I'm talking to ALL OF YOU (well... whoever's reading this). Upon graduation I like to think I've grown wiser and figured out all the secrets to life. Ha... ha, that's a joke, I'm not wiser and I'm pretty sure the only secret to life (well, it's not even a secret) is to just be. Be happy, be sad, be grumpy, be hot & sweaty because you have no AC, be whatever. Just be. Do what you love, love what you do yada yada.

But since I've been home I've noticed little things in other people that I've been working on changing in myself. The first thing... love. Who would've guessed? I hope everyone because that's all everyone ever talks about. So let me tell you, the last time I had an actual "boyfriend" was in junior year of high school the like the first month of college (LOL so cliche). I like to think I was a heartbreaker. Who wouldn't? Everyone wants to break a heart or five once in their lifetime. But don't be fooled, I have had my heart broken before, too! But listen, life goes the fuck on. You survive, you don't stop breathing, your heart just feels a little sad for however long you nurse it. Don't be like me and fall into a state of depression over a boy/girl because I'll tell you this right now, it's a waste of time. That other person has continued to live their life the same without you and you look pathetic sitting at home complaining to your own self or to your followers on twitter how lonely you are. You're not the only one in this world who doesn't have a partner. What do YOU gain by exerting your energy into someone who might not be thinking twice about you? That's harsh, they probably think about you from time to time. But whatever, I'm here to tell you to get over it because no one else is. I'm glad you have friends that will listen to you and your problems, but don't you dare think your problems are bigger than someone else's. Remember, we don't have AC... yeah, try this out for a day or two. It's probably worse than a broken heart.

Maybe from the above you think I'm a grouch and don't believe in love. I do, but I've been throwing up in my mouth since everyone I know has started getting engaged by 21 and married by 22. I'm glad you found love at a young age, more power to you. You probably deserve it, too. But, while I believe in love, I also believe in having fun and living at your youth. Maybe you chose to do that with someone by your side, to each his own. I just can't imagine committing my life to someone at such a young age. I'm still trying to figure out what I want in myself, let alone a "life" partner. Yes, I'm still trying to figure out what I want in myself, if that sounded at all weird to you. I know I want to be happy, who doesn't? But I also am still working on my emotional side... I usually tend to ignore those little buggers that come up when something doesn't go my way or someone hurts my feelings (what feelings?). But really guys, there's a quote that's like "you have to love yourself first before someone else" or whatever. I actually love that quote and I've seen a lot of hate against it. Some people will fight that some people just can't love themselves but can still love someone else. Ok, you believe that, but I believe you honestly, full-heartedly (or half) need to love yourself because it's never guaranteed someone else will. Except your mom, she'll always love you, so I've heard. I'll tell you all the things wrong with me, are you ready? Just kidding, I won't do that because you don't care because I doubt you even notice the things about me that I pick apart in the mirror! DID YOU HEAR ME?! Other people DO NOT notice your flaws as much as you do!! I have a pimple... HA HA, I just wrote that and thought that's false, because I have a lot of pimples. Anyways, my point is no one notices that. My secret? Make-up and self-confidence. I love myself and I hope people notice that, your opinions of me don't keep me up at night. And I hope, for the sake of my mom's wish to have grandkids, someone will notice this in me and let me love them just as much.

The little rant about loving yourself rolls into my next rant. I've been reading Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please. I like to think that me and her could be best friends. I never watched SNL, but I know she's funny. I'm funny. Funny people like funny people. Logic. Anyways, so her book is about her comedic life mostly, but she offers good advice. She talks about loving yourself and silencing the demon in your mind that reminds you every time you look at yourself that, eh, maybe you could be prettier. Anyways she wrote a haiku titled "Plastic Surgery Haiku", so for your pleasure and self-assurance, from the fingers of Amy Poehler...

"If you plump your lips
the words that come out of them
sound ridiculous

We know it's Botox
and not your vegan diet
nice try, Margaret

A face-lift does not
make daughters comfortable
when you chaperone

Fine, get your boobs done
but only make them smaller
fake boobs are weird, y'all

looks cool while cheek implants are
less interesting

Plastic surgery
requires a good amount
of lying to friends

Can I be honest?
you look like a lady from
the Broadway show Cats

I have no idea
if you are angry or sad
since you got fillers

Hey, shooting poison
in your face does not keep you
from turning fifty"

I think she has a lot of good things to say, and I highly recommend the book. Making yourself look like someone else just isn't cool. Love yourself, silence the demon and find yourself happier.

Finally, my final rant until I decide otherwise, let's talk money. I like to think I grew up pretty spoiled. My parents were by no means rich, I like to think average, but at sometimes it was below average. My sister and I were always fed, bathed, clothed, and for the most part happy. I grew up listening to fights between my parents over money... not having enough, spending too much on shit that we shouldn't. For some, you know how it goes. Anyways, I got a job at 14 when I was old enough to legally work at some places. So did my sister. We've held a job ever since. I wish I knew what I've done with all that money since then, I could've retired by now, ha!

But real talk, money is money is money is money. I don't know what that means, I just wanted to say it. Ok, so actual real talk, money can buy you things. It can pay for rent, it can pay for food and clothing, it can pay for alcohol (don't we know it), it can pay for everything and anything. Those who say "money doesn't buy happiness"... are you on crack? Food makes me happy, socializing with friends and mom over happy hour makes me the happiest. News flash, money buys happiness. I know you're all thinking, yeah but it doesn't last. Also, false (to me). Those moments I've spent complaining to my sister because she's the slowest shopper in the history of shoppers, I wouldn't trade for the world. The times I get to see my mom let loose and get a little tipsy at happy hour, wouldn't trade for the world and may eventually hold it against her. The food I get to eat, like pizza, I will never regret in the long-run, because at that exact moment, that was exactly what I wanted (like love. hahahaha). So my point is, spend money when you want to spend it. If you really don't want to, don't feel like you have to. Things work out though. To my friends, we're all the same age and we're all the youngest we'll ever be again. These are the days where you can act foolish, selfish and drunk and no one will judge you (except those people who love to judge and are fun-suckers, and maybe your parents every once in a while). But if there's one thing I learned from my extremely awesome mother who yells at me when I get home at 2 AM (she has good reason), it's to have fun. There's only so many more years we can spend running around Dupont and Clarendon drinking $3 drafts at a bar crawl. And there's only so many more years we can veg out on the couch until we actually have to start working to maintain this thing called weight. My mom mows the lawn and carries heavy things... I really don't want to mow the lawn...

I hope you guys have enjoyed this. I hope my life hacks will help you overcome whatever issues you may be dealing with. To sum it up, hearts break but also mend, love finds everyone at different ages, love yourself the most, be all-consumingly selfish, spend money or don't spend money. Find what you love, no matter how long it takes, life isn't in a rush for anyone. Slow down and enjoy what you have when you have it. Stop spending so much time in your head, focus on the people and world around you, you'll find yourself richer in friendship and love.

If you need a laugh, I'll be here for you all, don't worry. My next life goal is to be Amy Poehler... so if my Tina Fey is out there, I'm looking for you.

a million times xx

If there are any typos, disregard. Too lazy to edit :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Final Wrap Up

So, this morning I was driving back to JMU from home. Judge me, I went home to get my hair cut before graduation. Anyways, while I was driving back, I ended up following behind a Loudoun County (my high school) student, headed I don't know where. I thought it was funny, though.

Here I am, driving back to JMU for my last Friday class here and I'm following behind a car with a sticker of the place that got me to where I am. As much as I disliked high school, and couldn't be paid a million dollars to go back, looking back, I've been able to learn a lot about myself after having left a place that helped shaped my future.

In exactly two weeks, I graduate from a place that has truly shaped the person I am today. I started freshmen year as an education major, only to switch to business within the first two months. Mind you, that was after much debate about switching to other majors, such as English and a different education focus. I spent countless hours on the phone with my mom deciding what was best for me, only for her to tell me it was my choice and she'd support me no matter what. After changing my major to Management, I had no clue what I actually wanted to do. But, here I am, four years later, eager to graduate and continue my education in Human Resources.

It's crazy to think of all the steps I've taken to get where I am. I may not have a stellar GPA, but boy have I learned. I learned a lot about the heartbreak from being away from your family. No matter how strong a person is, at the end of the day a hug from mom is the only thing we really want. I spent days at JMU wishing I could've just gone to a commuter school up in Northern Virginia just so I could be close to my family every day. I spent days wishing I had gone somewhere farther away, somewhere not so close to my past. And of course, in between those days, I spent days smiling because I couldn't imagine myself any place better.

I learned a lot about friendships and relationships. I learned that those who want to be in your life will make the effort. Those who care about you will show you, even if it's in the smallest ways... those ways fill your heart the most. I learned that it's OK to let go of those toxic relationships, if only to better yourself. I learned, through observance of many different relationships, the one I want to be in when I finally find the man I want to marry. I learned a lot about being alone, and understanding it's important to figure out what makes you happy before you can ever make someone else genuinely happy. I learned the importance of networking and making connections that can help in the future, and the importance of maintaining contact.

I learned about growing up. I learned it's OK to make a fool of yourself and give the wrong answer in class. Someone's most likely relieved because they were thinking the same thing. I learned it's OK to make a fool of yourself because you have no dance skills whatsoever, you trip on your own two feet, and you say things that you might regret later. I learned that sometimes, you just have to give up your summer in order to gain real-world experience. I learned that laughter is the best therapy, and that a good cry is equally just as nice. I learned to say I love you to those I care about because you just never know. I learned that life is short, and if you don't have money but want to go on a sushi date with a great friend, do it anyways. I learned my mom is the best advice giver, and my sister provides me with knowledge to an extent she isn't even aware of. I learned my dad will forever be my goofy half, no matter how ridiculous.

I learned a lot, and I'm more than happy with the person I've become. I'm sad to leave such a beautiful place, but ready to take the next step into my future. As I leave the mountains, and head towards a warmer state with Palm trees and Cactus, I know that JMU will forever be home. I will look back and know that this is where I found myself, my passions, and my drive. Thank you, JMU, and all you crazy people who have supported me through every step of the way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

happy, exhausted, and every other adjective

Well good news, lovely people. First, I was accepted into West Virginia's Master of Industrial Relations program. Second, I decided to attend USC in the fall :)

I visited USC before spring break and absolutely adored the people and the city of Columbia. I was lucky enough to visit with my mom, who was convinced further this was a good decision. At first she was hesitant about me attending grad school (I think she still is a little bit), but after meeting with a couple great faculty members and two students at USC, she came to realize how much I could further my career in HR if I furthered my education at the school. While it did take me a little over a month to send in my deposit, I know it is the right choice and I will be happy down in Columbia.

While my excitement to attend a new school with new people has been more than perfect, I have been dealing a lot with stress lately that comes more frequently than it leaves. I haven't noticed how stressed I've been, and I feel as though it's because I've finally built a thick skin to letting stress get to me. However, it could also be that I'm a senior with that thing called senioritis. But let's go with the first assumption. I've been having some medical problems (that's what I'm going to call it), and I called my mom to vent about it and she said it's because I'm stressed. I told her I wasn't stressed, but then she continued to list everything that was on my plate and how I'm pushing it to the back of my mind, and my God is she right. I didn't realize how easy it's become for me to just disregard what's actually important and happening right in front of me. So I'm trying this week to acknowledge it and move on with it. I have 6 weeks left until graduation, and I just need to push through it to finally accomplish what I've worked four, long years for.

So, enough about the negative stuff. As you all know, I hope, I am on the executive board for our Dance Marathon here at JMU. Our exec board, most of it anyways, has been working extremely hard to bring the event together, which took place this past Saturday. My position was sponsorship and catering. However, I also took on the role of hospital relations, as I was not only in contact with local delivery food services, but hotels to accommodate our more than perfect families who were able to attend the event. Overall, the event was a success and we raised over $60,000. Putting us over $130,000 for this year and last year's event. I'm extremely proud of all those who worked hard and all those who supported us and came out to the event for the full 12 hours.

In addition to being proud, I am disappointed in the overall JMU community. As tradition, JMU has this negative image that we are a party school. Well, truth be told, apparently we are. As we set a date for MadiTHON (the dance marathon), we had no clue that day was going to be the best weather we had in a week and a half and it would be perfect for day drinking. But, so it was and that's that. What disappoints me is that people were willing to give up supporting an amazing and life-changing cause to spend their day drunk stumbling down main streets and throwing empty cups on fraternity lawns. We spend four years as undergraduates, with countless Saturdays and even more beautiful days to be spending outside. But more than half the school couldn't give up one day out of the entire year to come out to an event that supports children and their families who otherwise can't afford the treatment they need. Not only that, but those students couldn't come out and support their fellow classmates that hosted the event. We can harp on college students being philanthropic all we want, and yes, some are very much so. But it all comes down to your decisions at the end of the day. I would just like to know how spending another Saturday day drinking outweighs a day dedicated to service. When you can justify that, please let me know. Otherwise, I suggest reevaluating what's important to you and how your decisions now will affect you tomorrow, by graduation, and for the rest of your life.

I don't mean to be dramatic or harsh, I just want to see JMU come together to support awesome causes, to serve and help others, and to "be the change" we all claim we will be. Why start tomorrow, after graduation, or when you have a family. Why not today?

I'll leave you with that - some "food for thought".


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

long time, no post

Hi friends!

It's been a very busy 3 months since my last post. Apologies all around for those who care :)

Anyways, there's been lots of good news! Thanksgiving break was wonderful (wow, it's been way too long) and I enjoyed spending the day eating good food with my fabulously dysfunctional family. I was able to work three days at my internship with General Dynamics - how lucky is that. Well, I consider it lucky because it was better than working retail that whole time. However, I did work at Coach as a second source of income for the week. But I loved my internship and met lots of great people so going back was sort of just like a vacation for me.

During winter break I was also able to return to my internship. I was exceptionally lucky during this time period because I think I spent as many days working from home as I did working in the office... as an intern. So crazy! My mom, to say the least, was a tad jealous :) But I know she's very proud of me and happy with where I'm headed. Over break I also took the GRE for application to grad school - I applied to University of South Carolina (USC), West Virginia University (WVU), and Appalachian State University (ASU). They all have a Master of HR program, or some spin off of the like. I did pretty well on the GRE, except for the quantitative section, but whenever someone can tell me you're going to use that kind of math in the real world, I might start to worry about my performance. Until then, I'll stay satisfied with my overall results!

In addition to all that fun stuff, I was also able to attend one of my best friend's baby shower. The little sucker's due any day now... I can't feel it in my bones just yet, but I know he's getting ready to squirm his way out. I'm very excited for my friend, Kim, and this little bundle of joy (and snot, poop, and tears). It took me a while to accept it all and really support her, but I'm glad I stuck around not only for her, but for myself because she's one person who will always understand me and love me for whatever ridiculous things I decide to do between Thursday and Sunday. Her little boy, or as she likes to call him "little man", is going to be surrounded by lots of love when he gets here... I'm still trying to find the perfect onesie that'll embarrass him when he gets older and Kim shows his first girlfriend. Updates to come on that, for sure :) Shout out to you Kim, for being my partner in crime. Although I'll miss our shambly times, I'm glad you're happy <3

And finally, a little catch up on my past couple of weeks. Two Fridays ago I had an interview with admissions at USC. I thought the interview went well, but I of course also thought that it could have gone much better, stay tuned. This past Friday I visited WVU and met some current students and faculty in the HR program. I wasn't totally impressed, but it could've been because I woke up at 3:30am to leave by 4:45am and spent four hours there and getting right into it when I arrived. Just thinking about the entire trip makes me sleepy. The good part was that I got to see a friend who I haven't seen in a while and even though I was exhausted, it was good catching up with her. As I was getting up to leave WVU on Saturday I received an email saying that my application status had been updated for USC... and what to my surprise but an acceptance letter (unofficial)!! To say the least, I spent my entire drive back to JMU smiling like a kid in a candy shop. Three days later and I think about it and still smile. USC's Master of HR program only accepts 40 students each fall, and I'm qualified enough to be one of those 40. Ah, love it!

Decisions are still to come, I'm still waiting to hear back from WVU & ASU and will officially make up my mind once I hear back from them all. However, the south ain't looking to shabby right about now.

I promise to stay a little more up to date with this if not just for my sake.


Monday, November 17, 2014

an open letter to my friends

If I said I had perfect friendships, I would be lying. I know in my first post this month I mentioned that I have found very good friends who I would not trade the world for. That's still true. But I have friends that I call a best friend and vice versa, but I can't say that's 100% true.

So, this is an open letter to my friends who have put me on the back burner multiple times due to boyfriends and hook ups. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better friend. Because of the way I have been put on the bottom of the list, and never reached, I know that is not how I would want to treat my friends when I have a partner (I'm not holding my breath for anytime soon). I know what it's like to be the last resort. I know what it's like to be lied to and hear that I'm missed but have no effort made to not miss me anymore and simply make room for me in your life.

There's this little saying that I found recently and it's really hit a soft spot. To summarize it, it basically says if you say you don't have time for something, you're saying it's not a priority. Now to cut you all some slack, I get it, college is busy and working while in college isn't easy. I do it, too, but I think that's what you sometimes forget. My life is just as busy and chaotic as yours, but I would still make you a priority a hundred times over. And that's the difference between you and I.

No, I don't have a boyfriend and no, I can't say how much time a person's daily activities should be dedicated to their significant other. But I do know that if someone is a "best friend" in your life, they should not feel like I feel. When I reach out to you, don't say you miss me. You don't miss me because you haven't made the effort, because you don't have "time". But that's ok, if that's how you choose to treat people, that is solely up to you. Just know that I thank you. For making me stronger and better. For showing me what it really means to be a true friend. For being there for those I do care about when times get rough and making an effort for the people I do care about.