15 Diamonds

Tonight I just briefly went through the photos I have on my phone (which was mostly out of commission all weekend as I was sans charger) looking at the latest pictures of my puppy, Ava. I only see her on the weekends because I don’t have my own place, so she stays with my parents and her parents (my parents have two shih-tzu’s they bred earlier this year, Ava is one of the puppies from the litter). Within just a few swipes of my finger I found myself looking at screen captures and pictures all related to my ex. I have not deleted them off of my phone because I say it’s a pain in the neck to. In all honesty though, it’s because every once in a while I need to feel the pain. The absolute hurt which he caused me. It is all still very fresh, but there are so many days where I find myself wondering “Why am I no longer with him? Why did we break up? Why didn’t we just cancel the wedding, stay together and work through our issues?” It’s for those moments that I keep things on my mobile device. No matter where I go, my phone goes with me – so no matter where I am I have a constant reminder of the hurt.

After I placed the engagement ring on his thigh in the midst of our break-up conversation over a month ago (no dramatic throwing amazingly… I believe that was the least dramatic action of mine the entire night actually) I couldn’t get used to not wearing a ring on my left ring finger. You see, before he placed the engagement ring on my hand, I had been wearing another ring, one I picked up the day after his first serious proposal, on that finger. So I had been wearing a ring for 10 months and to suddenly not have anything threw me off. Because we had already purchased our wedding bands (and had just gone past the date of return) I fought with myself as to if I’d be okay to wear it. He and I had purchased both of our bands, together, one day when he was visiting me in Cali. After fighting myself for an entire weekend I gave in and grabbed the ring. Immediately I stopped the ‘freak out check’ (when you think you’ve lost it) and began to feel more comfortable. After a few days I sat down and really looked at the ring. Here’s a picture I found of the exact ring…

It has 15 small diamonds in it. 15 has been a number which pops up in random significant moments for me. When I looked it up, 15 means “divine grace” – which, wow, a lot of grace is needed in my life especially now! Diamonds, as we all know, are not the easiest things to come by. They go through a process to be made so beautiful and sparkly. My life, isn’t the easiest but I know that the outcome will be one which is only possible for me and it’s going to help shape me into the woman I’m created to be.

When my ex first saw the ring on my hand he asked how long I had been wearing it, and why. I told him the exact same thing I wrote above, as it’s all true. I’m sure that to this day he’s not thrilled with the fact that I took what was supposed to be a sign of our ever-lasting love and commitment to one another and changed it to something for me. Every once in a while though I’ll look down at it and remember the life for which it was originally purchased for. Not necessarily the easiest, but I leave the ring on. It gives me hope in what my future holds.

One of the things I do which I can’t explain is the wonder and checking. Wondering what he’s up to, how he’s handling things, if he thinks about me and our what-should-have-been life as much as I am, if anything is changing in him which will mold him into the man I thought he was and know he someday could be… Checking his Facebook and Twitter for signs of what he’s been up to, watching when he’s online or available on Skype or Gmail always wanting to message him and see if he’s really around or if he’s online chatting with others.
Yes. There is a huge lack of trust on my end. I’ve approached this before (or at least, I think I have) but it is one of the worst things. To recognize that you have no trust in the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. Which brings me to another thought – after giving such a thing recognition, how is one supposed to earn/give trust? He has fought me on this multiple times, saying that if you truly love someone, you immediately trust them. While this is a nice thought, it isn’t always how it works out, especially if there have been blatant lies involved in quite a bit of the relationship. How I’ve been treating it is requiring evidence of the things he says he has done. While this isn’t how I would wish to handle things, it’s the only way I feel I can find myself in a safe place again. Eventually, over time, the requirement of proof will lessen, at which point the level of trust will be increased. These are things which can only occur over time though. There is nothing in me which is wishing or desiring to jump in to a relationship quickly ever again – I am requiring a foundation made of concrete. As only then can one begin to build their relationship “house”.

Had to add a picture of my Ava!

All in the Game

Tonight I went to the casino with my parents (odd, I know). While there it was most amusing to see people’s reactions at the games they played. Here’s a quick rundown:
Slot machines: At the most populous of games you can be sure to find those who are essentially tuning out the rest of the world. They go through the motions. When they win, there’s rarely a response unless it’s that far and few “Jackpot” worth a few thousand.
Tables: Multiple types of games are played at the tables – black jack, 3-card poker, craps, roulette, etc. Most of these players are calm and cool, but definitely aware of how things are going, but generally just for themselves.
Poker: I’m giving this its own category because while these people are very similar to the others who play at tables, they are not only aware of what’s happening for them, but those around them as well.
Race track: This particular casino had a horse track right out front, while I recognize this isn’t a regular I’m still including it. I stood at the finish line and watched a race. We watched it all as we had made it outside just as another race was finishing – the prep, the horses going down the track, being put into the gates, the entire race, the people and how they gathered. As soon as a race starts everyone starts cheering for the one horse they picked to win – it’s overwhelming the amount of yelling and screaming can come from people as they watch horses 1/2 mile away.  Which, of course, is only outdone when the horses are on their final leg of the race.

What I cannot get over is how similar our reactions to things we find at a casino are so similar to how we live our lives. Mundane and ignorant of most things, self-absorbed, aware of everyone, brought together only by a common agreement momentarily/excitement over temporary things then searching for the next “high”.

How does this relate to the relationships we find ourselves in? Perfectly. How we approach the things in our lives (relationships included) is a tell-tale sign of where we are in our lives. Do we expect the same thing time and time again? Do we care about nothing outside of ourselves? Do we concern ourselves with others to the point we almost lose ourselves? Do we allow ourselves to get excited, but only once in a while when it seems there is something on the line? Our hearts are affected by every choice we make. I’m trying my best to be kind to my heart and allow it to heal, in the process though it seems other wounds which have been stuffed deep down held in place by many years of bandages are being torn wide open.

I apologize if any of these posts are lacking any sort of sense or are scattered, I’m still working through and understanding a lot of things as I type them. It’s been a rough month to say the least, and it will only continue for as long as I am in the healing process. The good news in this is for as long as I’m in said process, posts will be often and more than likely interesting beyond belief. So hopefully as you read my words you enjoy them, understand them, receive something from them. This isn’t just for me. We all deal with issues… I’m just trying to be as open as possible with mine.

Recognition of the Unknown

Last night Sonya and I went out for drinks at our newly acquired ‘regular’ bar and our ‘regular’ bartender where she has a ‘regular’ drink. I’m still having fun trying a bunch of different drinks and forcing Bartender to be creative, so I have yet to have a ‘regular’. While this isn’t something we’ve done a lot, it’s become a more recent addition to our weekly lives (3 visits in 3 weeks… Fair.) and each time our visits have resulted in at least 500 calories burned from laughing and lots of deep, personal discussions. So many things are the result of last nights drinking, but one that will stick with me for a while is what I finally was able to realize. Even if something is unknown, but you have the knowledge of it, you have to acknowledge its existence. There are certain situations where this is so much more difficult than others, but in the long run, it’s always best. Sadly, that’s all I can say about that topic for now.

It absolutely amazed me last night because even in the midst of a drunken state I stopped myself and no longer was it all about me. Just because you are going through a hell of a time, doesn’t mean those who you come in contact are perfectly fine. There are so many others walking around out there who are wounded, need some uplift and just need love. That’s the type of thing we have to be aware of. The ability to see more than what is happening in your life, and be able to reach out to others and love on them. As, aren’t we all meant to love each other? Isn’t that the greatest commandment no matter what you believe? I’m not saying we aren’t allowed to process the happenings in our own lives, by no degree at all. I want to make sure that everyone who reads these words understands that we as humans are all too good at looking at our own lives and not seeing anything else. We have to be open to seeing what’s occurring outside of our own lives, then is when it’s possible to really start taking the steps to your own healing.

Qualities of a Home

As of today, I have no idea where I will live come August 1st. As this date is approaching wildly quick, I’m beginning to become concerned. You see, the plan was for me to live in this house (with a married couple + 8 month old boy) until my ex and I found the place we would eventually call our home. Assuming this would occur before August was easy and I had no worries whatsoever. We were searching for a 2 bedroom apartment, somewhere between his school and my work. Something in our price range that would allow us to have a dog. A place where our first child would spend their first days. We’d live there until he finished school – after that, the options were endless. I told him a couple of times how I felt as though he was my home, so wherever he was that is where my home was.

Last month, this changed entirely. No longer am I looking for a place which I will share with my husband, but rather a place just for me. No longer am I looking for a place between school and work, but rather just somewhere on the west shore. No longer am I looking for a place in which I will spend my first days/months/years as a married woman… What I’m looking for in a home has been altered, just as what I’m looking for in a man has been. Back in April I started a list with one of my dear friends as to what I need from a man, here it is.
Someone who is sensitive, will listen to me, supportive of all my dreams, honoring, my equal, desire to minister, passion for an ever-deeper relationship with God, accepts words of growth, emotional and spiritual strength, spontaneous, an open-mind, respective of my boundaries and ability to create own, clear communication, act and dress age appropriately and be stable.
In the past month I’ve been able to add a few more to the list… Honest, truthful, caring, non-manipulative, understanding, always pursuing, truthful… Oh. Well, truthfulness is quite important to me, 100% truthfulness. When in a relationship, there should be nothing one person needs to hide from the other. If something is hidden, then the relationship is unhealthy. If the relationship is unhealthy, get out of it.

Unhealthy relationships – there are so many different kinds, but no matter what, if you find yourself in a relationship which is toxic, remove yourself from it. If you have doubts or concerns, confront them. If you have any fears, remove the possibilities and re-evaluate. If things present themselves and they shouldn’t be, really think about what you as a person will allow in your life. In the long run, one must be able to stand up for themselves and know what they can and can’t have in their life. In the past couple months I’ve become confident enough in myself to recognize what I will allow and will not allow in my life. One of many reasons my ex and I broke up.

Looking into the future, I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen. Will he and I get back together? Will we be able to work through our issues? Will we be an “us” again? Will he put a ring on my finger ever again? Will we spend our entire lives together? I have no idea and honestly, right now, I’m not sure if I want to figure it out. Currently my goal is to handle right here, right now. Today was a step – I was able to recall happenings with the ex and share them with a friend without once feeling the need to cry. I won’t lie, I miss him. I miss us. I miss the messages. I miss someone telling me multiple times a day how much they love me. I miss a lot about him, us and the relationship in general. Even though there’s that longing it does not mean I’m about to get myself back into it all. My heart isn’t ready. So what am I going to do about my heart? The only thing I can think of right now is to keep pushing through, praying, reading the Bible, a couple other books, talking with people about where I’m at, working through the hurt and begin putting the pieces back together again. This is what I’m doing with my life today. Only tomorrow can reveal what it will bring.

Miss Super Sentimental

Sometime this afternoon the day became difficult and I became an emotional roller coaster. Unsure of what the issue was, I continued on through my day allowing myself to pause and take moments when I needed to. I had known this day was coming for a bit now, and yet somehow when it finally arrived I forgot about it. How does one forget what day it is? Easy – they don’t linger on the events of the past. As soon as I realized what the day was though – I was done for. At this point you must be curious, what is so special about July 12?

My mom had her graduation from school (Medical Assisting degree) this day last year, it was a Monday and I left work early to assure I’d be there for it. The previous night I had spent time with my ex and was already at the point of missing him terribly. I didn’t return home until late that night and was texting with him late into the night. I approached him with the concern of his commitment to the relationship, he told me to refresh my Facebook. At 1:39 in the morning of July 13th, I had a notification waiting for me to either approve or deny. It was the most he could do, and he said if he could do more, he would just to prove how important I was to him.

It’s always been about the little things for me. Dates and times are included in those “little things”. It’s just so difficult for me to fathom what all has occurred this past year. Exactly a year ago I was considered single, then a relationship, less than 6 months later engaged, and less than 6 months after that I’m back to single. What’s the most ridiculous part in all of this? I remembered the time of which I received the e-mail from Facebook, but confirmed it when I went through my e-mails and found it just now. Who keeps that sort of thing? Me. Miss Super Sentimental.
This evening I received an e-mail from him. This is an issue because we’re supposed to be in a time of no communication. His e-mail was pretty straightforward…

I’m doing my best over here to go along with this no communication.  I really am but I don’t like the trend of music you’ve been soundtracking.  You told me once that if I wanted to know what you were thinking all I had to do was ask what music you currently had on.  I don’t know that there is anything I can say to you other than I love you.  Whether you see it or not, I never wanted to hurt you.  If I had my way I would make sure you were never hurt by anyone ever again.  I don’t know what you are going through or how you are handling it but just like before, here I stand with as much love in my heart as I ever had.
I love you Danielle.  Even though every single person I know is telling me that i’m better off without you, I won’t stop.  I will pursue you.  Maybe not for months, maybe not for years, but you will someday comprehend my love for you.  I will stand before you unashamed and uncompromising until that day.

I shared with a dear friend that he e-mailed me and the gist of it, when she asked me how I felt about it my head whirled. Here is a man who I have absolutely no trust in, who isn’t supposed to be contacting me in any way shape or form telling me that he never wanted to hurt me (so then don’t lie, or tell only partial truths!), he still loves me and he will continue to pursue me. There were times earlier in our relationship where all I wanted was to be pursued, at this very moment though I want to be respected and honored to the point of which he does not contact me until I give him the go ahead – as we agreed upon. My heart gets tugged, my mind lashes out memories of last month, my heart still misses him though. This isn’t about him though – this time, these days, weeks, however long it is, will be about me. My heart. I have no idea where I’m going from here, I don’t even know what tomorrow will bring. All I know is, today is today. I lived through it. I pushed through and I am slowly healing.

Breaking Free

This past month has been such a chaotic time for me. Weeks spent crying at the drop of a hat. Thinking I’d never talk to my ex-fiance ever again. Searching for a place to call home. Giving up a puppy to take a different one. Watching a house be demolished slowly in an ugly fashion. Wishing to move back to Cali, the place of peace for me. Talking to my ex, discussing things with him, starting to work through things. Going back to the place of comfort. Recognizing the absolute need to move on and deal with my heart, my hurt, me. Planning (after essentially being told to leave by my parents) a trip which will remove me from this state over two weeks in August which will cover the date which was to be the wedding. Beginning to finish another goal (because everyone has wishes, hopes and dreams) and realizing the need to write about what’s happening.

While my goal for this blog will I’m sure seem muddied at first, I assure you that it is in existence out of pure necessity for my sanity. Every person in the world has a unique journey in their life, I just am willing to share mine with whomever would like to read it.

I mentioned all those seemingly insignificant things earlier, because they all do have significance to me and my life.

Since I left Cali in mid-May I have felt very unsettled. This is because I have been living in the guest room of a family’s house and I have never before found myself in a situation like this. For two years prior to my move across the country I lived with a roommate in my own apartment. I established myself. I settled in. I was home. Cali was an adventure – living in a house with 4 other girls, amazingly it worked out well but I still missed all of my things. I’d love to be in a place, and have all of my dishes, towels, movies, paintings and such with me.
– I still have things to find and recognize, so I can’t settle.

My parents decided to breed their two shih-tzu puppies and wound up with a litter of 5. Originally my mom fell in love with the first-born and wanted to keep her in the family so suggested I take her when I returned to PA, I agreed without hesitation. The puppy was the only one with more white than brown – one of her eyes had a brown patch – her eyes were different colors – she was a little rascal – she was the first to recognize when someone walked through the door – she had more spunk than she knew what to do with – she had an attitude and it was obvious she thought herself better than her siblings – I saw a lot of things in her that I have in me, she was perfect for me. The youngest of the litter wound up with a bit of a respiratory issue because her muzzle is shorter than normal so my mom didn’t want to sell her… Thus began the debate. Someone offered to buy the first-born (who I named Roxie) and when my mom talked with the lady she said about taking Roxie to obedience school and having her trained to do all kinds of things, she’d be home with her all summer because she is a teacher. It was hard for my mom to say no, so she asked me what I wanted to do. Eventually I came into an understanding and gave up Roxie and took Ava (the youngest).
– Just because I saw something as being the perfect situation for me, it doesn’t mean it really would be the perfect situation for me, let alone the other party.
– Letting go and accepting there are other things out there is tough, but you will be rewarded in the end. (Ava is a sweetheart… and her own type of rascal and little miss attitude. 🙂 )

My parents live right off of the main street in a small town, and a house on the corner had to be torn down. Day 1Day 8Final Destruction It was the news in the town, and probably will remain to be for a while. The interesting thing about the way they had to handle the destruction is that because it was on the corner with no room to go anywhere they had to gut it out and then chop away at the walls. They had to be careful too because the house next to it was actually connected electrically. The destruction on the house began the same day my relationship started to fall apart. The ugly, nastiness of the house was just a visual of what was occurring in my life. What came out of it – which you can faintly see in the Final picture, is the house next door was given a chance to leave their house in a different direction – there are steps which were hidden. The perfect synchronicity between the destruction of the house and my personal life was striking.
– Removing parts from your life is a careful process, but there’s a surprise waiting for you when you do.

Last week I approached my ex-fiance about taking time off from communicating with one another, after a bit of explaining he understood why I needed it but didn’t agree. This is the time in which I focus on me and my heart – I have experienced a bit of pain recently and need to allow my wounds to heal. This, is where we find me today. Still hurting. Still healing. Still moving forward.