Clothed in Ivory

I’ve mentioned it a few times but never have I completely explained the story…

Last January, fresh off of becoming engaged to a guy in PA, I returned to California for the Spring semester at school. Every day I woke up asking for a sign as to what I should do – stay in Cali or move back to PA. Every day I searched and begged for a clear sign from God. Just one sign, that’s all I needed. The second to last Saturday in January I had decided that it was time to go to Sacramento and try on dresses. Just for fun. Because that’s what an engaged girl does!
When I walked into the store with three of my friends, I didn’t have an appointment. Because of a little bit of patience and others canceling, I managed to attain one 10 minutes later just as we were ready to walk out the door. As I found myself describing what I had envisioned for my dress I realized how real the engagement was. There was one dress which I had particularly noticed in my searches online. Sadly the store was not carrying it that day but the assistant said she would find a few others which were similar. Back in the fitting room she helped me get into one which was elegant, but I didn’t have that feeling. The second one she brought made me look 12 (because that’s easy enough to do already). The third went on and immediately I began to smile. The smile that slides across your face when you know something is right. Never one to believe something could be that easy, I tried on 9 more dresses (so a total of 12) before returning to that third one. The one which when I put it on for a second time felt even more right than the first. The smile was broader, the feeling was more right, the material was more soft, the fit more perfect. It was more in all ways good.
It was then that I was told someone in the store was purchasing the dress for me. The most beautiful dress was being given to me as a gift. The dress which was beyond my price range, someone wishing to remain anonymous was purchasing for me. The dress which symbolizes innocence and purity, was found. My sign which I had been asking for was being handed to me.
So I stayed. Grew and moved beyond the things which were holding me back. Eventually ended the engagement and stretched into the me of today. All because of that beautiful ivory gown.
The dress was a gift, and is a gift. It still hangs in my parents’ house. I refused to look at it for the longest of times. Just the other week I took my first peek at it and it is more gorgeous than I remembered. I have finally reached the point where when I think about or see the gown, I smile. Previously I believed it was too good for the occasion which it was to be worn. But I realized it was only because the guy wasn’t the right one. The dress will be worn, as a reminder of how good God is as well as symbolizing the innocence and purity it is meant to.
This time around, I’m determined to do things right.

Everything Except the Canvas

One of my roommates in Cali was a painter. A wonderful one at that. When she needed to refocus or just calm herself she pulled out her paints, paintbrushes, canvas and laid it all out – in the kitchen, in the backyard, in her room – it didn’t matter where. From time to time I’d walk by to watch her work. The way the colors all blended together, the strokes which filled the canvas, the layers which added depth – all amazed me. Near the end of my time there she brought out all of her supplies and asked the rest of us if we wanted to join her. After debating, I jumped on board. I love to be creative, and painting is something I haven’t really ever done – unless you count those pictures every child creates with the dollar watercolors or finger paints. As I watched an image that was only in my mind slowly be created on this canvas I was enthralled. When I finished the piece, the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming. I turned it around and wrote #1 on the back – as it was a gift to a very dear woman who had treated me as her own daughter while we were in school together.

Since then I’ve wanted to paint more. Back when there was a relationship in my life and the other person in it pushed me to find my own hobbies, I figured painting could be one of them. I wanted to be like Allie in The Notebook. Have a guy who loves her so much that even if she isn’t in his life he builds a house exactly like the one she wants – including a room just for her to paint in. *smiles* It’s sweet.  Well, anyway. Once the relationship ended I threw myself into work and activities, absolutely denying myself the ability to express myself in any form aside from this very blog you read. The desire to do something I had found pleasure in while he was in my life was stripped away. Only recently have I longed to pull out a canvas and create a world – one which only I had knowledge of. So what did I do? Well, I went and found a small collection of paints (a 12 color starter set of sorts) and a small bundle of paint brushes – Merry Christmas to me! The only thing I’m missing is the canvas. The blank slate. The empty world. The openness to whatever.

Isn’t that just the way it goes in life? We have to be open – willing for whatever is next before it hits and starts on a new picture (season) of your life.

I think I’m ready for my canvas now…

Another Life

A year ago I was in love. I was 2,400 miles from the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was in California for a year of training. Everyone who talked to me knew I was pre-engagement. The only time people saw me was at school, or maybe if they came to the house. There was barely anything outside of my life aside from him and school. I was surrounded by 1,200 others going through the same training, I had a group of 65 who were supposed to be there to support me, there was a small group of 5 which were meant to be my close friends, I had 4 roommates who barely knew anything about me… The first few months of my time in Cali, I wasn’t living my life.

Removed from that place and the relationship I now am seeing how many opportunities I gave up. How little I did outside of my relationship. I didn’t want to have a life in Cali, because it was a life without him. I didn’t want to connect with people, because I knew I was leaving in the Spring and never going back. I didn’t want to talk about anything outside of my relationship or him, people had to know that I was taken and things were wonderful – even if just from the outside. As far as I was concerned, my life was complete.

Why did I do this?
Because it was an unhealthy relationship based off of a mess of situations and therefore the actions surrounding the relationship were unhealthy and obsessive. I thought I had found love. True love. I was told I had found the type of love which only comes along once in a life. I believed all the things he told me about myself. He was my own personal “Mr. Know It All“. I was living a life which was so absorbed in another I had lost myself. I lost what it was I wanted to accomplish while in Cali. I lost what I wanted. I lost who I wanted to be… Thankfully things shifted sometime after the New Year.

Dang it’s amazing how when you look back you see what you missed out on… But at the same time, there was so much which happened and pushed me to grow.
I did step into the type of woman I wanted to. I did create friendships and bonds which will last. I did learn a lot about my future. I did study and walk away with more knowledge of God and His works.

All in all, the things I missed are made up for in the things I found.

Original Serious

Without hesitation I can walk through all that occurred this day last year. I could more than likely give you a minute by minute run down, but I don’t want to bore anyone.

All everyone really needs to know is that a year ago tonight was the first time he seriously asked me to marry him shortly after first meeting my parents.

This year – the situation is quite different. I don’t know if he’s still reading this, because last time we talked he asked if I wanted him to quit – I told him it was up to him. He shouldn’t take what he reads here as knowing how I’m doing though. So continuing on as though he isn’t reading and I really truly am just writing for me, as I am. Being back in Cali has been amazing. I forgot how much I loved it here. Of course, being around some of the most amazing people doesn’t hurt either. Earlier one of those amazing people asked how I was doing – as she knows the entire situation with the ex I openly shared with her (and attempted to summarize) what’s happening and where I’m at. She herself went through a lot and is now chasing after God with more fervor than most other people I know, so I listen to what she has to say. In the things I shared with her she was concerned for my heart and where I am. From her experience she knows the type of guy I’m dealing with. With every piece of me it hurt to hear someone else, on the absolute outside looking in, tell me something I’ve only thought.

When something is just a thought in your own mind it’s easy to not give too much weight to it. However the moment someone else brings it up you must face the facts and recognize that the thought which you didn’t dwell on, you really need to go back and study.

So this is me, really looking at the next steps of my life and wondering what I will allow to be part of it, and will not. I am still young, gorgeous, talented and amazing, I need to really start taking my own advice and not settle, in any aspect of my life.

One thing that really stood out to her was the fact that it took me giving an ultimatum for him to actually abide by my wishes. I still haven’t messaged him, as this weekend is just too much already, so he continues to be silent, which is awesome. It’s so nice to not have something looming over my head (which is exactly how I’ve felt recently, in all honesty) but at the same time I am feeling that need. All humans who have at one point had something be such a large part of their life do. I’m not thrilled that I’m feeling the need, miss or want, but, c’est la vie. One also shouldn’t have to treat someone who wishes to be their other half like a child…

All I keep thinking is – what do I want to have in my life, and what don’t I? What will I allow to permeate my life, and what won’t I? Where is my line and why am I drawing it? Where do I want to go, and when? Oh yes, the next couple of weeks shall be quite fun. *sigh*

I can’t help but feel as though these past couple of posts have been extremely scattered and I haven’t made any sense, so I do apologize if this is in any case the truth.

Disappear

My two weeks of being out of the state have begun. I had a lot leading up to it – thus, the silence. On Wednesday I had some plans fall through so I had an hour or so to play with in case anyone wanted to hang out before I left. He did. At least, all he said he wanted was a hug before I left because he doesn’t get to marry me, the least I could do was give him a hug (his words). We planned for him to come and meet me at my work around 5. Well, Wednesday just so happened to be the craziest day I’ve had at work in a very long time – one which included meeting with the President on a project I’m not sure whether or not I want to accept. 5 o’clock arrived and I was still meeting with a few co-workers in my office post President meeting and I saw him come up the stairs. What started out as a very gentle, sweet conversation rapidly changed to the issues we are causing for one another currently in our lives. I approached him about calling my best in Cali and talking to her at a very late hour on Saturday night/Sunday morning and how she’s my friend, my confidant, she’s a female and he shouldn’t call her at that hour, he needs males around him which he can talk to – he came back with how he wanted to talk about me and that he can’t do that with his guy friends…. Oh, so many issues. Anyway. I received two phone calls and a text from my co-worker in the next office wondering if everything was okay because we were raising our voices. Hey – it was past 5, the offices should be empty, also, I didn’t care. I gave him an ultimatum. I’ve had enough of me asking for no communication and not being respected or honored and him breaking it. Sick. of. it. I told him that if he contacts me in any form while I am out of the state this week, it’s over – I will never again talk to him. If someone who claims I’m the love of their life can’t back off for a week, whether they agree or not, and do what I ask them to, then that proves to me that I will never be respected the way I deserve to be by that person. It sucks, I hate that I had to do it, but I did – and I keep my word. I made it only until the event I’m at for this week ends and I message him. So, technically, I could find myself done with the event and messaging him on the same day at the same time he and I were to be exchanging our marriage vows.

Aside from all of this lovely that I have been handling, life has been a stressful mess. Still no home – out of the state another 2 weeks exactly – decisions on jobs need to be made – a wedding needs to be forgotten…

The event I’m at is a conference which focuses on how you as a living being is doing, the things which are part of your life which shouldn’t be, removing them, taking care of your heart, soul and mind essentially. It’s been interesting. Today was the first day and I’m finding things I didn’t expect to find, or even necessarily want to find. The main male speaker used to be a physicist (which, FYI – is what ex-fiance is going to school for, so all things Physics lead directly to thought of him) so he brings up science and physics a lot. Every decision we make today affects not only our immediate futures, but such an extent of our futures that it affects future generations – so how we handle situations is important. God wants us to come clean, admit all of our faults and turn away from them/change our ways of living. There are countless treasures waiting for us, so never settle for yesterdays gift today, ask for more and put yourself out there. Every lie – EVERY lie is a sin.
Today was foundation day – the rest of the week will focus more on rearranging the pieces which make up each person and removing the pieces which are unhealthy. Should be good.

I drove from the office yesterday right to the house which I’m staying this week – and when I left the office I started to cry. Pretty sure it’s because of the significance which these weeks hold and it was finally hitting me. My glasses got lost on the drive (don’t ask how) so I pulled off the highway to find them the exit was for London, but at the end of the ramp one could also turn to go to Mechanicsburg (a town in PA in which I currently work). Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but my heart is in England. A year and a half ago (pre-relationship) all I was thinking of was England, and how Cali was to be my springboard to living in England. My plans shifted just slightly, as I find myself back in PA. The place which I have lived the majority of my life, but I’ve never truly thought of it as home, let alone a place I’d like to spend my life. So the combination of the lost glasses and the towns was enough to hit me hard.

Only time.

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.