Life is a rollercoaster.
We all feel it. We all think it. We all say it. But that’s about as far as we let others into our lives sometimes. I’ve always prided myself on being open and honest about what I’m going through, but the last year has proven to be too challenging to open up with publicly.
In the last few months I have had some of the highest moments of my life so far, as well as some of the lowest. From seeing my child squeal with delight when I come into view to finding myself crying on the dashboard wondering what the hell happened.
Y’all. We never know what a day will hold until it’s done.
Yesterday’s affirmation was so appropriately timed I didn’t even know it until the day was over.
//My experiences make me stronger, wiser, and more prepared.//
They really do.
Especially when everything and nothing has changed.
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.
You know how we all experience things that we know no one else will understand or believe, but we will never forget? I believe that there are lots of those moments hidden within relationships.
There are the things which you have never experienced before and so when they do occur you literally (if you’re me) stop in your tracks and wonder how this could be possible.
The experiences of my past relationship seem to have all been preparing me to appreciate a mature relationship. You know, one in which you are actually respected and honored. This has become exposed to me by my friendships recently. I haven’t put a front on and attempted to be someone who I thought the other wanted me to be, and for that I have both gained and lost friendships. Those which I have gained (and sometimes even lost) have proven to be beyond beneficial for me. I’ve gained the types of friends you wish you could do more for to show your appreciation. One thing they all have in common though is the fact that they each have genuine concern for me, push me to understand why I feel what I feel, and are great at helping me work through problems without making me feel like I have more problems than I really have. I have had a huge issue in the past with trust. My experiences with guys is that which I have no trust in them, their decisions or even their friends because they never gave me a reason to trust them. So for me to trust someone is similar to lightning on a picket fence. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, not many are made aware. I’m currently working on trusting those around me, because if I can’t trust my friends who stand by me, how do I ever plan on being able to trust someone when I am in a relationship with them? Granted – a lot of it has to do with their character, but let’s all hope I’ve stopped attracting boys and am now attracting men. You know, those who deserve to be trusted.
The other night I was watching an episode of Sex and the City (oh yes – I own the entire series and am not ashamed in any way) in which Charlotte exclaims that no woman should ever receive carnations – they are the filler flowers! Meanwhile Carrie shares with her love interest that her favorite flower is actually a pink carnation.
The entire scene made me laugh – I’m with Charlotte on this subject completely. Carnations are the flowers which promote the beauty in other flowers. I believe that a female should never be given a bouquet of carnations. Sure, they come in all sorts of color varieties, can be found essentially everywhere, are easy to take care of and last a very long time, so you would think they’d be perfect. But they aren’t.
Now, ladies – it’s the same situation with men – there are so many out there. You have to be careful and make sure that you have a guy in your life that when compared to the others is like comparing a single stem of your favorite flower with a single carnation. When you find him, that’s the man you need to hold on to.
I know from experience that a single carnation is sweet, it doesn’t make me feel special or like I am important. It made me feel second class. Simply put, it was the wrong guy, with the wrong flower.
Over time most, if not every, person who is involved in your life will remind you of someone you once knew. Their disposition, physical features, personality – anything and everything. Lately this has been happening a lot regarding a few of my ex’s. I believe that the more you allow a person to impact your life, the more similarities there are to discover in others. It’s been interesting the past couple of weeks – I’ve noticed the slightest thing and immediately I’ve been transported to a time and place of the past. While these flashes aren’t always the kindest, they definitely are reminders of what I want to avoid.
I love how much knowledge it’s possible to gain just from experiencing something once.
Hollywood has created the perfect unreal relationship. In each movie, there’s always that singular moment which we all wind up searching for in our own relationships. The look, touch, sigh, song, kiss… Even the first intercourse between the two characters. No matter what it is – after that one happening the two are instantly a happy couple.
Why are we trusting an industry which is known for blowing things out of proportion, creating false realities, pushing people to become someone else, and lying as if it’s going out of style? Why are we looking to these movies, characters, and even the actors as guides to our own personal love lives?
Last time I had a first kiss there were no fireworks which shot off, and there was no perfectly timed and beautifully written instrumental piece which began to play in the background. Last time I saw a guy who I thought was attractive and caught eyes with, he did not come up to me and we did not immediately commence in witty banter. Last time I snuggled with a guy we had to adjust ten million times before we were both comfortable. Last time a date came to a close I walked myself to my car. Last time I allowed a stranger to buy me a drink it did not come with his number on the napkin, and he certainly never approached me. Last time I danced with a guy in a club it did not end with us leaving together, or even with each others’ numbers.
My life is no Hollywood movie and frankly, I’m thrilled it isn’t!
Sinking. Falling. Drowning. Gasping… Standing in front of him I realized he had no idea the power his eyes held. The moment his hand had so casually found mine was just another breath he didn’t remember taking. As his lips grazed mine I wondered why my stomach reeled as it never had done before. With the slightest of touches he pushed my hair behind my ear. It was then that I recognized all I had shared with him already was enough.
The variety of my laugh. The deepness of my eyes. The slightest twitch of my ears to keep from smiling. The absolute care for others. The ability to be so intense on a specific subject. The grace behind my movements. The nerd which attempts to hide behind perfume and labels. The assortment of my interests.
Enough to impress, I suppose. At this point, I’m forced to wonder – when did being impressive become my new standard? I thought I was attempting to be exceptional. One who wouldn’t accept impressing someone as reason enough. One who didn’t want to impress, but rather reach incredibly high expectations. One who was devotedly chased. What happened to that woman?