I’m a Riser

Last night I had a dream that my mom gave Misty (my dead cat) away while I was away somewhere. I was sobbing in the dream, so hurt and pained, angry with my mom for ever thinking she would give away one of my little babies. I writhed in my sleep, and I remember faintly waking up and touching my eyelashes to see if I had actually cried in real life. I did. It made me feel like a child.

Its’ always hard to wake up from those dreams. How do you start your day by trying to work through complex emotions of depression all because you had a dream about your cat that died a few years ago now? I’m supposed to jump into yoga and get on with my day with this confused feeling of depression that stems from nowhere but your own subconscious?

I think part of it is unprocessed feelings towards my moms involvement with my cat’s death.

Misty died my senior year of college, about a year or two after my first cat died. Mom had forgotten her outside, and she spent the night under our deck. I don’t blame my mom for that, it happens. Misty used to be a stray, realistically she would have been fine out there. But I think Misty was bit by something. When I came home and found her under the deck, she had a miserable meow that was more than her just not having water for 12 hours. Her neck was swollen, she was taking painful, heaving breaths.

And we left.

We went up to see Lauren that weekend, so as soon as I got home from college we were supposed to turn around and head to West Chester. But I wanted to see Misty first, and that’s when I found her under the deck. I immediately started crying, I was so worried about her. But we left because my parents didn’t want to spend more time in traffic.

When we came home that Sunday, Misty was my first priority. She didn’t look any better, and she had taken to staying in the basement. I asked Mom if we could take her to a vet. Mom said no. If Misty was going to pass, she would pass on her own time. Because putting Tequila (our other cat) down was too much for my Christian, life-loving mom.

But in my eyes, instead of allowing Misty to pass on her own, my mom was being selfish. Be it not wanting to pay for vet bills, not wanting to have to put Misty down a few years later, or not wanting to take care of another living thing in the house while I was gone, I felt my mom had selfish reasons for not taking my cat to the vet, not allowing her live.

I hate to say it, because I love my mom and I think she is a good person. But I do blame her, in my mind at least, for Misty dying so soon. If I could go back, I would take her to the vet on my own and do whatever I needed to to make sure that if should could have recovered and lived a few more years, she would.

It still pains me that I couldn’t be there with her when she passed, as is. I’m sorry, Misty. You deserved more.

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This is the second time I’ve been in tears in about 24 hours (third, if you include my dream).

Yesterday I was upset about my damn birthday plans. My birthdays never pan out the way I want them to. It’s either close to Mother’s Day so no one can do anything, or it’s near finals week so people aren’t home. So, not to get into that, I’m already disappointed with my birthday this year. But that’s not the point of this part of the blog.

As I broke down in frustration and self-pity, Andrew was right there beside me. I could see the pain in his eyes at my tears. I know he always wants the best for me, that he wants me to be happy. And it many ways, he is responsible for my happiness. Between the massages, the millions of kisses, the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying, I’m very fortunate to have met him.

One of my favorite things about him, one that I overlooked in my previous relationships, is the support he gives me. I’ve always seen myself as fairly strong, but I can’t describe the feeling of relief the comes with just being able to bare your soul out there to someone. To be vulnerable and to need someone and have them be there for you in every way imaginable.

I’m reminded of it everywhere. When he rubs my back at the end of a long, stressful day. When we talk about our future together. When I listen to “Riser” by Dierks Bentley. When we watch one of our shows and the main character kisses his hospitalized girlfriend. It’s like I can feel Andrew doing the same for me in those scenes. I know that he has my back any time that I need it.

And it’s just so freeing to know that I have someone who will work his fingers to the bone for me, hold me through the bad times and dance with me during the good times, someone who will pick me up when I need it most, dust me off, and hold my hand until I get back on my feet. “I’m a get down low so I can lift you higher.” That’s exactly how he is.

He loves me unconditionally. I will be forever grateful for his love, for his support, and for him. I look forward to spending the rest of my life in the arms of my soulmate.

 

 

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I Will Try

It’s strange when it hits me.

When I roll over in the middle of the night and lay a hand on your chest. When I blow you a kiss as you drive off in the middle of a rainy Sunday evening. When I scroll through my own social media posts. And it happened today.

It’s strange to me just how much I love you sometimes.

I’ve been in relationships before, said “I love you” to people and thought I meant it. In some ways I had to realize what true love really is, what it means. Maybe it’s different for other people.

For me, true love is making goofy faces as you walk past each other at the gym. It’s crying in the car because you’re both laughing so hard at something the other said. It’s driving 4.5 hours to a wedding you couldn’t get into just to make sure they stay awake for the drive, then driving his hungover butt home the next day.

It’s waking up in the morning to a million kisses on my cheeks, nose, mouth, and forehead. It’s waking up in the middle of the night to apologize and cuddle after an argument. It’s knowing you can, without a doubt, trust the other person when he’s on his phone, because he makes sure you know how much you mean to him and how he would never do anything to lose you. It’s hearing the hurt in his own voice when I’m on the phone crying about some work stress. It’s rolling over in the middle of the night just to fall asleep in his arms again. It’s falling asleep as he strokes your hair, because he knows it will put you right to sleep.

It’s feeling safe in his arms, knowing he won’t let go. Knowing that when he says he won’t hurt you, he means it. It’s being respected in every aspect, and it’s feeling saved. It’s feeling whole.

As I scrolled through my instagram today, I was hit with a wave of gratitude and appreciation. In my mind, the difference is night and day between my life before I met you and after. I think back to what I was going through, what I was doing, how I felt. I was numb. I was empty. I was desperate to be loved by someone who was only using me because I thought that I loved him. I was hurt, but I wasn’t even helping myself. I was doing things I knew in my heart I didn’t want to do because I thought those were the sacrifices I had to make to be with someone.

It was all bullshit. And thank god I see that now.

My life changed the day I met you. I’d never really believed in soul mates before, but I know now that you’re mine. We’re too alike, right down to June 20, 1987, the anniversary that both of our parents share.

I didn’t know it yet, but I met my future husband back when I was 19. And when I met him again when I was 22, I was finally ready for him. I was ready to appreciate all that he is, all that he does. His heart of gold just waiting to be loved.

The other day I remembered that, as I flirted with him the night of my sister’s engagement bar crawl, I took a snapchat of the two of us. I jokingly captioned it “my future husband” and put it on my story. Little did I know how right I was.

We’ve been talking since May (officially dating since August), and we’re already talking about moving in together when his lease is up. Some people may think we’re moving too fast, and while I want to enjoy the moments as they come, I’ve never felt surer of a person. I told him I loved him while I was drunk in his car just three weeks after making it official, and I don’t regret it. He later told me he knew he loved me on August 13th – just two days after our first date. It’s right. Even Nana told me that she and my grandfather got married just six months after knowing each other. “When you know, you know.”

And I know. This is the man I want to be with for the rest of my life. Waking up in his arms, his soft breath at my back, on a lazy Sunday morning and not having to say goodbye just a few hours later.

I thought I was whole. I thought I loved myself. He shows me so much more. He completes me. And I’ll never be able to show him how grateful I am to have him, but I will try my hardest. As long as I live, I will try.

shawcaps

Love

Fuzzy Feelings and Blurry Pictures

Yesterday was a magical day all around. A warm February day, warm enough for me to wear shorts comfortably, I did some homework outside, my time at the gym felt incredible, I painted (!!!), did some yoga with Alex, and had an unexpected visitor (yes, the one I write about all the time). I was up for an adventure, and he was willing.

We spent the night as we usually do when we’re together – curled around each other, sprinkling kisses on each others’ skin, and laughing every step in between. I love the pattern we’ve fallen into, remaining independent, but coming together for special moments alone.

There were many moments I appreciated, but I think my favorite was I had turned over to finally go to bed, and he grasped my face, turned it toward him, kissed me, and said goodnight. An easy way to send me into some sweet dreams (though I can’t remember any because he kept me up with his snoring…).

The moments continued into the morning, wrapped around each other, him exploring his new surroundings for the first time. We rustled the sheets (sensually and otherwise) into the late morning. He was drifting off again, my head on his chest, his hand finding mine, when I told him we needed to get up and go to lunch if I was ever going to allow him to leave.

(Realistically, he needed to go home and enjoy a day off with his dog for once, and there was a lot of affectionate cuddling that depicted how neither of us wanted him to leave, so we had to spend as much time on each others’ skin as possible)

After lunch, I drove him back home, his hand finding my leg or my free hand (“mine,” he said) as he drifted back off to sleep on such a gorgeous day. I reminisced about how I loved sticking my head out of the car window when I was younger because damn is that wind exhilarating! Something that fueled my love for amusement parks.

It was a short goodbye and a “see you in a few weeks”, and for some reason it was really hard for me. I wanted nothing more than to stay in Middletown, go hiking, spend the afternoon with him, curl up on the couch after such a nice lunch and just continue the cuddling. I’ve grown to love being independent and having my alone time, and maybe it’s because I’ve been single for so long, so I’m hoping that slipping into any kind of relationship, titled or otherwise, doesn’t also send me back to being a more dependent person.

Anyways, it’s hard not to enjoy the days growing warmer (at least for the moment), and the feel of nature and fresh air on my skin is absolutely addicting. It reminds me of endlessly playing outside when I was younger, fresh air, a thin layer of dirt and sweat that clued you in to the fact that you just had an amazing day connecting to your friends in the presence of nature. With Phoebe and I going on our backpacking trip (July 5th!!), I can’t wait to douse myself in that feeling for two whole weeks. I really think it’s going to do my soul good.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to focus on my schoolwork due to the beautiful weather. I just want to sit outside, but College Park isn’t really conducive for just sitting and relaxing in nature (another reason I think it was so hard to leave my little mountain town today). Thank god I’m in my last semester, otherwise I don’t think I could make it.

I’m not even sure I want a white-collar job. I can’t see myself waking up for the morning commute, sitting in a little office, staring at the road in boredom while sitting in traffic on the way home, and doing it every day while trying to have a life and family outside of it. I personally have always loved blue-collar work (and workers). People that aren’t afraid to get dirty, people that are good with their hands, people that are fun! They don’t have to take work home with them, stress about the next project. They leave work at work, throw back some beers with friends, unwind, have a good time with each other! That’s what I want to do, and going to college may have been a mistake as far as that goes for me. Maybe in the future I will find a mix between my degree and what I do with my life. As with most Americans, I just don’t want to feel like my job is useless. But I do also want to keep bread on the table, while at the same time pursuing my interests and hobbies.

Clearly I’ve been itching to get out there and explore more of the world and of myself. I’m so close to that freedom! Life is good! Even sad emotions are signs that you are feeling and interpreting the world around you. Love that energy, embrace it. It makes the world better.

Love

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Remember that life isn’t always about the clear pictures. An honest, true, lovable life has blurry pictures that sometimes are more important. This one just happens to feature some of my favorite people in my life.

Around the Riverbend

Tonight I found out just how happy I am to feel, how powerful and brave it is. 

Most of my friends, some of my closest, all go through heartache. We talk about it, try to talk through it. I’m glad they feel comfortable opening up to me about stuff like this. 

But with one I always get so exasperated because he just doesn’t care. I don’t feel like he doesn’t care, but he honestly just seems so indifferent that I think maybe that’s just how he is, and it doesn’t make sense to me but maybe there are people in the world like him, that are okay with not caring, not feeling.

I personally think he just wants to be loved. I think we all want to be loved (watch an episode of Catfish, I think it boils down to we all want love). But if, somehow, he really is a person who wants to not care, I don’t know how to handle that, how to help.

It made me grateful for my emotions, and I think they help me process my situations. Of course I’ve been heartbroken more than once, and during those times I thought I wanted nothing more than to shed those desperate, devastated emotions and just pick up as my usual self. But I think working through those emotions has lead me to a better place, where I feel more confident in myself, I care more for others, I have a deeper sympathy because I’ve been there or I can maybe begin to imagine what it’s like. 

And once you finally claw your way out of that pit, you appreciate life so much more. Your happiness feels happier, your love stronger, less likely to shovel it on someone who won’t nurture it. 

I remember after Adam and I broke up I was alone for the first time since I was 15; I had no prospective love interest to lean on, to distract me. I had never felt lonelier in my life, never more desperate to distract myself through work and friendship. I dove into finding myself, learning what hobbies I truly enjoyed. And it’s made me a better person. 

Also during that time, I was shown love from the most unexpected people (in my opinion). People reached out, and I learned who really loved me and wanted to see me be happy, see me succeed. 

And how could I let them down? More importantly, how could I let myself down? I had so many people showing me love, and they saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself without the accompaniment of someone else: worth. Of all things, worth! 

I thought I loved myself, but I discovered that I hadn’t at that point! I attached my worth to another person, depended on them to reassure me that I was someone worth loving. How crazy! How naïve! 

Now I can confidently say I love myself. And I think openly navigating my emotions has helped me get there. So please don’t be afraid to endure those feelings, however miserable they may feel at the time. You never know what’s around the bend.

Love

I Don’t Even Know the Question

What can I say about finals week… Sleep deprivation, I guess. Lots of anxiety. I might have heartburn? Who knows. But I’m ready to get the hell out, even if it’s only for 12 days.

So I’ve had this interesting dilemma. As you know, I like to write, and I’ve always hated reading and writing love stories that are entirely based around a relationship rather than some other major plot points (Nicholas Sparks doesn’t count as plot points, I’m sorry, he bugs me). In all, or at least most, of those love stories, you know who the person will or should end up with, if it works out yay if it doesn’t what a tragedy. Real life isn’t like that. There isn’t this be-all-end-all person that you know you should be with. Some people might like or dislike some of your romantic choices.

As someone who enjoys reflecting on her romantic choices, I had an idea. What if I wrote a book that had a realistic amount of love interests, something that took place over several years, and they all had their strengths and flaws, like regular human beings? I bet you different audiences would have different feelings about who the main character should end up with, and sometimes it’s powerful not pleasing everybody. Like I said, it’s realistic.

However, my dilemma. I have based my story, my characters almost entirely on my life story. Part of me wanted this, in a sadistic yet cathartic way. I enjoy romanticizing my relationships; it makes them more fun to miss. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how hard it might be to go through all of these old emotions.

It’s important to me as a writer to accurately describe when someone is devastated by a loss, to embody just how empty she may feel. Of course, as I draw from personal experiences, I draw from personal emotions, and I didn’t understand how hard that would be. It’s literally just feeling sorry for myself again, something I don’t enjoy doing very often. I think the book has turned more into a letter to my exes, which could be very dangerous.

I’m barely halfway through my first boyfriend, and I’ve had to hold back tears, something I never thought I would have to experience with him again. But I suppose that when you are truly attached to someone, when you genuinely loved them, those feelings are going to come back no matter what. Not in a meaningfully romantic way, just as a reminiscent nod to the past.

It also doesn’t help to write these emotional moments to this song, but I suppose both are rather beautiful experiences.

I’ll let you know whether or not the book is worth publishing. Perhaps it’ll just become a memoir. All I know is it feels good to write again, especially when it means reflecting on your past choices. Sometimes you catch something you missed the first time.

Love