Elastic Warriors of the Universe

There’s something to be said about not being the victim anymore.

For the longest time, I knew my baggage was “my first boyfriend cheated on me, therefore I am teeming with trust issues so you should be empathetic when I’m crazy.” It’s not a fun place to be, and I thought I would be that way forever.

But something happened about a year ago, and I just stopped.

I didn’t want to be labeled as “the girl that got cheated on”, I didn’t want to carry that baggage with me into every new relationship I had. I didn’t want to be crazy about the trust issues, constantly wondering where my new boyfriend was at all times, worrying over who he was with, if he was lying to me about something. I noticed all of those tendencies slip into my second relationship. Slowly, my trust issues receded, which was such a big relief for me.

Eventually the trust issues came back full force, but that’s what happens when you date sleazy guys that are down for any attention girls throw at them (no matter how much love and attention you give them).

It took a long time to get over labeling myself as a victim. I felt I had an explanation, a justification for my overly anxious attitudes, that whoever I dated next would have to be okay with me being worried about them all the time.

One day I realized I just didn’t want to think that way anymore. I didn’t want to have to worry every minute of the day. I didn’t want to have to check up on someone all the time and then not believe him anyway because I was lied to in my first two relationships. Relationships are built on trust and friendship, and I couldn’t have a good one if I could only promise half of those characteristics.

I can’t even explain how liberating it was to finally let it go. I didn’t want to be the victim anymore. I didn’t have to keep lugging around this heavy, anxious weight all the time. Maybe it’s naive, maybe it’s resilience, but I decided I needed to trust people wholeheartedly again if I was ever going to find a relationship that gave that trust back to me.

I know I have a big heart, and sometimes that’s why I get screwed over. But I try not to let it make me bitter. I know that there is so much good in the world just waiting to be unlocked, that there is so much love being shared out there. I know that if I put love out in the universe, it will come back to me somehow. Maybe I can show others how to love, maybe someone will surprise me by showing me that I can love more.

I’m still not perfect, I still see the trust issues creep in every once in a while. But I see the progress I have made, and I’m usually pretty proud of it. I believe that one day someone will prove to me that trust is real and true, that loyalty and commitment are not too much to ask for in this modern dating world. Until then, I will be working on myself, perfecting how to breathe, let go, and let myself be vulnerable to others in the hopes that they prove their trustworthiness.

The point is, you don’t always have to be the victim. Heroes don’t have easy histories. It’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up.

Nightmares

So I usually go through about a week of nightmares after not having them for a long time, and this week has been nightmare week. I typically get pretty freaked out by my nightmares, especially if I wake up and it’s still dark. I’d love to know what happens to my brain when I have these nightmares because they are always so emotionally charged, be it paralyzing fear or heart-wrenching sadness.

So, I’m kind of obsessed with Game of Thrones (after rejecting the fad for so many years), and earlier this week I had a nightmare that was GoT-esque but it also involved my family. I was fighting beside my cousin and Jon Snow, and my sister was fighting in the same battle elsewhere. In the battle, Jon and my sister both died and I was consumed by this overwhelming sadness. I woke up in tears for only the second time in my life (that I can remember, anyway. The first time was after my first cat passed away and I dreamed that he was still alive and I remember crying in the dream because I was so happy, and I woke up crying in my then-boyfriend’s bed. He didn’t do anything to comfort me, by the way. Similarly, he did nothing when I cried over that cat dying… I should have known then, right?).

The most recent nightmare was a little more plot-heavy. The government was infecting people with this zombie-like virus that was killing people off very quickly, it seemed very end-of-the-world. But we knew that the government was responsible for it, so to combat it, people were essentially suicide-bombing government buildings or else sacrificing themselves in other ways (hoping I don’t get flagged by the CIA or FBI here). I was kind of trapped in this room while most of it was going on, but when I was finally let out into the newly desolate world, I found out that just about everyone I cared about died trying to take down the government. My sister, her boyfriend, my best friends, my coworkers, all gone. And in that moment I was fighting back tears. I knew that they did it so that I – and other survivors – could live and be happy, but I suddenly didn’t want any of that without them. I think my parents were even still alive, but the thought of having to tell them that my sister was dead was dreadful. I didn’t want to live in a world without these people. I woke up, thankfully not in full-on tears this time.

It was just very odd, very eye-opening. First, I wonder why I keep dreaming that my sister dies. Then, I marvel in the fact that it was so easy for me to consider suicide or martyrdom without these people in my life. I have never admitted to having any kind of suicidal thoughts (other than the dramatic what would people do when I’m goneteenage bullshit), so it was interesting to see that my own motivation for living just depleted when I learned that these people died. It was just strange to me.

Corri asked me if I had anything on my mind, anything unusual stressing me out. Nothing out of the ordinary, honestly. I think this is the least stressed I’ve ever been about school (senioritis!), I’ve been taking care of my mind and body, I haven’t fought with any of my friends lately, and it’s the same old with my love interest. I haven’t been eating or drinking before bed. The only thing I can think of is that I was recently sick and maybe this is an aftermath of my weird fever dreams.

Or maybe I’m just overdue for some kind of mental/emotional breakdown. I’ve been telling just about everyone for two weeks that I’m overdue, which I guess is true even though I don’t have mental breakdowns that often. Sometimes you need a good cry – one that doesn’t involve your closest friends and family members dying.

Anyways, it’s late, I’m tired. I started a new book the other day, one I wasn’t totally sure about, but it’s gotten pretty good lately. Slade House, for anyone who’s interested. Also, if anyone knows anything about dream interpretation and can help me out, that’d be cool, comments are welcome.

Goodnight, blogging family!

 

Nowhere Bound

Happy anniversary! I released my blog over a year ago, and I love how it has allowed me to express my own personal thoughts and feelings. It seems my blog has turned into a bit of a journal with a hint of poetry in there. And so the saga continues!

The rose-colored glasses remain glued to my face, and it’s causing quite an internal struggle. But even I’ve grown tired of analyzing. The heart wants what it wants.

I was talking about it with Mary the other night, one of the many people opposing our union. Normally I expect the “why won’t you listen to me” attitude that always comes with it (I rarely follow people’s advice), and part of it was still there, but she empathized. I told her how I struggle with letting go when there’s no one else waiting in the wings, and she said sometimes it really does take someone else to get your mind off of someone, for you to realize how good you can be when the right person comes along. It was nice. Different from the usual lecture I get from everyone.

That whole night was just incredible. I came home because Rosie finally came back from NOLA after being gone for six weeks! Heather and Kristen were both working too, and I convinced Mary to join for the evening (she said one drink and then stayed for, like, 5!).

Everyone went to Hollow (even Matt and Cliff – it was nice not to be avoided), where we continued our love fest. I wish I remembered a bit more of it, but from what I remember it was a great time. Heather complimented my confidence, said she truly thought of me as one of her closest friends because of a heart-to-heart we had months ago about religion. She said she hadn’t found anyone else who shared her beliefs, and I honestly hadn’t either until we discussed it. I think it made Kristen a little jealous, but I thought I was going to cry some tears of joy and appreciation. Confidence is something I rarely associate with myself, so for Heather to compliment me on it just seemed so stunning to me. It felt like I had finally finished climbing that mountain.

Rosie and I professed our love for each other, something that has since become easier for both of us. We’ve grown very close over the last year together, and I feel pretty honored to be considered a close friend of hers. She’s had a difficult past, and I feel like I have earned her trust, which, to me, is another accomplishment.

I truly believe that everyone wants love. And with Kristen, I think she doesn’t feel as loved as she wants to be. I think that’s why she was a little hurt at Heather’s words, that maybe she doesn’t fit in as seamlessly as she wants, and I feel for her on that. This is probably the first time in my life that I feel truly accepted and celebrated among people. I want Kristen to have that, to find that, to be happy and loved in the way that she needs. I need to start being a better friend to her, because she’s always there for me, and she is a good person.

Hollow ended with a terrible cartwheel that has since turned into a giant purple bruise on my knee. My cheeks hurt from grinning all night, the air filled with laughter and shouts that fogged my heart and brain. There has only been one other night that brought me such happiness at Hollow, and that was the reunion of the Main Cup legends.

Thankfully this time I didn’t have any redbull vodkas. Although that may be why I first fell asleep in Zeus’s bed.

* * *

I stumbled into your house, the glowing light pantry light illuminating the hardwood floors in golden light, that familiar, musky smell the first thing I notice. I grabbed myself water, knowing my hungover self would thank me in the morning, and followed you up your secret staircase.

I not-so-gracefully made it to your bed, stripped down, grabbed some of your clothes, and fell into your awaiting arms, sprawled sideways on your bed. The snippets of conversation trickle into my head, sprinkled with drunken giggles and lots of love. (There’s no doubt in my mind that drunk you loves me).

Something about apologizing, clarifying from the week before. I finally got to tell you just how wonderful I think you are. You squeezed me so tight to you, your kisses falling on my skin like dew drops. Then we fell into a deep, hard sleep.

As usual, I woke to the sunshine streaming through your tiny window, cursing its light after getting four hours of sleep, my throat dry from salty tequila. I had more room in your bed than usual, even with Zeus on the bed. Everywhere I rolled, your arms were there, waiting. You wanted to be close to me, to hold me while you could. Your comfort. Your safety. Your love.

I was wide awake, moaning about my hangover, your happy chuckles punctuating my stories and complaints. We tried filling in some parts of the previous night, but with little luck. I told you how I missed your dog so much at school that I demonstrated to my roommates how I wanted to hold him. I felt like a toddler fighting sleep, completely ignoring the fact that your parents were home.

Sleep finally gripped me again, and you clutched me close when it did. I dozed off for another hour or so before I finally woke you up with more murmurs and kisses. I laid back down while you manhandled Zeus, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the body that matched your personality. The spark ignited, and I couldn’t help but stare. I’m glad you weren’t looking so that I didn’t have to stop.

You crawled back into the bed under the covers, biting my hip as you did so, and I knew where it was going. I slid the covers over my head, looking at you under its blue-ish hue, afraid to lovingly touch your head as I usually do because of your injury the week before. But you grasped my hand and showed me I didn’t need to be that gentle, though I was still careful.

You bore your weight on me, hugging me tight. Your green eyes stunned me against the blue of the blanket behind your head. You took your time with the kisses, something I hadn’t expected. I guess you remembered me telling you that neck kisses are my weakness. I just wanted to examine your eyes, but I couldn’t do it without blushing, your unblinking gaze striking right through me.

When it was over, you kissed my sweaty forehead, fingers tickling my palms, finding a way to recreate the intimacy while being separated (and cooling down). There’s something so intimate and caring about the hands.

You rubbed my back (you owed me) before you fell back to sleep. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from you. The promise of our next meeting hung in the air, as if you’d stopped fighting me, electric as the promise of a summer thunderstorm.

 

The Only Path is the One You Follow

Spring break is almost here! I know it’s going to fly by, as I’m planning on working 7 out of the 9 days I’m home and generally have fun stuff planned the other days I’m home. Hopefully I’ll find time to hike and get a little more realistic incline in.

So, I have an interesting “problem” I guess. More of a thought and situation. Have you ever loved someone but wanted them to go back to their first love? My love interest used to date this incredible girl. I hated working with her because she was so bossy, but the more I read her blog, learned of her personality, saw more of her heart and mind, the more I liked her. She’s beautifully artistic and she radiates confidence. Things turned messy for them, and they ended things on not-so-great terms, meaning whenever she makes her way back to our little town, her old place of work, the bartenders will warn him he won’t want to mingle tonight. The last time they were in the same building, he finished his food and left without a second thought, didn’t even come out for drinks with everyone that night to get his mind off things.

I know he was really hurt by her, more than I think he has ever let on. I have heard him talk about her, both in admiration and in bitterness. They are both such beautiful souls that I’m not sure he will ever love anyone as much as he loved her. What stuns me is that I’m not jealous when he talks about her, but I genuinely feel sorry for him. I want them to be together, even though I have such strong feelings for him. Even when I ask the universe for him, I want him to be with her because I think they could be the greatest love story, so passionate and pure. High school sweethearts, best friends, both fiercely independent but with gentle love for each other. It’s beautiful to me – I have so much respect for it. Which is weird right? I’ve asked the universe for this man! Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should ask for his happiness and see where it leads him. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a good love story.

Maybe I know how he feels. Because who doesn’t wonder what could have been?

Another thought I’ve been wrestling with constantly is my relationship with my best friend, and I think I’ve expressed it before so I’ll keep it short. Shouldn’t you be in love with your best friend? The one you’ve known since high school, the one where you can mutually tell each other everything, you’ve met each others’ families and it’s not strange to just spend all day together doing nothing and still having  a good time. I want nothing more than to love him, and I know so many people that agree and want to see us together. But there’s something in me that just can’t picture it, and I wish I knew what it was. But shouldn’t I listen to that gut feeling now? Before it’s 20 years down the road and I’m regretting not branching out in my life?

If you had the chance, would you want to know your future? I think I believe in some kind of predestination. It’s the least anxiety-inducing method of looking at the future. Everything is as it should be. Whatever happens, it is for a reason. I think I had to adopt that method, because the pathways were just too expansive for me to think about all of them, about every person I could be.

I actually remember that moment that I settled on predestination. I was hiking by myself, I think in Gambrill. My sister had recently been going through some of her anxious/depressive thoughts, and she shared with me that sometimes she felt overwhelmed by all the choices she could make in her life and all of the paths down which she could go. And I told her that I shared those same anxieties sometimes.

I remember when I was choosing which college to attend, I was like this decision is going to decide my life. And in many ways, it does. But I was worried that I would choose the wrong college and somehow miss out on meeting my future husband. Which is crazy for an 18-year-old to be worried about. (Although maybe I was right since, ya know, still single).

But on that hike, as I followed that beaten path, the one forged by so many others before me, set up by the parks’ services, I realized there is only one path in life. You can take many directions, you still have the chance to choose. But what if choosing is an illusion? What if your path is already predetermined, that everything is already aligned for you, all you have to do is follow?

I was very relaxed then, like I had just figured out life. All of my anxious thoughts were put to rest. It’s very easy when you think “what I am doing is what is supposed to happen.” That the universe is constantly guiding me in the right direction. It helps me have faith in my decisions, but I still don’t make choices blindly (not all of them anyway).

Anyway, here’s to love and other drugs.

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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

Solemn Joy

Break was over in a flash. Those 12 days flew by in a blink of an eye. I was genuinely sad that I would be returning to College Park so soon. I was rarely in my house long enough for me to be annoyed with it, I feel like I didn’t get a sufficient amount of time with my friends (though I got to see all of them in one break which was great — all it took was 12 days).

I took care of my friends animals, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by so much fur. They were all so loving, and having each of her cats purring on my chest gave me the joy of what I think a mother feels when her child falls asleep on her. I guess I’m more of a cat person, and that shouldn’t be a bad thing. I love both species so who cares.

Some unexpected turn of events occurred over break, some that shocked me to my core. My friend’s dad killed himself right before Christmas, and I can only explain it as horrifying for all. I was told right before one of my shifts, and all I could say was “oh my god.” It was so intense, so pure and terrifying. I thought I was going to cry, and I questioned why I would feel so strongly for a man I had only met once. Looking back on it, I think I was moreso crying for my friend. The heaviness in my heart as it yearned to be with him, to support him in such a devastating time.

Our friends bound together in support. Our coworkers put together baskets. Everyone I talked to either went to the viewing or the funeral.

It was incredibly solemn that Tuesday. Dressed in my mom’s black dress, because I didn’t pack any funeral clothes for my trip home. Why would I? My heels clicking through the church, sun trying to shine through the stained-glass windows, I sat with some of my closest friends, and I experienced something with them that I never thought I would have to. I watched as we all dealt with the grief. We all cried while trying not to cry. We listened as our friend delivered a strong, inspirational eulogy for his own father. We watched as Scott’s friends gave their speeches. It was a strange moment for me to watch grown men cry and learn that they cry like I do, that they can’t talk, they have to take sharp breaths, they have to stop and swallow that rock hard lump in their throats.

The entire time I sat in that church, I questioned. I’m not a fan of organized religion, though I believe in a higher power and I’m comfortable with calling it many names, including God. Is this how this man wanted his funeral to go? Was he really saved when the bible says suicide is a horrible sin? I tried not to get too philosophical, tried not to roll my eyes out of respect for this man and his family, my friend.

I questioned whether my friends were trying not to cry in the same way I was. I wondered whether one day we would be up there, delivering eulogies for our friends well before their time on this earth should have ended. As I sat wedged between Nick, Will, and Roeder, I wanted to hug them all. I wanted to touch them, hold their hands, hug them close, but I thought they might think I was being too emotional. Looking back, I should have done it. But I know that we were all trying to make it through without having an outburst or a panic attack.

When it was over, I could see Roeder’s red eyes, Will and I wiping our noses, sparing small smiles for each other, trying to revert to our natural, goofy states in a way that almost felt inappropriate. Nick remained dead-eyed. Sam (who performed a beautiful piano solo) and some others found us, all teary-eyed too. In that moment, I tried to be solemn out of respect, but I think it’s amazing the power of positive energy. How some people’s innate nature is to be happy, to make others laugh. I think it’s the most beautiful power in this world, to laugh and be happy even in the face of such devastation. In that moment it was nice to know that I have that power within me.

When we ventured to the basement for food, we all clung together, sitting together so tightly at those plastic tables that it almost felt like lunchtime in high school. A few of us didn’t say much, but it may have been the hardest I laughed all break. I wanted nothing more than to hold them all there, keep them so happy and lighthearted. And I hope that is a moment burned into my memory forever, when we were so young, too young to experience a death so close to our hearts, to our circle, and everything felt raw and desolate yet happy.

We found our friend, said our goodbyes. The rest of the day went by in a bit of a hollow blur. I cried to my sister afterward, still processing the day’s emotions. The rest of break went by without a hitch. We all kind of huddled closer together after that.

And now I’m back in College Park — too soon, I feel, but I look forward to the promise of Friday, when my friends will surround me again. My Spanish class isn’t the worst it could be (though I did study 233 words for my exam tomorrow). It’s nice to only focus on one class right now, and I might be in for a rude awakening come spring semester. I’m taking some time for myself. I’ve been doing yoga every day because I can’t bring myself to do more than 2-3 aerobic workouts a week right now.

This blog wasn’t exactly what I thought was going to happen, but it felt too important not to share. I’ll get back to you later.

So much love

Rest in Peace Scott

Enigmatic

Recently I’ve come to question if I’ve ever been in love. I have loved, I have felt loved by friends and family, but I don’t know if I have ever had a pure, deep, romantic love.

I had to think about whether or not I knew what love is. It isn’t really a checklist of items, values you look for in a significant other. I tried to figure it out on my own, but maybe I’m thinking too much. Is love just a feeling? Is it a mental effort? I’m still not sure.

I don’t want to downplay any of my past relationships. At those points in time, I felt very in love. But I’ve come to question whether it was love or an expectation of what was the next step in the relationship. So I’ve been reevaluating, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Love is trust – You can’t be an anxious mess every time one of you does something without the other. If you can’t trust the person you are with, then you need to look at whether it is because you are being jealous and overprotective or if the other person is the cause of the mistrust. But in order to be happy and healthy, there must be trust between you.
  • Love is being patient – Your significant other is going to endure the ups and downs of life regardless of whether or not you are by his/her side. To love that person is to help them carry that baggage, ease the load. If they cannot come to you for help, you are not helping each other grow as people. The best way for someone to endure their hardships is for them to have help. You can’t be that person if you’re going to be angry with them for all of their troubles.
  • Love is communication – As a comm major, I cannot stress this enough. Relationships involve a multitude of communication levels. You need to be able to talk through problems. Not only that, but you need to remind them that they mean something to you. Just by simply talking, the other person may feel important, loved, like you genuinely want them in your life. I’ve faced two long distance relationship as I go through my college years, and I’ve learned that all the little details of the day are not that important, but you miss out on so much of each others’ lives if you simply don’t put the effort into talking.
  • Love is kindness – You should not be the person solely responsible for your significant other’s happiness, but you should be a positive force in their life. I personally refuse to use derogatory names with my significant other. Words are words, but they can stick with you. I will never seriously degrade someone I should love with such hurtful language, and I will never accept someone who says such things of me. You must love yourself above your partner, because then it’s not a competition and you can be truly happy for and with one another. Your words should be positive, you should build each other up. Believe in each other.
  • Love is interest – Sharing interests seems trivial, but it’s important. Even if you don’t share these interests, it’s important to show interest in one anothers’ hobbies, of these things that make you happy, what makes your partner happy. If they feel they can’t talk with you about an important part of their lifestyle, their identity, then that discourages communication and connection.
  • Love involves effort, but it shouldn’t be an uphill battle through and through – Love can be a struggle. My first relationship lasted two years, 18 months of which were spent apart, trying to love each other from different states. It wasn’t easy by any means, and we faced our fair share of troubles, but the most important aspect is that we were both willing to work through those struggles to try and come out the other side stronger. Sadly, as we grew up we understood we were growing into different people, but it’s important to understand that life is not going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. You will be tested, you will face your own struggles. It’s when one of you stops trying that the love quickly dissipates. (Another strange thought: it takes two to start a relationship and only one to end it)
  • Love is support – For all the reasons above, support one another. You may have different interests – be happy for their successes in those interests. Be there for them when they are discouraged, when they are fighting a hard battle. Loving is not leaving someone in their time of need. Loving is being there for them through the good and the bad.
  • Love is being two people – I struggled with this one for a while, and I think I finally have it under my belt. Sometimes you think that time apart means they don’t want to be with you, and that’s not true. It’s important for you to be your own person, be someone who complements your partner and vice versa. Maintain your friendships, those relationships with other people you love. Pursue your interests, your dreams. It’s okay to be your own person, and if you can come together as two different people that bring out the best in each other, then you have succeeded.
  • Love is laughter – As someone who has always seemed to like the brooding type, take it from me: life is too serious to be serious all the time. You need someone who is going to make you laugh, and you should be a happy, positive force in your partner’s life.
  • Love is friendship – These two kind of go hand in hand, but I can tell you I have never been so happy as when I realize my significant other is someone I would genuinely be friends with. You love who they are as a person. You know each other’s secrets, fears, hopes. You make each other laugh. You can be yourself. Someone is going to love you for being unapologetically you. And you in turn will love someone for who they are.

This list may change and grow as I get older, but who knows. Maybe it will change the next time I am shown love. I can’t predict the future.

I hope this helps someone who needs it.

Wise Beyond Her Years

 

I’ll Be There For You

The hum of the A/C, the whir of the dryer, the glare of the lamp against the off-white walls, the animated conversation punctuated with giggles. What a nice lullaby to end the day. I think the constant buzz of city life has finally gotten to me. When I was home last weekend I couldn’t fall asleep, and I think it was because it was so quiet. It’s frustrating – I love quiet.

There’s really nothing to report today, no spontaneous adventure to scatter throughout, no do it for the blog! moment today. Sometimes you need a reminder that doing nothing, having a normal day, is okay. I even wrote about that for my English class.

The other day my friend was telling me how hard it is to make friends here, and I definitely agree. I was fortunate enough to be placed with roommates that I really click with, that I would consider friends based on more than just being stuck living together, and that’s a great feeling to have. We’re all going our separate ways next semester, but at least I can use going to see them as an excuse to get out of the apartment.

What’s better is that some of my friends from home are visiting me tomorrow! After enduring a trying couple of weeks, this is definitely the best medicine I could ask for.

There’s nothing more valuable in my life than the friendships I have made. Funny enough, I met all of these people coming to visit me through working at The Main Cup. I could make my experiences at the Cup its own blog series, but I’ll save that for another “do nothing” day. General idea, I love my job mostly for the people I work with.

So I’m going to take a moment to tell you about some of these special people.

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(Yes, this picture was taken from a video on snapchat. If there’s one thing this blog had been consistent with, it’s low quality pictures with high quality fun.)

This is Timmy, the mastermind behind all of tomorrow’s plans. He started working at the Cup a month or so after me, and back then his curly hair was so long he reminded me of Bernard the Elf from The Santa Claus. He’s always the life of the party with his outgoing, positive personality, and quick-witted sass. Somewhere along the line one of our inside jokes became him being my cat? I don’t even know how that happened, but thanks to this guy I get to see some of my friends from back home tomorrow. And he taught me how to chacha! (Pictured above).

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Left to right, this is Sam, Will, and Roeder on one of the many spectacular nights in Will’s basement.

Sam is musically gifted – I’m talkin’ incredible. He’s also just a kind human being. I remember during June when I was going through a rough breakup, Sam asked me how I was doing and I told him truthfully I wasn’t doing that great and that I was supposed to have the “closure talk” later that day. He texted me that night saying that he hoped it went well because I deserve the best. During that breakup I was shown so much love from so many surprising people, and it really helped me realize that I would be okay, that I was surrounded by love. Sam was one of the people to show that to me, and for that I’m grateful.

Oh boy, what could I say about Will… He has easily become one of my better friends throughout the year because of his sense of humor. Even though his horrible jokes make me roll my eyes, his physical humor has me in tears almost every night I work with him. He also brings Altoids (“you mean, Draco Malfoys”) to work all the time, and it seems like a bonding experience between us for some reason. He also made this video back in high school. He showed it to me on New Years Eve and I was in tears, again, laughing so hard. You just… you have to watch it.

Roeder and I have a funny history. We’re family friends, and my mom goes walking with his mom almost every Saturday morning, and I’d say they’re best friends. Though I’ve known him since I was probably nine or ten, we never really became friends with him until he started working at the Cup. He has this habit of never shutting up, and I remember there were nights that Zac and I would look at each other and say “whose turn is it to yell at him?” I’ve made some attitude-y comments to him at work before, but the good thing is that’s never slowed him down or hurt out relationship. He’s at UMD with me now, and I always have someone to watch the games with and talk to about the latest Marvel movie (my roommates aren’t into sports or superhero movies. Bummer.).

This is Ryan. Unfortunately he won’t be joining us tomorrow, as he goes to school all the way out in Ohio (and I’m hoping to visit him in April – imagine the blog then…), but I felt like I had to include him, and he’s already visited so I’m not really breaking any rules.

We’d both gone to Middletown since elementary school, but I didn’t really get to know him until eighth when we were both part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (back when we were actively religious), and we immediately clicked and became close friends during that year.

Early high school we didn’t really see each other, but junior year we both had chemistry. Naturally, I was horrible because chemistry is part science, part math, but we got to choose lab partners and eventually we chose to work together. We quite literally rekindled our flame over bunsen burners…

I’ve always been able to talk to Ryan about anything, and so many of my favorite memories involve him: sitting in the trunk of my 4Runner on a hot summer day just killing time; having a few beers around a bonfire, taking turns choosing music; going to Hershey Park in eighth grade (2009) and again in 2015; taking trips to Rita’s, where we would share bites of each other’s flavors, and he would usually end up finishing mine because I take forever to eat; going out every night in Ohio, and staying in every night in Maryland (fun fact, I drove almost 7 hours to see him in Ohio, he drove almost 8 hours to see me at UMD for one night over his break. What an awesome friend.) I would definitely consider him my best friend.

Him and…

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This guy! Alex. He and I have also known each other since eighth grade, when he dated one of my friends at the time (oh those middle school romances). We had a few classes together in high school, and we would always talk but I would’ve considered him an acquaintance at the time. Also during junior year, as I rekindled my friendship with Ryan, he invited me to go longboarding with him and Alex. That’s when it really turned into the golden trio.

Suddenly we were going on these longboarding expeditions all through town and up in Braddock, and most days when I got too tired we would find a place to chill, sit on our boards, and just talk about life. We jokingly called ourselves “RAD” – Ryan Alex Dani – but my favorite is the likeness to Harry Potter – Ryan with his black hair, me, the girl with the brown hair, and Alex, the redhead.

Unfortunately I never took pictures of us all back in high school, so this is the only picture I have of all three of us together, taken a few months back.

During senior year, Alex and I had a bit of a falling out for personal reasons, and at the end of senior year, before we could make up, he and his family moved to Australia. I was devastated, sure I’d never see him again and that I’d just lost a friend forever. I don’t remember when or how it happened, but we started talking again over Facebook, and then we started skyping every once in a while to catch up. We fell back into being friends, and I’m beyond thankful.

Alex has always been protective of me, the older brother, though he’s the youngest of the trio. He and I have deeper conversations, and when I come to him with my problems he will always be the person to tell me what I need to hear, no matter how hard it is. I know he’s just looking out for what is best for me, and I think it’s important that everyone have someone like him in their lives. Lucky me, I have him in mine. I have both he and Ryan in mine. I do get a small sense of pride, saying that one of my best friends lives halfway across the world, and I’m proud of us for staying so close. When I was thinking of studying abroad in Australia, we had even talked about being flatmates! Thanks for the disappointment, ARHU…

(I had to break the rules for Alex. Of course he hasn’t visited me, he’s in Australia, so cut him some slack)

I have several other friends that I didn’t include just because they haven’t visited me yet (I’m lookin’ at you, Mary!), and maybe I’ll make that its own post sometime. I just wanted to share with you how happy I am to know that I have these amazing people in my life, and I am lucky enough to call them my friends.

I can’t wait to make more memories with these people. Look out UMD, The Main Cup is comin’ for ya!