Making It Right

I’m probably just going to start adding whatever music I listen to while I write these blogs.b6b4e185-fd16-4375-aaea-1d4bb43ab981

So life’s been busy between the end of the school year winding down and my new hobby as a writer for the Odyssey online.

I celebrated my sister’s birthday, had a questionable weekend at home the next weekend, and just celebrated my 21st this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s finally here! I no longer have to be nervous going out to the bars! It’s so freeing.

With the questionable weekends I’ve had, I have been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to figure out why I was doing somethings that were so unlike me. Of course, I still feel a little lost, and I’m so sure I overthink things.

One thing I asked myself is what I want, on a small scale, from a boyfriend. Everyone says the other person should bring out the best in you, and I was questioning what that meant to me. My first boyfriend was/is a wonderful person, and I think he helped shape my kindness and understanding towards others, but there was some part of me that felt like I had been forced to be this person, fit this mold that I wasn’t sure suited me; it didn’t feel completely natural to me. But I figured he was bringing out the best in me, so it should be a good thing.

As I’ve grown, I think “the best of me” is something other than kindness and understanding. I exhibit those traits on my own, without feeling forced. I have always been such a shy, timid person, and I don’t like to be pushed out of my comfort zone. Often I fight it and recede if someone tries to make me do something I’m not ready to do. However, I have also noticed that I’m willing to do something different and new and make a fool of myself if I am encouraging someone else to do the same.070d3aa8-5192-4e22-9c98-1e286d373704

I think I need someone who is about as outgoing as I am, so I can be happy and positive and encourage them to try new things. I think it will encourage me to step out of my own comfort zones and help me become a better and more outgoing person. As someone who has typically been drawn to more outgoing people, this hasn’t been an easy feat. I’d rather not have it be a competition because that shuts me down for some reason. I guess it’s a person problem? Although I can’t really say that I dislike that about myself, so maybe that’s just how I am at this point in my life.

All I know is I shouldn’t feel embarrassed and regretful because of someone I have feelings for, and I’ve been upset with myself because of my questionable weekends because those feelings of embarrassment and regret occurred. Just thinking about it today, I cringed. That’s not how it should be. I need to take a step back and gather myself, preferably before I go home for the summer and face my questionable decisions, but I think that may be too much to ask.

Side note, you should also never feel absolute rage when thinking of your significant other/someone you like. I am a fairly patient, loving person, and while it doesn’t take much to annoy me, it takes a significant amount of effort to make me physically angry. On the rare occasions I have experienced this rage, I knew I could no longer be with the people that caused it. Never be with someone who brings out the worst in you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my friends. We have a complex relationship, and I’ll leave it at that, but I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate him. Ever since I’ve met him, he has been the kindest, most understanding person I have ever known. I have never seen him be negative towards anyone, and he always tries to put smiles on others’ faces, and that’s something that not a lot of people do nowadays.

We have always had the deepest conversations. I haven’t known him intimately for more than a year, and I have already shared with him more than I have shared with anyone. It’s nice to not have your walls up, not hide behind humor, and I sincerely appreciate him for that. He knows what is at my center, and when I confide in him my thoughts and feelings on certain, touchy subjects, he has always had a gentle hand at calming me down and helping me see myself – if that makes sense.

And I think I helped him too. When we first met, he really hid behind his jokes whenever we started talking about personal stuff. I called him out on it, and I showed him some love for opening up to me.

I think it just goes to show that people are scared to be themselves because they don’t know how other people are going to react. Everyone is really just looking for acceptance, be it from others or from themselves. I can’t stress this enough: be kind to people.

So many people out there deserve so much love. Be that person.

With genuine love.

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Genuinely appreciate those who came out for my 21st, as well as those who endured the morning after with me 🙂

 

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Too Strong to Lose

I had an epiphany today. You ever have those moments where when it finally hits you, it’s like you’ve unlocked secrets within yourself? That “aha” moment where it finally makes sense? Very liberating.

Funny enough, it happened because of a video I saw on Facebook. It was about the bond and love between mother and child. Maybe it was the hangover, but it made me very emotional. I have always struggled between wanting children, but being afraid to. There are a number of reasons, for example I’m horrible with doctors, needles, and pain. I’m not that great with kids, either. Not bad, just not great.

Recently a new concern has popped into my mind: everyone always says they never knew how much they could love something until they had a child. But I know this world can be cruel. What happens when my child has her heart broken by a fool who couldn’t see what she was worth? When other children bully him for his interests and passions? Even at my current age, seeing someone I love in pain hurts me deeply. What happens when someone I created, someone I love on a level I can’t comprehend yet, gets hurt? I imagine it will break me to my core. Part of me is afraid of loving someone that much.

Over the years, I have been left heartbroken by a few people, and it has left me with this wall (to use the cliche). I struggle between being guarded and just letting myself feel freely. I have received broken promises, yet each time I am hopeful that maybe it will be different. It’s getting easier not to get my hopes up, and that’s been discouraging to me in a way.

I feel that I have to let things roll off my back and pretend they don’t hurt me, that I have to hold onto this air of not caring so that I can pretend to myself and to others that I’m not bothered. As if feeling something makes me weak.

But it doesn’t.

My epiphany: loving takes courage.

I’ve heard this before, seen it several times, and I’ve always agreed with the statement, but something in me today just clicked and it finally resonated with me.

It takes courage to make yourself so vulnerable to people. I’m not saying throw yourself headfirst into any feelings you may have, but to be open to loving someone with your whole heart, not withholding anything to protect yourself, is a brave act.

As someone who has been hurt in the past, and I’m not the only one, I have been discouraged from any kind of relationship with someone because I don’t want to feel that pain again, I don’t want to be played for a fool again, I don’t want to have my emotions toyed with again. Loving someone, being in a relationship – it’s taxing. It can be emotionally traumatic.

It’s not uncommon for a bad relationship to turn someone off to the idea of love. They feel it is better to be alone and content than give someone permission to affect their emotions. “Space is just a word made up by someone who’s afraid to get close.”

And that’s true, being alone is the safer option. Depending on your viewpoint, it may or may not be easier, but it is safer; you are responsible for your own happiness. Everyone says this as a way of saying “you’ll be okay, that breakup was rough, but you’ll be okay,” but I think it needs to be acknowledged that yes you were with someone and they made you happy and that’s okay too. I get why you’re sad, and I’m hurting for you, I know they made you happy, but you are also capable of making yourself happy. No, you don’t need a relationship to be happy, but being that close with someone, for most people, is something happy.

So for someone like me who has had some of their happiness ripped away from them by the very people that provided it, it takes courage to be willing to try again. To try and not let your past relationships interfere with a new one, to be excited over new beginnings.

(This stands true for those in platonic relationships as well as romantic ones.)

It’s okay to be afraid, “courage is not the absence of fear.” Fear is healthy. But it’s important to be willing to try again. I feel that I have a lot of love to give to my friends, my family, and my future partner, and I just want to share it with them all. Love is a beautiful thing to share.

I know that one day I will love someone deeply, and they won’t take it for granted. They will keep their promises, they will be brave enough to love me too, and I will be surprised by how much I love them. I will ache when my child is hurting because it is a genuine human emotion, and I will be courageous enough to feel love, joy, and sadness so deeply. I will be happy with myself for taking the leap, and I will be surprised by how strong I am because of it.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu

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!