All Stories End. Including this one.

Growth begins when anger stops. That’s all that I know now. I spent a lot of time being angry, and in some ways, I still am. It doesn’t heal overnight, and a lot of people would argue that it doesn’t heal when another party is involved, but all I know is something happened the night I met him, and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve been a better version of myself, not hiding and feeling ashamed of who I was and who I could never be.

It shouldn’t take another person to allow you to be yourself, but it doesn’t hurt. He hasn’t judged me for my flaws, he’s only embraced them. Of course, he won’t see all of them until there’s a ring…kidding…mostly. Anyway, when one door closes, really another one does open, and it doesn’t matter if you’re ready for it or not, when it happens, you have to take the risk. I could have missed so much if I had said no.

I love him with all my heart, and I’ve never known what it is to physically crave the love of a single person every single second of every single day. Which is why that story had to end. I simply couldn’t write it anymore. Even with someone new someone made for me, I’m still healing and learning something about embracing him every day. This story may be over, but my new story has just begun, and I’m SO excited.

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Chapter: I’ve been busy

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Needless to say, I’ve been ignoring my blog for the past several months…I have mostly good reasons, but then some that are just more so superstitious, because apparently, that’s what I am. Over the last four months, I have started my school year, started a full-time graduate program (online), but no less difficult, gone through a family tragedy, and maintained a relationship with the love of my life, and also had time to practice not being irritated at the happiness of my ex. Not because I miss him, but because in my head, he doesn’t deserve it yet. Welcome to the ass end of 2017.

Sometimes it’s difficult to write because I literally have too many things to discuss that I can’t pick the appropriate amount of words to describe what’s going on to an audience. The audience, albeit small in number, is the reason I write. I’m grateful for the readers I have!

Anyway, I digress, mostly because I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just pick a point.

It’s a day to be thankful, and I can tell you that I am, above all things, just that. If you had asked me six months ago if this is where I thought I would be, I would have said no. Not a fat chance would I have imagined loving another person and being loved the way that I am. Nor would I have imagined that I would feel supported, cared for, and appreciated the way I do because truthfully, in the last three years, I haven’t known what that felt like.

I was constantly being criticized for the way I am, and being molded into a different version of myself to meet Wes’s standard. There were countless fights, mostly me defending myself, this constant fight to hold on to who I was and not let it change, but also the constant defeat when it did. The never feeling good enough because I didn’t paint my nails, or do my hair differently, or wear clothes that he liked, I didn’t “show off my figure”. When I did wear something that he liked–and in my mind, I was always dressing to impress him. I never wore anything comfortable–it was always, “why don’t you dress like this more often?” or “You should paint your nails more often”, or anything I did simply was not to his standard no matter how hard I tried to fight for his affection, which I never received, but always gave, and believe me, I tried so much that I could have killed myself to do it, never eating a full meal around him out of fear I’d get fat or look like a pig, back straight, mouth poised, seductive look. All the time. Never comfortable.

I remember that night actually. It was the worst of our fights. You see, in all two years of our being together, I never received one genuine compliment of my appearance or the things I did for him. I never heard the word “beautiful” to describe my appearance, or for that matter even an “I love you”. He never said it to me. And at that point, I was sick of being criticized. I was so done. I’m stronger than that, and I am more than he made me to be.

He used to buy me the things he liked for me, rather than the things I liked for myself. I remember the year his parents bought me leather boots and he had told me that he wanted me to have something nice….”I shouldn’t be walking around on plastic boots”. Actually, I believe it was his mother who asked in disdain, “Why does she wear those plastic things?” At first I was grateful for the gift, until the gift became more of a symbol of charity and pity from his parents. I had never complained about the things I owned. They may not have been 400.00 leather boots, but I worked for the things I owned, and they never looked old, worn, or dirty. They looked great to me. He was prepping me for a world I didn’t want to be in, or fit in to.

Despite the fact that these things happened, and there’s far more. I could write a book, but that would just make people pity me. While I never called it emotionally abusive and controlling, the words of my diary are filled with evidence on the contrary. But six months ago, I had no idea that I would be here, reflecting on things I didn’t see while I was in a relationship with him, that everything I was fighting against was something I shouldn’t have had to fight for. Ever.

Despite the fact that for the last three years, I’ve been fighting for affection that I would never get, I’m in a place now that I never thought I would see. I met Tyson during our “break”, just expecting a fun date or two, and that was all it took to realize that he was everything I have been looking for. He’s kind, he’s gentle and strong, thoughtful, and funny…AND LAWD…is he handsome. I’ve never really known what it means to be loved for who I am, and not feel the need to change.

It shouldn’t take hell to make me grateful, but I am grateful for the struggle because without it, I wouldn’t know what it feels like to appreciate the love I have been given and hope to never stop getting. It feels good to have someone believe in you as much as you believe in them. Someone who wants to make you know how much you are loved and how beautiful you are. I only hope that I am able to give him the same love.

(I also feel that writing about my love is a jinx, so I keep it to a minimum haha)

PEACE, LOVE, and HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

 

Chapter 102

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Despite the date that wasn’t a date, I decided to put myself out there, and then it felt wrong. So I waited a few weeks and decided I need to explore this new idea of self. Hence, the blog. Some of this will be narrative I suppose, and others will just be the exploration of the chapter that starts in the middle of my life and the middle of something that could end or grow.

It’s been just over two weeks at this point. I’ve been through the emotional ups and downs, the spurts of damn, I’m awesome, to holy s***, this sucks. It’s sometimes difficult to tell what kind of mood I’ll be in, how late I’ll sleep, or what horrible things I might say in the heat of the moment.

I go through these given mentalities that I deserve better and I should never have to ask someone to love me. That sounds desperate, but it does happen. I think it happens more than any of us really want to admit. I’ve spent three years trying to get someone to love me for exactly who I am, all the way down to my weird quirky habits to my fluctuating weight and insecurities.

I’m not saying I need someone to make those go away–the only person who can actually make your insecurities disappear is you and you alone–but it would be nice to know that someone loves you despite those insecurities. I shouldn’t be afraid to say I deserve what I want either. Arguably, that fear has kept me from actually going and getting what I want, which is stupid…but we all have to learn sometime, I suppose.

I’m learning many things as this “break” from each other progresses. First thing, I didn’t know nearly all I thought I did. I truly thought that love was supposed to be hard work, and it is, don’t get me wrong, but it shouldn’t be so hard that you constantly have to question whether or not someone actually loves you. Writing that and knowing that I’ve been doing that for the last couple years sounds almost pathetic and a little desperate.

I’m not an expert on love by any means, and if I was, I would call myself …The Guru of Hearts and Hard Work and start the hashtag, #makeloveyourbitch…but I’m not, and this is the truth.

The next thing I have learned is that I have no idea what I’m doing, nor what I should be doing. Yesterday I literally sat in my room all day, watched Netflix (Supernatural new season btw), and played The Sims…yeah, it happens…so what? That shit’s awesome. And just in case y’all are wondering if I have a job, I do. I’m a teacher, and I have summers off…what of it? (I also have two other jobs that follow me into summer).

I’m not sure if I should be dating others and actually seeking others, it just doesn’t feel right, like I feel like I’m cheating on him. But I also know that he told me he wonders what it would be like to go out on dates with other people…funny, considering we never really went on dates. Did I also mention that I got crazy for a moment and told him if I see anything on social media, we’re just done? Yeah, that happened. Like George Carlin (RIP) once said, “men are dumb, and women are crazy. Women are crazy because men are dumb”…obviously women and men can be both dumb and crazy, but I digress.

Snap, back to reality, woop, there goes gravity…I’m sitting in this cool coffee shop called Cape’s here in Des Moines, being awesome and writing an exceedingly long blog post on my relationship reflections. While there is much more to learn, much to discuss, and more happening, it’s cathartic to just get it all out in the open…Stay tuned for chapter 104.

 

Chapter 101

A couple days had passed, and a few tears that followed. I woke up and went about my day like a normal person, except I had a mission that I wasn’t going to sit around and feel sorry for myself, beside the fact that it just felt weird. Because even though he lives in another state, I felt a new sense of loneliness I hadn’t felt before.

I may have grown a little bitter, vindictive, and resentful because in my mind, sitting around meant that he won. But I also know that it’s not a competition, or a true breakup, despite the fact that it truly feels like one.

Lucky for me, I had plans with my best friend to go out on the town and enjoy some of the new local places that just opened. My version of not feeling sorry for myself was to make myself look irresistible, fun, and full of life. I put on my shortest dress (with class, of course), and strapped on my favorite heals, curled my hair and wore a bright shade of pink on my lips; I was ready to go.

Walking into the bar, I spotted almost no one, which was weird for happy hour on a Saturday night. Shelby was still on her way, so I sat at the bar and struck up a conversation with some of the handsome bartenders. *Side note: If he was lonely and wanted to go out on dates, then all be damned if I wasn’t.

Shelby strode in, but I was having pleasant conversations with the gentleman serving me, so having her there was a delightful bonus. Soon, though, the conversation shifted from the four of us to just us two. I broke the news that we had decided to take a break, and despite the fact that I know she doesn’t like him, she was rather sympathetic.

The night passed, and the drinks flowed. Apparently they flowed enough for me to feel that idle confidence that hadn’t been seen in a while, and I left my name and number on the coaster for him.

I had hoped he would text, but I didn’t. In reality, I wasn’t ready for him to, but knowing that I had, albeit a few days later, the balls to do something I hadn’t done in over three years.

He called, and we went out. Nothing to it. We didn’t touch, hug, or even kiss. It was nice to talk to someone, have them listen, and show a genuine interest in my life, but it wasn’t what I really wanted at that time.

We said we would do it again, but I think we both knew that we wouldn’t. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t right.

January is the birth and the death of motivation

Hello, all!

So, here I sit, in my room on a Saturday night. Why, you ask? Well, because my motivation to be better as a human and my ability to have said motivation have simultaneously been created and destroyed in the same month. Welcome to January.

For the last week and a half or so, I have been chewing on a few ideas, but knowing very little about how I am actually going to turn these into goals, and what’s further, accomplish them. Wanting to achieve something but not knowing how to do so, has to be one of the most frustrating things ever.

Most of these goals are designed around a single focus: education-educating myself on the world, and doing what I can to educate others. I have little money to go explore it, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn about it, and it should also be the same for others. While I don’t consider myself dumb or uneducated by any means, I know that there are many things that are above my experience, education, and exposure level. These are the things I hope to change by closing the gap on what I know, what I can learn, and what I can do because of my new-found knowledge, especially for those who are like me.

I grew up in a primarily un-political home, meaning that my parents never put much time into politics or government policy. Instead, what they did was stay informed as a citizen locally by watching the news merely for updates on what happened today.

Some may call it laziness or not doing their due-diligence, but my parents have done all they can to ensure that I make a life for myself; in fact, sitting here stewing on that notion only makes the reality that I haven’t done anything about this that much clearer.

I have created guidelines for myself to become better: drink more water, be healthier physically, and take better care of my mental health, and etc. I have accomplished some of these things, but those are a lifestyle change, not a goal to accomplish. One goal always leads to another, and one change always opens the door for another opportunity of growth. My next object of want is to build up the courage to ask my very intense boss for a letter of recommendation so I can pursue a job in another district because I make next to nothing and can’t afford rent with a roommate-gotta thank those low property taxes for my low paycheck!

In order to achieve I have to step out of my comfort zone, be more confident, and go after the things I deserve rather than waiting for them to find me. I believe everything happens for a reason, but I also believe that God sends signs and you can choose to listen or ignore them. I am also learning that decisions you make have to be for you instead of the people around you. Of course it’s important that those you love and care about are considered, but ultimately, it’s all you.

That all being said, I have a vision for what I want to accomplish, the dormant drive to accomplish them, and no real plan for how I am going to get there, and THAT, is the part that gets me. As a teacher, I am a planner by nature, so the lack of a plan has the ability to make me feel like I’m not actually achieving much.

To combat this, I just purchased an app called “Balanced”; it allows you to set up your life and balance yourself out. It’s hard to imagine that people learned how to do this without an electronic device, but I need a little more help than that, I suppose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I don’t understand

  1. Why I am working so hard for such a small paycheck, living with my parents, and still not being able to save any money.
  2. Why student loans have to exist in the magnitude they do.
  3. How even when I think about getting a second job I panic that I won’t have time for my first job and my performance will suffer… or that I won’t have any kind of life after that.
  4. How anyone who is not a teacher automatically assumes that my job requires little work, and fails to understand that I don’t just show up, do my thang, and leave–that I actually sometimes work at the school until 7 and take things home with me just to ensure that I don’t fall behind.
  5. Kids coming into my room for help during my prep period. I love helping them, but how in God’s name can I get anything done if they are having a mid-life crisis about writing their essay?
  6. The lack of money I have for Christmas presents for reasons 1-3.

Please excuse my December existential crisis. It too shall pass, but in the meantime, you bet I’m going to freak out.

Labels, Individualism, and Civil Disobediance

Here’s the deal, I normally don’t post things that will spark a revolution, an uprising, or a speck of civil disobedience, but today I have so many things on my mind about our current world that I can’t help but get it out into the world. I don’t want to be controversial, I don’t want to offend anyone-although, it’s hard not to offend anyone these days-and I don’t want to put a shade on some of the obvious injustices that have been brought to media attention within the last few years. With that said, I think it is important to realize that the amount of individualism we accept in this society isn’t nearly as broad as we pretend it to be. Because of the suppression of individuality, we have been forced to create an illusion of controlled and socially acceptable tolerance of one another.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote a transcendental piece called Civil Disobedience, and if you have ever read “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman” by Harlan Ellison, the combined works are used to create a peacefully beautiful reality of our society then and now with the idea that all it takes is a single being to stand against the machine, but a person acting alone will only get so far; Thoreau writes,

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others- as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders- serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few- as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men- serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.

As Thoreau states, those who are created in this world are created to become the machines of those who create it. That those in the middle class that serve the state serve the state, but are treated as animals. He implies that the legislators, our politicians, and others in authority have the intention of enforcing the good, but only enforce that of which will elevate them. On the contrary to those who act to serve, there are those who act to maintain the humanity we have left, and those men and women become martyrs to their task, and become enemies to the state’s agenda.

The state’s agenda, though debatable of it’s purpose, is said through policies and a corrupt legal system. A system that works to oppress minorities and those with fewer opportunities in life. While I have my own personal beliefs on the matter, research and statistics demonstrate startling facts that should not be, but are seeming ignored by the masses in administration.

While I do believe in Black Lives Matter, I also believe in All Lives Matter. I believe black lives matter, I believe Chinese lives matter, I believe Mexican lives matter and etc. But I also believe that my life matters. I am a white female, and I understand that I haven’t been wronged by a corrupt justice system, but what I also noticed is that as an educator, it is not my job to teach children that one life matters over another because all lives do matter. It is also not my job to teach my students that achievement comes in the form of oppressing your oppressor. That mentality makes you no better than them.

While I do believe it is in our inquisitive human nature to find answers, I also know that in order to ease chaos and find those answers we resort to categorization. Our drive to find logic and order to life is dissolved with our efforts as we put others into categories and further ostracize those who are no different from us in humanness.

It is my job to teach children to put down the label and see another person as their equal regardless of skin color, sexual preference, gender identity, religious dogma’s, and ethnic backgrounds.

We live behind a screen called a label. But if we take down the screen, we don’t see a label, we see a human being. We are all part of one race. Racism and prejudice isn’t innate, it’s taught. While I can’t speak for our forefathers, I can speak for myself. We need to stop teaching tolerance and this idea that we should “accept” others. The word accept implies that we are still acknowledging the things we shouldn’t even be taught to see. I believe a better word for this is embrace. We should embrace each other and learn from one another as a community.

For those of you a part of the movement Black Lives Matter, I believe your intent is clear. You deserve equality not just in the justice system, but you also deserve to know that not everyone is like those you stand against. And I believe you know that. As an educator I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do claim to be trying my hardest to do right by the young minds that come into my room by teaching them to learn from one another and support each other.

Things will never be achieved behind a screen of labels. Put the screen down and see each other and embrace your similarities and differences.