I often go through my days satisfied; Satisfied with the way I spend my life. I am satisfied …
with my job knowing that I get to meet and help people daily. I get to mentor and make a difference.
with my living situation. I have a roof over my head, a reliable car to get me to and fro and I do not have the stress of not knowing whether I will eat the next day. I am blessed.
with my friendships. I firmly believe in quality over quantity. I have friends that understand me, support me and guide me. I am truly fulfilled.
with the family I have been blessed with. There are plenty of members in my family to go around and each and every one of us all hold the idea of “family comes first” in our hearts. We are always there for each other. I am lucky.
Yet, there are times when I long for a relationship. Especially at night or when I spend a relaxing evening in. Times when I could be snuggling and relaxing with someone, sharing my inner thoughts and feeling truly connected to another person.
This feeling does not come often but when it does, it is truly depressing. Heartbreaking.
How can I feel this when I have so much to be thankful for? Why can’t the good overcome the feelings felt from what I am lacking?
I woke this morning with a smile on my face. A smile because I was cozy in my bed, well rested and lucky to have a roof over my head. I opened my eyes and the sun was starting to peek through my curtains. Such a lovely way to wake.
As I am sure for many people throughout the country, the weather has been crazy lately. Here in sunny Arizona, the rain has been my constant companion for about a week. Whether it was a drizzle during the night or insistent downpours, it has comforted me. Rain has always been something I cherished. Growing up in Florida, I could plan my day around the daily downpours and I loved it. When others moped around and cursed the rain, I cherished it. It was always a comfort. So it should not come as a surprise that I have been walking around as if on Cloud 9. Nothing can dampen my mood.
I have spent the week obsessed with reading and working on my attempt at writing a book. That is what the rain does to me. It awakens my need to get lost in the worlds presented in books and my need to create another world for others that may be interested. I want to create. I want to write. I want to do for others what so many authors have done for me. Through all of my ventures this week, the pitter patter against the sidewalks have been supportive and inspiring. I feel fulfilled.
Yet, as I woke this morning and I saw the sun rays in my room, a sense of hope hit me. It was a revitalization that I never knew I needed and it reminded me that life is good. Whether rain or shine, life has so much to offer. It’s so easy to forget that.
I sit here at this very moment, rambling on about the weather, looking out my window and seeing blue skies with white fluffy clouds swimming through the sky, playing in the sun. I am just excited because all of my plants surrounding me in my comfy home now will get the sunlight they have been craving for the past few days.
While reading a year ago, I stumbled across a great quote that I could not just pass up. I had to stop what I was reading and write it down. It was one of those quotes that could be interpreted in so many ways. In the context of the book, it was used in a time of despair- a time of no hope. Yet, when I read it, I saw it as a promise. A promise of better times. A promise of something more coming from the time of despair. A promise of HOPE.
“The bud of a rose grows in darkness. It knows nothing of the sun, yet it pushes at the darkness of the confines it until at last the walls give way and the rose burst forth, spreading its petals into the light.” (Cross 95).
For some reason, as I woke and saw the sun and the lack of rain, I thought of this quote. I thought of my plants and I thought of my life. Strange? I know- but the sun rays were so inspiring- just as inspiring as those rain drops.
So here I go, straight into this weekend with a hopeful heart! I leave you with one of my favorite songs. Enjoy! (Be sure to check out the original version by Edith Piaf. She is amazing!)
Pssst: I forgot to actually reference the book I so graciously stole the quote from and did not know how to fit it into my ramblings. So, here is an informal “Works cited”.
Cross, Donna Woolfolk. Pope Joan. Ballantine Books, 2009, pp. 95.
Remember that story I told about my friend Medina? Well, something similar has happened previously.
Before I start this story, I have to promise that I am very clear with my friends that I just see them as friends. Somehow they get the wrong impressions. Apparently words are not enough and my kindness and love for my friends gets misconstrued.
Growing up and all through my college years, I have been very selective with who I let in. Even my closest friends only knew what I would let them see. Most people did not understand my need for privacy and alone time. The few friends that I let in, and that I could call “best friends” were the ones who were similar or would try to understand me. They would give me my space and would not harangue me for being so distant. By them doing this, they gained my trust which in turn made me feel so comfortable letting them get to know my inner thoughts- thoughts that I would never think to share; thoughts that that I would otherwise be ashamed of.
It’s surprising that I started to date someone during my college years. Yes, I had a relationship with someone. But it cannot a surprise that I was so closed off in that relationship. He hardly knew more about me than my friend’s knew. That’s weird, right? The person that you are dating should be your best friend- the person that you can tell anything to and talk about anything with. They should be your confidant.
That is beside the point, I just thought it would be helpful for you to understand how I am in relationships. I do care so much about those I am closest to but I hardly let people in and when I do, they don’t see the real me. Fear of vulnerability? Maybe?
About 4 years ago, I had just gotten out of my 6 or 7 year college relationship after moving across the country with him. Let’s call him Dean. We lasted a year in our new city/ state. I was starting to make friends of my own but was friends with many of Dean’s friends. It was an amicable split. We were both ready. We were both pretty sick of each other. Near the end, I was in it because I was comfortable and not ready to break the comfort. But I was ready.
It was time to find a place to live and I was not ready to live alone. I wanted a change and did not want to revert back to my introvert ways. In comes my friend Rachel. She knew I was looking for a place to stay and suggested her boyfriend Ross. She just recently went off to school in another state and her boyfriend was living alone and looking for a roommate. I had met Ross once or twice before and he was very similar to me. Slightly more outgoing, but still closed off like myself. SCORE! A roommate that would not expect to hang out every 5 minutes.
So, I moved in. Days and months go by. It was slightly awkward at first but as time goes by, it became routine.
Hi. Good morning. See you later. Walk out the door. Come home. Hi. How was work? See you tomorrow.
Slowly, we start to talk and become friends. We get to know each other and realize we have more in common than we thought. Things were great. I was making a friend.
After two years, he was one of my best friends. He knew so much about me. After almost 2 years of roommate dinners, roommate college football watching, roommate Game of Thrones watching and roommate Dr. Who watching, we learned so much about each other. He broke through my bubble- the “only closest friends can get through” bubble.
I ended up moving out at some point. Life events and I had to grow up and buy a house. He was there to support me. Helped me move and kept hanging out. A true friend.
Then one day, he breaks up with his girlfriend. I knew they were having issues but I found out they were broken up during a conversation with Rachel. 2 weeks after he broke up with her.
Then, a few weeks later he tells me he wants to be with me. Not as a friend. He wants something more.
I needed space.
He did the same.
I lost a friendship.
What was in the back of my head? Did he feel that way when I lived with him? When I was telling him about myself? When I felt so grateful to have such a great friend?
I felt betrayed. Can men and women be friends without fear of one developing feelings for the other?
So many questions. Questions that swirl around in this head of mine ALL the time. Especially when I am hanging out with any one of my guy friends.
I have not eaten fast food or had a soda for 29 days straight and it feels great. I am sure that the next time I go to In-N-Out, Taco Bell or any other horrible (but weirdly delicious) fast food place I will feel like crap. Until then, I am feeling great.
In 29 days, I have only eaten out thrice. Two times for Ramen. The third time was the Starbuck’s drive through to get coffee for a friend (I ended up getting a coffee for the hell of it).
I never thought that cooking my own meals and eating leftovers would be so easy. When my “Eat out less” resolution was just a tiny little idea in my mind, I never thought I could do it for more than a week. I lack self control when it comes to food.
What have I made so far?
Beef with Broccoli
Bar B que pulled chicken
Spaghetti with meatballs
Doesn’t seem like much but I made enough of each recipe to feed a family. So, I had TONS of leftovers. Which is good because, then I did not have to worry about the “but I do not have food at home to eat and I am too hungry to cook” excuse that I find myself using TOO OFTEN.
I will not say that I will NEVER have fast food, but I am trying not to revert to it every day or more than once a week.
PLUS, I love…
being able to say that I have not had fast food and soda for 29 days
that I am having so much fun grocery shopping and planning meals
that I am LOVING putting ingredients together to end up with a yummy meal
How amazing is that?
Hopefully I do not get bored. When I do, here’s to hoping Luke will make me a Santa Burger.
As I stated before, I was not and am not sad in the slightest. No longing for a companion that sent me into one of those booze ridden nights similar to what you see in the movies. Nothing like that at all.
It’s weird because it felt like just another day. I actually forgot it was Valentine’s day until I got to work and had small little chocolates and cards from 2 of my closest friends. This is why they are my friends- they know how to make me feel special.
I was caught off guard though. In the middle of a conference call, my phone starts to buzz. I received a text stating that flowers were delivered to my front door. This piqued my interest. Who the hell is sending me flowers? Mom? Dad? Both of my parents would do this- think of their single 30 year old daughter, realize that she has no prospects in sight, feel sorry for her and send her flowers to make her feel better.
I spent the remainder of the day in anticipation- wondering what the flowers look like and who they are from.
After the long work day, I called both my parents quizzing them during my thirty minute commute home and they both confirmed my fears. They didn’t send the flowers. So, I had to rely on the fact that it was one of my friends. But this did not settle my anxiety. I have listened to too many murder podcasts to assuage my anxiety. [My Favorite Murder, anyone?]
When I got home, I rushed to my front door. Behold- a beautiful bouquet was sitting at my door. A bouquet fit for someone famous. I, for one, am not someone famous. So, were they really for me?
There was a note. With my name and address. On the card was a sweet message. And the sender… was not what I was expecting. I was trying to avoid things like this from happening.
It was from one of my friends, let’s call him Medina,- a friend that I have had since childhood and had no sense of romantic feelings for. I see him almost as a brother- should I say “Friend-zoned“? The message within the note and the gesture of sending me flowers made it very clear that they did not want to be just a friend.
Instead of feeling joy, I was dismayed. I am going to lose another great friend.
I am plagued with great friends and end up losing them because I am too screwed up to actually like the GREAT guys in my life.
What is wrong with me?
Here I am with a beautiful bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s day from a great guy and I could not even appreciate them. All I could do was try to scheme a way to save my friendship. Show my appreciation without sending the message that I was interested.
So, I texted and said “Thank you for the flowers. I am so glad to have a friend like you in my life that thinks of me on Valentine’s day. This is what friendship is all about”.
I wish I was a better person because that is not what happened. Instead of owning up and facing the music. I ignored the situation. Want to hear the horrible way that I “ignored” the situation? Please be warned, you will hate me after this.
I took a picture of the gorgeous flowers, put them on Instagram and pretended I got flowers anonymously- with no note. In my post, I commented on how beautiful they were, how I appreciate it and spoke to the anonymous sender thanking them. And then I also put in the comment that I did not know whether to be flattered or scared.
Do you think I am effed up? Do you hate me now?
I sure hate myself for this. I am such a coward.
The worst part– I got a text from him the next day saying they were supposed to be a nice gesture.
I am a horrible person. I wrote him back saying thank you and telling how much I appreciate it.
…and I have not heard from him since. It’s been 2 days.
Another friendship… ended.
So, I move on. That’s all I can do. I am sure I will be telling you more about this “Friend-zone” problem I have. I really do think that because of this, I will be alone forever. I am resigned to it.
But I do somehow hope that maybe somewhere in this thing called life, somewhere when the time is right, there is a small bend where I finally meet up with “the one”.
In this instance, “lonely” is being used because I will be my own company on Valentine’s day.
I am not sad at all. I thought I would be. But I am not. I am looking forward to a good book, a glass of wine, Sinatra on the speaker and a delicious meal made by moi. After a long day at work. Let’s not forget that.
That picture I painted above probably goes against my “Let people in” resolution but all my girlfriends are dating someone (I do not want to be a third wheel) and I do not want to send the wrong idea to any of my guy friends.
So, I am excited for my chill Valentine’s day tomorrow.
For those of you that have someone you love to spend with tomorrow, have a great time.
For those of you who are in the same boat as me, make the most of the time. Make yourself feel special. You do not need someone to make you feel special!
I leave you with this version of “I’ve Got a Crush on You” as recorded by Frank Sinatra.
♫But I have got a crush, my baby, on you, oh yeah♫
In August, I was invited to have dinner with a close friend of mine. I had just come back into the States after 2 months and I was struggling to catch up with my closest friends. While out of the country, I made it a point to socialize and not allow myself to curl up into my shell. I had to make the most of my time! Experience everything I could- even if it meant, socializing and getting out of my comfort zone. So, after such a long trip, I was looking forward to a few quiet weeks holed up in my house to re acclimate to my little nest- my home base.
When I got the invite from my friend, let’s call her Ingrid, I had mixed emotions. Do I give up my zen time to socialize with a friend? Sounds selfish, right? But I promise it was not her. This pops up into my mind EVERY TIME I get an invite from my friends. My introvertedness takes over.
After the internal argument went on for about a half an hour, I decided to go. Even with this internal argument, I was excited to see her and catch up. So, I went. I am so glad I did because I had the best time. It was during this meet up that she told me her great news. She was pregnant. After all her struggles, she was pregnant. WITH TWINS. How amazing!
To see one of your best friends so happy, is the best feeling in the world.
The last few months have been bliss- all about the babies. Smiles. Giggles. Baby showers. An amazing time watching the happiness on my friend’s face.
What could go wrong? Yup. I asked it. Because when things are going so well, there is always that thought in the back of everyone’s head.
And something went wrong.
I was spending a night in my living room after a long stressful day at work. Sitting on the floor, working on a puzzle and watching “Death in Paradise”. I was unwinding when all of a sudden my phone rings. I picked up the phone and a crying voice informed me that one of the twins passed.
How are you supposed to act in these situations? How could I feel so much pain when these babies were not even mine?
I was devastated. I felt for my friend. I felt for her husband. I felt for the family. Why do horrible things happen to GREAT people? People who do not deserve it. Ingrid sure as hell did not deserve this.
I have been struggling with this for the last 2 or 3 weeks. Trying to be a supportive friend. Being there when she needs me but not being too pushy. Hiding my struggle with this because I know she is struggling a million times more than I am.
I talked to my father last night about this and he gave me the best insight. In times of loss, there is nothing you can say to make things better. When you attempt to do so, you are trying to comfort yourself through the awkwardness, sadness, etc. It’s best to just be there. Sometimes silence helps. Just knowing that you are there if they need you. That is enough.
So, why does it not feel sufficient?
In the end, I know everything will be OK. Ingrid and her family are giving so much love to her baby while trying to overcome this loss. All I can do is be a friend and be there for her.
I hate to say it… but all I can do is SMILE. Because tomorrow, we will see the sun come shining through for us!
**You can probably already tell… One of my favorite songs is “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin. One of the best versions is by Nat King Cole**