different this time.

I’m one of those people that tend to be very introspective and I can spend hours analyzing and dissecting my thoughts and feelings. It’s a blessing and a curse, in my opinion.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I reconnected with an old friend who also happens to be an ex. I feel like I’ve explained our story/situation many times in previous posts, so I’ll spare you the pain. In short, we reconnected for the first time after not seeing or speaking to each other in nearly a year.

When we initially reconnected, I told him that I was thinking about asking if he wanted too hang out, but wasn’t sure how he would feel about it given our circumstances. He said he would be completely down, but that I would have to wait a couple of weeks because he was short on money. So I told him to let me know.

One week goes by, then two. Here I am again, waiting like an idiot for a message I’m never going to get. Pretty soon, nearly a whole month goes by and by this point, I just assume he doesn’t want to hang out. I see multiple check-ins on Facebook so I know he’s going out with friends and clearly has the money to do so. At this point, I was just going to let it go. It wasn’t worth getting into an argument. We’re not even really friends anymore, so what does it matter, right?

Well, one night,  I was sitting at my computer and something compelled me to go on Facebook and send a thoughtful message to each of my closest friends. I truly believe it was because just a couple of weeks earlier, Christina Grimmie was shot to death and then there was the Pulse shooting. Most of the victims were around my age and it it really affected me…that their lives were taken away in an instant, just like that. I know I shouldn’t need a reason to do this, but life is just too short and precious. I like to constantly remind my friends how much they mean to me and how important they are to me.

So I began sending out one message at a time. I had no problems writing from the heart and clicking that send button. But then, I got to him…as I sat there and contemplated whether I should send a message, the better half of me won and I basically told myself, it doesn’t matter what’s happened between us. If he meant anything to me, I would write him a message. It didn’t matter if he felt the same way or not. It didn’t matter that I had a fear of being rejected once again, even though there wasn’t any reason for me to feel any sort of rejection.

Within a few minutes, he messaged me back and said it was sweet. He then apologized for not getting back to me about lunch and I said it was fine. Then he asked me if I was available on Tuesday and I said yes and he said we’ll go to lunch then. Now I just felt awkward, because if I had never sent that message, he wouldn’t have brought it up. I got the feeling that he felt obligated to make plans with me, which didn’t make me feel all that great, but I wasn’t going to argue. I really had nothing to lose at this point.

Before I know it, Tuesday rolls around and I am having so many mixed feelings. I fixed my hair and did my makeup without going too over the top. I had to consciously remind myself that I wasn’t going to try and impress him. I didn’t even dress up either. I was pretty casual. My biggest fear about going into this whole thing was that the moment I saw him, all those feelings would come flooding back and I would be back to where I started. The reason why I cut him out of my life was because I needed to move on, and as long as he was still in the picture, that was never going to happen. My feelings were too strong. So before I left, I told myself to be strong and not take everything he says with a grain of salt. I anticipated it was going to be really awkward anyway, so I just told myself to do my best.

When I saw him for the first time, it was a little weird at first, just because it’d been nearly a whole year since we hung out just the two of us. He gave me a hug and I said it was good to see him. And then the moment I was waiting for never happened. I felt nothing. No butterflies (not even from nerves, I was pretty calm surprisingly), all those feelings he once gave me when we were together, gone.

As we started to talk more, it became a little more comfortable like old times, but I still felt like I was the one initiating everything. If I didn’t, we would have been sitting there in complete silence. Honestly, at one point, I was thinking to myself that I wanted to get out of there because it was just too weird. A part of me wishes I would have been more upfront with him, cut the chitter chatter, and asked what his deal was. But, of course, being the person I am, I wasn’t going to be confrontational.

When lunch was over and we were walking to our cars, I told him that if he ever wanted to hang out, just let me know. I already know it’s not going to happen but I at least made the offer. My problem has been that I’m too nice. I let people take advantage of me. I make myself available to the others at their convenience when it’s not reciprocated. I was relieved it was over, but was still left with unanswered questions.

That night, I came across an old text he sent me years ago. It said, “Believe me when I say this. Unless you tell me to stop, I will always try to be a part of your life.” At the end of the day, it’s not my job to get all these questions I have answered. The truth is that I won’t know the answer to everything. Sometimes, I just have to let things be and take them for what they are. I’ll never know the real reason he wanted to reconnect. Maybe he still wants to be friends. Maybe he “just wants to keep tabs on me” without having to directly ask me. Or maybe he wants to try and rekindle our friendship/relationship again (although, that’s a bit of a stretch and highly unlikely). Whatever the reason, I’m just glad that we’re at a point where there are no residual feelings of anger or resentment towards each other. We both learned a lot from this, but if we can somehow be in each other’s lives going forward without feelings getting in the way, I am totally fine with that.

The most important thing is that I stayed strong and today was the day I realized that this situation no longer had control over me. I can finally rid myself of these demons and move on once and for all. I’m glad I did this because if I didn’t get all my questions answered, I still got closure. I know he’s going to find someone who will make him happy and that relationship will work in all the ways we didn’t. The same goes for me. I believe there’s someone out there who’d love what I have to offer. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

beautifuldarkmystery

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beneath your beautiful.

For whatever reason, the song “Beneath Your Beautiful” by Labrinth popped into my head. It’s actually one of my favorite songs and it’s basically about letting your guard down and allowing someone to see past everything on the surface.

I know I touched on this in my last post, but in this one, I want to share a story about insecurity. I’m going to try and keep this short and to the point as possible. So here it goes.

As someone who’s trying to overcome insecurities of her own, I feel it’s important to let other people know they are not alone. Overcoming your insecurities is not a process that happens overnight or with the snap of the fingers. It could take months, maybe even years, but requires conscious effort.

I’ll be honest and say that I truly believe my insecurity was one of the contributing factors that ended my last relationship. I never felt completely uncomfortable around my boyfriend (at the time), and I was always super conscious of how I looked. He would always tell me how beautiful and sexy I was and how he thought I was perfect. My relationship became this vicious cycle of constantly seeking affirmation from someone else that I was beautiful. I became addicted. I needed to hear these words. I needed validation. That should have been a huge red flag, but of course, when you’re in love, you’re oblivious to many things.

Jealousy is an ugly trait to possess, and I am guilty of this. In my last relationship, I would secretly get jealous whenever he “liked” photos of other girls on Facebook. I would go so far as to go to those girls’ profiles and look at their pictures. Every single one of them was gorgeous, which infuriated me. Looking bad, I can’t believe how disgustingly jealous I was, and it really affected me. I would constantly update my profile picture in the hopes he would “like” it, because to me, again, it was affirmation that I was beautiful. It made me feel validated. But it was a self-destructive cycle I had fallen into and didn’t know how to get out of.

It wasn’t until the relationship was over and I gave myself a year without him in my life for me to even begin to see what was really happening. I couldn’t believe I became one of those girls jealous of other girls. I felt disgusted. I felt ashamed of myself. And that’s when I decided I needed to make a change.

As much as I wanted to get back into another relationship after the breakup, doing that would only temporarily numb the pain, not solve the problem. The issue was deeply rooted within myself. It was something nothing or no one could fix but myself.

My insecurities created these barriers that he could never see past. Because I felt like I couldn’t be myself without feeling self-conscious, it created this friction in the relationship that I could never get rid of. I am currently single and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m not actively pursuing a relationship, however, should one present itself, I feel like I’m at a place in my life where I can allow it to happen without residual feelings from my last relationship.

I’d like to say that I am a work in progress. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m on my way. I remind myself every day that I don’t need someone’s words to validate my worth. I am beautiful. The reality is that there are many girls who are prettier and smarter than me, but I need to stop the comparisons. Jealousy is essentially wasted energy. It’s not worth it, and truthfully, if I feel jealous in the relationship, then I need to take a good look and re-evaluate because the cause of jealousy is insecurity.

So to all the girls out there struggling with self-image issues, you are not alone. I know we live in a media-driven society where the idea of beauty is this singular image, but don’t let that control your life. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and we need to embrace that we’re all different. You should never have to go out of your way to try and impress someone. Be your beautiful self and the rest will fall into place. If a guy doesn’t like you because of the way you look, say goodbye and move on. It’s not worth your time and energy.

Most importantly, you must believe in yourself. I know it’s difficult to do, but when you wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror tell yourself you’re beautiful. Here’s the challenge. Don’t just think the words, say them out loud. Trust me, this is something that’s still uncomfortable for me, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and the more you will genuinely believe it. When you learn to let go of fearing what other people think of you, it’s one of the most empowering feelings in the world. Remember that we were all created differently and we’re all beautifully unique in our own ways.

beautifuldarkmystery

 

be yourself.

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This was one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life, and that is…to just be myself.

I’ll be completely honest and say that I lost myself in my last relationship. I was so desperate to keep his attention that I would constantly change and upkeep my appearance, show an interest in the things he liked, even if it wasn’t reciprocated, and I went out of my way to make myself available to him whenever he wanted to hang out. As much as I want to go back in time some days and change everything I did, I don’t regret any of it because I learned so much about myself from all of it.

He loved girls with red hair. When we first met, I had brownish-red hair, but was in the process of trying to make it more red. But when I found out he liked redheads,my hair slowly started becoming redder. I mean, I guess it wasn’t a big deal at the time because I had been trying to dye my hair red since high school, but it never seemed to work. So at the time, it didn’t seem that big of a deal. But now looking back, I question whether I did that because I liked it or because he did. I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore.

He loved girls with glasses. Luckily, I actually need glasses to see and don’t just wear them for fashion. But when I found out he loved glasses, I started wearing them more often than my contact lenses. Hmm…starting to sense a pattern here. Every time I got new frames, I would post a picture to my social media in the hopes of getting his attention. Desperate, much?

He’s a total nerd. He loves comic books, he loves Star Wars, and he loves video games. I read my very first comic book because of him. I remember, one day, he brought one of his favorite comic books to school because he wanted me to read it. Of course, he always said I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to, but because I was so infatuated, I was going to do it. The one thing out of all three of those that I was most reluctant to but did it anyway, was watch Star Wars. One time, he brought over one of the movies and we watched it. No offense to anyone who’s a die hard Star Wars fan, but it’s not for me. Yet, I did it because I wanted to be his “dream girl”. I wanted to have the same interests as him. He taught me how to play Kingdom Hearts. This is one of his favorite video games to play. Luckily, I already had a PS2, so I wasn’t a total newbie. But it was an excuse to hang out and we were playing one of his favorite games.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was slowly turning into someone I wasn’t and it didn’t even phase me. It actually wasn’t until one of my best friends blatantly told me that I had changed that I realized I had. The funny thing is that I always swore I’d never change for a person because I thought that was stupid, yet here I was, falling into the same trap.

We were in a relationship for only two months, but this whole thing had been going on for a couple of years. In my mind, I wanted to make him like me and I was going to do whatever it took to be the perfect girl for him. I was so fixated on the thought that I became borderline obsessive. One night, I happened to be flipping through the channels on tv and came across one of the Spiderman movies. I immediately took a photo of the screen and sent it to him. He replied back saying that he was surprised I was watching a superhero movie at will (because he always thought he was “making me do things” because it was what he wanted). He then said that this made me more attractive to him, which, of course, only added fuel to the fire.

When all is said and done, at the end of the day, I can look back and look at the choices I made in the relationship and either think of them as mistakes or lessons learned. I didn’t realize how far I’d gone until we had broken up and I really had time to think about everything. I needed to separate myself from the entire situation in order to get a clear view.

If there’s anything I can tell myself going into my next relationship, it’s that I hope I never lose sight of myself like that ever again. As happy as I was being with him, there was a deeply rooted unhappiness that was buried beneath the surface, and that was because I wasn’t being my authentic self. It was somewhat of a show. It was definitely one of the biggest life lessons I ever learned.

beautifuldarkmystery

soulmates.

They don’t always have to be in the romantic sense. I believe soulmates come in all different types. They’re simply people you felt you met for a reason, that you were always meant to find your way to each other.

It’s funny because my college ex was the first person I ever had this “feeling” with. When we first met, I don’t know what it was, but I felt that he was going to play an important role in my life. I knew he wasn’t going to be one of those people that comes and goes. He would stick around for a long time.

Long story short, we met in 2011. Since then, we’ve had about four falling outs, we went out for two months, and had a huge falling out post-relationship for nearly one year. Yikes. Not even trying to make myself the victim here, but I got hurt a lot, and mainly because I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. Because he was someone I wanted to be with, I did everything to fit his idea of the “perfect girl”, and boy, did that bite me in the long run. DON’T DO IT. Finally, because I didn’t know where we stood with each other, I needed a clean break, and I mean absolutely no contact with him whatsoever.

Anyway, every time I’ve cut him out of my life, he’s always had a way of finding his way back, which I find very strange. I’ve never been in a situation like this, but when I saw that he wanted to re-connect with me on social media, I figured okay, it’s been a year, I feel better about things, I won’t make the same mistake again, and let’s just be adult about this. So I think at this point, unless he does something to really piss me off, there won’t be a need to cut him off like that anymore.

And honestly, I don’t know why now and why at all. I don’t know if he did it to keep tabs on me. I don’t know if he did it because he missed me. I don’t know what his intentions are, but at this point, I’m just going to let it go. It is what it is.

Life sure does work in mysterious ways and I don’t know where we’ll be five years from now. They always say to never close the door completely on anything, but in all honesty, our ship has sailed. There’s no way we could ever be in a relationship again, and even if he was considering it, my answer still remains the same. I experienced more emotional turmoil in this relationship than with anything else I’ve ever been through in life. It sucked. Our friendship will never go back to being the same either. We can’t simply erase all that history and start over like it never happened. But we can move forward.

We did meet up today for the first time in a year and it was definitely awkward, but tolerable. The more we talked, the clearer it became to me that this will never work out moving forward, and that’s okay. But, I think whether he wants to admit it or not, we do have a special bond, because no matter how far he wanders away from me, he always finds his way back.

I don’t like being on bad terms with people, so it’s nice to know that we’ve reached mutual grounds and that there are no residual feelings of resentment towards one another. We’re pretty much as okay as we can be given the circumstances, and honestly, I can live with that. I am content. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I genuinely wish him the best and I hope he ends up with someone who can make him happy in the ways I could not. True love is wanting the best for someone, even if you’re not in the picture. If this was a year ago, I would have been jealous at the thought of him being with someone else, but now that that’s sort of a reality now, I’ve come to terms with it and accepted it and I am okay with it! I never thought I would be, but I guess that goes to show how much I’ve learned about myself in the process.

beautifuldarkmystery

a new chapter.

Last month I reconnected with an old friend/ex. Long story short, we met in college, had feelings for each other for about three and a half years, but didn’t make it official until after I graduated college. I flew to New Mexico to work on a movie, which put strain on our relationship, and it ended before it even had a chance to begin. Not to mention, I moved after graduation and he was still in school, and we both didn’t think we could make it long distance.

Anyway, after he graduated (which was the following year), he moved closer to me but for work reasons. We hung out for a little bit, but I could tell things had changed and he wasn’t very upfront with me about how he felt. It caused a lot of strain and tension to the point where I’d had enough and I decided to cut him out of my life completely. I didn’t tell him I was going to do it. I just silently removed myself from the picture. If I wanted any chance of ever moving on from him, this was my only option.

About a year goes by and at that point, I figured I should just accept that this is how it was meant to be and as unfortunate as the situation was and the fact that I had lost a friend in the process, there are a million other ways this could have ended and it could have gotten nasty. But it wasn’t. We were never intentionally malicious to each other. We were just frustrated. So for one year, I didn’t see or speak to him, until one day, one of our mutual friends was visiting the SoCal area and invited both of us to hang out with him, not really knowing what was going on between us.

It was so awkward when we saw each other because there were months and months of not being in each other’s lives…and it’s not easy to forget all that history we had, even though it had been a long time since we went out. But by the end of the night, things seemed as normal as they could be for the most part and we seemed to be on mutual terms. He had no feelings of resentment towards me for how I ended it and I no longer carried any resentment towards him after everything he put me through.

A few more months go by and we would text each other here and there, but it was always small talk and he would abruptly end the conversation by not replying. At this point, I accepted that this was the new “us.” There was no way our friendship could go back to the way it was before any of this happened.

But then one day, out of the blue, I happened to look at my phone and see a notification from Tumblr letting me know he started following me on Tumblr again. (After I had deleted him from my social media, he did the same to give me my space.) Not even a couple of minutes go by and then I get a notification from Facebook saying he wants to add me as a friend. It caught me off guard, but at that point, whatever had happened between us in the past was in the past and it was time to move forward. But the weird part of it all was that a few weeks before he reconnected with me, I had been thinking about reaching out to him. But I always had reservations, which told me I wasn’t ready.

My relationship with him was the first real one I had, and even though it only lasted a couple of months, the feelings were there for three and a half years. So after we broke up, it really affected me. There were some days I told myself that I was never going to get over this, that I would never be happy again. But I was wrong. Even though it was painful, I learned a lot about myself during that time. A broken heart is not an easy mend, but I finally got to that place I never thought I’d get to…that place of complete acceptance for our fate and that place where I could feel happy and content again.

I realize we’ll never be as close as we once were. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that it will never work out romantically between us either, and that’s okay. We may not be the best of friends, but if we can be friends, I am open to that. This is not the first time I’ve cut him out of my life. I’ve done it a couple of times in the past, but he somehow always found a way back into my life. This time is no different. To this day, I don’t know what made him decide to reconnect with me, but I won’t question it. I was almost positive that we were never going to be a part of each other’s lives again…that this was the part in our story where we’d go our separate ways. But the universe works in mysterious ways, and I have to be open to whatever’s thrown my way.

I won’t make the same mistake again. But if I didn’t give myself that year to properly heal and move on, I don’t think I would be able to do this right now, which says a lot. I’ve grown and learned so much about myself and relationships that will make me a better person going forward. I’m ready to start on a clean slate.

beautifuldarkmystery