history repeats itself.

I’ve been keeping a journal on and off for the last 10 years. It’s always been my way of keeping a written record of my past. I wrote about everything. Things I was going through, drama with friends, breakups, my transition from high school to college. Everything. It’s always been my safe space, where I can write and freely express myself. It’s the only time I really don’t hold back. It’s therapeutic. It’s helped me understand myself better.

I recently came across a binder full of old entries from my high school years, and all I have to say is that history sure has a way of repeating itself. When I started college, I was frustrated because things weren’t happening for me as quickly as I would have liked. I had a hard time making new friends. I lived on campus and my roommate and I didn’t get along. I was frustrated because I felt like my friends from high school had seemingly moved on with their lives and were fitting in well at their new colleges. They had no problems making friends and making that transition. I was hard on myself because I just wanted in, and my straight-edge lifestyle didn’t mesh with the college campus life. I found myself on the outside, desperate for acceptance.

There was one entry in particular I came across that talked about a conversation I had with my mom. I had told her how difficult this transition has been for me and she knew that I had a hard time adjusting. I know her heart was in the right place and she just wanted me to be happy, but she suggested that I drop out of my university, move back home, and enroll in a community college for a couple of years. I was a little shocked at my response (and so was she), but apparently I said something along the lines of, “If I move back home where it’s comfortable and safe, I won’t be able to grow. This is supposed to be hard. I need to go through these struggles…” Long story short, I ended up moving out of the dorms because that was an environment I knew I couldn’t live in for an entire year. However, I chose to stay at my university. I just opted to commute instead of living on campus (which ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Living on campus isn’t for everyone).

While I was happy I didn’t have to live on campus anymore, I was now worried about the next three and a half years because I thought that commuting would hinder my ability to get involved in the college life (as if I wasn’t struggling with that enough already). But, sure enough, when it came time for me to start my sophomore year, that’s when I met my core group of friends. Those were the people I hung out with and they were the ones who became my closest friends. And, guess what…NONE of them lived on campus. They all commuted.

The rest of my time at college was great. I had the best time. I met some great people and formed lasting friendships. Since graduating from college, I’ve found myself in a different, yet similar, situation. The transition from college to workforce. It hasn’t been easy for me. I haven’t been able to land a steady job yet, and it has me worried. I’ve been doubting the decisions I made in college. Maybe I should have picked a different major. Maybe I should have done this or that.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that I’m starting to overwhelm myself again. I’ve found myself in a situation where I’ve seen my friends graduate college and they’ve successfully found work and are doing fine. Meanwhile, I’ve been at a standstill and it doesn’t feel like I’ve made much progress. It’s similar to how I was feeling when I started college. The frustration of seeing everyone move ahead while I’m stuck. I want things to happen faster for me.

If there’s anything I can take away from my past, it’s that I just need to give it time. I need to also remember what the past version of myself once said…that I need to face these challenges and struggles so that I can grow. If anything, I think that going through these struggles now will make me appreciate things more later on down the road. No one said it would be easy, and if it was easy, what would we learn?

It’s been an interesting day reflecting on my past, and I’m going to use that information to help me move forward. My problems back then seemed like they were the end of the world. I didn’t see how things could get better. I need to realize that just because things aren’t happening for me right now, doesn’t mean they never will. Yes, it’s frustrating feeling like you’re the one falling behind. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re a failure because of that and you’ll never be successful. But sometimes we need to take a step back, breathe, and chill out. As long as I am trying my hardest, there’s no reason to have any doubts.

beautifuldarkmystery

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old feelings.

Is it so wrong that I miss you? That I miss our friendship? Our talks? Our closeness? Is it wrong that I still yearn for things to be different between us? Is it wrong that I still think about you…a lot…

I feel guilty for cutting you out of my life and not letting you know. But you have to also understand that I needed to do what was best for me at that time. I felt like I didn’t owe an explanation. I just needed to do what I needed to do. So I shouldn’t still feel this guilt, right? I mean, it’s been over two years now.

I still think back to when we first met. Strangers. Just a couple of shy, awkward adolescents. We didn’t know anything about each other. We didn’t know the journey we were about to embark on. The ups and downs. Unsaid feelings. Miscommunication. The night you worked up the courage to finally ask me out.

We both knew we weren’t the best fit for each other, yet, we somehow made it work. We were different, but I think in many ways we were the same. I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about all of this so much. Especially lately. Maybe it’s because we’ve recently reconnected and are speaking to each other again. Or maybe I miss those feelings. Either way, there’s no denying that I miss my best friend.

I don’t know where our journey will take us next. With my poor track record, this is the point where we start drifting apart. No longer friends, merely acquaintances…to strangers who share a history together. I wish you nothing but happiness, even if it means I’m not in the picture. I just want you to be happy. I wish I could be a part of that happiness, but life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to.

Honestly, I don’t know how you’d react if I ever said any of this to you, but you won’t have to worry about that because you’ll never know. We had our chance. I blew it by walking out prematurely, but you have to admit that things weren’t getting better.

I’ve always believed that if something is meant to be, it will happen. If we’re meant to stay in each other’s lives, even if it’s just as friends, only time will tell.

thanksgiving 2012.

Sometimes, I wish certain memories weren’t attached to certain days…especially holidays. I hate to keep bringing up the past, but this is what happens every single year around this time. Thanksgiving Day 2012 was the day he admitted his feelings for me. This was just the beginning to what would later be a roller coaster of a relationship. But at the time, I had no idea. I was just happy over the simple fact that for the first time in ages, the guy I had a crush on actually liked me back.

I often wonder how different things would be today if we actually made it…but when I start to have those thoughts, I have to stop myself because our story ended differently. It’s always tough to see the one you love move on, but it took my a couple of years to come to terms with the situation and realize that if things were meant to work out, I wouldn’t be sitting here fantasizing over the alternate ending.

He always tells me the week he spent with me in summer 2014 changed everything for him, but for me, it was that Thanksgiving night. It was the first time I started to see that wall come down and he started opening up to me. It was the first time I actually felt like I had a chance and that this was going to turn into something great.

Unfortunately, every Thanksgiving, the memories come flooding back and the saddest part is that he probably doesn’t even remember this. But because it was so special to me, I made sure I was never going to forget that night.

So instead of focusing on being sad that things didn’t work out (I think there will always be a part of me that feels this way because he was the first person I ever loved), I am choosing to focus on the other side of the coin. I am thankful that that night happened because if he never told me how he felt, I’m not sure that I ever would have told him because I’m too chicken. That relationship taught me more about myself than anything I had ever experienced. Even though it was painful and I was truly devastated and heartbroken when things ended, I grew stronger and wiser.

I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss him, but I’m glad I can finally feel at peace with everything. We were never meant to last forever. We were no good for each other and I think we both realized that. And the fact that we can still be a part of each other’s lives without feelings of resentment towards each other is a great thing. I couldn’t be any more grateful for the way things turned out between us because I know it could have been a lot worse.

I’m happy I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my family. The quality time is always nice and I look forward to creating new memories in the company of those I love the most. Happy Thanksgiving!

beautifuldarkmystery

jealousy is an ugly trait.

An old friend recently shared a huge accomplishment on social media, and naturally, my first feeling was jealousy. But then I had to stop myself. Jealousy is truly a wasted emotion. It doesn’t help me get anywhere faster. It doesn’t help me achieve anything positive. It’s a waste of time and energy. And so I felt my mood shift and I was actually happy for him. I know he had to work really hard to achieve this milestone in his job, so good for him!

I think my bitterness comes from the fact that this person used to look up to me, or so he claimed. He always admired my strong work ethic and my dedication to my studies. He was the complete opposite…slacked off in school, didn’t really study, didn’t really care about grades. But a couple of years into our friendship, he told me that seeing how hard I worked made him want to be a better person. I was always humbled but always believed in him, no matter how different his work ethic was from mine. My point is that, here I am, with this strong and diligent work ethic, yet, I feel as though I’m still stuck in the same place. Meanwhile, others are seemingly moving lightyears ahead of me.

But one thing that I often have to remind myself is that the more committed you are and the more hard work you put in, the bigger and better the result (well, in most cases). What I failed to forget is that my friend started at the lowest job possible with this company. He stuck with that role for a whole year and then transferred to a higher position. Pay your dues and then you move up. It’s that simple.

The moral of the story here is to be happy for your friends and their success. There’s already so much negativity in the world already that we need to spread a little positivity for a change. I know this all sounds like common sense, but it took me a long time to learn. Jealousy is a difficult habit to break because you can’t help how you feel.

So I just want to take a moment and say how proud I am of my friend because when we were in college, he would always say he’s not smart or he would act like he didn’t care about school. But he’s shown me that he’s a hard worker and when he wants something, he’ll commit. I truly am happy for him and I hope there are many more great things in store for him.

beautifuldarkmystery

no more regrets.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been back home visiting my parents. Feeling frustrated with no leads for jobs, I decided to enlist their help because obviously, there’s something I’m not doing right. They took a look at my resume and helped me polish it, as well as help me with interview role play.

They bought me an interview handbook filled with various types of questions one could be asked during a job interview. One of them stood out to me in particular…

“If you could start college all over again what would you do differently?”

According to the guide, the best way to answer that question is to say that you wouldn’t change a thing. Saying you have no regrets shows the interviewer that you’re sure of yourself when making a commitment.

For me personally, this is something I’ve been struggling with since I left college? Did I make the right choices? Would I have been more successful if I had chosen a different major? Honestly, none of this even matters because I’ll never know anyway. So what’s the point?

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but there have been many times I’ve regretted the choices I made in school. I thought that my major wasn’t something I was truly passionate about…that I chose it just to choose something and have a path.

But something in the last two weeks has changed that thought process. If I could start college all over again, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I wouldn’t have met the people I did, I wouldn’t have formed the friendships that I did. I still graduated with honors, so what more could I have asked for?

The truth is that everyone, at some point, goes through that period of uncertainty…where they don’t know what they want to do in life. Maybe they’re at a crossroads and don’t know where to go next. Maybe they want a career change. We don’t go through life knowing exactly what we want every single day because life is constantly changing. The future is unknown. You can set long-term goals, but those could change. I’m not saying don’t plan, because ambition is a great thing. My point is that we all feel lost at some point in our lives, whether we’re 25 or 45.

I have to believe that I’m going to be okay. I’ve wasted so many nights having mental breakdowns because I don’t know what to do and I’m tired and done with feeling frustrated. Having my parents help me did give me a little more confidence. When I go back home, I know exactly what I need to do, and all I can do is hope that something will work out. It may not be my “dream job,” but at this point, I just need something to get myself on my feet.

Without pain or suffering, we cannot appreciate happiness. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. It just depends on how you look at the situation. I am thankful to my parents for providing me with an opportunity to get a college education. That within itself is a fortune. I’m thankful for the sacrifices they’ve made so that I can have a better life than they did. Now it’s time to show them my gratitude. No more wasting time and energy on petty things. I am stronger than this and I will find my way. And one day, I’ll be able to look back on these struggles and growing pains and count my blessings. Everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not entirely sure of that reason.

beautifuldarkmystery

we got engaged.

We were at a concert with his sister, my sister, and my dad. The three of them wandered off somewhere so then it was just us. He told me that he hoped that we’d get to do something special together and I said this was something special. He reached for my hand and we sat there continuing to enjoy the concert.

After it was over, we went back to my house and we were just hanging out in my room. I walked over to the window, meanwhile he was preparing to ask the big question. When I turn around, I see him standing there so rigid and serious. I asked him if he was okay and he said yes. And then it happened.

He told me I’ve always been one of the most important people in his life, and that no matter how many challenges we faced over the years, nothing could ever tear us apart. He never lost faith. He always had hope that one day, we would try again and that it would finally feel right and work out the way we wanted it to.

Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a box and I started freaking out (and not in the good way). I put my hands to my face and kept saying, “Oh my God, oh my God, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening.” And I kept repeating that over and over again. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I paused for a moment before saying yes. He put the ring on my finger and we kissed.

That’s when I woke up. I couldn’t believe I had a dream about getting engaged and it felt so real. But who was the guy? Well, none other than my ex, which explains why I was freaking out so much. This was marriage we were talking about here. Was I really ready to make that kind of commitment to someone who put me through so much emotional turmoil? If it never worked out before, what made me think that marriage would solve all those problems? I hope I’m not that stupid in real life.

All that matters is that it was just a dream and it wasn’t real. Phew! 🙂

beautifuldarkmystery

proceed with caution.

I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss him anymore. The truth is that I will always miss him, what we had, what we were…but it doesn’t necessarily mean I want any of it back. Learning to distinguish between the two has been the most difficult part of the process for me. For the longest time, I didn’t know if it was him I wanted or the memories.

There’s still not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and wonder how he’s doing. There’s a part of me that wonders if he feels the same. We haven’t talked or interacted at all since we met up a couple of months ago. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t know why he wanted to reconnect and maybe that’s not for me to know or understand.

For the last four and a half years that I’ve know him, he is the one person who’s always found his way back into my life. It didn’t matter how many times I cut him out or said I needed space. I thought 2015 was it…everything was done and we were never going to speak to each other again. And just when I think I’ll never hear from him again, he pops back into my life. I guess life will always work in mysterious ways, and the people who are meant to be in your life will always be there.

I don’t know what the future holds for us. I don’t ever expect us to get back together again. I don’t even expect us to be close friends again. With everything that’s happened, there’s just no way. But I still find it funny that out of everyone I became friends with in college, the one person I had the most dysfunctional friendship/relationship with was the one who ended up moving near me. Weird how life works, right?

I firmly believe that whatever’s meant to happen will happen. Who knows? Maybe next year, we’ll rekindle our friendship again and actually be okay and be able to tolerate being around each other without feelings getting in the way or ruining things. That’s the thing about the future…you just never know. Just like I was 99% sure I would never see or speak to him ever again, there’s always that 1%.

I feel like I’m finally at that place where we can be friends again if time and life allow it. I will never close the door to our friendship, but I will always proceed with caution. There’s a saying, “Don’t run back to what broke you.” I know I need to be careful. There’s no way I’ll allow myself to retreat back to that dark place after we broke up. The most beautiful thing that can ever come from a break up is that you learn more about yourself. What you did right, what you did wrong, what you want in a relationship and what you don’t want, what you’ll compromise and where you’ll draw the line.

We may have only dated for two months, but it was two and a half years in the making. The feelings were there and we both knew it. But it doesn’t matter how long it lasted. I would have much rather gotten out sooner rather than later if I strongly felt like we weren’t going to make it. Does it suck that I didn’t have much trust and faith in the relationship from the beginning? Of course it does. But I would have rather known than to continue living life always wondering what could have been, especially since this relationship was the one thing I wanted most at the time.

I’m glad I can look back on how far I’ve come and know that I am okay. There are no more feelings of anger or resentment…..regret, especially. Everything happens for a reason. It’ll be interesting to see what the future has in store for us. Whether we ever rekindle our friendship or continue living life as nothing more than acquaintances. One of the weirdest parts about this journey has been that transition to being “strangers” again. When we hung out last month, I literally felt like I was sitting across from someone I didn’t know. It was awkward like the first-time-meeting kind of awkward. Yet, we share this past that cannot be erased, no matter how hard he or I try to block those memories out of our minds. Simply put, we’re strangers with history. And I’m okay with that.

If there’s anything I would want him to know, it’s that no matter what’s happened between us in the past and no matter where we stand today, if he ever truly needed a friend, I will always be there for him. I know I’m probably not the first person he would run to, but I will always be a friend. Last August we had a brief conversation through text and he said there were moments he was struggling and having a difficult time and wanted to reach out to me. I never said this to him, but it was nice to hear. To know that he still needed me and wanted that friendship meant something to me.

But anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. I’ll end with this. I firmly believe that you meet people for a reason, and the ones who are meant to be in your life will always find their way back, no matter how far they wander. It’ll be interesting to see where life takes us a year from now, five years from now…but you can guarantee I’ll have something to say about it when the time comes.

beautifuldarkmystery