misconceptions.

You don’t drink alcohol, so you must be boring and don’t know how to have fun.
You don’t smoke or do drugs, so you must think you’re better than everyone.
You don’t talk much, so you must be arrogant.

We’ve all been there before. Maybe it was a bad first impression. Maybe it was one bad choice. No matter what we’ve said or done, I’ll bet at one point in time (at the very least), we’ve been judged. Some people don’t care and are completely comfortable with being their complete selves. On the other hand, others like myself take things to heart a little more.

I don’t drink alcohol, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never tried it before. I choose not to drink primarily for health reasons. I am also highly sensitive to alcohol so even if I have a little bit, I start to feel dizzy, my head hurts, and I don’t feel well. Also, I just can’t acquire the taste. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t know how to have fun and it doesn’t mean I judge people who DO drink! My friends drink all the time but that doesn’t change my perception of them. They’re responsible when they do drink and if any of them go past their limits, I’m happy to drive them home if it means they get there safely. Being around alcohol does not make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, sure…sometimes being the only one at the party who doesn’t drink makes it a little weird for me, but I always try to find a way to have fun regardless of the situation.

I have never experimented with a drug or ever smoked, but that doesn’t mean I think I’m better than everyone else. Just because I may be straight-edge doesn’t mean that I should be defined by that label. We all have the freedom of choice. I choose not to do drugs or smoke because it’s just my personal preference and that’s it. But never once, have I ever thought I was better than anyone else because of the choices I made.

I’m a very quiet person. Until you get to know me, it’s difficult to pull me out of my shell. I’ve asked my friends what their first impression of me was and they all said I came across as either arrogant or mean/rude. I may not talk a lot, but it doesn’t mean I have anything to say. The truth is that I struggle in social situations. I DO have lots to say, but I can’t get myself to say it. I’m an observer. I prefer watching people interact with each other than engage, which is something I’m trying hard to work on. This is probably the misconception about myself that gets to me the most because what I display on the outside is completely different from the person inside. When I’m with my close friends, I can be goofy, I can be witty, I can be the one who makes people laugh…but if you’re an acquaintance or I just met you, you’d never know that.

The point I’m trying to get at is that you should never judge a book by its cover. Get to know the person first. In one of my classes in college, I met this one girl and right off the bat, I didn’t like her. The worst part was that I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was that annoyed me so much. I never thought we would be friends. But as I got to know her, my perception of her began to change. By our senior year, we became pretty good friends!

One summer, a group of my friends from college came down to visit me right after I moved. There was an event in Los Angeles we were attending. During the second night of the event, there was an after party at this place called Jillian’s. I think this was the first time my friends really truly saw me come out of my shell. Typically in social settings, I like to blend in with everyone else and people usually forget I’m even there. But that night, for whatever reason, it was like I flipped this switch and I became this extremely outgoing person (and that was all without a drop of alcohol in my system). I was talking to people I had just met like I had known them for years. It was a completely different side of me. I have no idea what got into me, but all I remember is that I couldn’t remember the last time I had that much fun. Instead of being my usual uptight self, I let loose a little and had some fun.

My quietness will always be a part of my innate personality and it’s always going to be a part of who I am. But I think the more I challenge myself to be a little more outgoing and push myself outside of my comfort zone, I think it could benefit me in the long run. I will never do it to please people. I’ll never do it to win the acceptance of others in social settings. When you want change, you should do it because it’s what you want, not at the expense of others’ wants. For all my quiet/shy people out there wanting to become a little more outgoing, I encourage you to push yourself. Something I constantly have to remind myself is that people are not paying as close attention to what I say and do as much as I think they are. In psychology, this is called the spotlight effect. The spotlight effect is a phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are noticed more than they really are.

The last thing I have to say about this is, don’t ever let people’s misconceptions about you define your life. Do you and live your life. If people don’t have anything nice to say, pay no attention to them. This is your journey and do what makes you happy.

beautifuldarkmystery

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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

hold on to that feeling.

You know that feeling you sometimes get when you just know that everything is going to be okay? I wish I could hold on to that feeling. I wish it never went away. I’ve been doing better for the most part…aside from the occasional slips and I fall back into those ruts.

I think the most important thing to focus on right now is how far I’ve gotten. This has been one roller coaster of a journey and sometimes, I can’t help but sit and think that this was a lot more difficult than it needed to be. Sometimes, I reflect on the decisions I’ve made and how I’ve handled certain situations and I wonder if maybe I did over-react or maybe I could have handled it differently. But there I go again…thinking about the past when clearly, there’s nothing I can do to change it. So why bother???

The fact that I still continue to try and justify my actions and choices makes me a little sad. I shouldn’t have to feel like I have to explain myself to anyone. I often wonder what he’s thinking…if he thinks I just simply gave up just because we’re not talking anymore…especially when I said I’d always be there for him and that I wasn’t going anywhere. Well, to be honest, I think we were both a little naive. I had to make the decisions I made in order to be happy again. I wasn’t happy with the way things were going. I wasn’t happy with the way I was being treated. There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough. I’m a pretty tolerant person and it takes a lot for me to walk away, especially when I’ve fought so hard and so long for something/someone.

I need to stop worrying about what he’s thinking. His opinion of me shouldn’t matter. Right now, I need to focus on myself and focus on the people I still DO have…the people who genuinely care about my well-being and want to see my happy. I need to get rid of any toxins….any negative energy and give myself a chance to breathe and recollect.

to be honest, I don’t know if we’ll ever be friends again. As much as I want to, I have to think how having him back in my life would affect me…and after everything I went through with him, I don’t want to put myself through any of that all over again…especially when it’s taken me this long to make any sort of progress.

I know it sounds like all I’m doing is complaining, but I’m just trying to think out loud. My natural tendency is to overthink a lot of things…if only all of this was as easy as the flip of a switch, right?

-beautifuldarkmystery

goodnight moon.

Well, last night was very bittersweet. I had a little get-together with a few of my closest friends from college to spend one more night with them before I move. It was great seeing everyone, but it was sad when it came time to say goodbye. Before everyone left, I told them to share their favorite memory they’ve had with me. I asked my ex this question but he said he couldn’t choose a favorite, and left it at that.

But it was the most difficult to say goodbye to a very special person. My ex. After everyone left, it was just the two of us and we hung out for a bit. I teared up a few times because I’ve never met a person I don’t want to be apart from. I’m still very much in love with him and he made it clear he still feels the same about me. I hate that this is so complicated. I wish we didn’t make things so complicated as human beings. If two people want to be together, they should be together. I was really hoping tonight he would say something and express that he still wants a relationship, but he’s still pretty damaged and I don’t blame him. I just had to go and ruin something good we had going.

The thing is, I really want to have hope that ONE day, we will finally work out and we will be happy together and things will fall into place. But it’s so difficult to have hope when so much can change once I leave. It’s scary. He has hope and he wants it to work out. I don’t know what makes him so sure.

At one point in the night, he pulled me close and hugged me. It just feels right having his arms wrapped around me. I feel safe, secure, and loved. He whispered “I love you.” Then we looked into each other’s eyes and we kissed. I got butterflies all over again. It was as if he was kissing me for the first time again. I’m going to miss all the little things the most. The “good morning” texts, all the times he told me I was beautiful, his hugs, his kisses, holding his hand, sitting next to him on the couch, and everything else about him.

Then he told me he never answered my question earlier. I was caught off guard, but then I remembered. I had asked everyone to share their favorite memory they had with me. Then he shared his with me. “My favorite memory was that Tuesday night when I fell in love with you.” He was referring to the time he came to my house because my friends and I were going to this film festival thing and he came a couple of days early to spend time with me. I smiled.

I wish there was some way I could take a glance into the future and see if we really do end up together. Some of our friends think we will, my mom think we will, he thinks we will. I seem to be the only one having doubts. My worst fear is that he grows close to someone this semester and develops feelings for her. That will KILL me inside. But honestly, I think that’s the only way I’ll ever be able to move on, because if that happens, I’ll have no choice BUT to move on. The feelings I have for him, are ones that will never go away. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much time passes. There’s a reason I held on for so long. I’ve felt this way about him for the last three years, and the thing is, I never thought it was possible. I never thought I had the ability to love someone the way I love him.

As I was driving home, “Goodnight Moon” by Go Radio came on and every time I hear that song I’m reminded of him, not only because of the lyrics, but because he put this song on a CD he made for me. It’s also the song we were listening to on the day he first said “I love you” to me. It will always be a significant song.

It’s definitely going to be difficult being apart from him. I know I’m not going that far away, but I won’t have the convenience of being able to drive over and hang out whenever I want. He told me he’ll FaceTime me and we’ll talk on the phone and I can text him whenever I want…well, if that’s the case, then I don’t see why we can’t make this work. But I know deep down inside why we can’t right now…I hurt him more than anyone else has before and I will never forgive myself for that. He made me feel really bad when he said if only I would have taken him back that night or said something…that kills me. I will always be haunted by that. He keeps telling me that it’s not my fault and I don’t have to be sorry, but I think I’ll always carry some of that guilt with me.

He said he plans on visiting me during the semester and he still wants to go to Disneyland with me for my birthday. I don’t know how I feel about this yet. Of course I want to see him, but at the same time, it might make things more difficult for me…because for the last couple of times that we’ve seen each other, we’ve gone back into couple mode when we’re not in a relationship anymore. Obviously, it’s because the feelings are still there and we still are in love with each other. I wish I could have one more night with him but I’m afraid it will only make things worse. He’s already sad I’m leaving. He said, “I don’t know why the one person who’s most important to me has to leave. Why couldn’t it have been someone else? Why did it have to be you?” That made it even more difficult.

As I teared up some more, he wrapped his arms around me again and told me I’m going to be okay. He said, “You’re one of the strongest girls I know. You can do this. I’ve always looked up to you.” That was one of the sweetest things he’d ever said to me. I really really really hope we end up together again someday, and this time it will work out. Why? We’ve encountered obstacles like this and we’re making it through.

I told him that if we were in the Wizard of Oz, he’d be my scarecrow. He’s been on this journey with me the longest and I’ll miss him the most. I know we’ll always be there for each other and we’ll always have each other in our lives, but I want it to be more than just that. I want to be in a relationship with my best friend. I want my boyfriend back.

-beautifuldarkmystery

Have any of you been in a situation like this? How did you deal with it? What did you do?

starting to feel like home.

I’m adjusting fairly well over here. I can’t believe it’s already been nearly a week. I moved all my stuff in and now this place really looks and feels like home. I’m still trying to learn the streets and trying to figure out where everything is, but that will all come with time and practice.

It’s been a little humid over here, which probably explains why I haven’t been feeling well. I’m not used to it so that’ll take some adjusting too. But overall, I really can’t complain. The real test of change will come after my mom leaves, because right now I still feel like I’m at home.

This summer is going to be a little different, but as I’m growing older, I need to learn to embrace change a little more. We’ll see how I thrive out here.

– beautifuldarkmystery

just about ready, or am i.

My room is packed. It’s finally beginning to sink in. Although my move won’t be very far, it’s still a drastic change for me. At first, I didn’t really know how to feel about all of this…I didn’t want to move. I wanted to stay where my friends are and where my network is. I wanted this summer to enjoy the fact I graduated college and be with the people who made it an unforgettable experience. However, now that I look at it, I NEED this. Whether I want to move or not, it’s time to spread my wings, make mistakes, and learn. I have to trust that my true friends will stay in touch with me and not completely forget about me once I leave. It’s just hard when I’ve said the same thing with my high school friends and I barely talk to them anymore. I want to believe that it’ll be different this time…that these people I’ve worked with and become friends with, I’ll be working with them after college. High school was tough because we were all going our separate ways. I want to believe it’ll be different this time. But I know that if I expect them to make the effort, I have to make the effort as well.

– beautifuldarkmystery

can’t focus.

I don’t know know why, but I feel like I can’t focus at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m coming off of an intense 4-day shoot. Maybe it has to do with other personal factors. Maybe it’s because I’m graduating college in less than a month. I have no clue. I should be doing my homework that I procrastinated on due to this production, but maybe I just need to chill out for a second a write about it.

I couldn’t be any more thankful for this opportunity I’ve been given this weekend to be a part of this production. Not only did I learn a lot, I also got to work with the people I started this journey with. I’m sad that my time here is almost coming to an end, but I’ll never forget the memories made with these people.

On the other hand, it was a little heartbreaking working with him…my friend I mean. It’s so sad to see two people who were once so close become so distant. It was hard being with him on set because I felt like he didn’t respect me at all…to the point, where I tried to keep myself occupied with other people and not speak to him. But I mean, that’s how life is sometimes and you just have to go with it. I only have a month left until I never have to see him again.

But I’m not going to focus on that. I’m really excited (and nervous) about graduating. I can’t believe it’s less than a month away. Time flies so I have to enjoy it while I can…because after that, everything is going to change.

– beautifuldarkmystery