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

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

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

when one door closes.

As much as I wanted that job, I was fortunate to have been presented with a potential opportunity. One of my good friends from college recently started his own production company and wants me to be involved. Unfortunately, because they’re just starting, I would be working for free. Right now, my main priority is finding a job that pays, but I’m excited to be on board and help them out. This could turn into something great and I know it will. The two guys running this company are some of the smartest, most creative people I know. They’re passionate and committed to their work and I am honored that they asked me to be a part of this. Plus, it’s also very cool to see something from the very beginning and watch it grow over time.

Even though this isn’t a paying job, there are still many benefits to it. First, I’m in the field I’m most comfortable with, which is production. Looking for work in this industry has been very difficult for me and my internships have led to nothing. But I haven’t given up just yet. Second, I’m working with people I already know and trust, who have my best interests at heart. I know they won’t take advantage of me or anything like that. Third, it’s giving me experience with managing multiple projects at once, while also giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in digital media, which is kind of the direction I’m leaning towards at the moment.

There’s still a lot in the air at the moment, but like I said, I think this will lead to great things. I am hoping I will have a full time job by the end of this month. I’m still sticking with my October deadline, but the sooner, the better.

It’s been a frustrating couple of years trying to figure everything out and just feeling so lost. A part of me feels like I’m making this more difficult than it should be, but then the other half of me just doesn’t know what to do. Yes, the future freaks me out and I wish there was some way I could guarantee that I will be okay. But I can only live for now and do everything I can to ensure I will be okay. I know things have a way of working themselves out, and I feel like it’s happening right now. Everything happens for a reason and I think I need to have some faith and trust that this is all meant to be a part of my journey.

beautifuldarkmystery

value in friendships.

 

I had a conversation about this with a good friend not too long ago and he told me how he sometimes gets paranoid over how he thinks certain friends value him. For example, with some people, he feels like he’s the one who puts more effort into the friendships, or he’s the one always reaching out. It makes him question whether some people really want to be friends or not. I can totally relate to him because I’ve found myself in that situation many times.

I’ll be honest, from the time I was a kid and all throughout high school, I believed in having one best friend. And when it wasn’t reciprocated, I would always get jealous. As I got older, however, I began to realize that just because someone may not like me as much as I like them, it doesn’t mean they value me any less. Some people are very vocal about the “best friend” label, while with some, it’s more like an unspoken understanding.

There’s no harm in evaluating your friendships every once in a while, especially if you’re beginning to notice drastic changes in the dynamic. If you feel like you’re beginning to question your friendships, consider this:

  1. Pull back. If you feel like you’re the one one initiating contact, pull back and see if the other person initiates contact first. If they don’t, then you’ll kind of know where you stand. As life goes on, we all become busier and priorities will change, but if you’re important to someone, they’ll always find a way. This leads me to my second tip.
  2. last resort. I had a friend from home who moved closer to me for work. He was one of my good friends in college, but as soon as he moved, he made little to no effort to see me. It suddenly became all about his new friends and he only contacted me as a last resort. Don’t get me wrong though. I was happy he was meeting new people and making new friends, but he would start contacting me at the very last minute, which I didn’t like. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spontaneity. I realize that sometimes it’s easier to just do things on the fly. But for me personally, I like finding a time that’s convenient for both of us, even if it means having to wait a couple of weeks.
  3. finding a way or making an excuse. Do they find a way to hang out with you and see you, or are they constantly making excuses as to why they can’t get together with you? If you find yourself in the latter category, you might want to re-evaluate the friendship. That’s not to say you have to stop being friends with the person all together, but don’t put them so high on your priority list if they’re not going to treat you the same way. I’ll be honest and say I’ve been on both ends of this. I’ve been the one who’s reached out to people with no luck, but I’ve also been the person making the excuses because I don’t want to hang out. It’s a part of life. At one point or another, we’ve ALL been on the giving/receiving end of this circumstance. If you feel like someone’s always making some sort of excuse not to hang out, maybe it’s time to stop making attempts.

Friends will come and go. Always trust your gut, but also pay attention to their behavior. It’s not something you have to do every single day, but definitely pay attention to how they treat you. You may need to cut some strings, and that’s perfectly fine! It’s important to surround yourself with people that lift you up and get just as excited to see you as you are to see them!

beautifuldarkmystery

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

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