For the Love

For the love of my sanity, I’m writing this blog post.

My lovely Bible study group decided to read For the Love, a new book by Jen Hatmaker, an undiscovered genius and comedienne extraordinaire. I loved the book so incredibly much that I finished it in 3 days. But when she referenced Friday Night Lights on the very first page, I knew we were fellow Dillon Panthers and would get along just fine.

#TexasForever. Continue reading

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Babies on the Brain.

I’ve spent the past four days (in a row) with eight children.

One 6 year old, two 5 year olds, two 3 year olds, one 2 year old, and two 8 month olds. They are my wonderful, beautiful family and I love them so much. It’s a funny thing about kids, they give people different reactions. Some people freak out and don’t want to get anywhere near them, some people only talk in baby voices (something that I often plead guilty to), and some people are just apathetic to the chaos that is children. I, personally, love them. I could, and have, play all day long and that’s still not enough time with them.

But having the kids here (5 live in Cali and the other 3 live in ATL) for such a short time has made me actually seriously evaluate my life. No, for all of you panicking, I am not announcing that I’m pregnant or something totally crazy. Having them here with all the joy, innocence, honesty and laughter that they bring with them, has really reminded me of one of the most overused clichés in the universe: life is short.

Life isn’t about how clean your house is, how skinny you look, how good you are at sports, or how much money you make. Let’s be honest, no one is going to look at a picture of themselves 70 years from now and think “oh man, I wish I was on a diet back then. I should have eaten salad morning, noon, and night. I would feel so much more fulfilled right now if I had been 10 pounds lighter.”

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Real Vacations vs Fake Vacations

When are you ready to vacation with your significant other?

A question Miss Carrie Bradshaw herself would have pondered, I’m sure. But she was a little more…unchaste than I (no offense SJP!) so I think we might have different answers here.

As I sit here writing this, it’s day 2 of vacation and I have already been visibly irritated with or mad at the BF probably about 5 times. Only child syndrome- but that’s a whole separate can of worms. When you spend a week with someone, you get to know them very well. You get to know the real them. And in relationships, especially young adult relationships, that comes with good and bad.

My boyfriend and I went on our first vacation about 7 months into our relationship. Should I go all “Glamour columnist” and call him by an initial or something? He’ll probably be humiliated that I’m revealing all this info for the world to see. At that time, we were both 17 and I had just graduated high school, and he was coming up on his senior year.

I think that first vacation together was a false test. We just talked about this at the beach this morning. The first year of our relationship consisted of maybe one fight about “you should have texted me first!” or something ridiculous- and that was it. So except for a few moments of irritability with one another, we were basically fine. But that’s because it was based on lies and new-relationship fever.

But here’s how the first one went for us.

1. I wore makeup to bed.

2. I put on makeup before I saw him in the morning.

3. I showered the minute I got back from the beach and not a second later.

4. Oh yeah, I wore makeup to the beach.

5. I was passive, sweet, and ever-indulging.

6. He was passive, sweet, and ever-indulging.

“Hey, what do you want to do?”

“I’m good just laying here on my towel.”

“Oh okay, I thought you might want to go to the water.”

“You want to go to the water? Let’s go to the water.”

“No, you want to lay there. Let’s stay here!”

“No no no you want to go to the water, come on, let’s go”.

I could continue, but you get the point. 

7. He was so focused on impressing my family that he wasn’t even himself.

8. This really has nothing to do with it, but I love it. He got a henna tattoo with my name. How hilarious!

9. We spent every waking second together. It’s like that terribly annoying phase where you can’t go ANYWHERE without that person- God forbid they go to the bathroom without letting you know via smoke signal.

I’m summing it up- when you’re 17 and you’re 7 months into a relationship, you are careful how much of yourself to reveal.

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Vacation one on left, vacation three on right. See any difference?

Fast forward TWO whole years to today. I’m sitting in the kitchen of the beach house by myself, his sister and her boyfriend are asleep on the couch, he’s in the basement doing homework, and his parents are scattered about somewhere.

I am wearing no makeup, I haven’t washed my hair since I went under in the ocean, and we’ve already had a tiff over riding bikes- twice. What is there to fight about over bike riding? Nothing. It’s just the real world that we’re in now.

We still don’t fight over anything serious, but being together for as long as we have (years wise, not vacation time, obvi) and just being real with each other, we can bicker over the smallest things. It’s hilarious, and most of the time we laugh while we’re doing it, but nonetheless, it is a far cry from our first vacation together.

While our first vacation was fun with the butterflies and the thrill of a new relationship, I would much rather have the real life relationship that we have now, and I know he feels the same. Because we talked about that on the beach today too. We talk about everything. We’re 75 and married, basically.

So what all I’m saying about vacationing with a significant other is this: if you’re going to do it, don’t fake it. Just go all out and be yourself. If they don’t love you after seeing you without makeup, they’re a buttface. But I’m pretty sure they will. Teenage relationships are the most interesting, because you’re still changing and growing as a person.

I have loved growing as a person and in turn watching my relationship grow also. Vacation has been an important part of that too- but only the real vacations. Not the fake ones.

Take It Easy

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My new look is so chic!

I’ve learned a lot in the two years that have passed since I was in high school. The most important thing I’ve realized is that most people take life, and themselves, way too seriously. Since I’ve learned to laugh at myself, I’ve gained a happiness and peace that I never had in high school. I was always worried about what people were thinking, if I looked pretty, or if everyone was judging me.
Here’s the truth: everyone IS judging me. And they’re judging you too. But who cares!  Life is too short to worry if the girl next to you in the bathroom hates your hair, or if that tank top makes you look fat. (It doesn’t! You’re beautiful, so stop complaining already!) If you can’t wear a stick on mustache every once and a while and proudly take selfies, you’re missing out on life. At least thats the way I see it.

Define Friendship.

In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I am pondering the truths of real friendships.

In an age where sending a text is infinitely easier than meeting for coffee, what defines our friendships? Are people that we see once every six months and shoot an occasional text our friends, or our acquaintances? Or our pen pals?

How much about a persons life do you need to know in order to categorize them as a “close friend”? Is it just the person you call when you get a promotion at work, or can it be the person you talk to via text message once or twice a week?

I’ve struggled with this one for awhile, with friends going off to college and relationships being drastically altered. I’ve struggled with being the only person trying to sustain a friendship, and I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum as well. It can be so hard to be someones closest friend, and then 6 months down the road realize that you aren’t even a top 10 priority anymore. Maintaining friendships is easy when you see each other everyday- when you live far apart and have jobs, school, and other relationships, it isn’t exactly a cakewalk.

The hardest thing for me was understanding how much and how quickly relationships change, and once I figured that out,  I assumed it would get easier.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG, PEOPLE.

After you realize that friendships change, you have to continue evolving, communicating, and figuring out how to keep that friendship candle burnin’! That can be one of the most draining tasks in the world, especially if it’s one sided (or if you feel that way). There are some people in this world that either don’t care, or don’t admit that they do. For me, if you don’t admit that you want to work on having a friendship and staying close friends, then you  just must not care. You don’t care. In my mind, it’s pretty simple.

Reality isn’t the same as how it works in my head.

I’ve learned over the course of the past 2 or 3 years that not everyone is as expressive as I am. It’s been a humbling experience, to be honest, and it’s been a very emotional ride. Understanding that I am not someones first choice, or even that they don’t have time for me at all, was a tough pill to swallow. Not that I expect to be #1 on every person’s speed dial. Please. How unrealistic. But after getting accustomed to a certain lifestyle with someone, you assume that they will always want to hang out with you and talk to you. You’re friends, and that’s what friends do, right?

WRONG. I am not (nor are you) the center of the universe.

You get over the “friendships change” hurdle, and then life throws “you are not the most important thing in your friends lives” straight at ya. Yet another hard lesson I have learned. This is my advice to you: never care about someone more than they care about you. That will just make everything so much harder, and will make this realization much more painful.

Try to keep your feelings right about where theirs are, or care about them less than they care about you. Just like any other healthy relationship, always have the ball in your court and keep the power. (Is it now making sense why I don’t have a dating and relationship blog?) Okay, yes, this paragraph is a bit exaggerated, but the principal behind it is true: being the vulnerable one in a long-distance friendship is difficult. It’s been difficult and it has been painful. But it’s also led to learning a lot of lessons, especially one in humility that was much needed.

Wow, what a perfect segway into my next bullet point- being replaced. I cringed as I typed it. Yikes. No matter who you are, when your ex gets a new significant other, you stalk them on Facebook. (Do guys do this too? I’m 99% sure. They have to, it’s human nature.) You want to see how your replacement measures up to you. It’s not a bad thing, people! It’s understandable. And the same thing happens with friendships.

The hardest thing (I feel like every part that I’ve talked about I’ve said has been the hardest thing) for me has been seeing my friends develop other close friends and bonds. This is NOT saying that I’m upset or angry or whatever. Jealous, yes. It’s natural to feel jealous, and it’s okay. Or so I tell myself. Lol. Because I care about my friends, of course I want to be someone they go to with their problems and their achievements, their excitement and their sorrow.

But I’ve recently realized that even if I’m not that person, it doesn’t make me useless in their lives. (Unless I actually am useless in their life.) The most important thing is that they have that person. Greys Anatomy, anyone? Anyone? Tough crowd tonight. Just because a friendship changes, doesn’t mean it ends. And just because we feel like our friends are closer to someone else, doesn’t mean they don’t love us just as much as we love them.

So basically, I don’t think I can define friendship as a general term. I can’t even define all of mine. I just know that it’s hard work, and it pays off in the end. This post has actually been very cathartic for me, and I probably just bored the poor souls that read it to tears. My apologies.

XOXO.

^^^^Gossip Girl….Just kidding. Damn. It has been such a long day.