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My Favorite Season

The sky is sunny and the birds are singing. I hear a dove outside my window and I just saw the first butterfly of the season. Spring is coming. 

I love the feeling of opening the windows after a long, hard winter to let some sunlight in. I love listening to the sounds of the world and smelling the spring smells. 

So right now, I’m sitting on my bed. It’s almost time to start to clean because Saturday is cleaning day. However, I just wanted to take a minute to jot something down.

One of my favorite memories of childhood was days just like these. My mom would open the windows and the back door and the breeze would bring the smells of the season through the screens. I loved sitting at the back door and watching the world come to life.

We had a pool at my childhood home, so we would often just go out to the deck and sit on the pool chairs. She would just sunbathe or we would talk about the dove that lived in the tree over the house. His song was so beautiful that it stuck with me. Now, I can pick it out a mile away. It reminds me of her. It reminds me off those days and the time when life wasn’t so bad and she wasn’t so sick. It’s time like those that I like to think she was happy. Surely, her life wasn’t all bad. 

I can hear some kids playing a couple of houses down. I imagine that’s what my sister and I sounded like (until we started bickering). Even though I love her to pieces, we cannot seem to get along. 

Anyway, I just wanted to remember how it all felt. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself for the large part of Spring Break, but for now I’ll listen to the dove. 

2006

January 27th.

8 years ago.

Time flies.

She left me. It’s haunted me. It’s spooked me. It’s snuck up on me. Now I think it’s safe to think I’m past it. I barely even noticed its imminence this year. Today I read. I watched TV and took care of a couple of little chores around the house. It’s just another day. Tomorrow I’ll go to classes and enjoy another day in the Navy. She changed my life, but from where I sit, it couldn’t have been for the worse.

I’m in the Navy. I’m in school and doing pretty well. I am studying for a degree that would do her proud. I’ll travel the world and live a full life. And I have a man who adores me. 

Even though it sucks when I think about the things already has and will miss out on, I wonder how life would be if she were still here. Everything happens for a reason. Things impact the track of your life in ways you don’t even notice. Perhaps I was headed for a better life, married to a billionaire and living in the Bahamas, or maybe I would have worked at McDonalds for the duration of my life. 

The point is, things happen. You can mope about and let them get the better of you, or you can pick yourself up and move on. You can pay your respects and reminisce once in a while, but life is now. 

Don’t dwell too long. You might miss something good.

 

R.I.P. Mom. I miss you every day, but I know I’ve got an angel on my side.

Addiction and Bikinis

I find it pitiful that these are the things I need to talk about now, but here we are. My life has changed tremendously in the past year. I cut some old ties that were poisonous and I found the love of my life, but I’m lonelier than ever. Even when your significant other is everything you’ve ever wanted, it just isn’t enough. A girl needs friends.

Resolution number 1: To find a new friend to talk to and hang out with.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. One massive way my life has changed is that I have discovered a love for working out. There really is just something amazing about going into the gym and lifting more weight than you could the last time you were trying. So along with working out comes eating healthy. What’s the point in putting in the hours at the gym if your layers of Resee’s Peanut Butter Cup Blasts and movie theater popcorn cover it all up? So here we are. After having lost a good deal of body fat over the summer, having a successful trip to the beach where I actually felt moderately comfortable in a bikini, and a December full of eating junk food because “it’s the holidays”, I am basically back where I started. Well, maybe not quite that far, but you get the idea.

Jake and I have decided to do a couples competition at the end of May. He will be muscly and huge in the bodybuilding portion, while I sport a bikini and poke my (hopefully) perfectly sculpted butt out at the judges. Of course, in order to get to that point again, a diet is in order. No carbs (which I love), no ridiculous salty foods (which I love), and no Resee’s blasts from Sonic.

When you’re starting out on a journey, the goal doesn’t seem that far away. It seems incredibly possible to give up your favorite foods for six months. Then about two months in, you’ll start to question your motives.

Not in my case.

I am three days in and I already want to stab myself in the eyes for committing to anything that deprives me of peanut butter.

It does get easier. Once you’re used to the regime, it’s more of a routine than a torture concept, so I’ll get there. I had forgotten how hard it was to stop eating sweets. It am so aggravated at myself for letting it come this far. Now I have to start this process all over again. I feel like a very low-grade addict, and addictions are seriously hard to kick. Even the sugar addictions take some serious will-power.

But if I want to be ready for swimsuit season and I want to have a chance at this competition, it’s time to get serious. So no Resee’s blasts.

The minute that contest is over, I’m going to eat all the junk food I can handle. Then maybe I’ll barf and stuff my face all over again.

153 days to go.

The Fever

Humans are wildly influenced creatures. We learn from commercials about certain foods that will be delicious because the announcer and the pictures told us it would be. We buy clothes based on trends that some 60 year old fashion critic decided were popular. We want the things our friends have and want to be like everyone else. I think I have fallen prey to such longings.

It seems that all of my Facebook friends are getting engaged. I see all of these pretty rings and all of the happy posts about wedding preparations and getting ready for their big day, and I’m a little jealous. 

Yes, this sounds super conceited and very needy. Stop reading it if it bothers you. 

My boyfriend and I have been together almost 11 months. Not a very long time, I know. Somehow, though, I feel that I’m ready to be engaged. I’m ready to talk weddings and think about the dresses and the flowers, yada yada yada. I knew in the second week that there was something so special about this guy that I wouldn’t be able to let him go. We have had a happy, strong relationship with our fair share of stupid fights along the way. We argue about dumb things as we learn each other’s personalities and learn how to best handle certain moods or situations. 

I have two years until I graduate from college. Shortly after that graduation, I’ll be headed off (hopefully to San Diego) to somewhere in the world for my first tour as a Naval Officer. Am I psyched? Heck yes. The thing is, he will graduate the same semester that I will. He will also be headed off to some place for training in the Marine Corps. So, upon graduation, we will be headed separate ways. The Navy does try to station married couples together so it’s much more likely that we wouldn’t have to spend our careers just meeting up for a weekend six or seven times a year. In order for that to happen, we have to be married when we graduate and commission. We want to get married on a beach, so that puts us at a Summer wedding, a semester before we graduate in December of 2015. Essentially, if everything goes as planned, I’ll be married in a year and a half. 

We aren’t even engaged, but we have had these conversations. We have basically figured out the outline of our big day, and we haven’t even made the commitment. Somehow I feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick. I know that’s not fair, though. It is just a little frustrating to see all of these couples getting engaged, when we are as far along as we are.

I guess I just feel like I’m getting played. He tells me he loves me and that he wants to marry me, but that just can’t seem to be enough. I know the “Question” is looming, and I’m anxious. I want it. I want the rights to him. I want to say he is really mine. I want to call him my fiance. Girls are crazy about this crap and I guess I’m no exception.

I apologize if this post made no sense.

Kudos for you getting to the end of my ramblings.

How do you let go?

The world and all the thoughts in my head are so loud today. We spent the day together, and more than once you caught me staring blankly off into space. I can’t seem to process everything I have in my mind right now. You got the scholarship that you worked so hard for. You deserve it more than anyone else I know and I am so happy for you. But, I’m having so much trouble. I keep waiting for all of my thoughts to just move on, but they’re growing in my throat. It’s getting hard to breathe. 

I’m overwhelmed. I’ve been thinking about death and my mom a lot, but also about my grandma and an old friend. The first two are semi-normal. It seems after such a long time (seven years in January of 2014) that I wouldn’t think about her so much. I wouldn’t miss you. I wouldn’t wonder what it would be like if she were here. 

My grandma is on her last leg. I’ve been mulling over a plan to go see her over break to say goodbye. That’s hard. Harder than I thought it would be. I don’t talk to her every day, but she is still my grandma. It’s still goodbye. Goodbye will always be hard.

As for the old friend, I feel guilty. I feel like I shouldn’t be thinking about him or dreaming about him. Yes, I had a dream. Although it was fleeting, it still shook me up. It’s been years since I dreamed about him. It was so short. He was a face in a passing crowd. I have everything in my wonderful man now. And yet, I can’t stop reliving those last few times I talked to him. Why can’t I just let it go?

Maybe I’m just hanging on. Maybe I’m pushing some of my pre-grief off on a feeling that is old. I don’t miss him. I don’t think I do. I don’t know. I don’t want to. I want to be able to let go of my past completely. That goes for my old best friend too. I want to just forget her. But she has plagued my recent thoughts so much. 

Why can’t I just let go? Why can’t I just not care?

I do care. I do miss them. I just wish I didn’t.

And Oklahoma is so far. But I guess I need to go. I’ll regret it if I don’t. So I’ll go.

Goodbyes aren’t easy. And my weakness is the past. I suck at letting go, even when the things I cling to are just toxic memories. 

Wishes

Well it looks like I finally might have gotten through to you. You’re finally steering clear of the girl I tried so desperately to approve of. I never trusted her and finally you’ve come to see she isn’t worth it, all on your own. You have started rushing home again. You hurry to me just to hold me. You did something sweet for the first time in quite a while yesterday. I’m finally getting through to you. I love you.

Now I’m faced with five days of one-on-one time at the beach. Thank goodness for vacation. Thank goodness for fall break. Now to just survive midterms, but that’s another story.

And happy almost birthday.

Letter to You

Tonight I think I got a first glimpse of the reason behind cheating when you’re in a long-term, very serious relationship. You are at work again. You’re always at work. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even have a boyfriend because you work so much. I live with you and yet I miss you every day. If it weren’t for the fact that we share a bed every night, I would see you maybe once a month. I didn’t know this is what it meant to be an adult. I wasn’t quite prepared for this. 

In our future together, there are going to be times that we aren’t together. We will be on different sides of the globe because that is where the Navy and the Marine Corps will call us. I understand that. It will definitely suck, but that is part of marrying someone in the military. You spend a lot of time apart. Our relationship will be very strong because we will have to make up for the fact that it is going to be a long road. 

Now is the time to be young, though. We are young. We are in college. I want to go out. I want to go on dates. I want to stay up late. I want to talk all night. I want to make last minute decisions to go to a donut shop at three in the morning because it sounds like a good idea. I want to go out and enjoy a party or two. I want to watch movies and cuddle. I want to dance in the rain. I want to be cute. With you.

Recently, though, it’s been nothing like that. We aren’t really loving anymore. The romance is gone because the boy that did the sweet, surprising things is gone. The boy that left two dozen roses on my doorstep just because is now a shell. You come home, you eat, you sleep. Then you wake up and do it all again. 

The sad truth that I’ve had so much down-time to realize is that I am pathetic without you. I used to take pride in the fact that I didn’t really need a man. I didn’t need you to prop me up. I could survive. The fact is now that I’ve met my other half, I am cripple without it. You are my best friend. That part is both good and bad. Your best friend is someone you love more than anyone else and in an ideal world, we marry our best friends. Your spouse should be the person that you love more than anything as well as your confidant and your good time. Since you are always working, I am left with neither. Our lives are so hectic that I don’t really have time for other friends. So now, you work 40 or 50 hours a week on top of all the classes you are taking. So when I’m not in class or studying, you’re working. I have no one to spend time with. I have no one to talk to. I have no one to hang out with or go shopping with or watch movies with. You’re the only one. 

I’ve now begun to understand the reasoning behind affairs, though. I don’t really see it from the the perspective of the working half but the half that is left alone is much more in the light now. It’s purely being lonely. I sit here for hours on end, waiting for you to come home. I wait and when you do come home, I try to engage you, but it’s always the same. You eat and then you sleep. 

I ‘m not high maintenance. I don’t ask for alot. I don’t want you spend a ton of money on me. II don’t want outlandish presents all the time. I’m just saying that it would be nice if you would take off one night and let us have dinner. Maybe you could come home with flowers or a Redbox. Nothing crazy, just thoughtful. Just simple. Just love.

Reflections of 9-11

This is for all of those who died and the families they left behind.

In the spirit of such a somber day, I want to go ahead and describe the effects of that day. I want to depict it in minute detail so that when I’m old and can’t remember my name, I’ll have this account to share with my children and grandchildren. 

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that no one (American at least) will ever forget where they were on that day. I was walking into my 3rd grade class on a beautiful, much like this one. There was a tension in the air that we all could feel, but no one knew what had happened until our teacher told us. She said that planes had struck the towers and that many people had died. At 8 years old, this had only a small affect. We knew but we didn’t understand. I guess the concept of terrorism was a little beyond what we could grasp. 

We were sent home early and I remember sitting in the living room with my mom. She just stared at the TV for hours. I wonder, now, if she even ate that day. She was just a small sample of our nation that day. Our country stood still, breathless and horrified as we watched the towers crumble and watched rescue teams try to evacuate victims. Every function of America was pretty much on hold that day. All flights were grounded. Schools were cancelled. The heartbeat of America kind of just stopped.

For weeks after, people were terrified at the thought of getting on any aircraft. Only time would calm that fear, but the presence of the military helped. All of the branches pitched in and did their part. We responded as a nation, quickly and efficiently. There were care packages, donations, volunteers, and so much more just flooding in. Everyone wanted to help. 

Even today as I walked to class, I flinched when I heard the sound of an airplane overhead. Every year I wonder if some sick bastard will try to recreate that sort of massacre as an awful term of revenge. 

I remember thinking, I want to help. I realized today, 12 years later, that I am helping. I’m finally doing something. I’m working my way through college to become an officer in the United States Navy. 

There is something YOU could do though. Follow the link that is posted at the very end of this post and submit a donation or sign up to run the 5k held in honor of a fallen Lance Corporal.

The Lance Corporal Creager 5k is held in memory of Timothy Creager who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. The proceeds from this race go largely toward the Wounded Warriors project. Help us in honoring his memory as well as the memories of those who died on 09/11/01. 

http://timcreager5k.racesonline.com/

 

Remember the fallen.

Dredging Up the Past

It might just be the fact that I clicked on a Spotify playlist that just so happens to be the slow old country songs, but I’m feeling dazed. I’m terrible of letting go, so when I finally do it tends to be real. Tonight I’m just feeling a little lost in the past. I guess this country music can just do that to you. In this case I’ll refer to a much older post of mine that outlines the power of magic in bringing memories to life. All it takes is that one song to remind you every little detail about a life lost in time. 

I remember now a night I spent. There was a night where he whisked me away into the darkness for no apparent reason. There was a time that a girl I barely remember, sat in his passenger seat and trembled. I can remember thinking so many things that I was sure he could hear the wheels in my head just turning away. Those little hamsters were running furiously that night as I tried to figure out where this was going. I tried to figure out what he wanted. I didn’t even really know what I wanted. I just remember riding along in the darkness with him. I was so content to just be there next to him, but at the same time, my heart was pounding against my chest. I loved him so much that it just hurt me at times. Now, of course, I have come to realize that the hurt I felt was mostly just the pain that he inflicted on me. That night, though, he was perfect.

Soft country songs came through the radio into the darkness as he drove. His hand was on the console and I desperately wished it was holding mine. I wanted him to want me. I wanted him to touch me. I wanted him to kiss me again. I wanted to spend the whole night with him, but I knew our time was limited. I would’ve done anything to just freeze time at those moments. I couldn’t breathe and my heart ached. My stomach was a mess from all the butterflies that seemed to having a free-for-all. Each time he spoke, my breath got caught in my throat. My answers were all short and unsure because he left me so shaky. 

I think he always had that intoxicating affect on me. I’m curious to know whether it still stands. Those nights were fit to be written. They were so few, but they held so much. So many feelings and words were passed in the few nights we spent together. That night, though, was mostly silent. It was like we were just absorbing the time together that we knew was not long for this world. 

Part of me thinks that one day the novel in me will just pour onto the pages. The artist in me prays that it will be the sensual, romantic tragedy that I have in my head. Those nights would play perfectly into that sort of story line. Those close encounters were scripted. They were so perfect. Maybe too perfect. They still sort of take my breath away. 

The other part of me thinks that I could never do them justice. They were perfect in the way that they happened and the beauty of young freedoms and first loves. No author could portray that in a way that would accurately relay that tension and the desire in the air. Some things are better left to die in the hearts of those who experienced them. They are better left secrets of the past that the future will work to understand.

Or maybe I’m just too much of a romantic.

 

Either way, we’ll always have them.

Find Peace in Love

There are monumental moments in life that stick out in your memory for your whole life. They’re the moments that describe you and define you. That time you went skydiving or the day you got your first job will forever be burned into your brain. You will tell your children and your grandchildren about the time you met your significant other or the time you ran a marathon. These are the moments that will be remembered forever.

However, they aren’t the most important ones. The little moments define us in other ways. They mold us. The bits of life that give us color are the moments that are only fantastic to those living them. I’d bore you with the details of the trip to Shelby Farms at 2:30 in the morning to blow glow in the dark bubbles. I’d make you snore as I tried to relay that pure perfection of the night.

The good thing about having this blog, is that I can say whatever I want. I may not be able to gush to anyone in person. I can get as oozey and gooey as I want. This isn’t for a grade so I don’t have to mind the fact that spell check says ‘oozey’ isn’t a word. I can start a sentence with an article. I can do whatever I want.

Sorry, that was just a little bit of my need to exert my small realm of power. That zig-zag red line under my words just infuriates me.

Anyway, hold on to the little moments. The little things are everything. The parts of life that give us meaning are more found in the small moments than the big ones. Cherish the nights you stay up all night talking. Hold on to the movie dates and the laughter. Find someone you can be silly with.

I never imagined I’d get so much sheer joy out of kissing someone all day and laughing as we do.

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