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Marines don’t cry. They’re the manliest of the men and the macho-est of them all. So when your Marine cries, it really means something.

In the year and a half we have been together, I’ve seen him cry once. It was something drastic and his tears were entirely justified. I would’ve cried my eyes out (and I’m not a crier either).

The last couple of weeks we spent together were…..well…..horrible. We have had plenty of differences over our time together and I’m sure there are many more to come, but I’m a pacifist. I HATE being yelled at. My brain literally doesn’t process anything when someone starts yelling. I kind of just shut down and cower. I avoid conflict at all costs and I do my best to make everyone like me. I’ve been told I have no backbone. I believed everyone that ever said that before, but after that Sunday before I left, I know better.

You said some very horrible things. You said things that don’t just roll off the tongue. You definitely had to stop and think and then decide to say those words. It wasn’t an accident. Then I hopped on a plane to begin our two months of separation. Not exactly a great parting gift. 

You spent the entirety of our last week together, yelling at me for the dumbest shit. You yelled and got an attitude every time we spoke, it seemed. I’m not a terrible person. I’m not an evil, bitchy, selfish, cheating girlfriend. So why would you treat me like I’m the gum on the bottom of your shoe? 

I’m not going to lie. The past month has been a blessing. I spent four weeks having the time of my life on the West Coast. I fell in love with the beach in San Diego and the weather. I am obsessed with Everett, Washington and the Navy and the whole feel of California. I’m definitely moving there next year. I got to see things and do what I love. I got to be free and explore with all of my new friends in a place where I knew no one. There wasn’t any danger of someone telling my father that had drinks at a bar or anything else. I was no one. It was awesome. 

So while I was out there living the dream, I didn’t miss you. I was finally happy. I was in a great city and no one was around to yell at me or to tell me not to eat the ice cream cone or not to buy the shirt because it was too expensive. Yes, he would’ve been the voice of reason because, no I shouldn’t have eaten the ice cream and yes, the shirt was too expensive, but sometimes you just have to live. That’s what I did. I went wherever I wanted and bought whatever I wanted and met whoever I wanted. I didn’t have to answer to someone or worry about getting yelled at.

It’s really sad to me that that was the forefront thought in my mind for the duration of the trip. That’s what our relationship has become in my mind. 

It really comes down to this. I don’t trust you anymore. I don’t want to break-up because I have too much invested in this and I DO love you. I want to see if we can fix it, but we have a long way to go. 

Tonight when I talked to him for the first time in three weeks, I was actually sad. I cried when we got off the phone the first time, because I thought that was it for another week. I really had missed him, I was mostly too busy to think about it though. The second time we got to talk, I told him I had cried when we had hung up. He replied by saying he had cried when he had dropped me off at the airport a month ago. He said he felt really bad for how things had gone and for yelling at me again that morning. 

Being a pacifist, I don’t want anyone to hurt for me or to be in a state of unbalance for me. But when he told me he cried because he felt bad, I was glad. I said, “Good. You should feel bad.” I then followed that with a, “But focus on what’s at hand and we will talk about it all when we see each other again.” He has too much on his plate to be worried about me. But I’m glad to know he has a soul. 

Marines are hard. They’re the manliest of men which means getting them to talk about feelings is like trying to run through a brick wall. They’re hardasses which means they don’t need anyone and they don’t care what you do or how it affects them. They’re a different breed. That’s why the divorce rate among them is so high. They’re impossible human beings – mostly because they aren’t really human. The government has melted them down and remolded them as robots. But, if you can get through that brick wall, they’re the best lovers and the best friends. They’re true and loyal, honest as hell, and they’ll protect you until the bitter end. 

So if you’ve found a Marine and you love them, fight for them. Don’t just give up because they’re difficult. They’re just rough around the edges. 

As for me and my Marine, we have a long way to go. I think he wants to fix it, but he has no idea just how badly he messed up this time. I don’t know if I’ll ever just be able to trust him again. I suppose time will tell.


P.S. Thank you for the advice. As much as I’d like to take it, I always was a hopeless romantic.

Figuring it Out

I’m currently in Everett, Washington. That’s a long way from home. I’m learning everything I can about the Navy and I’m loving every minute of it. However, the distance has also given me a lot of time and clarity to think. 

I’ve been with Jake since January of 2013. We are coming up on a year and a half and have been talking about getting married next June. It seems fast, but I knew on the second date that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. But did I really know that? How can you know someone is perfect for you so far out? I’m afraid I’m making a mistake.

In our year and a half, there have been so many fantastic times. We have loved and laughed and grown together. I adore him, to say the least, but there have been rough patches. Every good relationship has issues, but how do you know if they’re the warning signs you should listen to. 

He has a temper. A bad one. He can be very quick to jump on my case and to appear to be judging me or getting upset about something. I can never really tell when he is saying “It’s fine” and it really is or when it means everything’s really not okay. I thought that would be easier by now. He yells and gets angry but in his defense we have been glued at the hip for a year and a half without any real break from each other. Am I defending something that shouldn’t be defended?

When he gets angry there is no reasoning with him. He flies off the handle and nothing can seem to bring him down. I shut down when someone yells at me, so he has brought me to tears more than a couple of times. Only one time has he admitted his fault in the situation without me having to come to him. Two times were in the week before I left for training that he made me cry.

If you knew me at all, you’d know I don’t cry. 

With that sour taste in my mouth and my dreams lying ahead of me, I set out for the base in Washington. I got here and fell in love with the Navy and the city and the whole idea of everything that is planned for my future. All of the enlisted guys talk about how much fun all of the ports are if “you’re young and single”. Well I’m not single. 

It’s been a week and a half now and I don’t really miss him. Why? Why don’t I miss my other half? Is it because he was such an asshole the last few days I was home? Is it because those days turned me away from him? Is it because I realized that I don’t want to be with him anymore?

I’ve got all of these thoughts and more bouncing around in my head. I’ve come to the conclusion that getting married next summer is NOT the answer. I may love him, but I need to wait a while to see if we can survive a deployment or two (because he is in the Marines and we will be separated most likely) and to see if this temper of his simmers down or is only beginning.

But why don’t I miss him? He crossed the line this past week. Everyone has that one piece of their past or their deepest darkest fears. You confide those in someone you truly love, whether it’s for reassurance or for help working through it. He used mine against me once before and then again last week, when he’d promised he never would again. He broke a promise. He dealt a low blow with the cheapest shot like it was his trump card. 

I know no one is perfect. I know that relationships take work. I also know that when I get married, I don’t plan to get divorced. I will be damned if I marry someone that is going to yell at me every day.

So….I’ll be working to decide if ending things is the right thing to do or not, but currently I’ve at least solved the marriage issue.


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. 


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. 


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.


Remember the fallen.


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