WHEN LOVE ENDS BEFORE YOU’RE READY TO LET GO…

What was I to him…What did he call me when people asked who I was or what he was doing on Saturday night. To me he was my boyfriend… sure it hadn’t been totally “official” but after 9 months of being together, spending nights there and going on dates you kind of just forget all about the “label” and begin to fall into this routine until before you know it the tides change and the longing to hang out becomes less important… not to you though because to you, he is your boyfriend…but when reality sets in you realize…he actually isn’t my boyfriend and he actually never thought that. So what did he call me… what was I to him?

One of the hardest things is when a relationship ends before you’re ready…or feeling a relationship ending while you’re still completely invested. You’re still waking up excited to text the person you love but the person on the other end has already made up their mind, already given up  and although you know it and you know the end is nearing you still stand there loving. It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from. Your texts are the same but the reply’s are fewer and far between. You grasp for anything and you feel like you just don’t really know the person you’re dating anymore. All we can think of is the good things and it sucks when there really were only good things. You feel yourself making every single effort to make things last, making plans in advance, doing things he loves, and stepping on egg shells.

It is the feeling of knowing it could be coming to the end and honestly hanging on for dear life. He was my rock and when I never thought I would love again after my ex fiance… I did.

Its going to end sweet girl, Its going to hurt and its going to suck. Its going to be another painful heartbreak and you’re going to want to curl up in a ball and just give up. You’re going to want to re-download tinder and bumble so that you can get the 2 seconds of meaningless confidence builders but listen to me when I say they only want one thing from you. You’ll find yourself staying up way past your normal 9:30pm bedtime just in hopes he texts you back and even though you know you shouldn’t and everything in you screams “DO NOT TEXT HIM” you do… you send a quick meaningless text but if he reply’s it will feed into the reassurance that there is hope and if he doesn’t your just stuck feeling worse than you did before.   You are going to ask yourself over and over why this is happening again, why heartbreak again? and we don’t have the answers to that but I will tell you that we deserve a lot more than last-minute text messages, blown off dates, and non commitment. You’re friends are not annoyed with you, so stop telling yourself they are. They are here for you just like you are there for them. What ever you do, do not call up that boy… the boy every girl has, the addiction, the guy we always crawl back to after a break up because he is forever single and forever a douche. I know you had a lot of different ideas for where your life was heading but let me just remind you that you are young, you are young enough to have a million different ideas come and go and you can do what ever you want with them. So take a breath, look at all the beauty you have in your life and hold on because when you come out of this you will only be stronger. 

MILWAUKEE

For those of you who know me you know that I am a bit overly passionate about Milwaukee. To the point on my 21st birthday I got into a fight with my boyfriend, at the time, for saying he “just didn’t see why I liked it so much”…I cried.. a lot. I think my love for Milwaukee started when I was younger, my family had adopted four African-American children so my dad would take us down there a lot so that we could experience culture and diversity something we didn’t get a whole lot in Oshkosh. From a young age I loved the hustle and bustle of the city, the nightlife, and the diversity.

We spent a lot of time growing up there, many weekends and summers, visiting the festivals. My dad loved to take the family to Gospel concerts, I am talking praising the Lord, hands in the air, people passing out, God is good, gospel concerts. In middle school we had an amazing run in with Charlie Bell who played for the Milwaukee Bucks at the time. We grew a close friendship with him and his family and our time spent in Milwaukee grew even more. Going to Bucks games, concerts and late night dinner’s I got to see even more of this city and grow even fonder.

One of my favorite things about Milwaukee is that on the way down there is a Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel is one of my favorite breakfast spots and its only a southern thing so of course there are two times you make Cracker Barrel pit stops, trips to Milwaukee or road trips down south! Their biscuits and gravy are a must!

 

Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward is a must visit, from coffee shops and high-end stores (that I can’t afford), to restaurants and of course home to the Milwaukee Public Market. This is always my very first stop when arriving in Milwaukee, just park your car and your are in a perfect central location to many shops and restaurants.

Milwaukee Public Market is such a great place to visit and one of my favorites. It is just filled with hustle and bustle and a ton of these small stands where you can get fresh fruit and fresh juice, there is a bakery, a wine bar, a coffee shop, sports bar, seafood, tacos, florist stand, t-shirt stand and so much more all out in the open and all in one giant building.

Don’t even get me started on the coffee surrounding Milwaukee, honestly they has some of the best coffee shops around. Two of my favorites are Kickapoo Coffee and Collectivo Coffee (formerly Alterra). Collectivo has a few great locations around Milwaukee especially their location on the lakefront in the old Milwaukee River Flushing Station. Just a walk across the street to Bradford Beach! Kickapoo Coffee has a timeless location in the Third-ward, filled with windows and fresh plants its just the perfect spot to sit by the window and look across the river to see the beautiful condos and day-dream about how I hope to one day live there.

I have so many friends and family that live in Milwaukee so it makes visiting there even sweeter. Let me tell you about my sweet friend Rania. She and I went to high school together and after high school her and another one of our close friends moved to Milwaukee and lived together! I would go and visit them often and we would go and enjoy the nightlife in Milwaukee! I still go down just to visit Rania because she is one of my favorite things about Milwaukee, and I cant forget about her boyfriend because I take FULL credit in their set up. It was my 21st birthday (the birthday my boyfriend said he didn’t like Milwaukee, can you tell I still hold a grudge) and we were all dancing at this bar and here is this goofy guy who apparently I said looked like prince charming (you all can be the judge) dancing near us, so I took Rania and I told her that we were not leaving until she gave  him her number  and the rest is history.

Whenever I go and visit in the summer we always make it our mission to go to Bradford Beach. It is my favorite summer activity. The beach is always filled with people blasting music, drinking and playing sand games. You feel like you are by the ocean and it is always exciting. There are tiki bars and volleyball nets. It’s always fun to spend the day on the beach and then go and get ready for a night on the town, because Milwaukee also has many amazing bars!

We come for the Cracker Barrel but stay for the Bel Air Cantina people. If you’ve never had the chance to eat at Bel Air your missing out in the biggest way. It is the best Mexican food I’ve ever had! Not only do they have 2 locations in Milwaukee but they are opening one in Waukesha and Madison just one step closer to Oshkosh!

There are so many things I wish I could share with you about Milwaukee, I’ve shared many experiences here, from break ups, and getting engaged, to nights out and days just spent with friends this city has seen the best and the worst of me and I have fallen in love with it. If you ever get a chance to visit some of these and many more places you must! Oh and don’t forget to invite me!

Valentines Day

I sat at a table, in a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, on Valentine’s day, across from the guy I’d been “seeing” for roughly 6 months. I could literally feel the lump in my throat the whole time as the minutes passed and still not even a “Happy Valentine’s Day” had come out of his mouth. That morning I had woken up thinking today must be the day, the day he would FINALLY, after months of waiting, maybe make it “official” even though that wouldn’t have changed anything since we already acted like an old married couple. All day at work I wait for something, I don’t know exactly what I expected from a guy who clearly can’t commit but every time I heard the office door open I got up a little quicker than normal hoping that maybe he had sent flowers, every time my phone lit up I was hoping maybe it was a sweet message from him wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day… or a message from him at all. When work ended, I raced home and you could guess… nothing. No flowers.

I thought “maybe this is just a joke” and tonight at dinner is where it will all play out. Well, jump to sitting across the table from this guy on Valentine’s Day and that’s all that’s where it ended. I went home, he went home, and I started typing away…

“If you’re not going to love me, then just leave me, because I am never going to walk away. I’ll let you continue to wake me up with kisses and the smell of coffee being brewed, I’ll let you continue to hold me through the night and when I pull away, you pull me closer, I’ll let you continue to ease my worries away. I’ll pretend forever. Unless you walk away.

I’ll never be able to leave this fantasy we’ve built..this giant lie we’ve lived in. You can’t commit and that’s OK but you can’t be with me then. You’ve been this amazing dream just at my fingertips, just out of reach. Water when I’m dying of thirst, giving me sips whenever YOU want but never enough to fully satisfy my thirst, just enough to keep me holding on for more…”

I start to type a long letter professing it all, and then backspace becomes my best friend. It is so good when it’s good but I’m too scared to tell him when it is bad.

Some days I can’t believe I am back in a situation where I find myself making excuses and trying to figure someone out. I have always been the person that wants to take care of people and is attracted to the broken ones, but when is someone going to want to love and take care of me? Maybe that is my problem, maybe I’m seeking acceptance in the wrong area.

The truth is maybe I am the one who isn’t ready yet and God is just putting up some road blocks in my life whether I like them or not. Someone recently told me that I “advertise myself practically flawless” and my hope is that never happens because if you haven’t been able to see, I am a girl who is full of flaws. 

I am flawed by telling you all to be strong and independent, to be pursued and loved but I can’t even take my own advice, I am flawed for the sharp tongue I have and the knee jerk reaction I, at times, can have to say hurtful things to people, I am flawed by my need to control situations instead of trusting that God will work it out the way He intends it to be. We are all flawed however we are all strong and worthy of love.

“Choose everyday to forgive yourself. You are human, flawed, and most of all worthy of love”

-Alison Malee

 

SAYING GOODBYE TO 2016.

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This year has had countless “What the hell just happened” moments. From preparing for a wedding that didn’t happen, to tragedy that struck my family. From running around Lambeau Field at my very first Packer Game with my favorite group of girls chanting the Packer anthem, to dates that went great and some that weren’t so great and “almost relationships” that broke my already broken heart.

This year plays out like a tragic cliché movie in my head. Like that final scene where that girl is standing on the train platform after running block after block hoping to make it there in time to meet her significant other. She stands on the train platform as the train whistles past, and a melancholy piano script starts to play. As she stands there flashes of their budding romance flash back and forth in her head, and just as she realizes losing him was the biggest mistake of all the train ends, his face appears on the other side of the platform, and a sigh of relief is made by all (like we didn’t see that coming).

Mine is kind of like that except the flashes in my head are all this years moments, I shed some tears and laughter and then more tears and more laughter, however in this version when the train ends there isn’t a sigh of relief. Not because I need a man to stand on the other side ready to save me but because at the end of this the problems are not solved however there is a moment of contentment, just a moment, because there is much learned from 2016.

Don’t chase unrequited love. I am not your mother, so I am not going to sit and tell you all the reasons why you’re amazing and how much better off you are although it is true but I am going to tell you that I have a little bit of wisdom. Guys will tell you they love you and turn right around and change their mind. Heck they will ask you to marry them and turn around and change their mind. I learned this year that I chased someone who wasn’t ready for the love I had to give. I chased love that didn’t love me back and I didn’t deserve that and neither do you.

Don’t ditch your girlfriends. Never will any guy be worth ditching a girls night over…ever. Enough said.

“Almost” Relationships are exactly that…”almost”. I am still trying to learn my way around this one but its a tricky one. I am pretty sure if they aren’t willing to make it official they never will.

You will not find your husband on tinder/bumble on Saturday night so get off it. This year dating apps were a rough one for me. They really take dating to a whole new level and often just ruin your confidence. luckily I learned quickly and got off of it as soon as my friends finally had enough of it.

Family comes first. This is one I struggle most with. I often would be asked to stay home with my little sister Ella for a few hours while my parents ran errands, or were at a basketball game for one of my other siblings, most times I loved spending cozy nights in with Ella and there are so many memories I got to have forever, but there were nights that I wanted to go be with friends that i would put up a fight or have Ella go over to one of my other older siblings house so they could watch her because she was always going to be here…right?

The morning before Ella passed away my parents went off to church and because Ella wasnt feeling good she stayed home. I was getting ready to go on a date so I stayed with her until my parents got home. I checked on Ella and she looked at me and said “If I need you, I can call you and you’ll come right?”…of course I told her. I noticed that my parents were taking forever and I was starting to get worried I would be late. So i called my parents in a frantic and they said they were five minutes away and I could leave. Ella passed away the next morning.

Friends, will understand a little change in plan and if they don’t understand they are not your friend. I should have changed my plan that morning, stayed a little longer for her. Just another lesson learned

Life is too short. It is so so so short. When my sister died it truly is an unreal realization of what little time we have here. we constantly think we have all this time. The main thing I learned in 2016 is that time is a gift and life is short.

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Modern Dating.

 

Dating in this day and age can be both a adrenaline rush and a nightmare, mostly because everything is behind some type of device so you really don’t know if your going on a date to get murdered or cat-fished. Rarely do dates via tinder or bumble end up being a “match made in haven”, however I have heard a few love stories come of it but this one, is not that. I had tinder for awhile and it completely made me think chivalry was dead to say the least. Talk about a app filled with with “lonely” (and we all know what I mean by “lonely”) boys trying to find a Friday night fling. I went on two dates off of tinder. The first guy was so sweet, however after the first date I received a overwhelming amount of text messages telling me he was falling in love with me…. red flag. The second tinder date was so far from his profile picture it was incredible. He must’ve used a picture taken in high school, because he was almost unrecognizable…red flag.

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After my complete fail at the the tinder dating scene, I decided to give bumble a try, do not knock it till you try it people because I loved it. It’s the same concept as tinder but the girl has full control over who is able to message her, no random “are you DTF?” messages in the middle of the night. I honestly have had a few great dates off it and a few red flag dates, but the thing with this whole “app” dating is anyone can say anything because they are behind some type of screen. I had a guy text me after one date saying that he hated my perfume and it made him gag, after chalking it up to boys are idiots he continued to show his true colors. Dating is terribly hard these days, we, don’t want to do it, it is like pulling teeth to get some of my friends to just go on just one date. Since when did dating become this hard. My boyfriend right after high school called me up, asked me on a date, picked me up, took me to dinner and a movie and dropped me off at home, my ex fiance did the same thing, he even opened the car door for me.Now being single and dating it seems to be a whole new game. You can’t tell how people feel because everything is done through messaging. We question every little thing…

“Why did he type with a period rather then a exclamation point? He must not be interested.”

“It’s taking him a really long time to reply… he is probably talking to 5 other girls.”

“I sent him a kissy face emoji and he sent a smiley face emoji back… why didn’t he send a kissy face emoji back?!”

It’s too complicated. Guys if you want to date…. date. We are always excusing boys behavior always saying “boys suck”… “boys will be boys” …”its just a guy thing” why are we giving them an excuse, a free pass to be immature, rude, and disrespectful. Let the boys be the boys I guess but i’m looking for a man. A man who will call me, a man who will pick me up , plan a DATE, and drop me off without expecting anything else. A man who will text me after he has dropped me off and tell me what a great time he had, a man who doesn’t think one DATE will qualify him, a man who knows that the first date went well and plans a second date not a “Netflix and chill” and no…. it’s not unrealistic. I have dated two guys who did all these things. We have allowed men to have the excuse and we have settled for “hey come over for a movie”.

I told you all that we need to be pursued and I feel like a hypocrite…well I am a hypocrite. I say we need to be pursued but i’m the only one out of my friend group scrolling through bumble. It’s so obvious why I haven’t found anyone. because i’m seeking everyone else but the one who seeks me. God. I am going to continue to get burned because I keep blatantly playing with fire. So if there is any advice I can give.. even though I may not always take my own advice… it’s don’t seek people to fill a hole that God is waiting so eagerly to fill for you, don’t say boys will be boys because that’s not true, know your worth, know your loved, and stop settling for all the excuses we give to ourselves, our family and our friends. Maybe boys will be boys, but i’m looking for a man.

The Truth

 

When your ex moves on before you, its going to make you second guess everything.  Your going to hear that he has moved on, people will whisper about it, your friends will give each other a look when out at a bar and you know that they spotted him but you act like you didn’t see it and accept there urge to go to another bar cause the “DJ here sucks”  and you’ll hold off doing any Facebook stalking because the minute you come face to face with the first picture of the two of them together with the hashtag #inlove your going to realize that it is real and that the little hope of not actually seeing it with your own eyes is gone. That little hope of maybe its not true, goes flying out the window like it was never there.

He moved on…he moved on first and it hurts. Yes I am better off with out him, yes I deserve better, yes he is a jerk…yes I get it but it still hurts. No one can ever tell you how fast or how slow you move on. I have heard many things about him and when they say the truth always comes out, they mean it. I am sure you all can imagine what truths I am talking about.  I messaged him… I asked him for the truth and told him the truth would not hurt me anymore then he already has. silence.

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. silence is so much louder then words. God gave me this time to heal, he hardened my heart toward him and made me see the beauty, and potential of this life. He knew that the truth would come out and when it did, it wouldn’t be as painful because I’ve been made stronger. So in honor of the Truth, my girls and I decided a girls night and bonfire was fit….

Its was time to say goodbye once and for all and rid myself of every last memory holding me down and it felt great!

BEING SINGLE.

Being single.

I complain all the time about being single, how lonely it is, how annoying it is to not have a dance partner, how sad I feel when I just want to curl up on the couch, in the arms of someone who loves me and vent about my day. I see the perfect Instagram picture of a beautiful couple often times reading their bible, sipping on coffee, or working out together with the hashtag #relationshipgoals stamped in a comment, and it sucks every time. It has been a long time since I have been single, after my first serious relationship I jumped right into my next one with my ex fiance…and we all know how that went. I complain and complain and complain until my friends snap at me and open my blurred eyes. I am single but I am happy.

I may not have a man, but I have a group of friends that I’ve never had before. When I sit and truly reminisce about my “single status” I realize I’ve done more for myself the last 4 months then I ever have. The last few months have been filled with so many exciting things. My volleyball league ended but it allowed me to create so many great friendships.

I kicked off fall by going to Oktoberfest with my best friend, we went out and danced the whole night away, something we both needed! Me and a couple of  girlfriends did Escape Appleton which was just a blast,  it is basically just a giant scavenger hunt around Appleton, we lost… horribly…but we laughed uncontrollably. I went to my first packer game! I know i’m from Wisconsin and it has taken me 22 years to go to a real live game! It was one of the funnest experiences I have ever had and guess what….I didn’t go with a guy, I went with a group of girls. We all went out in Milwaukee for a mutual friends birthday! A group of crazy, drunk girls running around Milwaukee, ill just let you think about how that night went.

I got a tattoo…yes you read that right, I permanently marked my body with a tattoo and it is way bigger then I thought it would be but I love it! I got a elephant because my little sister was inseparable with her stuffed elephant.So what better tattoo to get to remember her by. I went out for Halloween, I’ve had nights out dancing, I’ve worked out with friends, I’ve had sleepovers and I’ve done it with my girls! I HAVE dance partners, I HAVE people that love me, who will let me curl up on their couch and vent, I HAVE work out buddies and quite frankly I think my work out buddy is much more a #relationshipgoal then yours.

So to all my single girls or girls with shitty boyfriends (cause I know there are some of you) being single is not that bad. Take it from the girl who thought her days as a single lady were over. A girl who when “single ladies” came on at a wedding and the bride got ready to toss her bouquet, would stick her nose in the air, put her hand down and flaunt her fiance. A girl who still has her wedding dress, she never got to wear hanging in the closet. If your single embrace it, even if you have been single for years and your lonely and ready to find Mr. Right, it sucks I get it but embrace the stage of life your in because there is a reason your single still… it is because you haven’t met the man God created for you, and that is okay. Be encouraged in the fact that there really is someone out there made specifically for you. Go on dates, there is nothing more fun then dating and having conversation. We don’t need to marry ever guy who takes us out to dinner. Hey just look at how much fun I’ve been having being single….

“ALMOST” RELATIONSHIPS.

img_10761“Almost relationships” can hurt just as bad when they end as real ones. The last few months I’ve been reading blog after blog about “almost relationships”, clicking on them every time they would pop up on my newsfeed and although I was in one, I never thought mine would end up like it did for these girls. I can remember dating my ex fiancé and listening to one of my friends vent about how the guy she has been seeing for a few months just decided he wasn’t feeling it, I can remember being annoyed and thinking “this isn’t even a real relationship.” And Karma has come back to bite me in the butt.

Sorry friend.

I swore it would work out with this guy I’d been seeing, we did everything a normal couple would do, we had chemistry better then I even had with my ex, I’d jump out of my skin to see his name appear on my phone, I couldn’t wait to hear about his day, and all he did was want to take care of me. I can remember him saying “I am going to always take care of you.”  That’s the thing with “almost relationships” there is no certainty.

“Almost relationships” almost always end terribly. Your lead to believe that it’s going places and that you guys are great! But the minute they are over it “we weren’t actually together” is their excuse.

Hold on though buddy…

Did we not go on dates instead of just “chill”?

Did you not kiss me the second you saw me?

Did we not spend time with my family?

Did we not hold hands and kiss while out and about?

Did we not fall asleep watching TV?

Oh and it must’ve been my imagination or did you not tell that guy at the bar not to touch “your girls” ass?

We weren’t together he says but then why did we do everything a “together” couple would do. Then after two months of talking everyday it ends and you have to just move on because it would look bad to actually express the fact that you’re hurting because you weren’t “actually together”.  The worst part is you may never even get the real reason it ended.

It hurts, I’m not going to lie you fall for these guys and the idea that you’re on the same page, moving toward a real relationship. Then he just walks away like it was nothing at all.

You tell yourself you’re not going to text him your daily “ hope your day is going well” but 9 pm rolls around, you haven’t heard from him, and your laying in bed on your 5th Netflix episode of the show you’ve been bingeing (in my case Shameless) and you feel that tug…why hasn’t he texted? Doesn’t he miss me? I wonder if he is thinking of me. I’ll just send him a quick text so he knows I’m not mad. Ladies… we all do it. We’ve all been in this state of mind but can someone just tell me why it is so much easier for guys! You do not need a title in order to feel for someone and be heart broken when it ends. You are not crazy even though he may say you are, we don’t open our hearts to just anyone and to open it and then have the door closed shut on you is hard.

We need to be pursued ladies. I am the number one hypocrite when it comes to this, just ask my friends. I say we need to be pursued but then I do all the pursuing. If I could give myself advice and all you ladies who have ever been in an “almost relationship” or ever just deeply wanted someone that you gave in to easily I’d say stop making it so damn easy.  Scripture makes it very clear that “the husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing” (Ephesians 5:23) God pursues us daily, yearning for our love and affecting, wanting to hold and lead us. Ladies that is what we must expect from a man. We need to be pursued like God has pursued us (the church). We need men who will pursue us daily, yearning for our love and affection, wanting to hold and lead us. There is no better example of the love we deserve then the love our Heavenly father has shown us. I am not going to lie, I struggle to follow my own advice, I continue to do all the pursuing because I feel like I’m in control of the situation and will be less likely to get hurt.

We are not in control. You are worth the chase. Don’t settle for “almost”.

 

BEING ALONE.

I realized the other day as I sat and sipped my way to strong cup of coffee, because to be honest I still cant figure out how to make a decent pot, that I am so desperately fearful of being alone. I don’t mean that I have to be in a relationship but when I realize I am going to spend a Friday night alone because my friends have other plans or the boy i’m seeing isn’t “technically” my boyfriend so he is doing “his own thing” , I start to panic. I am not good alone. I’ll sit and look at my phone a hundred times a day waiting for anyone to text me and when no one does I begin to believe “everyone is mad at me”.

In high school I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. With a big accent on the ANXIETY. Its something I am constantly embarrassed and insecure about because still to this day it lingers and it is not really something to be “proud” of or any type of accomplishment. I have been on and off medications for years. Having depression/anxiety does not mean I am always unhappy, it does not mean I have no will to live. It means sometimes i’ll become uncomfortable in my own skin, i’ll snap a rude comment, that i’ll immediately regret, because i’m feeling irritable, it means that ill fixate on a scenario that is so irrational but my mind can’t shut the anxiety off. My anxiety will ruin my days because its like this tiny voice in your head distracting you from the life and the moment your in, just filling your head with all the crazy reasons your friend didn’t text you back or what I may or may not have said wrong in a text message I sent the guy i’m seeing because it has been a solid 20 minutes and no response, so of course I did something and now he will never speak to me again and there is absolutely- no way- what- so- ever that he could just be a little busy!

*DING*

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….. well then…. instant relief and inner embarrassment.

It makes me realize how I literally fear being alone and when was the last time I was alone…really if I think about it I cant remember the last time I just did something for myself by myself. So I decided to go for a hike. I went for a hike completely alone and unplugged my life for an hour (besides snapping a few pictures, obviously.)

I don’t know what I was looking for and I can honestly say it was the longest hour of my life. I wish I was one of those people who could tell you that it was a epiphany moment and that I was so zen and rejuvenated but inside I kept thinking…

“Boy, i’m hungry”

“I really hope it isn’t snake season”

“I hope no one attacks me out here”

“really? it hasn’t been a hour yet?”

I joke about it but I really did enjoy it. I smelled the fresh fall scent, I saw the yellows popping through the green leaves, I felt the sweet breeze rustling through the trees making beautiful music, I heard the crunching of leaves below my feet, and I even spotted a family of turkeys and a deer!

I found a place near a creek and just wrote. I tried to let my mind wonder to all the deepest places so that I could truly be alone in my thoughts instead of always making a joke or pushing my thoughts out of my head and bottling it up. I thought about Ella and how she so desperately would’ve wanted to come along with me. I thought about how much I miss her, much more then I allow people to see. I thought about how I try so hard to be a good Christian, the type of Christian I see these other amazing people be but the devil is such a obvious taunter in my head. The devil works overtime when your in grief because you are weak and it is easier for us to sway that way in all the anger and disbelief.

I think that has been why my anxiety has been acting up more then usual because I cant just miss Ella and say she is in a better place (which I know she is) but I miss Ella and get angry, ANGRY that she isn’t watching me do my hair, ANGRY that she isn’t around to see my new adventures, ANGRY that her classmates are in so much pain and cant understand why there buddy has left them, ANGRY that she will never know my children, she will never get to truly be there “Aunt”, ANGRY that she will never meet the man I will marry and she wont be able to tell me all her silly thoughts of him.

ANGRY…..but then I breathe…take a look around…ask Ella to not let me be angry…and remember that all that anger is the devil himself telling me all the bad things, all the reasons I should be angry, rather then all the reasons I should rejoice.

I should REJOICE because she is a beautiful angel, REJOICE because she is paving a way for us in heaven, REJOICE because even if she isn’t watching me do my hair now, she got to before, REJOICE because she is sending signs to tell us she is happy, REJOICE that I got to spend 9 amazing years with her, REJOICE because she gets to spend all her days with God, who better person would I want her to be in the arms of!

I think being alone for that time allowed me to see I need to be happy being alone, I cant always rely on other people, or relationships to make me happy. I need to see the beauty in silence, the beauty in freedom, and the beauty in myself before I can expect other people to see it. How will they if I cant even see it.

So I guess my hike did allow me to think about things, being alone wasn’t so bad, just trying to find beauty in life after tragedy.

Living Like Ella

GOODBYE SUMMER.

Faith. Faith is a really really hard thing to have. Its like doing a trust fall without knowing if anyone is even behind you to catch, you just have FAITH that someone will. And then bad things happen in life and you slowly think “wow… no one was there to catch me” and you start to lose faith that “that person” will ever be there to catch you.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 it says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

They tell me on a daily basis that God has a plan, and that “his ways are not my ways” and I believe that with all my heart, I know that God had a better life for me then getting married to who I was engaged to, I can understand that, but its very hard to see the plan in Ella leaving us. Where was “my person” (AKA God) when I  trust fell and begged him to not take her away from us and he was supposed to be there to catch me. I don’t know the answer to that, and no one does. Anyone who tries to explain to you why God did this is barking up the wrong tree. We may never know that answer because one day we may find ourselves at Heavens gates reunited with my little bean and that question will no longer linger in my mind because I will be there with her and things will be perfect. Now that is a lot of faith to have but at some point there is this sense of desperation and your left at a dead end where you can either turn your back completely, and then risk NEVER seeing your sister again or your can desperately have FAITH and have FAITH you’ll see her again.

In other news….Dating sucks.

Enough said. This whole perfect first date and then you have to wait for the guy to text you first thing is probably my favorite part (insert sarcasm). Guys have it so easy! They ultimately know they have it in the bag since we agreed to the date in the first place! We girls don’t just go on a date just because… we do heavy investigating, our friends do heavy investigating so by the time we go on the date, we have already done deep digging through his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the occasional Google search, we already know his favorite color, music he listens to, his hobbies and interests, if he has ever been arrested and basically anything one needs to know! So we agreed because we already like him. The guy waltz in looking as handsome as he did in the Instagram he posted from 6 weeks ago and already knows he has got you hooked. Then…. no call, no text, nothing until he feels like it! And we cant do anything otherwise we will look needy or clingy.

People ask me all. the. time. if there is hope for my ex and I. For awhile I thought, maybe…I thought maybe I could just tell him ill do anything and maybe he will stick around. I also pondered the scenario of “what if he figured some of his issues out and years later we reconnected”… would I take him back? I do not know the future but my answer now is simply… NO. God shut that door for a reason, and it isn’t even just that… I truly have gotten to a point where I am entirely moved on from HIM. I still hurt with the rejection of it all, trust me that pain will never fully go away. It was a life changing event, but I don’t yearn to talk to him or see him, I don’t miss him or want to hold his hand. I think my brain likes to fixate on all the things he took away from me, like my first wedding dress, my first bridal shower, my first bachlorette party, but i need to start seeing the things he gave me, like a fresh start, being able to find love… real love, he gave me the opportunity to grow my relationships with Christ, my family, and my friends… I am starting to see that there was more good then bad that came out of this.

Being thrown back in the dating game after thinking I would never have to date again is tough. Luckily I hadn’t been out of the game that long but the butterflies and the nerves are something I didn’t think I would ever feel again and to be honest… I LOVED IT! It was a adrenaline rush!

Sometimes, however, I do feel like i’m kinda a walking train wreck, when conversations lead to the recent events in my life and shock rolls across their face, followed by the “I am so sorry’s”… They say it but lets be honest they are thinking “this girl has to much baggage”

I have been hurt, pulled in every other direction  and pushed to my limits time and time again…I have been “cut” but that does not mean ill continue to bleed, I am healing but I will always have scars, I will carry the pain with me but it will only remind me of the trials I’ve been through and how nothing can break me.

I am so excited for Summer 2016 to be over and a new season to start. There are so many good things to come, just taking it one day at a time and trying my best to Live Like Ella.