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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