Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Will You Embark On A Journey With Me?

Life. Life is just a weird, messed up place that can take an innocent person and turn them into someone that is far from their beginning. Life is also something that can be beautiful, and turn someone strong, no matter the circumstances.

I'm going to apologize right now, this post is going to be long and it may be really hard for you to follow, but it is the culmination of about 2 days of thought and reflection (both consciously and subconsciously) and a conversation with a good friend earlier this morning. This post will be convoluted but, I am okay with this. This is my life.

Anyway, life. We all have journeys that we undertake, if we don't realize it or not. Sometimes it takes til the end of the journey for you to realize what you are doing with your life, what you have done with your life and what you have been doing recently. We all have journeys, set goals, some are shorter, small and easier than others. Others can take years even your whole life, but each journey, big and small, has an impact on your way of life.

This may seem weird to you, but it is something that I have come to realize. One of the most important journeys you will ever embark on is the one for happiness. I learned over my short life that happiness is a journey, not a destination. Many people think the opposite. They think that if they achieve this, they will finally be happy. If this happens in their life, they will be happy. But when they get there, they are crestfallen. It's not the destination that makes you happy, it's the work in between the destination that gives you the happiness that you feel. You may not realize it at the time. It's those who realize that happiness is this journey that also become some of the happiest people you know. 

I have found a new happiness in my life that I haven't had in a long time. Yes, I am a normally easy-going person with a lot of joy in her life. I have learned through all the tough stuff that I am happy with the things I have in my life, the people I associate with and just being alive. But I haven't experienced the kind of happiness in my life like I have right now in a long time. The happiness of being in love. It's true, it is its own level of happiness, and my life has been just as wonderful to go along with it. As a good friend said today, "You're in a happy moment of your life. You deserve it." And I thought about it, and well I am and I do deserve it. Life has given me some shitty cards, I'm not going to lie about that one. Unlike most people my age, I lost my mother and father at a young age, I've seen and dealt with many things that children should not have to deal with, and I have been out on my own since 3 months after my 18th birthday. I have had low points, times where I have had to ask for money, times where I said things I should not have, times where I hid things away because I was afraid of being judged by them, and we all have them. Life, life is not easy on most people. Life has not been easy on me.

But I can't say that I haven't been dealt some royalty in my life. This includes my friends, old and new, that have shaped my life, kept me from killing people, helped keep me sane when I wanted to lose my mind and gave me a hand on these journeys I have been on over the past few years of my life.

And maybe this new found sense of reflection lately has something to do with the fact that a journey is coming to an end. Or maybe it's just beginning. 

But I'm going to tell you about a journey that probably has had a biggest impact on my life, and it is one that I embarked on by myself, with many people not knowing at the time what I was doing. It was the journey to find myself.

When Sam passed away, though he was sick, I blamed myself. He had a good prognosis, I thought I would see the signs since I saw my mother's decline when I was 14. But he was different. I didn't realize the moment that we went off to Paris for a week, that he was giving in. He never said anything to me. I thought throughout the whole summer he was getting his treatments and all. Sam had ALL, a form of Leukemia that affected the leukocytes his blood. Something he had the strength to beat, at least I believed that anyway. So when he got that sick and within 24 hours passed of multiple system organ failure, I thought it was my fault. I blamed myself for the death of the person I loved. And I was hurting. But no one knew. The pain and depression I went through in those months following were some of my darkest since the moment I told my friend Courtney I wanted to kill myself 4 days before my mother passed away. (Yes, that did happen, he talked to me on the phone for almost 4 hours that afternoon.) I think I once told Aunt Jane that my months at Charter Oaks were "some of the worst times of my life. I was unhappy, depressed and I hated it." That was my life.

And this time I was by myself. I kept an important part of my life away from everyone I loved in fear of judgement. I was sick of those judgments I had received in the past, and I became my own person in 2009 and stopped associating myself with pretty much all of my family and friends at the time. So I ended 2009 on this journey by myself. I didn't know at the time, but I was trying to find myself. I was trying to become the person that everyone saw me as.

I've had many people see me as one of the strongest people they have ever met. Many hold me at a higher esteem because I just keep keeping on with a smile on my face. Sometimes I think they need to realize, the smile was a mask, but one that helped me get to this time in my life.

I can look back now and realize that I am a strong person. Between several conversations with a good friend, I have gained a perspective on my life that I never had...or maybe never believed. People have told me I was strong. They have told me that I give them hope. They have told me that I have much wisdom on life that most people our age don't have. Maybe I do, but it wasn't until my early morning conversations with Zac that I realized that maybe this was all true, that through my experiences, I can give advice that is worthwhile and life changing. This morning, as I had happy tears in my eyes, I realized that everything these people have been telling me for years is really true, and I believe it. I truly believe it now.

But back to my journey. So I was trying to find myself. Some of the best relationship advice I can ever give is when you get out of a serious relationship, you must become happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. I wasn't happy with myself. Heck, after Sam died, I doubted everything he ever told me about being beautiful, amazing and worthwhile. I thought I had killed him. I was hurting and in a very dark place. I went back to school out of necessity, not because I wanted to. I needed something to take up time, and my heart wasn't in it like it was before. I realized that I was going into a profession I didn't want to truly. When I was with Sam, I thought that healing those through Nursing was what I wanted to do.

So the first step on the journey was to find what I wanted to do. It was one professor, a Mr. Jerry Hosterman, that made me realize that I wanted to be a psychologist. He brought a life into the field and made me realize that I was interested in it. Nursing really wasn't my thing. Yes, I'm empathetic, and caring, but it was then I realized it just wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. So off to the registrar I went to change my major. I know it was surprising to many, but my heart was no longer there. I wanted to listen to people and help them out of the things racking their minds. This is what I needed to do myself. But I was still alone and dealing with a grief that I hadn't before. See, the loss of a mother is one thing. Yes, her loss still effects me today, I still miss her, she was my mother. But when grief is intermingled with a broken heart, the pain becomes more searing and at times, harder to find a way through.

So I threw myself into school, into making new friends and into finding myself. I didn't know I needed to find some purpose in my life and I was depressed for awhile after that, until I got a job at The Fowler Center. I know that this past summer I quit, but see, I had learned everything I needed to out of that job. It gave me the purpose and thrill in my life. Through my work at The Fowler Center, I learned about a whole population of people I was aware of, but didn't know enough about. I learned that the little things can bring real happiness, and I learned the find those little things in my life. At the end of the summer, when I moved out of Charter Oaks, I realized that I was beating the depression the was trying to eat me from inside out. I was beating the darkness and finding the light in my life. I was winning. 

It was that one thing, that one job, that made me find the happiness in my life, it brought the light back into a life that was so lifeless to me (but didn't seem so to others). It's funny, when you learn to find the best in each day, people can mistake the happiness you find in the little things as overall happiness. Yes, I loved all the little blessings in my life each day, in an ecstatic wonder, but I wasn't happy. Through my work at The Fowler Center, no matter how hard and frustrating it was at times, I learned happiness again in my life, through helping others achieve things. It may seem selfish, but their happiness snapped me out of my depression, I fed off of it, and realized how truly blessed I was to not have to deal with a serious handicap 
everyday in my life.

It was this past summer that I realized that this journey was over. Though I still loved everything I did at The Fowler Center, everything I could get out of it was gone. I had learned what I needed to learn and realized it was time for me to move on. So I did. This past summer, I finally realized that I was happy with myself. I was studying what I wanted to study, I had finally found a place I felt okay living in, I was leading a life I was proud of. I was happy with myself. Finally.

And that journey ended victoriously. It was late last summer that I realized it was really time to start looking. My internal clock was like, "Yo, it's time to find someone to love again." And so I looked. And I looked. And well, I thought that everything was hopeless at one point. I was about to give up and just be happy with myself for awhile. 

Then that gut feeling happened. The night of December 16th, I knew that Kevin was supposed to be the person I was to fall in love with. It's weird how that happens. You go through life with this person in front of you all the time and then all of the sudden, you just know. Just like that. See, the funny thing about Kevin is that he was there for my whole journey of finding myself. I met Kevin about a month after Sam passed away. He was put in my group for a Nursing class project, and we got to know each other. Then it ended up he knew Abijah really well, and through hanging out with her, I hung out with him. Then came the talking all the time and last winter I would go sit in the White Building with him as he worked before my class and we just talked about life, and what was going on. Through those talks...I just let go of what was on my mind. Kevin knew it all. He was one of the few people I ranted to about the whole dad thing, how I found out, how angry I was, how I was going to fix it in whatever way I could, all of it. And at the end he would give me a hug before I rushed off to class and everything felt better.

That was when he knew he had fallen in love with me.

But we lost contact over the summer, barely saw each other last semester, but we talked all the time. And then that night I knew. It's weird how I knew. I can't even explain it. In that moment I saw a future. The next morning, he ran. Literally ran. But I didn't let that happen, I wasn't going to let this gut feeling go to waste. I went after him. (Who says the boy has to do the chasing!) I have found a happiness, a light, a joy, that hasn't truly been in my life in a long time. Heck, I'm happier with Kevin than I ever was with anyone else. And that's saying something. You know that feeling where in your whole body you know it's right, yeah, that feeling is there.

Another journey ended. But another one began. This is a journey of new love, and one that I am happy to embark on. I am ready to be happy with someone else now that I have become happy without someone in my life. Sometimes the darkest of journeys bring out the brightest results. To say that I am blessed is an understatement, but I don't currently know a better word to describe it.

Life has had an upward turn for sure lately, and as Zac said, I deserve it. It's because I took some other wisdom in my life at the beginning of the year and ran with it. Some people still judge me for who I was in high school. I am not, and will never be again, the person I was in high school. I was a tortured soul. I was just making it through. I am a different person now than I was then and I am continually changing for the better. To stagnate is to rot. I will not let myself sit here and not be changed by the ever changing world around me. So I have taken people who still judge me for my past transgressions and put them in my past. Yes, I have weeded out my friends list. I have taken people out of my life that I no longer want to be there. And I haven't been happier. I now have people in my life that I trust, that I know care for me and that I know understand my life and won't judge me on it. If you are reading this, congratulations, there's a good chance I want you in my life. Over the past couple months, I have lost people I no longer want in my life, but I have gained some as well. That just makes the happiness worthwhile. I have been spending my free time with friends I am so happy to have, doing things I want to do, talking about things I want to and spreading some happiness along the way. No, my life isn't perfect right now, but it's wonderful all the same. Those moments in conversation with people I love are ones I cherish and find worthwhile.

I know I am blessed. I also know I am on a journey to become more blessed. And all of you are right there with me, shaping it, giving it life, and making this journey I am now on a wonderful experience. Are you willing to join me? I am thankful for your existence!

As for your own journeys, as I said to a good friend, I am here always. I will always be here. If you need to talk, cry, a hug, anything I will be there to help. Why? Because you have had an impact on my life, no matter if you know it or not. And I am thankful for that.

Welcome to the journey. Welcome.

1. Broken- Lifehouse
2. Northern Downpour- Panic at the Disco
3. I'd Hate To Be You When People Find Out What Thins Song is About- Mayday Parade
4. What I've Done- Linkin Park
5. Trade Mistakes- Panic! at the Disco
6. I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always trying To Get Your Clothes Off- Fall Out Boy
7. Nothing- The Script
8. Hurricane- 30 Seconds to Mars
9. Jersey- Mayday Parade
10. Who's They- Daughtry
11. When They Come For Me- Linkin Park
12. Never Too Late- Three Days Grace

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My List of Buckets...Oh Wait...My Bucket List!

Bucket Lists are not a foreign concept. I know there are many people who have them, and I have had one for years. For the most part, I started making my bucket list in high school as part of an assignment for an English class I was in. At the time, I never knew how much it would expand, and the things that I would do in the next couple years.

In 2009, I wrote more out. I made a much larger list. Then I "lost" it. But I lived that year (with the help of my then fiancee) and experienced a lot of things in one summer that I didn't think I would ever experience. So in 2010, I wrote another one, a smaller one because I couldn't remember where my other one had gone. 

Then the other day, I was looking in some of my boxes of stuff that I have in storage, and found the journal I wrote it all down in, in 2009. So I put the new and old together to compile my long, but awesome bucket list. I went through and crossed out the things I've accomplished with dates as much as I could remember them. Each crossing out has a story, a memory, something I won't forget. So far, each piece I've crossed out has been a learning experience and has had an impact on the life that I lead everyday.

So if you'd like, here it is, my bucket list in it's entirety. Mainly for me to not lose it again...but also for those who feel the need to help me achieve any one of these things or want to join me on the journey. I CAN say that #5 is in the plans for this summer, it's going to be epic.
1. Go to Paris 
2. Climb a mountain
3. See something truly beautiful
4. Help someone in a great way
5. See the sunrise and sunset on the same day on different sides of the state
6. Get engaged
7. Feel true forgiveness
8. Witness a miracle
9. Visit Westminster Abbey
10. Study abroad
11. Get a tattoo
12. Live in a dorm
(move in: 9/1/2010)
13. Graduate college
14. Make my mom proud
15. Dance in the rain
16. Kiss in the rain
17. Go skydiving
18. Have a child
19. Get married
20. See the pyramids of Egypt
21. Feel beautiful
 (3/1/11; Lady Gaga concert)
22. Beat the odds
 (I do this all the time.)
23. Live to be 30
24. Buy a house
25. Go to church regularly
26. Make a meal for a lot of people
 (TFC, summer 2011)
27. Shake the hand of a celebrity
 (4/3/10; Chris Daughtry)
28. Meet a celebrity
 (4/3/10; Chris Daughtry)
29. Be in a movie
30. Buy a brand new car
31. Have a daughter
32. Have a son
33. Make a difference in someone’s life
 (there are many)
34. Learn Japanese
35. Sing a song in public
 (10/4/10; Karaoke bar!)
36. Jump on a pogo stick
37. Roller blade
38. Learn to ride a bike
39. Speak publicly
 (9/24/09; Jerry Hosterman’s classes)
40. Live to see a cure for cancer
41. Start a career
42. Grant a wish for someone
43. Read a book in one day
 (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 7/2008)
44. Try every fruit in the world
45. Write a newspaper article
46. Play clarinet in public as a soloist
47. Learn how to correctly play piano
48. Save someone’s life
49. Change someone’s outlook on life
50. Watch all 8 Harry Potter movies in a row
51. Learn to play cello
52. See American Idiot the Musical
(1/19/2012; Detroit Opera House)
53. Go to Rome
54. Experience “paradise”
55. Meet Lance Armstrong
56. Take a spontaneous adventure
57. Have a real conversation with Uncle Dave
58. Change an opinion
59. Witness a legal gay marriage
60. Go bungee jumping
61. Write a book
62. Publish that book!
63. Set myself free
64. Stay up all night looking at the stars
65. Forgive those who have hurt me
66. Apologize!
67. See Wicked!
68. Laugh a lot
69. Go to Grad school
70. Graduate grad school
71. Become a “Dr.”
72. Help others
73. Make myself proud
74. Change a life
75. See Coldplay in concert
 (6/2/09; DTE Music Theater)
76. Let go of the past…truly
77. See Rent! live
78. Go to New York City
79. Visit the WTC Memorial
80. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a different state (or country!)
81. Meet new people
82. See Josh Groban in concert
83. Be happy
84. Drive a sports car
85. Plant a garden
86. Be in a relationship for at least a year
87. Meet someone very different from me and learn from them
88. Have a night without worries
89. Be part of a popular Youtube video
90. Tell all my friends how thankful I am for all of them and have them truly believe
91. Go to Mexico
92. Go on a cruise
93. Take a trip and not worry about money
94. See Panic! at the Disco in concert
95. Go to India
96. Drive a boat
97. Climb a tree
98. Go snorkeling
99. Learn German
100. Go to Mardis Gras
101. Make 1000 paper cranes
102. Ride in a hot air balloon
103. Have a surprise party thrown for me
104. Have a fall wedding
105. Pay a stranger’s tab at a restaurant/bar
106. Catch a bride’s bouquet
 (2/14/2009; Kari’s wedding)
107. Read every novel written by Nicholas Sparks
108. Steal a street sign
109. Order dessert first at a restaurant
110. Perform as a member of an orchestra
111. Spend the night in a haunted house

1. The One That Got Away- Katy Perry
2. Give Me Novocaine- Green Day
3. Let Me Be Myself- 3 Doors Down
4. Kings and Queens- 30 Seconds to Mars
5. Someone Like You- Adele
6. Bully- Three Days Grace
7. Drown In You- Daughtry
8. What It's Like- Everclear
9. The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face- Glee
10. Never Too Late- Three Days Grace

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Being thankful is not just something that should come around Thanksgiving, it is something that one should practice on a daily basis. For some, it's harder for them to find what they are thankful for, even if some of the things are staring them in the face.

But, I am not one of those people. I am more thankful than many for the wonderful things in my life. See, sometimes it takes some struggle to see all the amazing things in your life. Yes, my life has not been easy. I have lost many people that were a big part of my life and I am still grieving to this day, maybe not in a way that I used to but their loss still lies heavily on my mind. I have had to fought for everything I currently have in my life, including my own life at times. It has been a struggle that I would do all over again if I had the chance.

See those troubles made me the person I am right now. It brought the light, the happiness, the optimism into my life. When I lost my mother, I had to learn how to deal with change, how to make it through life. When I lost Sam, I learned that I could be loved, that everyday is precious, that every moment is a gift, and that every happy moment does at one point end. So, today I am thankful, like I am everyday. I am sharing this with you, so that maybe you can see what you have and be thankful for it as well.

I am thankful for the love of my life. When I lost Sam, I didn't think I would ever find someone who would love me for me. I have a horrible self-esteem. It's much better than it was in high school, but it's still pretty low. I didn't think I was desirable, I didn't think anyone else would want to love me and I thought my lot in life was to be alone. I'm not kidding you, I thought that. But Kevin was just always there. For those who don't already know, Kevin and I met about a month after Sam passed away. We had a class together and were assigned a project where the teacher assigned the groups, being right after me on the roster, Kevin was put into my group. Kevin and I just gained a friendship that I don't even know how it happened. It just did. Throughout the past 2 years, Kevin has been there, he knows my whole life, he has helped me the best he could and he kept me going on days where I just didn't want to at all. It was only a matter of time that we would get together, and taking the next step hasn't just been amazing, but has changed my whole world. Once again I feel loved. Once again I feel as if maybe, just maybe, I'm desirable. Kevin keeps me level headed, but also up in the clouds. He calms me on days where I am anxious and angry. He peps me up on days where I am feeling under the weather. He keeps me going. He makes me feel safe. But at the same time, he makes me feel as if I can do anything. He's a keeper I say. Sometimes I feel as if fate is such a devious person, which is why Kevin came into my life when he did, when I was hurting so so bad, and became my friend, lifted me up and finally became my boyfriend. We always ask why it took 2 years, and we always come to the conclusion that neither of us were ready for it to be more than a friendship, no matter what kind of signals we were giving or not. But in December, we were finally ready, and I haven't been happier.

I am thankful for my friends. Sometimes you find people in your life who aren't healthy for you. Over the past year, I have been slowly weeding out the people in my life who try to take my happiness and make it worthless. The ones who make it seem as if I am doing the wrong thing with my life. I have slowly taken them out of my life. I now have a wonderful army of people in my life, new and old, that I call my friends. These people want the best for me, they listen to my rants, they go out and dance their asses off with me, they make me smile, they make me laugh and they are just some of the best people in my life. These people are my friends because they want to be, and I want them to be here. They make as much effort as I do in our relationship. The "leaches" are gone for the most part. They are not going to ruin what I have anymore, it's not worth it.

I am thankful for my family. They may not be perfect, they may have made some choices that just aren't okay, but they are still and will always be my family. I may not be as close to them as most people are with their family, but somewhere deep down, I feel as if I have somehow made them proud and that they love me. We may not show it, it may be hidden, but they will always be there. I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for my life. I am thankful for waking up in the morning and to be given another day. We all have bad days, me included, but it's how you fill the moments that predict how the day will go. I have days where I feel sick, down, angry, sad, etc. but I take the moments where I talk to someone I love or I do well on something, and remember that life is not all just sadness, there are lots of amazing things if you find them. Each moment is a gift. Cherish them. Find the people who make you happy all the time. Take out the bad things in your life. Act on your problems, don't just let them sit there. Live. You only have one life, and I know that if and when I get to be old, I can look back at this life and say, "wow, what a ride!" Life is not always easy, but it doesn't mean it can't be good. For all the horrible things in my life, there has been plenty of amazing things as well. Don't dwell on the pain, live in the happiness.

I am thankful for my job. See, it's nothing big, but it's a job. I have income every 2 weeks. It is easy. AND it's allowing me to type this up right now because of my ability to be on a computer while at work. It may only be 20 hours a week, pay near minimum wage and such, but I'm doing a lot better than some. I know at the end of the 2 weeks, I'll have some kind of check in my hand that I can use in whatever I may need. I also have amazing coworkers. People who make me laugh, make me smile and who are just plain awesome. I couldn't ask for better people to work with.

I am thankful for living where I live. Charter Oaks was a horrible place for me. I hated it there. It was my transitional home. It was the place between Uncle Dave's and now. I experienced a lot of pain in that apartment. I dealt with a lot of depression in that apartment. It was that apartment where I felt alone, because I felt that if I died there, no one would make sure I was okay because of how much out of people's life I was at the time. I went days without talking to anyone. I laid in my bed in the dark, wishing for things to end. Charter Oaks was a dark home for me. So when I moved to Riverfront, my life changed dramatically. I have amazing roommates that are there, are willing to help and keep me from being brash and crazy all the time. They make me laugh and smile. They let me rant about life. I know that if something were to happen to me, well they would be there to make sure things were okay. And I know people where I live. Working at the front desk has perks as well, because I get to meet people from all over the building. After Sarah and Boesler moved out of Charter Oaks, I knew NO ONE there. Well, I knew Ashley and Zac, but not that well at the time. I have a sense of community in Riverfront, one that makes me happy to be here. And the apartment is beautiful. The perfect place for me to live. I feel so free here because I just pay all the bills at the beginning of the month (but really I pay for the whole semester at once which makes the experience even more freeing.) Yes, this summer I'm going to be scraping to get by on a month to month basis by moving to a new room for the time being, but I am going to be happily living here. If I have to talk to Uncle Dave for help for a month of two, I shall. I'll make ends meet somehow. I don't even know where else I would live for those 4 months from May to September. I'll end up doing what I do.

I am thankful for all the things I have in my life. I am doing okay. I have lots of "things" that other people don't have. I live a comfortable life no matter what. I have the ability to be happy. I can make ends meet but at the same time, have nice things. It's really a nice feeling. Sometimes they say that "things" aren't all that, but I know that I have earned everything I have. And that is a wonderful thing.

I am thankful for being able to go to school. Education is important to me, and knowing that I am getting close to being a college graduate is just such a big them for me. It's one of those goals that I have worked so hard, fought for and can see it in my grasp. I can't wait to hold that diploma in my hands and rejoice! I'm sure it's going to be an amazing day.

I am thankful for my strength. It has gotten me through so much. So much more than you can even imagine.

I am thankful for the people who I have lost in my life. Each and every one of them have taught me amazing lessons that I couldn't get elsewhere. It hurts to think about their losses, but I will always have fond memories. That will never change.

1. Heavy in Your Arms- Florence and the Machine
2. Survivor Guilt- Rise Against
3. Lost!- Coldplay
4. Someone Like You- Adele
5. Over My Head (Cable Car)- The Fray
6. Losing My Mind- Daughtry
7. Re-Education (Through Labor)- Rise Against
8. Blackout- Breathe Carolina
9. I Gave You All- Mumford & Sons
10. Endgame- Rise Against
11. Who You'd Be Today- Kenny Chesney
12. Good Feeling- Flo Rida
13. The One That Got Away- Katy Perry
14. Dare You To Move- Switchfoot

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In Response

So whew, yesterday I wrote about one of the biggest secrets in my life. I laid it all out there. And well, the wave of emotions I experienced was not expected.

I thought I would get depressed, sad, maybe shed some tears, have some major flashbacks about the whole experience. But I didn't. I felt relieved. I felt like it was something that I had wanted to talk about for such a long time, but very few people knew what I had really gone through. There are some who think highly of me, and these people are also the ones who know my life quite well. These people see me in the light they do, because they have respect for what I have gone through.

Hiding grief is hard, hiding a broken heart is even harder. When my mother passed away, I hid a lot of my pain for a long time. I didn't talk about her loss with many people, hell the day after her funeral, I was at school with a smile on my face. It wasn't because it didn't hurt, and her death didn't effect me for the rest of my life, it's just that I didn't want people to see me as weak.

See, for the longest time, I saw emotions as weakness. I hid them around my mother (as I cried in my room all the time) and well, I didn't want to be seen as a mess after her death. When I moved in with Uncle Dave and Aunt Debbie, I didn't want to be seen as weak either. I put up a front. I didn't let them know how I really was feeling on the inside...a goopy mess of a teenager who was lost in a world that had broken to shambles. That was my life. I didn't know where my father was, my mother was dead, my brother had been moved over 100 miles away and I was in this new home with family members who weren't what I expected. That is what I tried to get through in high school. That is why I was so big into the band. School work and music were the only things I felt like I did right, so I threw myself into that to keep myself busy and keep all the other shit off my mind.

And so after high school, and moving out, and the falling out with friends, I was once again lost. I needed a breath of fresh air. My life was falling apart all over again. And well, Sam changed that. He put my life back together. I am not ashamed of my relationship with him, I never will be. I am not scared of what I had there, it was wonderful. I learned a lot, have amazing memories that still, to this day, make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

But I hid that away, and slowly revealed this to the people I felt I could trust. There is a lot of learning and trusting I still need to work on, being someone so used to pain, it's hard to trust at times. So yesterday, I just decided that it was time for a big step. I had told Zac that I wanted to eventually speak about it to more of my family and friends, and that it would be by blog post. I had talked about it on here vaguely before, even almost not so vaguely last December, but for those who didn't know "who" that post was talking about, well you now know! And it probably makes sense now. 

So when you talk about losing the man you love, I know. OH I know. I know exactly how you feel on that one. I know the feeling of feeling in love, the warmth, the happiness, that beauty, how time flies so fast, how you will do anything for that one person, how they make you feel beautiful every moment of everyday, how you can fall so fast when their gone, how you want to spend every moment of everyday with them, how lonely your heart feels when you are no longer loved, the pain of a heart ripping in half, the depression you are thrown in once they are gone, the memories that cause tears at a moments notice, how just a smell like them can bring back every moment of everyday and haunt you for the rest of your life, how that one song that was your song hurts so bad to listen to, makes you cringe, but at the same time you can't stop listening to it, how memories hurt so bad to remember them and feel them, but you don't want to let them go because you don't want to forget them and those moments in your life.

I know.

So when I revealed that I had been going through cycles of happiness, sadness, pain, anger and all kinds of emotions for over 2 years now over a man that I was in love with, who was sick and who had died while I was my own person, well I felt relieved at first. Then I realized what I did, and freaked. But I freaked too late and I knew that many of you had read it. Then I hyperventilated and thought that I did the wrong thing. I felt like it was the wrong time, everyone was going to be angry I never told them, that they would be disappointed that I had made such brash decisions, that I had let them down in life. But it took a great friend to convince me that the truth was a wonderful thing, that it would have come out eventually, and now that it was out I no longer needed to have it weigh on my mind. People know and if they treat me differently because of it, shame on them. I am still Amelia, and even though I have been through so much more than you can even imagine, I am still me. I am optimistic. I smile. I laugh. I sing. I love. I don't let the pain run my life and ruin it. I don't let it keep me down. I wake up in the morning, smile and take on the day...no matter what. It's what I did then, and it's what I shall keep doing. I still live a life with an outlook that I know that we all have shitty times, we have some days that just don't seem to want to end, they cause pain, they are horrible; but tomorrow is a whole new day. A day full of opportunities and new memories. A day that you can make better. It only rains so long, eventually the sun will come out and it'll be smooth sailing again. I can tell you that thought is so true, because of what I have experienced.

This morning I woke up a new woman. I feel awesome (even though I did go out to the club, drink some drinks, dance my ass off...so I'm a little sore from that) but I am still lighter than I have been in years. That is off my chest, I can move forward with the feeling that a large part of my life, where I was my own person and very few people were actually a part of it, and gave you a look into what made me who I am today. See, in 2008, I was a different person than I was in 2009. And at the end of 2009, the relationship with Sam had changed me so much more than you can even imagine that I was a totally different person by the end of 2009. But today, in 2012, I am an even more different person than I was a year ago, even 6 months ago. I am changing, evolving, learning and being. The fact that I can recognize that in me, and other people is a gift. My experiences have made me want to know more about people, help them, give them someone to lean on, someone to rant at, someone to make them look at their life and go wow...I can do anything. 

So what to expect now that this tidbit of my life is out in the open: expect stories, memories, reminisces of this time in my life. More detail. Me working through it now that I can put it out there and no longer care what you think. See, I don't care anymore. If you think I was foolish, I don't care. If you think I shouldn't have kept it in so long, I don't care. If you think of me any differently than you did before, I don't give a shit. Yup, I went there. See, if you don't believe a word, well you aren't the people who care for me in any way, and you are the people I am getting out of my life...even if you are family. I no longer want people who effect me negatively in my life. I believe I only deserve love, understanding and those who want the best for me in life. I no longer want negativity as I'm moving on and evolving into the human being I want to spend the rest of my life as. People who leach your happiness are not worth having around, and I am no longer going to put up with it.

I am happy with what I did, I am happy with the relationship I shared. I am happy being me. That is all that matters. If you want to continue being a part of my life, don't let things I reveal change your attitude towards me, and don't treat me differently. I have fought hefty battles and I deserve the happy state I am in right now. Don't ruin this for me.

Okay /rant for now. I just wanted to let you know that I don't rescind anything I said yesterday and I don't have regrets. We all have secrets, I still have plenty. But that was a secret I decided to let out this year, and now that it's out so early this year, I don't have to deal with it nagging me anymore. It's out there in the open, where it shall remain. 

And today, I am willing to talk about it. If you want to know more. If you want to talk to me, share some of your own experiences, really get to know who I am and what really makes me tick, I welcome the conversation. If you want to stay in the dark, or ignore everything whatsoever, good for you. It will always be there, I can't change my past or my experiences, but I can make it my past and not let it effect my future no longer.

Love you all, I truly do. 

1. I Run to You- Lady Antebellum
2. Love Drunk- Boyslikegirls
3. For The First Time- The Script
4. The One That Got Away- Katy Perry
5. The Crow and the Butterfly- Shinedown
6. Aerials- System of the Down
7. Crawling Back to You- Daughtry
8. Without You- David Guetta (w/ Usher)
9. If It's Love- Train
10. Set Fire to the Rain- Adele

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The View From Up Here

You know, they say you live and learn. And throughout life, people come and go like no other but each of them has some kind of effect on your life, sometimes very small but at times can change it forever. This is one of those sappy love posts where I shall reveal a portion of my life that very few have ever learned about me. This is where I finally confront and talk about 2009 and the changes that happened in my life. Though some things will always be inside of me, in my memories, I will talk about the craziest thing that can happen in the life of a girl.

I am going to talk about love.

See, in 2009, I moved out of Uncle Dave's house. I was done with their shit at this time in my life. I was frustrated and I needed some space to be me. To many, they thought moving into Uncle Dave's household would be easy for me. They thought that now I was in a "stable" home, with enough money to sustain us, that I would be able to heal. But it wasn't easy. Everything was different. Things happened that were well, not okay under any circumstances. And I resisted change the whole time I was there. 

So in the beginning of 2009, after I had turned 18, I moved out of their house as soon as I could. I wanted to spread my wings. They didn't allow me to go off to college and live in a dorm at the time, though I had wanted to. Until I was 18 years old, I was stuck in their household, with their rules.

I feel as if they didn't have any respect to let me mess up at the time. I feel as if I have gained some respect over the years, though it hasn't been said directly.

Anyway...I moved into an apartment with a roommate. But not more than 2 months later, I had a huge fallout with many of my friends and my roommate moved out. We haven't spoken much since that moment. But I was alone, I didn't like calling Uncle Dave, I was struggling, I was depressed and I didn't think I had the willpower to get through a lot of things that were going on in my life. Everything was coming at me at once, and I felt like I had to take it all in alone.

Then Sam came into my life. Who's Sam you may ask? Well, I'm going to tell you. I hid Sam away from pretty much everyone. I was afraid of the judgments I would get because of my past and things I had said. Sam and I knew each other from our childhood, but hadn't talked in years. Then one dark morning when I was about to give up just about everything, there he was.

And we had an instant connection. We went out to coffee, which turned into dinner. We fell in love at that moment. Sam made me feel wanted, loved, needed and beautiful. All feelings that I hadn't felt in a long time. And so began the summer of my life. Summer 2009. I will always look back at that summer with fond memories. 

But I guess why I was afraid (and still am) of the judgments set forth by my family and friends is because Sam wasn't a normal individual. Sam was sick, very sick. This made an urgency to the whole situation. I was once again taking care of someone I loved with a serious illness. I was 18 years old. But I was in love with this man. 

And everything was rushed, but when you're in love, you forget these things. On June 25th of that year, we were engaged. Yup, you never knew that did you? I was engaged to be married that year. I still have the ring upstairs, just sitting in a box with my mother's rings. I did things with Sam I had never experienced before in my life, but I hid them away. I have no pictures of this time because I didn't take any. If you look on my Facebook, there is a dearth of pictures starting in Spring 2009 and ending where this story will also end. I was too wrapped up in just about everything that was happening, the highs, the feelings, the love, that I forgot the world. Truly. 

But that world ended on August 22nd of that year. That morning Sam was rushed to the hospital and by several hours later, his family and I received the news that he had passed away. He was gone. I remember the feeling of the world dropping out from under me but I spent days just sitting there, numb of all feeling. And I sat there, amid all the memories those walls held, all the love I had felt, all the laughs and smiles, the mess in the kitchen we had made together that one morning, those nights on the futon playing wii or just watching TV, the life I had hidden away from everyone. And I mean EVERY ONE. I never said a word about it on Facebook, I remained "single" throughout the whole thing, I didn't talk to many people, I let them think I was still in my deep hole of depression.

But I wasn't. Sam saved me. He stopped me from deciding to give up on my life. He made me feel beautiful when the people in my life kept telling me that I was fat, ugly and stupid. 

So when he passed, I almost expected it, but at the same time I was reeling. I went back to school that fall just to escape the sadness and pain that I was experiencing. I kept myself busy. And I went through the task of canceling all our plans, both literally and mentally. I had let myself go and let myself fall in love like I had never done before in my life. I was heartbroken. I was alone. And there are scars on my heart that are still stinging, are still causing me pain to this day.

It took me a long time to believe that I would ever fall in love again. To believe that I could even be desirable to someone. I felt like I had lost my "one" and that I was going to remain lonely for the rest of my life here on Earth. I hated being alone, but I wasn't mentally ready to be in love again for a long time after that death. I had fallen in love with a sick (as in illness) man and I got what was coming in my life. I felt like no one would understand what I was going through. I haven't revealed this relationship to many, because I feel like everyone will tell me I was stupid. That I shouldn't have let myself do that. But sometimes, you just can't control who your heart falls in love with.

Yes, I was young. I was stupid. I let myself get so wrapped up in the situation and I learned a hell of a lot from it. But for all the pain that I have had to deal with...the broken heart, the troubles...I got so much more out of it. Because of Sam, I have my outlook on life. I am an optimist, I lost a lot of my fear. For heaven's sake, I jumped out of an airplane with him that summer. The quote on my foot tattoo, is one he told me that morning. I live by that quote. There is no use being afraid of life, it's so much more fun to take it by the horns and let it happen. Yes, there will be pain, there will be lessons, there will be troubles...but that comes in life. Because of all the shit that I have seen in my 21 years, I also know what happiness is. Sometimes you have to experience darkness to especially experience the light.

And that is where I am at in my life. Eventually I moved on up from the darkest year of my life. I moved out of Charter Oaks and into Riverfront. I let go of people who have been negative in my life. I left a job that gave me nothing but frustration while teaching me all it could. I chose a major where my heart really lies.

And I fell in love again. You may think its too early to say its love, because Kevin and I have been official for less than a month, but in essence he has been there for a very long time and I love him lots. See the funny thing is, Sam left my life on August 22. I met Kevin less than a month later in my Nursing class. We have been best friends for almost 2 years. Kevin knew about Sam, Kevin knew I was healing, Kevin knew that I had to become okay with myself before I would be okay with someone else. Kevin has understood me better than many other people who claim to know me. And that's what made our relationship so inevitable. He has been calming me down, listening to me, hugging me, reassuring me for 2 years now. That is the biggest gift I could ever be given. 

When I say the view from up here, I mean the view from one of the highest points in my life. Karma has dragged me around quite a bit and has made me work for what I've gotten. I've been slowly working my way back up. I've learned things about me, I've inspired some people along the way and I have come out on top for awhile. I am living in a place where I am happy and free, I am going to school for what I want to do, I am in love with someone I want to be with, I have friends in my life that care for me and want the best for me. I am happy and I have an overall feeling of well-being. I feel as if 2012 may be my year. I feel more hope than I have had in a long, long time. 

The other day I was talking with my friend Zac and he said something that struck me. "Pain is a good teacher, a great teacher. But not all lessons have to be taught through pain. But the pain never goes away. You just find happy, good things to surround the pain and make it less painful. It doesn't mean that it isn't there, you can still experience in the same strength as the moment that it happened if you ever need to. But, the happy things make it so that the pain no longer runs your life." I have now filled my heart with many happy things that are overshadowing the pain.

Today I have shared with you another great pain in my life. Another time that I am still healing from. Another time that made me into the person I am today. I have shared with you one of the greatest secrets in my life. Publicly. I have laid it out there for you to read, and it to be read by many. I know that this may all see crazy, but every single moment of this was real to me. Sometimes you don't know what you're getting yourself into, you are just so caught up in the moment. That was this moment, these feelings. This is something I am still feeling. Something I am still getting past.

But I am healing. I am moving on. I am continuing. I am living. I am loving. This is my life. My life as an optimist.

1. Lullabye- Daughtry
2. The Scientist- Coldplay
3. Satellite- Rise Against
4. There's a Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Realized It Yet- Panic! at the Disco
5. Gone Too Long- After Midnight Project
6. Heartbeat- The Fray
7. Here Without You- Three Doors Down
8. The One That Got Away- Katy Perry