AGH (Sometimes You Need To Scream)

Well.  What the HELL.  Firstly, I know it’s been like six years sine I updated and I’M SORRY for that.  Life has been crazy crazy over here.  Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

Some good things:  Every day, it gets easier and easier to wake up and not think about Ed.  Sure, I have my good days and my bad days, but overall I feel an overwhelming sense of calm settling over that part of my life.  I’m ready to keep the past in the past.  My mother always tells me that Ed (in this situation) is in my rearview mirror and I have to concentrate on everything coming into view on the dash.  She’s good like that, my mother is.

T-9 DAYS TILL I MOVE BACK IN!!!!!!!  I’m only a little bit excited.  (JOKES FOREVER I CAN’T WAIT!)  My roommates Tay and Dom have already moved in because they’re early arrivals due to cheer camp, so ALL of last weekend was spent helping them set up the room as well as moving in some of my stuff and just generally hanging out and getting back in the swing of things.  Going back to my house after spending the afternoon with my friends at school felt wrong and sad.  I do love being with my family, but I’m ready to get back in the swing of things with some of my most favorite people.

Some not-so-good-things:  I am ultra confused!  So.  Without name dropping or divulging super personal information, I have gotten friendzoned by someone who means the world to me even though I know he likes me too.  This is both a good and bad thing; good, because I am on my way and making progress in getting back into the swing of things on my own.  It feels good to be able to put my feelings toward someone else, someone who has the potential to be very good for me.  Bad, because raise your hand if you like getting friendzoned.  Oh, no hands?  WEIRD.  It sucks.  It’s sucky and the WORST part of it all is that I know he feels the same way for me but is not ready to act on anything yet.  I’m sure in the long run it’ll only be good for us, whether we decide to be together as a couple or just continue our friendship.  However, I’m in the middle of embracing the suck and let me tell you I did NOT miss this weird feeling of having anxiety of not knowing.

UGH.  Frustration x 1000000.

However, this weekend Maddie and I are road tripping all the way to Dayton, Ohio, to visit our friend Patrick who we went to high school with (I might have written about him before).  We are SO excited and I’m hoping it distracts me a little from my current situation.  It’ll be a hella long drive (something like 4.5 hours but I’ll probably have to pee at least twice) and I HATE driving on the highway/never ever drive on the highway so I’m hoping it’ll be a learning experience for me in the best way possible.  My mom grew up near Dayton and so in addition to meeting Patrick’s friends and experiencing all that the University of Dayton has to offer, I’m SO EXCITED to see where she grew up.  We’re planning on driving to her house and maybe the high school she went to.  I’ve never been to her old neighborhood so I’m really excited for that, too!  It should be a wonderful weekend.

I’ll get by, I know I will.  It’s just the waiting that kills me.  For now, I’m gonna listen to sad music and ponder.  I’ve become very good at this this summer, lol.

xoxo

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.”

I know, that quote is totally unoriginal and I probably could have done a better job with getting your attention.  But, alas, here you are!  This quote has certainly stuck with me over the past few months as I’ve gone through so many unexpected changes in a relatively short amount of time.

I addressed this in my previous blog post, but on June 10th, Ed and I’s relationship, 10 days short of 1.5 years, came to an end.  I was the one who facilitated the break up, but I think I had been pushed to calling it quits for awhile before I actually had the nerve to end it.  There was so much that influenced how, when, where, and why I broke up with him.  The most frequently asked question I’ve received in the two months since is simply, “why?”  Honestly, this is the hardest question to answer.  There were so many factors that played into my decision.  I had been feeling like I was on the receiving end of an undetermined amount of empty promises for the last quarter of our relationship; I wasn’t sure that Ed would be the only man to make me as happy as he did, without the constant bickering and compromising on things that I shouldn’t have had to sacrifice; my 5 year plan was vastly different than his was and would have ultimately ended in my sacrificing things that I’m passionate about (getting married and starting a family young).  Alongside the big issues were smaller ones like feeling as though I wasn’t as big of a priority as I felt like I deserved to be – this is NOT to say that I expect to be tended to 24/7, but rather that I would constantly be put on the back burner to his friends, skateboarding, and work.

There were nights where we fought so loudly that I woke my roommate up from the other side of the wall, nights where I didn’t have the courage or energy to muster myself from my bed for fear that I would burst into tears, nights spent with him where I wished I was back at school.  And on the flip side, there were nights where I could picture doing whatever it was that we were doing for the rest of our lives and being so content.  Days spent with his family, evenings spent with our friends, phone calls and text messages professing our love for one another, and so many times where we sat and talked about how our future would look.  I think, looking back on it now, that I had on my rose colored glasses for a good majority of our relationship.  Whether that’s something that I should be ashamed of or impressed by, I’m not sure at this point.  I do know that there are days where I take my memories and experiences and thrive from everything I’ve learned both in the year and a half spent with him and the past two months being away, but there are also days where I want to take everything back and scream at the younger version of me, “GUARD YOUR HEART.  BE SMART.  LISTEN TO MOM AND DAD,” but I don’t think that either of these feelings are totally fair.  While it’s important to learn from mistakes and experiences, it’s also important to know which is a mistake and which is an experience and try not to confuse the two in the future.

I know this post makes it seem like I was trapped in a miserable relationship for the better part of two years, and I want to be 100% clear that that’s not how it was at all.  When Ed and I were good, it was as good as anything I’ve ever known.  I had someone who appreciated me for everything that I was and maybe even a little more at times, someone who loved me unconditionally and unapologetically, and someone who made me believe in the good in people again.  Above all, Ed made me feel beautiful.  That’s one of the most important things I can stress to people who ask me for relationship advice: if your significant other doesn’t make you feel beautiful without question, there’s probably something missing.  It just so happened that there was something missing in my relationship, too.  Sometimes, it happens.  I’m a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason and also that if it’s meant to be, it will be.  Pretty much, those sayings (and a few others) have been playing in my head like a record.  I know it was hard for Ed and I both to walk away from something that seemed to be working well enough, but I had to ask myself if I was willing to settle for “good enough” at 19.  Ultimately, it wasn’t something I felt like I had to do at this point in my life.

I haven’t spoken to him in great length since the break up – we communicated briefly about returning sweatshirts and the like a few weeks after I ended it, but since then we have had no communication – but I saw his mom once when I went to pick my clothes up at his house.  Saying goodbye to Ed’s family was one of the hardest things I had to do, and it also made it 10x more real in my mind.  I didn’t say goodbye to Noah for a variety of reasons, mostly because I hadn’t made up my mind by the last time I saw him but also I think it’s for the best because that would have been confusing for him and extremely upsetting for me.  He made Ed and I’s happy days so much happier and I feel lucky that I got to watch him grow up, even if it was only for a little while.  I didn’t personally say goodbye to any of Ed’s family, but a few days after the 10th both his mom and sister texted me, wishing me well and saying that they’d miss me and that I was good for Ed.  I thought I had wrapped up my emotions for awhile until I got his mom’s text and then everything unraveled again for awhile.  I had formed such an amazing connection with his family, but especially with his mom, so saying goodbye to someone I really cared about (and I know she cared about me as much) was so hard, and is something that I get emotional about if I think too hard about it.

Still, there was nothing harder than saying goodbye to Ed.  Some days, it still doesn’t feel real; kind of like the past year and a half was some sort of subconscious dream that I was observing instead of actually participating in.  It’s weird to think that the person I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with might actually never speak with me again.  However, I did something that I needed to do for myself – I was selfish, yes, but I would have cheated myself out of being 100% confident and happy going further if I hadn’t drawn the line.  Do I wish I had never fallen in love with Ed?  Some days, I do, but only because it still hurts a little.  I wrote a prose piece years ago about how it’s okay to be sad after you’re the one who did the ending (attached below!) but sometimes it’s still hard to remember.

When I’m in doubt, I think of the confidence and pride that my mother has for me; she is undoubtedly sure that I’m on my path to greatness, and I’m so thankful that she’s going through this journey with me and has picked me up and carried me when I no longer could.  I’m certainly blessed with the best family and friends anyone could ask for, and while this summer hasn’t especially gone as planned, I don’t think I would change anything.

Be proud of yourself for being brave.

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College: Spring Term

I know I already posted tonight but I’m going out of town for two days starting tomorrow and so I wanted to get ahead (as if that makes up for my lack of posting for a WHOLE YEAR)!

Spring Term was all sorts of wonderful.  I stayed close with Tay, Adam, and AJ and continued to cultivate my friendship with Dominique next door.  We spend so many nights in Tay and my room just laughing and being silly.  She’s really someone that I’m glad I got to know.  Maintaining friendships was something that came as more difficult for me than I anticipated.  I had a huge falling out with my best friend from all the way back n sophomore year of high school in the beginning of Winter Term, and we took some time apart from each other to do a little bit of growing on our own (thankfully we have since made up and really are closer than ever, something that I am more grateful for than I think even she knows).  It was hard for me to find my footing apart from her and my other high school best friend who was at the University of Iowa, balancing her hated for her school as well as her long distance relationship.  I felt alone for a little while, and then realized that I have so many people who love me and want the best for me, so I promptly stopped feeling sorry for myself and embraced the ability that I was given to find myself – and I think I didn’t do too badly of a job.

In addition to cultivating my friendships, I added a second major!!! I KNOW, look at me go! At the beginning of the term, I decided to add radio to my class list and began to DJ for two hours every Friday night and Saturday morning.  Almost immediately, I was hooked.  (Thanks, Adam)!  Instead of keeping it as a hobby, I decided to pursue it further and am really pleased with the options that are open to me.  As a double major in poly sci and broadcast communications, I have such a wide variety of potential career paths and internships available to me, plus my background in theatre has given me a confidence that many of my peers don’t possess immediately when they’re thrown on air.  Admittedly, I still get MAD butterflies when the “ON AIR” sign flashes red, but the rush of pride I get when listeners call in to tell me they enjoy what I have to say is so immense that I’ll take the butterflies anytime.  Also, it’s so fun to listen to my mom brag to everyone (literally everyone) that her daughter has a radio show.  It makes me happy knowing that she’s proud of me.

Despite some drama involving someone my friend group used to hang out with, Spring Term was mostly smooth sailing.  I worked hard on my grades and buckled down in Sonata.  I was elected as the Social Media Consultant on the Exec Board for the 2016-17 school year and I was so incredibly proud of myself 🙂  It’s still a huge high point in my life. Ed and I found ourselves arguing more and more, however, and almost called it quits a few times.  It got to the point where I think I was holding onto something that wasn’t there anymore – this is certainly not to say that he didn’t love me anymore or that I didn’t love him.  I had more love in my heart for him than I knew possible; he was just evolving into someone that I didn’t know.  In all fairness, I have changed too.  But where I think that my change is for the better, I wasn’t always so confident with his.  We fought about important things and stupid things just the same, and it was taking a toll on me and everyone around me.  I have my mom and Taylor to thank for keeping me sane in those few weeks of crazy emotions…I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t stepped up and held me up when all I so badly wanted was to admit defeat and let my sadness overtake me.  I began to think for myself and make decisions that I was proud of.  This isn’t to say that I wasn’t proud of myself before, but I began to take control and not let him manipulate things like when I was finished hanging out with my friends so he could pick me up, or how long I could hang out with Adam for until it got uncomfortable (which is never, ever did).

Spring Term were some of the most emotionally taxing 10 weeks I’ve ever been through, but they were for sure my favorite 10 weeks of college thus far.  I got home from school on June 8th and not two hours later I was dying to go back.

I suppose that this really belongs in a summer entry, but I’ll include it because it had been a long time coming.  On June 10th, I ended Ed and I’s relationship, 12 days before our 1.5 year anniversary.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, without a doubt.  Essentially, I wasn’t confident that the man he was when I broke up with him was one that I wanted to or could spend the rest of my life with; he was worlds different from the man I fell in love with.  And I did still love him when we ended things, and I think a part of me will always love him.  He was my first great love; but that’s the thing.  I want to have many great loves and while I could see a future with Ed, I think at this point I’m too young to settle down without even trying to explore what’s out there!  It has been some of the most emotional days and weeks since the breakup, and I think I’ve been all over the emotion spectrum.  I’m so thankful for my wonderful friends and family who put up with my incessant tears after the initial break up…it felt like I didn’t stop crying for three days.  No one ever got mad or fed up with me though, and I really am blessed to have such a wonderful support system.  Every piece of advice I’ve gotten since the break up is just that I did the right thing, I’m in for a wonderful experience, and that I’m supported.  One of the women I babysit for, a close friend of my mom’s for 3 years or so, told me “be proud of yourself for being brave,” and that brought me to tears.  Since then, that’s been something that I’ve tried to remember when things get hard and I think I’ve made a horrible mistake.  So far, it’s been a different road than I anticipated taking maybe 6 months ago, but it has been a road full of opportunity and experience, and for that I am grateful.

I think I’ll make a separate blog post about how the break up went and how I’m doing almost 2 months since I’ve seen him, but right now I’m absolutely cashed.  Thanks for letting me ramble, and I’ll see y’all in a few short days!

xoxo

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Dominique, Taylor, and I cheering Tay on at her cheer showcase!

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Adam visited me & chatted on my radio show one Friday night – I didn’t stop laughing the whole evening. 🙂

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Sonata Problem at NIU, opening for the Huskie Hunks.  We sang a 3 piece set and made so many lovely friends that night!

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For Taylor’s 19th birthday, our dysfunctional friend group went to the Riverwalk at 11 pm and WADED in the ice cold water as the clock hit midnight…gotta ring it in big for Tay’s last teenage year!

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The winsome threesome at Springfest.  We didn’t know it then, but we have plans to hang those license plates up in our dorm room this year 🙂

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Me, Noah, and Ed at the Morton Arboretum one Sunday afternoon.  This was probably the Last Good Day, although we didn’t know it then.  I look disgusting in the picture but it makes my heart happy.  Ed and I took pictures of just the two of us but this one is my favorite because Noah was begging to get in the picture, and as soon as Ed’s mom took the camera and started snapping, he was distracted by the frog statues.  Kids, man. 😉

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My lovely lovely friend Haley, who is going through Sonata with me as a first year as well.  So grateful for her talented self!

College: Fall Term

Alriiigghhhtttt…since I have so much to update you all on (and by “you all” I mean the 4 people who used to read my entries), I’m going to break it into sections.  I’ll start with each of my 3 terms of freshman year and then work outwards to social life, relationships, etc.  Sound good?  Good.

Moving in was a day with so many emotions.  Mostly, it was bittersweet.  I remember standing in the middle of my empty bedroom, the place where I have spent the majority of my life for the past 11 years, and just being baffled that even though I was moving out it still looked remotely the same.  Like, isn’t everything supposed to be wildly different once you move out?  For me, I was shocked at how much it still looked like my room.  In a way, it was comforting because I knew that I could come back home and have it still be home.

There were a lot of tears when I said goodbye to my family; they helped me unpack and get my side of the room ready for when my roommate finally arrived (I moved in a week early for a theatre camp in downtown Chicago), we sat and suffered in the heat for three hours because the air conditioning in my building was apparently not turned on yet, and then we ate hotdogs and tried to socialize with all the other camp participants and their parents.  Eventually, I had to go to the opening ceremony for my camp and it was time to say goodbye to my family for the first time in my whole 18 years.  (I should note that I’m getting anxious and choked up just thinking about this moment).  I walked my parents and little brother (who is 16 and towers over me at 6’0) to my dad’s car, and that’s when we pretty much fell apart.  I don’t remember who I said goodbye to first.  I think it was my brother Michael, who laid his head down on my shoulder and shook with tears.  We have a pretty close relationship now as we are growing older, but hadn’t particularly gotten along always growing up.  However, his raw emotion is something that I felt so strongly and since then, I have a new appreciation for my brother who is fixated on making sure his hair falls nicely and gives me crap about literally everything I do.  Up next was my dad, who gave me a hug, let me cry on his shoulder, and tearfully told me that he would text me so we could get lunch soon.  I have seen my father cry a handful of times in my life; twice when his older brother and father passed away, twice when we put our dogs down, and once when my aunt passed away.  I can add the day he moved me in to NCC as one of those days and I was not expecting it.  Like Michael, my dad’s emotion rocked me.

I knew saying goodbye to my mom was going to be the hardest thing for me – over the past four years we have grown closer than I could have ever hoped and ever thought I wanted.  She is my best friend (I know I’ve mentioned this before).  I clung to my mom as though it was going to be the last time I saw her ever (even though I only go to school 20 minutes away from my house).  She told me to be strong and that she was proud of me and of course, to call and text her whenever I needed/wanted to.  She was so strong, and I could see through her tears that she really was proud of me.  Everything I do, I do it for my family.  They are my biggest support system and I could do nothing without them.

I went to theatre camp and it ended up being a little bit of a bust – mostly it was an awkward weekend spent with people I didn’t know, competing to impress the theatre department chair.  I look back on that weekend and I think that’s when I started to become more unhinged from theatre.  It was a gradual process but doing that camp definitely set it off.  I did meet a really great friend, though!  Elizabeth and I got each other through that weekend and although we aren’t as close anymore, she was my first friend at NCC and I have a special place in my heart for her.

Honestly, first term was such a blur.  There is, of course, the awkward stage of getting to know your roommate, balancing social lives with academia, trying not to get lost on campus or in the buildings, accidentally sleeping through your 9 AM finite mathematics class, getting sick the first time away from home, inevitable homesickness, and getting used to the craziness that is college.  Not all of it was bad, though!  I met so many amazing friends and have a lot of crazy memories with my roommate Taylor from first term (ones that we do NOT expel to just the average reader).  Something that I struggled with a lot that I didn’t expect was balancing school friends with Ed, my boyfriend at the time (more on that in a separate post).  While Taylor didn’t mind him hanging out in our room or being on campus with us occasionally, I didn’t particularly enjoy mixing the two groups of people in my life.  At the time, I didn’t understand why; however, I think looking back, I liked the fact that I had a life separate from Ed and wanted to maintain that for as long as I could before I had to be back in a twosome.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved hanging out with Ed.  It was just harder to balance the two than I thought it would be.

A huge blessing in my life came to me the second week of freshman year, on September 22nd to be exact (I remember because it was Ed and I’s 9 mo anniversary).  I auditioned for a coed a cappella group on campus.  At this point, I had no idea about collegiate a cappella other than what they show in Pitch Perfect.  I went into the audition mildly terrified but also very excited – essentially they had us sight read a verse and a chorus of Pompeii by Bastille and sing, individually, a verse and a chorus of a song of our choosing.  I decided, haphazardly, to sing Sun by Sleeping at Last.  Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling but as soon as I got onto that stage and started the song, I felt good – like it was destined that I was supposed to be singing one of my favorite songs for a bunch of random strangers.  By the grace of God, I was selected from 60 people to be 1/8 new members of Sonata Problem.  I don’t know how to describe how amazing they are, but I love each and every one of them, past and present.  But more on them later!!!

First term of my freshman year of college (so weird, still) was a whirlwind of activity and emotion packed into 10 short weeks.  There were times when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and scream; other times, I felt like I could conquer anything and everything, and dared anyone to tell me otherwise.  It was probably my least favorite term this year, but in retrospect I don’t think that’s fair to say because I wouldn’t change any of it – every single thing that happened in those 10 weeks made me into the person/student/friend/daughter I am today!  And that’s pretty darn cool.

I know this wasn’t a super in-depth rehash of first term but it’s honestly a little foggy.  I told the important parts, but mostly it’s important for anyone who is gearing up for their first (or second, third, or fourth) year at school to remember that even when your world feels like it’s crashing down onto you or you’re holding your 16 year old brother by the shoulders and telling him that all he has to do is drive 20 minutes to see you, college is such an incredible experience and to get ready for the best 4 years of your life (so far)!  All the struggle, stress, anxiety, money, exams, cram sessions, all-nighters, everything is so freaking worth it.

That’s all I’ve got tonight.  I’ll be back tomorrow to rehash my second term (and maybe my third if you’re lucky)!  For now, I’m going to listen to sad music from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack because sometimes, it’s what you need.

xoxo

IMG_3278Elizabeth and I on our second-to-last-day at Theatre Camp, at Navy Pier in downtown ChicagoIMG_3616

I love this picture…it’s me, my roommate Taylor, and our next-door neighbor Dominique. This was taken in November and little did we know, in a matter of months we would all be best friends and would be rooming together in the fall of 2016!

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SONATA PROBLEM at our first gig!  Well…a tiny fraction of us.  But still!  We are here!!

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The above two are Ed and I on our one-year anniversary.  We went ice skating and just spent time together at his house, coincidentally getting each other the same gift of scrapbooks and photo albums (because I love scrapbooking and he knew how much I loved pictures).  This was probably my favorite day spent with him.

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Starting off 2016 the right way!