That’s Not Really My Style

I’ve never been the “cool girl.” People have considered me funny, or sweet, or thoughtful, but never cool. That’s never been a big priority to me, and my personality definitely isn’t someone who can just be “one of the guys.” I hate beer, I don’t know a lot about professional sports teams (Should I have said “Pro Sports” instead?), I feel uncomfortable when guys curse a lot around me, and I’m a bit too delicate to be really roughhoused with.

Soon after my breakup I got a message from a guy I’ve always thought was kind of cool. I had a crush on him back in undergrad, but I was too young — and at the time not confident enough — for a guy like him to really notice me. He had always been kind, but never interested. Back then I figured it was because he dated girls who were much “cooler” than me. He was probably into some of the other athletes and people who could keep up with him better than I could. After all, I liked playing sports and working out on a regular basis, but was no super-athlete. I was a little nerdy and loved spending my free time writing and playing Super Smash Brothers or board games with my friends (I guess some things never change!).

Anyway, I was more than a little taken off guard when I heard from him years later. I hadn’t thought of him in such a long time that I didn’t quite know what to think. We ended up meeting up and he was more handsome than I remembered. I was excited to find that I could, in fact, have mini butterflies around someone new. I was, per usual, slightly awkward, but this has become part of what I like to call “the Krista charm.” I honestly believe some guys just like it because it is authentically me. The best dating advice I could ever give is to always be yourself. The right people will absolutely love you for it.

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This is what I look like trying to be flirty or charming. A teenie bopper with gum stuck in her hair — cute!

I don’t think this particular gentleman was charmed by me. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t repulsed or anything — I guess I’ll never know — but I was definitely disappointed when we had such a great time the night before and he didn’t seem interested in getting to know me further. So this was what rejection felt like. I had never really experienced it in such an obvious way by a guy before and my ex didn’t count because we had so many reasons to break up. This was just meeting someone I was kind of into who didn’t like me back.

Rejection is a part of life. Since I’ve started dating again I’ve been rejected, and I’ve rejected a handful of guys. It never feels good to put yourself out there and be turned down, but when you learn to love yourself you realize that it’s nothing personal — you just didn’t click in a romantic way with someone. There are so many other fish in the sea, and getting another “no” out of the way is one step closer to finding someone who will love you to your core and appreciate you for the amazing human being you are.

Today’s lesson: If someone turns you down pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Dating is essentially a numbers game — the more people you meet the more likely one of them is going to click! Don’t get discouraged and never let someone make you feel like you are not worthy of true love — YOU ARE.

Table For One

One mission for my time being single is to be really comfortable being alone. Even when I had a long-term boyfriend I was able to work on this and enjoy my own company because we were long distance for several years of our relationship. I’ve always felt pretty secure going places by myself but since I am an extrovert I love spending my time with people — I just also realize it’s not realistic or healthy filling all of my time being surrounded by loved ones.

Anyway, I’ve been planning fun dates by myself lately and am excited to share stories from several of them.

I’ll start with my date in New York.

When I went to the city with my mom she had some business to take care of, so I was on my own for a day. It was nice being back in the city; one of my favorite things about living there was just exploring new places all by myself. New York is a fantastic place to be single. There is so much to do and are so many fun people you meet along the way through all of your solo adventures.

I decided to begin my day by going to a fancy restaurant alone. This has been one of the goofier things on my bucket list, but why not cross it off while I’m in the greatest city on earth? I found a restaurant right next to The Plaza that was overlooking Central Park.

One of the waiters immediately greeted me and asked, “How many for brunch?”

I replied, “Just one, thank you.”

Maybe I was imagining things, but he gave me a kind of funny look as he walked me to a table. He sat me at a 4-top and asked again — just to be sure– “Will someone be meeting you here?” To which I replied, “No.”

I kid you not this happened five times. I didn’t keep my phone out, as I wanted to truly enjoy a dinner date by myself, but I kept a mental tally of how many people seemed shocked I was dining alone. It reminded me of this clip from Impractical Jokers:

Other than being bullied about not having any friends to go out to eat with, my solo date was really nice! I splurged and treated myself to a bunch of my favorite breakfast foods, and enjoyed people-watching by myself. I had such a nice time, in fact, that I am going to continue taking myself on little dates every once in awhile. I would highly recommend a date with yourself to kind of recharge at the end of a busy work week.

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Or if you don’t think of yourself as good company, I would also highly recommend myself as a date. Feel free to buy me brunch anytime and exchange for feeding me I will give good company and embarrassing stories to tell for years!

Today’s lesson: The biggest perk of being your own date is being able to eat as much as you want and not have to worry about someone else getting “food envy” when you order what is clearly the best thing on the menu. Like, seriously, people need to back off. #hangry

Are You There God? It’s Me, Krista.

It’s late. Everyone is sound asleep and I feel alone. I’m in more pain than usual; you never get used to pain, but do notice when it’s particularly worse.

A lasting ache can take over your body and slowly destroy the healthy things you have left. You begin to lose sleep, which makes it really hard to function during the day and makes the pain even more unbearable.

I’m mad at God.

People say He can take it and I hope that’s true. I hope this doesn’t make Him mad at me. My heart hurts and I feel like God doesn’t care about me anymore. My prayers aren’t working, so I’ve asked other people — more diligent Christians — to pray for me.

My faith has been put to the test and I am failing. I want it back more than anything but I don’t understand why God isn’t healing me, and that is breaking me.

 

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Please pray for me. I want more than anything to feel strong in my faith regardless of what is going on in this world.

Sincerely,
Struggling

Moving Forward

I called my best friend late last night in tears as I felt frustrated and angry about my chronic illness. It’s hard to be in pain all the time and it is exhausting being sick without ever getting a break.

This morning I woke up with a text from her to check my mailbox and found a package with her favorite gluten-free snacks (I just started a GF diet to see if it might help my pain), a Star Wars mug, a frame with me and my special date, and a beautiful card. I teared up as this present came with an incredible reminder — life is not fair. I don’t have a properly working body, and I don’t have a normal life for a twentysomething. What I do have, though, is an unfair number of people who love and care about me. That is something I feel blessed for each and every day. I am going to end there, as I cannot even put into words how thankful I feel for the love and support I have.

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This was easily one of the most thoughtful things I have had anyone do for me. I am so blessed.

This week I’m going to be writing more about faith and frustration.

I’m a little nervous, as some of the things I have written are very personal and scary to address, but I would love to share my journey with Jesus with my readers — I don’t think it will be quite what you would expect from me.

The Walk Of Shame

One thing I have mentioned time and time again is how POTS has not only affected the way I feel, but it’s also taken a toll on some of my interpersonal interactions.

For example, I’ve told you about my sweaty palms and the way I can’t help but blush when a boy kisses me — but I failed to tell you about how this happens all the freakin’ time whenever I feel the slightest sense of embarrassment, annoyance, or frustration. The other day I ran into one of my high school crushes at Target. Obviously I have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore, but as soon as he mentioned that he was now married my face turned bright red because I am apparently just programmed to be awkward.

Anyway, I went to New York City last weekend to visit some friends and have a girls’ weekend with my mom. The trip was awesome and I will be sharing a few stories on here about it this week, but the first one is hilariously embarrassing.

Before we went to the DC to New York bus stop I gave Megabus a call to make sure they would be stopping once to stretch and use the restroom. Not only do I have to drink a lot of fluids to keep my symptoms at bay, but I also need to walk around regularly to get my circulation going. The person who assisted me on the phone said this wouldn’t be a problem and that we would definitely stop. Thank goodness! I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable about making the big trip to the city.

Things did not go as planned, though. Our bus was 30 minutes late, so the driver said that we would not be stopping. After shuffling up to the front to talk to him, he kindly told me that he would stop if I needed it — I just needed to reach up and press the giant red emergency “STOP” button above my seat. If I needed it? I definitely will! This is so uncomfortable, I thought to myself. I quietly went back to my seat and waited for the giant Smart Waters I had been throwing back to take their course.

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About three hours into our ride I realized I would definitely need to pee and stretch soon, so reached up to the button — then pulled away. What if it makes a loud buzzing sound and everyone looks over? I really hate being high-maintenance, but that ship sailed when I got sick. You kind of have to be to take care of your chronic illness.

So I closed my eyes, reached up, and shoved my index finger into the giant glowing button as I held my breath. It was quiet. Oh good, I thought. The driver must just get a notification at the front. 

But he didn’t. I waited and waited until I realized he wouldn’t be stopping. That’s when I finally went to the front to see if he had seen my cry for help. He was once again very kind and said he would stop at the next rest area.

This is where the story takes a hilarious turn.

He pulled right up to the front of a gas station and shouted, “Alright darlin’, we’re here! Go do your thing.”

Oh my goodness! He’s just stopping for me! I thought that this would be a rest stop for everyone, but apparently I got to walk the red carpet down the bus aisle to go to the bathroom all by myself. I stood up and realized my balance was a bit off from the long ride — POTS does that to me sometimes. I can sometimes have a hard time keeping my balance on solid ground, but it’s even worse when I’ve been cooped up in a car for several hours. I stumbled down the aisle, bumping into a pretty young twentysomething who was just trying to mind her own business and taking out a guy’s knee on the way. I offered a muffled apology as I turned bright red and scampered down the steps.

I felt everyone’s inquisitive eyes on me as I pranced from the bus into the gas station and wondered what they must think of me. This is humiliating! They’re probably coming up with a billion stories in their own minds of why I had to make this huge emergency stop. 

I hurried inside and was back within two minutes. I didn’t take the time I needed to stretch because I didn’t want any false assumptions from me taking forever.

As I walked onto the bus — my face once again matching the red carpet beneath my feet — I realized no one was really paying attention to me. The twentysomething girl glanced up from her laptop, but for the most part people remained preoccupied with their own activities. It was at this moment that I had an overwhelming realization that no one really cared what I was up to and all eyes were, in fact, not on me.

Today’s lesson: People don’t really care what you are doing — so you should just do you and not worry so much about what others think.

Catching Fire

He was my hardest goodbye.

Our time together was short, but it felt like we had known each other for a lifetime.

I’m not sure if we’re having an extended honeymoon stage or if he’s just as amazing as I think he is. His light has me captivated and we are burning blindingly bright.

When you’ve been badly burned before you try to stay away from flames. They scare you and you know from experience that although they burn beautifully bright that if you get close enough to touch them they can hurt you. A burn is one of the most painful things your heart can experience — even after it heals parts of it stay numb. You have scars from the fire when it’s all fizzled out and you are suddenly surrounded by darkness. At first the pitch black sensation is claustrophobic and suffocating. After awhile, though, you get used to it. You realize you aren’t as alone as you feel and that everything is going to be alright.

When you finally see a spark fly again it startles you. At first it starts off small and you are intrigued. You get close to the beautiful shimmer and all of a sudden you see it turn to flames. It’s captivating, breathtaking. Before you know it there is another fire burning. You finally realize what you have done. You have trusted this new fire to keep itself in line and not burn you. It’s a huge risk you’re taking, but if it keeps you warm and takes care of you it’s worth it.

You begin cautiously, putting your hands up to the fire to warm them, and quickly soften enough to dance around the flames. You let your guard down. You will either get badly burned or have the most beautiful story of your life. You pray it’s the latter, but in the meantime you throw caution to the wind. Because right now your heart has a warm and comfortable glow. This is falling in love.

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Selfless Selfishness

Today I was talking to my Army man about our dreams and some of my future plans. I mentioned how selfish my last relationship was — everything we did was to make him happy and work toward his goals together. My opinion or desires never mattered. Moving forward I want to be someone’s partner in crime instead of their sidekick.

His reply to this was my favorite. He said, “But babe, we always do what I want to do too! I feel bad now.”

I quickly felt very confused, as he’s always been extremely kind and is one of the most selfless people I know. After a second of thinking I asked, “Huh? What do you mean?”

I heard him smile over the phone as he replied, “I always want to do whatever you want to do.”

My heart is so happy it hurts.

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Recognizing Emotional Abuse

He made me feel needy. But he also made me feel like I needed him. It was a twisted cycle I was thrown around in until I didn’t know which direction was up.

I didn’t get reassurance that I was truly loved, but was told another man would never care for me the way he did. Other men may lust for me, but they wouldn’t want to be with me. He said I would never find someone who treated me the way he did. Other men would pressure me to do things I didn’t feel comfortable with, yet I found myself worn down by him. He told me if I loved him I would do things to make him happy, even though I wasn’t ready.

I later found an article on “emotional abuse,” and he fit the category. I cried alone in my room as I realized that even I could get lost in the blurred lines of an unhealthy relationship.

You never think bad things will happen to you — that you’re smarter than that. It is so clear when you see a friend being mistreated, but it’s harder to realize that when you’re in so deep yourself and you trust your partner to not hurt you.

Scars, though faded, still remain, but the deep and painful wounds are finally healed. The scars are important to keep — not only to remind myself of how much stronger I am now, but also to serve as an example to others. By showing off my own battle wounds, I will hopefully help someone else dodge a bullet. I won’t take shit from anyone again, and now I actually have a chance for my forever and always to be a 1 Corinthians 13 man.

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If you feel like something isn’t right in your relationship, please seek help. This relationship changed very gradually from being happy, carefree, and healthy, to an enormous mess of emotional abuse, depression, and anxiety. This is not normal and there are so many better things out there for you. I feel so strongly about this and about being treated the way you deserve — with respect and love. I am always happy to talk and help you find the resources you need, and I will be sharing more of my story of recovery on here.

My Six Word Love Story

I fell in love on accident.

This is my six word love story.

As you all know, I have been dating around for about 7 months now. There is one particular gentleman, though, I can’t seem to shake. He was one of the first guys I went out with, and has just kind of stuck. We really hit it off from day one and I’ve grown more fond of him every day.

This is so ironic because as soon as I was done with my long-term relationship I decided I wanted to take a lot of time to date around and fully enjoy single life. I didn’t in a million years think I’d meet someone so incredibly special so fast.

He’s an army man, possibly the funniest person I’ve ever met, thoughtful, a gentleman, and genuinely selfless. He supports me (Including this blog and my need to be single until I’ve figured out more about what I want in a future relationship), and is loyal and kind. We get each other and are on the same wavelength. My best friend and I have always been able to read each other’s minds, but I’ve never had this kind of relationship with a guy before.

The timing of this is so weird. I have fallen for someone at a time when I wanted to take awhile to be single and casually date around, and he had just decided to stop dating until he got back from his deployment. It’s off for both of us, but we are such a great fit that we aren’t going to let everything fizzle out. We’re going to keep in touch and see where things go when he gets back — and I absolutely cannot wait.

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Buddy the Elf gets it.

In the meantime, I am going to be taking time getting to know myself better and what I want. I’m not giving up my life to a guy like I did with my ex, and I have overwhelming peace that everything is going to fall in place. Although it is early and I want to be careful with my heart, I think this guy and I could have a bright future. Love is scary and vulnerable, but I think it has to be in order to eventually find someone who will be a good fit for you and stick.

Today’s lesson: Love really does come to you when you’re least expecting it. As inconvenient as it seems sometimes I do believe things happen for a reason. I will be writing about this in the near future, but have realized if my ex and I hadn’t broken up at the time we did, I wouldn’t have found this incredible guy I am so crazy about. Timing can really be key, and why waste it with someone who doesn’t make you feel happy and secure in your relationship?

Update

I’ve had a crazy few weeks so have been terrible at updating this, but the good news is that I have plenty of stories to share now. 

I traveled to New York City to have a girls’ weekend, explored the city on my own again, and came home only to leave again for Richmond to see a very special someone off. 

This week I’ll be writing about adventures, singleness, and love. What else is new, though? 

Thank you for reading and checking in on this, even when I’m away. I will be better about updating regularly again!

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram to get little peeks into my life while I’m away.